Q: YourMechanic is often compared to Uber. Is the comparison accurate?
A: We are the next technology-enabled service business. It's not really fair to compare me to Uber or DoorDash or any of those, because my people are skilled. It's a lot harder to repair a car than it is to drive the car.
Is YourMechanic a "disruptor"?
We are trying to bring a better solution for people who need their car repaired.
A model like ours doesn't have the infrastructure of a physical building and management layers and service technicians and all that stuff. We can repair the car for a lower price point to the consumer and make more money ourselves.
Generally, when the economic model is fundamentally better, it does disrupt or impact the traditional model. Those things take time.
We are structurally changing the market. How well we do over time remains to be seen. Structural change to auto repair has begun, and it's not going to stop.
What does YourMechanic do well?
We have figured out what I'll call product-market fit, to use Silicon Valley speak, better than other people. And we've figured out how to do it at some scale.
We operate in lots of different locations. We've figured how out to reliably get the correct part and the correctly skilled mechanics to a lot of different places in the time we say we're going to do that. That is not an easy thing to accomplish.
How can YourMechanic be better?
I want to be able to get a car repaired in a much shorter time window than I do now. I want to be able to source all different kinds of parts -- whether it's OEM, aftermarket, whatever -- on the same kind of time horizon and let the consumer be empowered to choose.
I want to feel like 99.9 percent of the time, my service experience is going to be consistent. I think technology can drive a large part of that. Today I'm not at that place.
When you were hired in December, you said YourMechanic is trying to "redefine the way maintenance and repair services are delivered, discovered and booked." How do you feel now?
That sound bite addresses the consumer market. We actually are doing something that is highly of interest to the broad market overall.
Whether it's the consumer being more productive or the fleet management company or Uber, Lyft or Hertz or whoever, what we would be doing actually will save them money and get better yield management out of those assets for them. We'll be able to dramatically shrink the amount of time that a car has to be out of the market for service.
In a world of ride-sharing and autonomous-driving cars -- those cars are going to need to be fixed, too.
We already are doing some work with the ride-sharing companies. It's a more-efficient model where I could go repair the autonomous car, versus taking it out of the field for days to put it into the shop.
There's the whole world of rental-car companies and company-owned fleets. If you're a Pfizer rep and you have to take your car to the shop, you're not calling on doctors. If I can get the car fixed at the doctor's office while you're calling on a doctor -- if I'm Pfizer, I'm pretty happy.
What are some of the possibilities you see in working with car companies and their dealerships?
There's the whole thing about when cars come off lease -- certified pre-owned and all that. We can help them with inspections, prep, getting cars ready. There's a whole business there for us if we want to do that, or they want to do that.
A lot of people will drive a fair amount of distance to buy a new car, but they won't drive the same distance to get that car serviced. We could help them augment doing service, whether a car is out of warranty or not.
The move to ride sharing and autonomous driving. Those cars will all need service. If the way that GM or Ford or any of those guys gets into autonomous is doing their own cars, we can help take care of those cars for them. They're not going to have dealers do that.
What's the status of the discussions?
We're having lots of interesting, cordial conversations all across the ecosystem. I am very encouraged by the amount of inbound interest in what we're doing, and inbound interest to participate in what we're doing in some way, shape or form.
For us, the problem is being choiceful about where we are going to scale and grow our business.