It began in a woodshed with an eBay account...
It was a rainy Seattle Spring in 2008 when John Derringer purchased a set of wheels and tires for his Subaru Legacy. He quickly realized he could make a few extra bucks on the side. So he purchased another set and resold them online for a small profit. “Let’s do it again”, he thought.
Before long, John had set up shop in his father’s woodshed in Tacoma, WA. Armed only with an eBay account and a dream. One set sold, then another, and another. After a few months of success, the woodshed started to seem smaller and smaller, so operations moved into a 20x10 Public Storage unit.
The product line expanded to include a collection of accessories like wheel nuts, wheel spacers, and TPMS sensors. But why stop there? We had the products. Why not offer services? Soon after, John negotiated an exclusive deal with a PVD chrome manufacturer in California. We now offered wheel chroming services for luxury car dealers in the Greater Seattle area.
By 2009, multiple Public Storage units had served their purpose and John moved into his first warehouse. It was time to grow the e-commerce business and expand our services. The next two years were a success. Driven Products grew a loyal fanbase in the Greater Seattle area and upgraded warehouse equipment to include a tire machine and forklift.
At the end of 2010, Driven Products began experimenting with retail installations and it worked. It worked really well! By 2011 it was time to move into a larger facility. A brick and mortar shop complete with a larger warehouse, showroom, and shower. Perfect conditions for a young entrepreneur who would spend most nights sleeping on the office couch.
The next two years were a lot of fun! The warehouse expanded to include state-of-art lifts and a robotic touchless tire machine. We sponsored a local race track where most of our days were spent driving and working on super cars. If it had something to do with wheels and tires, we did it!
"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” - Archilochus
Are we an online retailer? Are we a service shop? We had no idea. It was 2013 and we were running two different business at the same time. Both were suffering due to a lack of attention. We were doing too many things at once and lacked the resources and focus to be the best.
Later in 2013, after a lot of reflection and sleepless nights, John made the toughest decision of his life. Close the service shop and focus on being the best at one thing: creating the world’s simplest and most accurate e-commerce buying experience for wheels, tires, and related accessories. This laser focus quickly propelled the business forward and when 2015 arrived, we had our best and most profitable year to date! The flywheel began to turn…
What used to be a showroom became our community room. Our customer waiting area now became home to the Driven Products game center, complete with ping pong table, foosball table, Jenga, UNO, and more. Where service equipment once stood, transformed into a home for our product racks and inventory.
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” - Henry Ford
We’ve tried just about everything since 2008 and learned some valuable lessons along the way. Every failure is an opportunity to learn, to adapt, and to grow. We are now moving forward at an incredible pace, laser focused, and ready to grow our team!
What we sell
Our philosophy is simple, you can do a lot of things poorly or do a few things well (we learned this the hard way). We are laser focused on wheels and wheel accessories, like lug nuts and TPMS sensors for passenger cars and light trucks. We like to say that we do everything wheel related. This includes a single lug nut for a 1980 Ford Pinto all the way up to a set of 24" rims for a Cadillac Escalade. It’s amazing when you really dive deep into a product category and see how much potential there is in a very small segment of the automotive aftermarket. To put this in perspective, there are thousands of different lug nut in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors. And, that's just nuts, lug nuts!
Where we sell
At Driven Products we thrive on being fast paced and precise! That’s why we’ve chosen (or it chose us) to be an e-commerce retailer of automotive products. Take the competition of e-commerce and the complexity of new vehicle data and you have a recipe for a fast paced and always changing work environment. We’ve been mastering the art of e-commerce on marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. Both unique and interesting adventures that have their own customers, requirements, and quirks. Our experience with these marketplaces has enabled us to start selling on www.drivenproducts.com.
As we’ve grown and started to scale, our focus on creating distinctly unique experiences for each marketplace has inspired us to build some pretty cool things. e-commerce is expanding, new marketplaces open constantly, and we are excited to expand with it. Who knows what cool stuff we are going to get inspired to build or where we will end up selling in the future...
How we sell
Most of us dislike structure but the reality is we need it and most of the time we crave it. Selling online is no different. At Driven Products we CATER to our online sales in a way that is unique to our company vision and philosophy.
We CARE about what we do and everything we do is a testament to that. Our marketplace listings are regularly refreshed and our processes are continuously improving.
We depend on ACCURACY to provide our customers with safe products that exceed their expectations and needs. Accuracy is the backbone to our system. If we can eliminate human error by building a system that removes the need for manual data entry, we did our job.
We take a proactive approach and handle everything within a TIMELY manner. Whether it’s customer service, shipping, internal meetings, projects, or even happy hour. If there is a deadline, we meet it or beat it! Sometimes that means finding a new solution to improve our systems and/or processes.
It’s all about the EXPERIENCE! The customer is our boss and it’s up to them whether or not we have a job. Our goal is to give our customers the world’s best experience from the moment they begin their relationship with us. The customer experience dictates almost everything we do. By creating proprietary software or building creative solutions to problems, we can constantly practice Kaizen in the delivery of our product line.
Our biggest asset is our access to data because the right REPORTING can have a major impact on how our organization functions. Our information delivery strategy and analytics help us define how we do our jobs and how business decisions are made.
We are committed to doing the right thing and we never put our ethics in question. Regardless of what we sell and where we sell, our goal is to build lifetime relationships with our customers because they are our boss.