This venerable classified magazine is behind one of our team’s pivotal experiences and serves as early inspiration for what Piton looks to invest in today. For a five-year period at the start of his career Greg held various operating roles within the Canadian group controlling thirty AutoTrader publications around Toronto. At that time the striking feature of this business was a rapid market share increase in automotive listings from 30% to 60%, resulting compelling advantages for both buyers and sellers, and ultimately, market dominance.
AutoTrader taught the lesson that some business models are fundamentally much better than others – the AutoTrader product got stronger as more buyers and sellers participated so it was naturally monopolistic, it grew year after year as competitors faded, was highly profitable, even making a very successful online transition. The same story played out in countless North American metropolitan markets, and in several markets around the world not least the UK. The AutoTrader story is one of the main reasons that today strict business model selection is at the heart of Piton’s investment process.