Today, January 16 2021, marks exactly 20 years since VroomVroomVroom, one of my companies, began trading. For an internet company, that’s a really long time - almost the age of the modern internet itself.
VroomVroomVroom.com.au is the Southern Hemisphere’s largest car rental Online Travel Agency (OTA), booking hundreds of thousands of rentals per year for Hertz, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Enterprise and Thrifty.
That’s not the only way Vroom’s an outlier. We’re also one of the few remaining privately held OTA’s in the world - competing with the likes of Booking, Expedia, Kayak, Trivago & Trip.
When I tell people that I own technology companies, most people conjure images of “Silicon Valley/VC/Growth at all costs/Unicorns” but that is so far from our reality.
Instead, we’re quiet, calm and diligent. Profitable, sustainable and enduring.
There’s something about “going the distance” that lights up my value system.
Playing the long game encourages deeper relationships, better decision making and sustainable growth. It’s not “one and done” or “growth at all costs” as is so popular in tech circles today.
We employ great people who stay with us for a long time, we contribute to our industry, our families and communities. We reinvest to grow over the very long term.
You could say it sounds a lot like the values espoused by most family enterprises. And I guess we are. Vroom is owned by two families, mine and my wonderful business partners who share our values.
I joined the journey part way through, 1o years ago, and as is often the case - it was never intended, I was headed in another direction…
But life has a way of delivering challenges and opportunities that only make sense in hindsight. A moment of serendipity in 2011 put me on course to the most amazing journey, with incredible human beings who have shaped my life for the better.
Our 20th year has been our most challenging yet. There are simply no customers to serve when we can’t get out to travel and explore. In some respects it’s also been our most rewarding year, inspiring the team to innovate and grow instead of wither and shrink.
If it weren’t for our long term posture, zero debt and heavy reinvestment, it likely would have been a very different story.
The triumphant feeling of knowing we will survive this storm is real and we’re so excited for what comes next!
Keep playing the long the game,