Tech Company or a Towing Company? And Why Does It Matter?
50+ years ago, there was one tech company — IBM. It made the hardware. It made the software. It sold the services. And if you were a beneficiary of IBM’s technology, you understood you were a service provider, not a tech company.
Once IBM unbundled its software from its hardware, the lines began to blur. The Internet boom made the moniker even more difficult to apply. And the answer to the question, “What is a tech company,” became more difficult to answer, over time.
Quick… name a company that provides an app to book, manage, communicate about, and update your travel plans.
If you named Airbnb, Expedia, Hotels.com, or Kayak, then you named a technology company, right? But what about Marriot? What about Hilton? United Airlines? Don’t they have apps? Don’t they fit that description? See what I mean? Tech companies can be difficult to define.
Why would anyone care? Isn’t it true that if you build an enduring company, a brand people trust, and a reputation for providing value, then does how you’re classified really matter?
Yes. As a practical matter, tech companies have an easier time attracting employees. They have an easier time attracting investment dollars and business partners. When they’re sold, tech companies achieve higher multiples. But here’s a better question, “Why would TTN Fleet Solutions care whether you viewed us as a tech company?”
Now, this is a question I can answer.
We believe tech companies lead the way for setting new customer expectations. They innovate. They build each new generation of products and establish new services. They disrupt industries, lower costs, enhance services, and — most importantly — they enable competitive advantage to those who adopt their technology, just like IBM did more than fifty years ago.
Tech companies create marketplaces where there are advantages to shopping. They give customers a reason to make purchases within the new marketplace rather than going direct to service providers. They don’t just offer technology. They use it to gain competitive advantage.
Airbnb offers greater choice. Uber offers more convenient service. Amazon lowers costs and enhances services with easy shipping and returns. At TTN, we offer each of these advantages, and we improve quality, by vetting the service providers in our network and ensuring that when you need towing or repair, you’re getting it from someone proven, someone you can trust, and someone who can quickly and efficiently help you access additional, related services.
But that’s not all… There’s a mindset that exists within technology companies. Within them, you’ll find CEOs and executives who are restless, leaders who are concerned with making underlying technology accomplish even more for customers…making benefits more obvious, more abundant, and more accessible.
Marriot can add whatever app it wants. Its focus remains on providing you with an incredible stay. The company is famous for it. Its app is a means to that end.
Companies like Airbnb, Uber, Amazon, and TTN — our focus is on changing the way our customers do what they do. At TTN, we love towing companies, but our focus is and always has been on making the experience of getting a tow (or any related service) easier, safer, faster, and less expensive. And like other technology companies who have created a superior marketplace — we insist on providers who are focused on providing you with a superior version of what they do, too.
Tech companies make decisions accordingly.
We build momentum for ourselves and customers. So everyone involved — providers included — can stay relevant.