Struggling to get that car off the lot, or are you looking to turn a quick profit? Either way, if you’re involved in trading vehicles, ACV Auctions is your go to marketplace.
Founded roughly four years ago and based out of Buffalo, New York State, ACV Auctions aimed to become the most trusted market for wholesale vehicles in the United States. Their online auction works nationwide because they have teams of inspectors across the US assessing every aspect of vehicles that are up for sale. In addition to this, they have teams of lawyers and accountants on hand to deal with all the paperwork involved in vehicle sales.
We should really be thanking ACV. They do a public service by allowing used car salesman to avoid buying and selling to each other face to face, which, I imagine is like trying to mix oil and water or keep more than one hamster in the same cage. The first example is harmless the second is not, google the results at your own risk.
Currently, ACV is in hyper growth mode having had over a hundred million dollars venture capitalist investment. That might be an indication of just how good a business model they have. They certainly have a lot of self-confidence, expanding to a Workhaus office in Toronto in order to make use of the vast talent on offer from the region’s excellent universities. Having doubled their workforce over the past year from 400 to over 800, the Toronto move now looks to focus on purely improving their software engineering department. Step forward Stephen Evans, VP of engineering for ACV, the man responsible for managing how software is developed and delivered.
A day for Stephen consists of hiring software engineers, planning on how to scale the business and managing engineering teams towards solving specific issues. There are currently only a handful of staff in the Toronto office but by the end of the year Stephen predicts they will take up an entire floor of Workhaus with over a hundred engineers. I don’t think they know the meaning of taking it slow when there is ice on the road. There is also clearly no speed limit on this road. I could keep going but I won’t. Unlike ACV.
Although ACV is clearly very ambitious, they still recognise the challenges down the road. And the biggest one yet? Stephen suggests that it’ll be on how to mange the rapidly expanded workforce over two separate locations. Can they still keep the innovative company culture that brought them this far? Well that’s why ACV hired Stephen in the first place. If his CV was a car it would be a classic sports coupe from the 70’s, it’s seen a lot of use and it gains value with age. He’s worked for various small start-ups as well as giants like Microsoft and eBay. This experience has shown him the paradigm between autonomy and alignment in managing a workforce.
“It’s about saying here are our values and here is what we want and here are the things that are non-negotiable”.
He also has some words of wisdom for young people trying to enter the tech industry. Patience. Remain focused and just recognize that success does not come to you straight away.
Stephen is also a great advertisement for the adaptability of your career. He dropped out of an English-literature degree in order to follow his passion in technology. This led him to take on various low-level jobs in tech support, but he spent the entire time learning and gradually self-teaching his craft. From these humble beginnings came a successful career. Stephen is a great example of a person following their passion. Your brain retains information better if you enjoy what you are doing. Anyone worried that changing their career to pursue a passion is a risk not worth taking can look at Stephen and find comfort.
Where does the road ahead lie for ACV? The continuation of their rapid expansion, a much more valuable business, and the potential for an international expansion.
“This is not a Silicon Valley start-up that has a questionable value like Uber, we are a real business with real revenue”.
The potential for growth is incredibly exciting to see, hopefully when ACV grow, they bring Workhaus along for the ride.
Visit ACVAuctions.com for more information.