E27: Steve Cottrell, President, CEO, Founder-Owner of Authenticom – Interview

May 31, 2016


This interview is about a hidden gem located in LaCrosse, WI. The interview is with Steve Cottrell who is the CEO and founder of Authenticom, which he started in 2002. Authenticom, with 100+ employees and $20 million+ revenue, works with Dealer Management Systems and data services in the auto industry and is a hidden gem in the state of Wisconsin. Unless you’re in the car dealership business, you may not have heard of Steve or Authenticom. I invited Steve to share his story and where he wants to take Authenticom.

Other questions Steve answers:

-At what point in your career did you start Authenticom? How did your prior experiences help?
-How did you start Authenticom?
-How have you managed such fast growth from LaCrosse?
-Where do you want to take Authenticom?
-What’s your favorite car?


Dave Kruse: Hey everyone, welcome to another episode of Flyover Labs. This is Dave Kruse from Madison, Wisconsin, and today we are lucky enough to have Steve Cottrell with us and Steve is the CEO and founder of Authenticom which he started in 2002 and is based in La Crosse, Wisconsin. So Authenticom works with dealer management systems and data services in the auto industry, and I think it’s kind of a hidden gem in the city of Wisconsin. Unless you are in the auto dealership business, there is a good chance you probably haven’t heard of Steve or Authenticom, so I invited Steve to share his story and tell us more of where he wants to take Authenticom. So Steve, thanks for coming on the show.


Steve Cottrell: It’s a pleasure to be here. Thanks so much for the opportunity.


Dave Kruse: Yeah and I’m really fascinated that your fast growing company is in La Cross, so excited to learn more, but let’s first start with your background, you know, before Authenticom and that kind of thing.


Steve Cottrell: Yeah, you know, essentially I’ve always been orientated toward sales and yeah, very very early on in life and that took me into automobile sales. I started selling cars at a local Chevrolet dealership when I was 18 years old.


Dave Kruse: Oh wow!


Steve Cottrell: I worked in the retail side of the automobile industry for 13 years, and did most of the jobs in the front end or sales end of the dealership over that 13-year career primarily in Northern California. From there, I joined a consulting company and I’ll really say that is where I did my PhD work in the automotive industry. I had an opportunity to settle extensively all over North America and a little bit in Europe, seeing the absolute best operations and some of the worst and that was really kind of, you know, my first view even though I wasn’t really conscious that was kind of my first feeling to what eventually became, you know, the basis for Authenticom. During the time with the consulting company I also had an opportunity to work on a lot of start-up companies within the consulting company. We started 12 separate products to service automobile dealers and manufactures and that really kind of sparked the entrepreneurial bug.


Dave Kruse: Wow, and what was kind of your role at the consulting company?


Steve Cottrell: Well, I started out as a field consultant going into automobile dealerships and we actually had specific curriculums that we trained automobile dealership management and personnel and then there was of course maintenance, so I had an opportunity to both install and run maintenance on those specific products and then from there we had a training facility in Philadelphia, I became one of the instructors of the training facility and then I got into product and curriculum development and then took a marketing role which really was a glorified title for a sales person and that’s where I got most of my exposures to the manufactures which of course proved very valuable later in my career.


Dave Kruse: Interesting, yeah, so you have quite the well-rounded background. Was there anything from the consulting, I mean was there certain areas that really helped you kind of see where the auto dealership industry was headed certain circumstances that are like oh wow! You know, things are changing here.


Steve Cottrell: Yeah I don’t think I was really conscious, you know, during the time, but certainly that gave me the basis of the information that I needed to, you know, make a lot of decisions that I was making later in life and, you know, formulating Authenticom, I think a couple of things that really struck me about the automotive industry was the lack of adaptation towards technology, that’s changed in the last decade, but the automobile industry as a whole, you know, particularly in dealerships still a decade or more behind, you know, and really adapting technology. You know, up until very recently just a few years ago and still today I’m sure in some places, you know, dealerships are still operating using green screens and, you know, the system of choice or the platform of choice for a lot of the data management systems was AS/400 technology, old IBM technology. A lot of the software is written and things like Universe and Pick databases and, you know, very very what would be considered today as antiquated legacy systems and that’s one of the really interesting things about the industry as it migrates. The pain that is involved, you know, in migrating from a lot of these systems to some of the newer technology.


Dave Kruse: Are a lot of dealerships still in that middle of the migration or has that happened over the last 5 to 10 years?


Steve Cottrell: You know, it’s happening, but the issue is that there are a couple of system manufacturers that really control the market. I mean, if you look at 85% of the franchise dealerships of North America, they are probably operating on one of 4 or 5 platforms. There are 94 different platforms we actually integrated with at Authenticom, so the challenge is with the big guys. They are so well established, you know, as far as footprint, changing out to new platforms in these systems is so costly and they have got such huge market share. There hasn’t been a huge motivation for them to make those changes, and it’s certainly not something that the dealerships are driving for. A very interesting thing that, you know, about the automotive industry and for anybody that is familiar with it, if you have a product or solution or want to talk about something that’s going to help a dealer sell a car today, or put a customer in the service drive you have a very attentive audience. If you want to talk about anything else okay, they could be somewhat ADD, okay. It’s a tough conversation to have, so, you know, a lot of what we are talking about, you know with our particular product is really about some fundamental changes, you know, in thinking and very important social issues and, you know, that’s a tougher thing to get dealers, you know, to really look at, and it is not because, you know, they are not concerned or they not interested, they are just so damn busy, okay, you know, running an automobile dealership is a very very difficult position and the margins are very slim, you know, and there is a lot of stuff going on, I mean people have a lot of emotion, you know, while buying a car and servicing a vehicle and that customer experience is so very, very important and rightly so, that’s where the dealers are paying the most attention, but they are paying the most attention to the customer that is right in front of them and there isn’t as much thought about, you know, some of the background issues or in this case some of the forward thinking issues about how technology might help or what things they should be concerned about, etc.


Dave Kruse: And that’s a good essay. Let’s talk a little bit more about Authenticom, and so you are consulting and did you consult right up until 2002 or were you doing something in between?


Steve Cottrell: Yeah, I took a job with a dot com in San Jose, so the consulting company sold to one of the very large systems providers that we were talking about it and I had an opportunity to make a presentation of the senior management team at that company and knew instantly that that was not an environment that I would flourish in so….


Dave Kruse: You don’t have to share it if you don’t want to.


Steve Cottrell: Yeah, I mean, it just wasn’t my cup of tea, you know, the consulting company was a family owned business, there was about 130 employees may be and, you know, making a trip out to corporate headquarters, you know, I was sitting in a room full of vice presidents, not a room, an auditorium okay full of vice presidents and I was on stage, started my presentation by introducing myself and, you know, kind of went around into the crowd a little bit, just what’s your name and what do you do and everybody was very concerned about their title, how many people they had reporting to them, what their P&L responsibility was, etc, etc. It was a little stuffy and, you know, it didn’t feel like a good fit for me, you know, since the buy-sell had already taken place the head hunters were swirling. I went back to my hotel room and called one of the head hunters and took a job with a dot com out in California. That company was either #1 or #2 depending on who you talk to as far as offering lead generation to automobile dealers and that was really where Authenticom as a business started to really formulate. The challenge that we had was we were selling leads to automobile dealers for a lot of money and they were running anywhere from $20 to $35 a piece for these leads. We had a really cool web site. We had about 3 million unique visitors a month looking at this website.


Dave Kruse: What was the name of the web site?


Steve Cottrell: AutoWeb.com.


Dave Kruse: Okay.


Steve Cottrell: And with AutoWeb the consumer experience, you know, went down multiple paths depending on their lifestyle track, but the idea was that they can research, they can read reviews, they can get tremendous amount of product and so crash data, true cost of ownership, other consumer reviews, so it was a really great forum for consumers to research and we saw that customers spent a tremendous amount of time, you know, researching and we created this funnel, you know, where at the customer’s own pace they would eventually end up at a decision, and once they got to that decision point we would put a question in front of them and the question was, you know, now that you’ve decided you want a Honda Accord 4-door LX, which happened to be probably the most sought after car at that point in time, would you be interesting in talking with a dealer that understands the online customer because we are talking about 1999 to 2000 when the internet and auto sales was brand new, so you know, the dealership experience was still pretty much walk on the lot, either salesmen, you know, there wasn’t a lot of people that were savvy about online shoppers, so the fact that we could offer to consumer on online savvy dealers seemed appealing to them, that’s where we created monetization by taking that consumer and sending them to a dealership as a lead. The problem with the model was that many customers, although they went all the way through this research process, what they really wanted from the website was just a price and they didn’t want to get obligated, so they would input false information, you know, in the hope that they would, you know, get a price back without having to be committed to the process. So consequently, we were sending Donald Duck, Bill Clinton and, you know, various versions, some of which probably aren’t appropriate for radio and, you know, that really upset our customers and we did not have a good mechanism for, you know, really sorting through those leads and our chief financial officer wasn’t really interested in sorting through them, he wanted to monetize them so that was my first experience in a publicly traded company, so we had an opportunity to create the first really commercially viable leach scrubbing tool that was used in the automotive industry and we did that by getting the __16:18__ household tips matching consumer information, created some algorithms from phone numbers that were inputted based on location, you know, a lot of people put in their work phone number and it wasn’t very likely that they were going to commute more than 100 miles so, you know, we had all kinds of rules about what was a valid lead and what wasn’t a valid lead or questionable lead, some of them get sent to a call center for verification, but we ended up scrubbing out about 18% of the leads and the really cool part was that, you know, I was in a lot of hot water with the board and the CFO for chopping out all that revenue, but in a relatively short period of time, we became the premium supplier of leads because our closing ratios with the dealerships actually affected, you know, that caused an impact because the sales people weren’t calling bogus leads, they got more excited about our product and consequently our closing ratios went up well beyond the 18% that we were scrubbing now, so it was really kind of a proof positive that if you had a superior product that really met the need, you’re going to be successful, and shortly thereafter the company became even profitable which in the dot com world was crazy.


Dave Kruse: Yeah.


Steve Cottrell: Yeah, so of course, what we did, we sold and we merged it with a bigger company and…


Dave Kruse: How much did you sell it for?


Steve Cottrell: Yeah, it was about 15 times earnings and about 5 times revenue, but there was a lot of stock swap involved, etc., and it was a big number, it was crazy. The painful part was we were the smaller of the 2 companies so they pretty much decimated the staff, that was the economy scale, so I got to learn that experience and that was pretty painful and I didn’t really enjoy that, so I went to work for the new company as the EVP of sales. They chose not to adopt our lead scrubbing technology that we had built. They did not want to see a drop in revenue, so I took the lead scrubbing technology as part of my exit package home to my son’s bedroom here in La Crosse and that was the humble start for Authenticom.


Dave Kruse: Interesting, wow, and how many years have you worked in the auto industry when you started with Authenticom?


Steve Cottrell: Well, let’s see. I started in 1978, and I started Authenticom in 2002, so if you call the dot com experience automotive you know.


Dave Kruse: Right. It’s a wonderful story right because everyone thinks that, oh yeah, like 24, but often the stats show a lot of times people are in their 30s, 40s, 50s when they start their companies and, you know, by that time, you just had such a good understanding of the auto industry, so that’s interesting. Okay, so and maybe we should tell everyone what Authenticom is. Can you give a brief description?


Steve Cottrell: Sure. So from a problem solution standpoint okay, so the problem that exists in the automotive industry is as I mentioned before, there are data management systems that exist in every dealership okay, so, depending on who you talk to, there is 18,500 or 22,000 retail dealers in North America, and there is about 50 or 60,000 independent dealerships used car lots, so all these people in varying degrees have got computer systems that run their dealerships, so they print the repair orders and handle the accounting and print the sales orders for the sale of non-used vehicles. They run all their parts inventory, all their inventory, body shop operations and everything on these systems. We connect with 94 different systems, okay. These systems are all in different technology platforms okay. They all have different ways of doing business, you know, down to what they call data elements, their file naming conventions on files are completely different. It’s kind of like, you know, being at the United Nations, one system is speaking Mandarin and the other one is speaking Italian and you got the Russians over here right, and for a company that wants to provide services, you know, that are data depended, say for example a CRM company or e-mail marketing company, it has been very, very problematic for them to get the data because it came in so many disparate formats, and there wasn’t a lot of people, you know, out there that crossed all these different platforms, so most companies focused on, you know, the big 3 or the big 4 systems, and they had in-house folks that would, you know, take this data, collect it, scrub it, and bring it into a useable useful format, so the essential function of Authenticom is connecting with over 15,000 retail dealerships and over 10,000 independent dealerships every night, 94 different systems, we have get the pipeline into these dealerships. We take down all the transactional information of sales and service inventory, parts inventory, service appointments, all that kind of stuff. We normalize it in a sequel enterprise database and then we provide extracts in a single normalized feed irregardless of what system they originated on to companies that provide services back to the dealers and to the automobile manufacturers themselves.


Dave Kruse: Interesting, well it keeps your software developers busy and keeping up with the constant changes probably on those 94 different platforms.


Steve Cottrell: The other side of taking that further complicates it is that so many fields in these systems are user defined, okay, so for example, in our service department they have what’s called operation codes, so an oil change might be operation code 101 and it’s called an oil change, and the next dealership it could be 739 and it’s called an __23:10__okay. Down South they are called the earl changes, you know, and there is just like people, everybody says things differently and they account for things differently, so not only do we have to have the system language down, but we also have to be responsive to the human element and how people actually use these systems to properly interpret that data.


Dave Kruse: And so are you guys essentially the, I don’t know if the intelligent data hub will make sense or not, but like, you are at the centre and the data is coming in and then you’re pushing it out to people who are calling for the data, you know, whether it’s the CRM systems or whatever systems there might be, marking systems. Is that kind of one of your main roles?


Steve Cottrell: That’s correct. That’s probably about 85% revenue. The balance of our revenue comes from data hygiene and data plan, so for example, we do national change of address and CAST certification, so we are registered with United States Postal Service and the Canadian Postal Service. They send us DVDs every week of the all the movers and, you know, all the addresses that come up, so we standardize, you know, all of that data. We are one of the largest reseller of vehicle valuation information from Bluebuck and BlackBuck and NetaGuides, so we put current valuations on vehicles as they go through our systems. Repair frequency, oh gosh maintenance guides, you know, as the years have gone by, you know, people said, hey, where do we get rebate information okay, where do we get, you know, bank interest rate information, Steve where do we find this, where do we find that, so, you know, we’ve kind of made it our business to go out and source all this data, you know, as a wholesale supplier and then resell it to, you know, the hundreds of customers that we have, so that’s not an insignificant part of our business, but it really creates an end-to-end solution, so our customers can really focus on their core business, you know, as opposed to worrying about the data or, you know, additional elements that they need.


Dave Kruse: Gotcha. So if I had a new marketing platform for auto dealers I could essentially go after those 94 different platforms because you’re providing the links or the hook-ups to that.


Steve Cottrell: Correct.


Dave Kruse: Interesting, okay. It seems like you are in the middle. Could you almost provide like, I don’t know if this is the right analogy, but like an app store almost, you know, because people could just build on top of what you’ve already…because you have the valuable part, right. You connect all these systems and you have all this data and maybe that’s kind of how you’re set up.


Steve Cottrell: Yeah, absolutely. You know not so much from an app store standpoint, you know, we don’t provide marketing for an application or a space for people to show their wares, so we don’t take a revue share typically, you know, like an Apple or something like that. It’s an interesting model. One of the challenges that we have is that we do not own the data, you know, retail automobile dealerships put up millions of dollars and invest, you know, million of dollars every year on their facilities and on marketing and building that consumer relationship and when that data element starts this is where most people, you know, forget about this, but that data element starts when a customer brings their car in for service, and you know service orders generated or they buy a vehicle, that data is collected there, so because we believe very, very strongly that because that data is created at the dealership, that the dealership owns that data. Now are there lots of tremendously beneficial opportunities, you know that that data can be lurched, absolutely, but presently there is not a good safe trusted, you know, exchange or repository for that data and there is no counsel or board or governing agency that looks at different opportunities and says, yeah this is a good use, it is ethical, it benefits consumers and dealers and manufacturers, and it doesn’t compromise the dealer that’s, you know, providing the data. The worst case scenario is, you know, somebody selling a list of Northtown Cadillac dealers to Southtown Cadillac and unfortunately that happens all the time, okay. A really cool use of the data, you know, might be for something in law enforcement, you know, maybe they would like to know where a particular vehicle was last serviced for some reason, I don’t know, okay. So there is all kinds of stuff all over the map and we could sit down and, you know, brain storm for 45 minutes and we can come up with, you know, probably 100 really cool uses for this data, but right now there isn’t an ecosystem that is trusted and, you know, well established to provide that stuff. It’s all kind of done in the dark at night under covers, not necessarily with the most ethical law business cases, so there is a lot of lack of trust and rightfully so.


Dave Kruse: Okay, interesting and that makes sense, and how many employees do you share your revenues publically and what’s your growth rate currently?


Steve Cottrell: Well, the growth rate is astronomical. We made Inc. 500 and Inc. 5000 four years in a row. Presently our revenues are just crusting $20 million. I remember when I was really excited about the potential of hitting, you know, $1 million dollars.


Dave Kruse: When was that? Do you remember what year that was?


Steve Cottrell: God, I think it would probably be like maybe 2004 or 2005. I mean, when we started this thing, it was me, and then 3 employees in the upstairs in my house, went to 5. You know, I was sleeping in the basement, the ground floor was kind of nomad plan.


Dave Kruse: Did you raise any outside money?


Steve Cottrell: You know, my first outside money was a $50,000 loan from my local bank and I remember Mary Patt, she was one of 5 employees at that time when we got that. She was the book keeper and, you know, I didn’t really pay attention to the book she had. I remember the day that we got that $50,000 credit line she reached into her purse and she said I guess I can cash these now.


Dave Kruse: Oh, no.
Steve Cottrell: Yeah. She pulled out 4 pay checks, God bless her, okay. Yeah, I had no idea, you know, I mean, I still kind of get teared up when I think about that, but that’s how, you know, committed our people were to what we were doing and it’s a really, really cool story, so here you are talking about percentage of growth, we had the great fortune of being named and called out in a shout out by President Obama on July 2nd of 2015, he was talking about wage an hour and salaries, and he was using us as an example of, you know, progressive employer, and one of the things that he touted was that we had, had 10,000% increase in revenues over the previous 5 years.


Dave Kruse: Wow. That’s pretty good.


Steve Cottrell: We didn’t have that, you know, the last few years. It’s pretty easy when you started out making a buck, right, but, you know, our growth is 20 to 30% per year. We maintain a really great __31:59__ and I think, you know, everybody says what’s the key to success, and the truth is everybody here has got a single focus and that’s we absolutely positively understand that we are only going to grow our business if we help our customers grow theirs first and really having an eye on what we do, how it supports our customers and now because we are becoming such a, you know, big entity, taking a good social position on what is ethical, what is right, what does the future hold, and how can we be a positive part of that? Not only in La Crosse or in our community, but more importantly, you know, for the automotive industry that has been so great to me and to us, you know, over the last 40 years, well 35 anyway. You know, that social responsibility really goes a long, long way. That’s not the easiest thing to maintain, you know, there is a lot of opportunity out there for a quick buck.


Dave Kruse: I know we are running out of time. I still have a bunch of questions, but I’ll limit them here because I was to that point, you know, how do you keep that culture and why do you locate in La Crosse, you know, it’s not necessary the first location that comes to mind, but it’s a great city, I’ll give you that.


Steve Cottrell: Well, we located in La Crosse because that’s where my son’s bedroom was right, and then it was impossible to leave, and so as far as why La Crosse, we have got 3 great colleges, you know, we’ve got UWL, we have got WTC (the technical college), then we’ve got Viterbo, we’re highly integrated with the colleges, you know, with both in the classroom, internships, recruiting events, etc. So it’s a great source, we’ve got, you know, the typical Midwest ethic, you know, great service oriented folks, and there are a lot of technologists here. I mean, you know, we have got Trained Corp, we have got United Health, Business Objects, you know, it used to be Firstlogic, Ashley Furniture wasn’t too far away, you know, there was a lot of tech people here, Festival Foods, and because we are kind of the cool kids on the block, we get a lot of talent migrating, you know, from those organizations.


Dave Kruse: What was the first product you offered compared to what it is today?


Steve Cottrell: The first product we offered was lead scrubbing turning the seller directly to dealers and we starved, we build off of that today. Yeah, we’ve more thinned out our stuff, you know, you got to follow the revenue too.


Dave Kruse: And were there times when, you know, the tough times you didn’t know if you’re going to make it or not?


Steve Cottrell: Absolutely. I mean, you know, the fact that Mary Patt didn’t cash those pay checks was a pretty good indication, you know, fortunately I was insulated from that, but yeah, I mean you feel that.


Dave Kruse: And what kept you going, you just saw the potential?


Steve Cottrell: It was like, you know, every single day people saying what you are doing is important and you know, thank you, you helped us grow our business. I mean I’ve got customers, you know, that have got thousands of dealerships on their platforms generating millions of dollars and, you know, I was their dealer one.


Dave Kruse: Wow!


Steve Cottrell: So, I mean that’s a great feeling.


Dave Kruse: That is, and where do you want to kind of take your platform as far as, you know, we talked a little bit about all that valuable data you have which is kind of hard to tap into, but what new features or capabilities do you want to add in the next years?


Steve Cottrell: Well, we are absolutely changing the data collection model. Data collection was something that was done in the dark of the night without the dealers. Dealers would issue a username and a password into their system and trust the people would do the right thing, and we have created a new platform with our product dealer role where the dealer can have whatever degree of control they choose, 100% visibility, we’ll still do it for them if they want, but we also give them the ability to put their hands on the steering wheel and their foot on the accelerator and actually drive the product in the process, so that’s what we are involved in right now, changing the traditional model to a newer technology, it’s all cloud based web services. We hope that, you know, as we think about the future that we can create that responsible socially accepted ecosystem where we can start to look at some more valuable products from me, you know, let’s improve the customer experience, let’s cut costs, you know, technology could cut costs, not raise costs and we think there is tremendous economies available to the automotive industry by leveraging technology, but the problem is, you know, it’s a lock down right now and siloed by a lot of these big companies and they are actually working very hard to take control of the data, so we want to free the data, we really want to put it in the hands of the dealers and create a responsible, you know, way for that data to be accessed and used that is, you know, properly governed. I don’t want to be in charge of that, that’s not my daily way, you know, why constantly thinking about how to create a border some sort of governing body, you know, have oversight, you know, so it could be a trusted source that people could feel good about. That’s my dream, that’s my vision. You know, whether we will get there or not, I actually believe we’ll get there, but just the baby steps of creating this first product, you know, is a great step in that direction.


Dave Kruse: That makes sense and do you think there will be more, I guess this is another whole podcast, but there could be more direct to consumer type dealers or is it strictly online dealers in the future? Do you see that happen anymore?


Steve Cottrell: You know, the franchise system is really interesting and if you look at what happened, you know, just 2 weeks ago with Tesla, you know, with their model 3 launch, wow! Yeah, there are lots of changes, you know, and I think that its kind of shake out, I mean, you know, people try to do online grocery shopping, okay, you know, there are some places where that’s working okay, but you know that is universally accepted now, so I think there is going to be emerging opportunities, but I’m pretty confident in saying I don’t believe that there is going to be a whole sale shift okay over the next, you know, 5 to 10 years where, you know, the whole brick and mortar dealerships are going to go away, hell no! That’s not going to happen okay, but is there going to be more of this and less of that, sure okay, what is it, that’s a subject for another podcast.


Dave Kruse: Yeah exactly. Alright, 2 more quick questions, well at least one is quick for sure, but I was curious how, you know, you are growing so quickly. How do you manage that and it sounds like a good culture which is essential, but how do you make decisions about when to hire, you know, how quickly they grow?


Steve Cottrell: It’s all driven by customer matrix, you know, what we focused on is we focused on the customer experience and as soon as we get to a point where, you know, we feel we are at 80 to 85% capacity then we starting looking to add people. Fortunately, we are always looking for people.


Dave Kruse: Yeah, it’s a great place to work up there in La Crosse, okay so, you said once you hit 85%?


Steve Cottrell: Yeah, 80 to 85%.


Dave Kruse: And what do you mean by that?


Steve Cottrell: Well, so we kind of have a matrix of how many widgets an individual person can, you know, move or make right.


Dave Kruse: Yep.


Steve Cottrell: So, you know, once that team or that group, or that part of the ecosystem starts to hit 80 to 85% capacity, then we start looking to bring people on. We always want to have that 15 to 20% flex, so we are always going to have people there in training, they are a little bit less productive and when they first come along you are always going to have, you know, situations where, you know, the people who are having babies, that seems to be our latest thing. We have lots of babies, I don’t know what’s going on here, but something to bother, but you know, you are always going to go through that, so you got to have some cushion, you know, it’s just like any technology platform, but this is a human platform, you know, you always want to have that built in resiliency and hopefully redundancy.


Dave Kruse: Yeah, I like that. I never heard of that 80 to 85%. I mean, I’ve heard people kind of talk about it, that’s an interesting way to put it, I like it, and last question before we sign off is, you have been in the auto industry for many years, what’s your dream car or you can have multiple dream cars.


Steve Cottrell: I don’t think it’s been produced yet.


Dave Kruse: Okay. Alright.


Steve Cottrell: I’m still searching for it. I go through a lot of cars. I can definitely tell you that it would have to be able to lose traction, have enough horse power to lose traction within half an inch to an inch of pushing the pedal, it would definitely be all wheel drive, it would be able to drive through anything, you know, whether that is water or air or asphalt, it would be super comfortable. If you are flying through the air you wouldn’t lose traction, so it would have to stretch you back in your seat enough that you might pass out.


Dave Kruse: Yeah, I like it. I definitely appreciate you coming on the show. I think that’s it right. We could talk a lot more, like you said that one question is just a whole podcast in itself, but definitely appreciate your time, Steve.


Steve Cottrell: Thanks for the opportunity.


Dave Kruse: Thanks everyone for listening to another podcast at Flyover Labs, and we will see you next time. Thanks everyone.