As Alastair Campbell starts disrupting online car search, I thought it would be interesting to share the inside story of our CEO with you to explain a bit about him and where his motivations lie.
Born in Scotland, Alastair now lives in the East Midlands with his family. In this interview, his passion for Carsnip to succeed and revolutionise the way people buy cars is clear. With his vision driving the business forward, the sky’s the limit; just like it is in his spare time too!
What is your vision for Carsnip
To build a completely scalable car search engine that delivers an awesome experience for consumers and dealers. This means all consumers can easily find the right car for them and dealers improve sales and margins while reducing costs.
What’s your ethos when building your team?
Finding the brightest people with self motivation and the drive to get through difficult challenges, whether that be technical, such as indexing every car in the world, or disrupting established companies with huge resources.
What was your first job?
I was a warehouse manager at a food label company. Obviously a very exciting and challenging role….
Who has influenced your career the most?
My previous business partner taught me about MVP (Minimum Viable Product) in 1999 long before it was a methodology. It’s a philosophy that has stayed with me. Do the minimum you can to test and prove before committing. When you do commit, give it everything! He also taught me the art of retaining good people and how to always see the opportunity, even in difficult times.
What would be a perfect day away from work?
Ideally two days, one with the family, being out in the hills with the dog and another day to go and jump out of planes. Sadly, Carsnip has kept me so busy that I have not had time to skydive at all this year!
What is your favourite gadget?
My Omega watch that my wife bought me 10 years ago. It doesn’t do text or display emails. It’s simply beautifully made and tells the time. A true MVP.
What car do you drive?
VW Golf GTi. My second one after a (very) brief detour via a Prius. It is a really accomplished car. Enough room for four adults and luggage, great for long distance but still fast enough to not be boring.
What was your toughest accomplishment?
When I was learning to skydive. The first jump scared me so much I completely froze. If I hadn’t bought 10 jumps I would have gone home as soon as I got back on the ground. Getting back in the plane was tough the second time but after that it was nothing but pure adrenaline. Go and try it!
What would be the best advice you could give to your children?
Pursue your dreams and find something you love to do. Learn from the experts but remember that expertise comes in all shapes and sizes (and ages!). Only go to University if it has a purpose for your career and never believe anyone who says ‘it can’t be done’ until you’ve tried it yourself.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
Flight. As an avid skydiver, the feeling of being 12,000 feet up in the air, hanging under a parachute, is simply awesome. Imagine the fun I’d have if I didn’t need a plane!