The Future Car: A Siemens Podcast

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Shift founder Toby Russell on the digital transformation of used car sales - Part 2

Season 3, Ep. 12

In a startup, absolutely nothing happens unless you make it happen.


That is what makes managing a startup an uphill task. It requires a strong culture and a leadership team that knows what to prioritize.


That’s because as the company grows in size and revenue its priorities also evolve. For instance, to create a superior product and remain competitive, there is a need to hire more specialists to replace the generalist talent.


These challenges aren’t specific to companies that are building new innovative products from scratch. Companies that are also working on digitally transforming existing industries also have to overcome them.


In this episode, the second part out of two, Ed Bernardon interviews Toby Russell, founder and former CEO of Shift. He’ll share with us what it takes, in terms of structure and culture, to build a successful company. He’ll also share with us his views on the future of buying and selling used cars.


Some Questions I Ask:

  • How do you choose the areas to add more resources? (03:04)
  • What inspired you early on in your career? (10:07)
  • What's the most interesting thing that you encountered being a deputy press secretary? (12:52)
  • How did you balance family life and startup life? (20:54)
  • What retail marketplace out there is prime for this kind of revolution? (34:50)


What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • Talent and staff distribution at Shift (01:28)
  • How a team evolves as the company grows (06:13)
  • The biggest challenge that Toby faced while building Shift (25:55)
  • The impact of Shift’s ‘no interruption’ culture (26:50)
  • How it’s going to be like to buy and sell a car 20 years from now (31:32)


Connect with Toby: 


Connect with Ed Bernardon:

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