Tech Startups Session 4: Coches.com


Today the talk was from Iñaki Arrola, Founder and CEO of Coches.com.  A few years ago, Arrola and his team had the opportunity to obtain a top domain name – coches.com – and went for it.

Iñaki Arrola

Today they are the biggest car site in Spain, and I am going to use this blog to discuss some of the lessons he gave us.  It was interesting in this case because many of Iñaki’s suggestions were not things that he really appeared to follow rather than just telling us all the things he did really well.

  1. Don’t start businesses with friends/relatives.  Apparently this didn’t turn out well for Iñaki.
  2. If you give employees equity it can be a problem for them because it has value only once you sell, so they may become trapped in their position.
  3. People overestimate the amount of sales, so dividing by ten will probably give you an accurate view.
  4. You need an in-house technical capability, at least so you know how much things should cost to develop.  Their businesses didn’t have these skills for the first three years.
  5. User experience skills are good to have, even though his team didn’t have them at first.
  6. Be honest with your investors (a common suggestion!).  They really want to see honest people to deal with and an investor is investing in the person more than the product.
  7. Focus on the things that you users want to do – don’t just put a bunch of things on your web site.
  8. Being an entrepreneur doesn’t have to ruin your life.  Your wife is your biggest stakeholder – if she’s not behind you then you won’t have a wife or a business.

Some keys to success specifically for coches.com:

  • High quality cars
  • communicate with the users – be close to them
  • a focus on the core needs of the users
  • no ads, but know what the user is doing on your web site
  • speak well of competitors – wide range of views not just about their own site in their social feeds
  • The name – in fact, coches.com often benefits when a similarly named competitor runs offline ads.

Some questions that I have are the following:

  • (I asked during class) A mobile app?  Yes, they have one coming, but they have some issues to work out and have to decide how to do it.

Note – carros.com exists and isn’t apparently being used for anything useful.  Perhaps someone wants to buy a domain name for car sales? 🙂

Advertisements
Explore posts in the same categories: IETechstartup

2 Comments on “Tech Startups Session 4: Coches.com”

  1. Fabio Says:

    “If you give employees equity it can be a problem for them because it has value only once you sell, so they may become trapped in their position.”

    But I believe this is the most effective way to make them part of the family. People who join a startup want to dream!

    I wish I could be hired with 1% of facebook 🙂

  2. Guerson Says:

    Great post. I am just missing the foodieSquare ad! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: