In 2003, Neal East, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, was handed a solution and told to find the problem it would solve profitably.
Eventually, he found the right problem: scheduling auto dealership service appointments. The solution now is known as Xtime and processes more than 2.5 million dealership service appointments each month. The company, with ties to 23 automotive brands, was acquired by Cox Automotive in 2014 for $325 million.
But to get there, East and his team had to learn about, and then target, dealerships' scheduling needs.