Pop Quiz, Monday with Alex Johnson
The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.
I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.
Can you please tell everyone your name?
What is your job role?
I am the CEO of Swap Motors
Tell us about your company?
Swap Motors was created in 2016 when I grew frustrated with the process of trying to sell my car to a dealership. I seized the opportunity to transform a broken industry that has delivered a poor consumer experience. Typical vehicle sales are bogged down with multiple middlemen driving dollars away from buyers and sellers. Swap Motors maximizes value for consumers who can now shop and sell safely on the first of its kind peer-to-peer and consumer auction automotive sales platform. Swap Motors promotes safety, trust, and transparency within the automotive market. In addition, Swap Motors provides the customer service and support to private sellers and buyers as afforded by typical auto dealerships.
What do you love most about your job?
I love working in a fast paced environment, with a talented team – to solve problems in traditional business models.
What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
The truth is I love my work. I pretty much always have. I have built numerous companies from the ground up to large award-winning companies. My motivation is to always focus on the mission of the company – not making money or other tangential benefits. At Swap Motors, our mission is: Buying and Selling Cars Made Simple. I am motivated to come to work each day to advance this mission.
How do your co-workers inspire you?
My colleagues are subject matter experts in a wide variety of areas. We have amazing technologists, coders, designers & marketers. I am constantly inspired by the breadth of their talent and continued desire to advance our company mission.
How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We work long hours. In doing so, we make sacrifices – time away from home/family/etc. For this reason, I make it a point that the team has fun at work too. Our office is designed with a collaborative footprint – and we have ping pong tables and pop-a-shot basketball for relaxation. We also routinely eat meals together. I want the team to feel like they’re a part of the overall Swap Motors family. I hold a weekly innovation meeting for all team members to bring up new ideas for the company – I encourage them to think outside of their expertise area. Some of our best ideas have come through these meetings.
What are some of the challenges of your job?
My job requires me to make important strategic decisions quickly. To do so effectively, I need to absorb material to make informed decisions. Oftentimes, I must become versed in new areas – like full stack coding or digital marketing. While it can be challenging to learn the basics of new areas quickly, it’s also something I find rewarding.
What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
We are trying to improve the automotive commerce marketplace. While cars have changed, buying and selling cars – has mostly remained unchanged. When changing an old industry – you will face pushback. One example – we wanted to provide tax, title, registration, and license plate services for our peer-to-peer customers. We received a lot of resistance from industry players in accomplishing this since it was something new, and it had not been done before. But, we continued to work with strategic partners, and together we built out a great solution. Today, Swap Motors is the only peer-to-peer marketplace providing these services. My takeaway from this experience is to remain persistent.
What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
My advice is to build out a great team with diverse expertise. Having a broad talented team provides the basis to accomplish anything.
Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web: