Why i made Autocroc

I started my working life as an apprentice mechanic toiling away in a grubby workshop for hours to earn a pittance, I knew there was more for me out there but didn’t know what. One day I handed in my notice to my boss and declared “I was going to do something with computers!” I was 19, this was in 1994 and we didn’t even own a computer!

Today I’m CEO of autocroc.com a Free online marketplace for buying and selling everything auto, so how did that happen?

When I left the garage I knew nothing, I thought I knew it all but I knew jack sh+t, so for several years I fumbled between jobs driving delivery trucks and working at the airport doing dead end jobs. The thing was I always continued to fix cars for friends and family on my parents driveway, sometimes i’d get a beat up old car, fix it up and sell on for a nice little profit to spend on beer in the pub…..but this wasn’t getting me anywhere.

A friend of mine whose car I repaired told me his company was recruiting so I went for an interview and got a job with BT installing fibre optics mainly into datacenters which were popping up everywhere. At last I was getting close to the dream of “I was going to do something with computers!”, but after many years I saw it was just another dead end job…..

It was January 2010 and the FIFA world cup started in June, I had been reading Blogs about building apps so I decided to make an app for the world cup, it allowed users to draw teams and bet on the winner, its called a Sweepstake in UK.

The app was terrible, I had no idea what I was doing and just rushed into it without any planning or design, it was buggy, hard to use, to much pop up advertising, it took ages just to work, the list goes on…. Something good did come out of it, I learnt very quickly how not to build an app.

After I banished this disastrous app from the app stores I did a lot of research, looking at how other apps looked, worked, their layout, graphics, how simple they were to navigate, I read Blogs and books on how to create something good.

Then the YO app appeared it was on all the Blogs and forums, it was so simple, I tried to get on the bandwagon and created an equally as simple app called Oii where instead of sending just YO it would send a 3 second voice recording, when the receiver got the Oii it would be shouted from their device causing much amusing embarrassment! We had fun with it for a while but it didn’t take off, the YO hype had died down and the next ‘thing’ was in all the Blogs.

I stopped building apps for a while, deciding to stop rushing into stupid ideas. Then in late summer 2016 I was clearing out my garage which was full of old classic car parts that had just collected over the years, I couldn’t decide what to do with these bits, someone somewhere would want them, they were not worth much and selling them on the usual sites would cost money so not worth the hassle. This was my ding moment, I needed a vehicle specialist app that is FREE! I took pictures of the bits and headed to my Mac, opened illustrator and started to create screens at first I called it Junk Yard but then realised it needed to be much more then just second hand parts, it had to be ‘everything auto’. From new and used vehicles to parts to vehicle services. My mind was in overdrive and it still is. Once I had the basic designs drawn up I realised this is going to be big and I couldn’t do it alone so I visited my good pal Ross, Ross is a car salesman, he could sell ice to the Eskimos! We discussed the idea and he was immediately on board.

When I put the idea to Ross we discussed many things, what we needed from the app, why would users need or use it, would it actually catch on amongst the other very established marketplaces? The answer kept coming back the same “ Autocroc needs to be created due to the lack of a quick, simple but most of all cheap way of advertising vehicles, vehicle parts, vehicle services”, so that was it our brief, now to work.

The next 8 months were a blur of 18 hour working days designing, coding, testing, crying (not really crying but almost), testing again, creating social media pages & content, there was just a crazy amount to do.

Now as of April 2017 we are launched and it is going very well, Autocroc is growing very fast, you see everyone loves to get something for free especially when the current method of advertising is so dam expensive and complex to use.

We have some very exciting new features that we are adding to the mix in the next few months. We are also speaking with investors who are keen to get onboard which is very exciting for the future of Autocroc.

They say stick to what you know, We know cars and after some app disasters I think I got the hang of designing apps…..!

So if your looking for your next car of have something auto to sell then why not do it FREE at autocroc.com or one of the Autocroc apps available on iOS and Android.

Here is the promo video for Autocroc


Just designed a cool limited edition t-shirt, to be given away soon on Facebook

Thanks for reading

Adrian Wheeler

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