Jai Mitchell

Jai, I’m beyond humbled that you have taken the time and effort to write such a passionate and well written critique in response to my article. I had no idea it would evoke such emotions from readers but I’m very glad this is the case.

This may be a ‘terrible idea’ or it may not be… as humans, we will inherently form an opinion — this is what makes us different from one another.

I understand that my Car Next Door journey may not be everyone’s cup of tea and I will always openly welcome differing views. In fact, I encourage an open monologue between the medium (and wider) community if they find the stage fitting to have such a passionate discussion.

I shared my journey in the hope that it could help readers, whether that be by following in my footsteps or learning what a ‘terrible idea’ this may be and what not to do. For this exact reason, I sincerely appreciate at what lengths you have gone to deliver your opinion and I have no doubt that it will add value in so far as it will offer a different perspective.

Whether it be my article or your response Jai, however readers may choose to look at it, I hope it gives them precisely a ‘visceral’ reaction. I’d be disappointed in my endeavours if readers didn’t have an emotional reaction to reading my article.

Receiving feedback from people around the world of how empowered my experience left them feeling is beyond rewarding and encouraging, especially given that some of those people I have always looked up to in the design and startup community.

Internships are a fantastic way to get industry experience and it seems to have worked out tremendously for you. I encourage this endeavour if people think it would be an equally great fit for them. I began this journey after I had already commenced doing paid roles and although a risk, this was what I felt passionate about and the idea of doing it financially tough for a while was not a primary concern.

There are many people, especially in the startup community in San Francisco, who have gone to similar lengths to tackle problems they felt drawn to (Nina; Raghav; Tristan and; Francine).

I encourage readers to solve problems they feel passionate about and also help one another solve problems — the learnings and potential to make a difference will always outweigh the effort or the perceived risk of receiving feedback that is in opposition to your undertakings. Discomfort will always amount to growth.

Design and problem solving are not black and white and as I have mentioned in the article, there is more than one way to do something. As a result of this, and a beautiful notion at that, people will always have varying opinions.

If Steve jobs did things the same way as his peers or competitors, he wouldn’t have gone on to become the person that he had ultimately become —undoubtedly, opinion is divided on some of his methods and approaches (Note: I am by no means comparing myself to the late and great Steve Jobs).

The beauty is that as a reader, you have the right and ability to choose what to take away from anything that you read, watch or listen to. Whether that means affirming your current knowledge of design principles or business acumen or adopting new ways of doing something or maybe even feeling empowered to do a similar project, whatever it may be.

I have and will continue to champion Car Next Door but, like all products/services, there is always room for improvement and like with any company, entrepreneurs and investors are more than cognisant of this and are always searching for ways to improve their business.

I am abundantly grateful for the entire experience, not only for the doors it has opened for me as a result of my approach or the learnings I was able to walk away with but, because of the great sense of mutual respect Will, his investors and I share for each other to this day.

It would not be fair to Will or his team for me to disclose what exactly we spoke about in terms of my potential involvement with Car Next Door and other projects but, I will say that the future for Car Next Door, and with Will at the helm, is very exciting!

I’ll finish off by once again saying thank you Jai for going out of your way to sink time and effort into sharing your opinion with such vigour and passion and I hope that readers can take away something from your critique — whatever that may be…

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