“There will be more failures than successes, so you have to be resilient. I have heard “no” far too many times from potential investors and customers for me to make meaning of the word. Once you desensitize yourself from rejection, persistence gets much easier.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Brad Weisberg, CEO and founder of Snapsheet, the pioneering provider of virtual claims technology to personal and commercial auto insurance carriers.
Yitzi: Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
In 2010, I got into a wreck on my way to my job as a production assistant for HBO in LA. In the days following, I spent hours on the internet comparing auto body shops to ultimately take my car to three different body shops and receive three very different estimates for the same exact dent.
This was frustrating and time-consuming, and I thought to myself, “There’s got to be a better way to go through the process.” So, that same year, I left my job and took out my life savings (which was not very much money at the time) to build a platform that streamlines the claims workflow and creates a better user experience.
Yitzi: Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company
One of the most memorable early-Snapsheet moments took place one late night in the office.
My original crew of just 5 employees had to literally flip a coin for paychecks. We were out of cash, but because we believed in the future of Snapsheet so much, we were all willing to risk the temporary set-back and it paid off.
Yitzi: So how exactly does your company help people?
Snapsheet is a virtual claims platform and business workflow streamlining the auto insurance claims process. Our innovative self-serve insurance application provides insurance carriers, insurance customers, and repair facilities with easy-to-access vehicle information making the claims process a more positive and simple experience.
We also recently launched Snapsheet Transactions through a partnership with KeyBank. Now, most carriers send physical checks in the mail to pay claimants. Our platform enables carriers to issue all claims and expense payments virtually, instead of the cumbersome process of manually cutting a check, which is expensive for carriers and inefficient for policyholders.
Yitzi: How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
The two most rewarding aspects of what I do is helping people during a traumatic time of need. When you get into an auto accident, we help people get their money faster and get back on the road in hours instead of weeks. In the days prior to Hurricane Harvey hitting Houston, we knew our sole responsibility was to help people recover financially as quickly as possible without risking their savings. By working as a team (and reworking our coding from the backend) we were able to process 6,000 hurricane-related claims in one week.
The second is creating jobs. Nothing can compare to being able to employ more than 400 people nationwide and continue to hire aggressively. We’ve grown 100 percent each year since 2013, and this time of growth and adding new people is exciting.
Yitzi: What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I launched my Start-Up” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
1. It takes twice as long as you think and twice as much money. It took us almost one year to close our series B, and we needed multiple bridge rounds in order for us to stay in business. An enterprise sale is also a longer cycle; we had one customer that took two years before the contract signed!
2. Work/life balance is more important than you think. Entrepreneurial depression and burn-out is real. In the early days of Snapsheet, I had a brutal wake-up call after I became very sick for two weeks due to the non-stop grind. It’s so important to stay healthy. Work out, keep your body nourished, and never forget about family.
3. There will be more failures than successes, so you have to be resilient. I have heard “no” far too many times from potential investors and customers for me to make meaning of the word. Once you desensitize yourself from rejection, persistence gets much easier.
4. Choose your investors wisely. You’re working with these people for years, and you really don’t know ones true colors or motives until you have to make a tough decision together.
5. Surround yourself with talent. I have made a conscious effort to hire people and spend my free time with people who are smarter than me. Both my business and my personal network has become far more interesting and diverse.
Yitzi: I have been blessed with the opportunity to interview and be in touch with some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, or I might be able to introduce you.
Tony Robbins. I love everything about the guy’s candor and mantra around commitment, progress and overall happiness. He’s a master of the mind who’s able to maximize motivation and positivity in others.
Yitzi: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!