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When Zipcar first started it was nothing more than a green Volkswagen beetle named “Betsy.” It was parked outside of Robin Chase’s house and the key was hidden underneath a pillow on her porch. Inside the glove box was a piece of paper where you would write down the time you rented the car and the time you brought it back. That was it.
These days, Zipcar is the largest car sharing service in the world, with more than 13,000 cars spread across almost every major city in the world.
The first time Chase encountered her idea with Zipcar was when her co-founder came back from a vacation in Berlin. Among her many stories about her vacation, she told Chase about a peculiar business she had witnessed where she saw multiple people sharing a single car. Taken with the idea, Chase immediately began setting out to build a better version.
“It’s an idea that we didn’t even invent. We just executed it way better than other people,” Chase says.
Zipcar launched within six months, with a founder who was a mother of three and had no technical experience. It was 1996, when the internet was still new and very different from what we know today. Nevertheless, Chase was determined to make her startup a reality.
We had the pleasure to speak with Robin Chase about her incredible journey as an entrepreneur, a disruptor and a world-changer, and all the lessons she learned in her inspiring career.
In this interview, you will learn:
- What it means to create a true minimum viable product to validate your idea
- Why the best ideas come from solving your own problems
- Advice on who to hire when you’re a struggling startup
- What qualities you should be looking for when bringing in new people to your team
- The importance of user feedback and always listening to your customer
- & much more!