Ernie Garcia - Disrupting the Auto Buying Experience - [Founder’s Field Guide, EP. 45]

1h 13m · August 5, 2021

Ernie Garcia - Disrupting the Auto Buying Experience - [Founder’s Field Guide, EP. 45]

My guest today is Ernie Garcia, co-founder and CEO of online used car platform, Carvana. Ernie launched Carvana in 2012, and less than a decade later, the business commands a $60 billion valuation while selling a used car every other minute.   Our conversation covered a lot of ground. We discussed effective decision-making, what it means to be a long-term thinker, and what Ernie sees as the defining features of attractive markets. We then went deep on Carvana itself, covering the original insight, logistics operations, and counter-intuitive decisions Carvana took as they set about building the brand. I think you’ll find Ernie’s insights and energy infectious. I hope you enjoy this great conversation with Carvana CEO, Ernie Garcia.   For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here. -----   This episode is brought to you by   -----   This episode is brought to you by   -----   Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide, visit   Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.   Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus   Show Notes [00:03:10] - [First question] - Defining average decision quality and he weaves it into his business [00:05:40] - How he would assess average decision quality in another company [00:07:04] - What company culture means to him and building it at Carvana [00:08:45] - Key features of a market that is desirable to step into as an entrepreneur [00:10:06] - Various levels of complexity faced in automotive retail [00:13:51] - Reality Has A Surprising Amount Of Detail; The genesis idea that led to Carvana [00:17:52] - Critically new things delivered to customers when buying a used car [00:20:43] - Dealership unit economics vs logistics platform economics and what drives gross profit per unit [00:24:47] - What is an IRC center, the hub and spoke model, and the skeleton of Carvana [00:28:44] - The size and scope of one of their fulfillment centers and cost savings involved [00:30:29] - How the spoke component works and ways it will be improved over time [00:32:39] - Defining what being a long term thinker means to him [00:35:50] - The story behind the Carvana car vending machine [00:39:49] - His thinking on the dual-layer nature of customer experience and communication [00:41:59] - Mistakes and failures made while learning to become good communicators [00:44:21] - Great companies get a lot done very fast [00:48:56] - Infrastructure set in place to maintain their pace as they scale  [00:51:50] - The embedded formula used for teams to communicate what they want to do [00:52:50] - What it felt like as a leader going through the pandemic [00:58:24] - Whether or not COVID-19 has permanently impacted the consumer landscape [01:00:03] - Businesses, leaders, and things he’s studied that others could learn from [01:01:55] - Surprising new things arising in the automotive and transport industries [01:05:23] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him


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