Posted by ecog in In and Around Mp3Car

I started my career at Mp3car in the spring of 2005 right after I finished my Masters degree in Computer Science. One of my best friends, Mike, was working with Rob at the time and he mentioned that Rob’s startup company needed some help packing boxes. I figured why not make some extra money while I am looking for a Software development job. It wasn't something I was thrilled about, packing boxes, but it was a job and it paid the bills.



My first day on the job, and my first responsibility, was to organize the new inventory that was piled up in the middle of the smallest room in the basement (about 12x12). The room reminded me of the pantry room we had in our house, you know, the place where you would keep groceries, dishes, etc...so I started calling it the Pantryroom. We've since moved out of there a long time ago, but my work machine is still called the Pantrybox.



Anyway, so this room had a whole bunch of Lilliput boxes piled up in the middle of it along with some Xenarc products, M1-ATXs, OPUS products, CarNetix regulators, startup-shutdown controllers, and shelves fresh off of Home Depot. So I assembled the shelves, put them up along the walls and organized the products the best I could since I had no idea what most of them did.

The hardest part of the job at first was learning the products and the accessories that came with them. Most were (some still are) not shipped to us in what you would call "retail packaging" so it is very easy to miss an accessory part unless you know the products very well or they are organized very well. In addition to this, creating the shipping labels was a very time consuming, error prone, and inefficient process. The store software and the shipping system were not interlinked so I had to copy and paste every single address line to two separate shipping systems, UPS and online USPS, and sometimes I had to fill out forms by hand whenever we shipped to military addresses. So what should have taken 5 minutes or less to ship a box, took 10 to 20 minutes or more.



At the same time I was trying to figure out what all of these products did and how they fit in the big picture. Nat Wilson, who was my boss at the time, was a tremendous resource on this and I can safely say what I learned about how computers fit into cars, I learned from him. But for the more esoteric and wacky stuff (when Nat didn’t have time for my pesky questions) I frequently used the search function on the forum and I wasn’t disappointed since I could find my answers most of the time.



About 3 months went by since I had started packing boxes and learning about the new world of mobile computing and I found myself spending less time looking for a software development job and more time learning about DC-DC power supplies and startup/shutdown controllers. In that time I learned a few things and one of them was Mp3car was a ship without a mast, paddling in an unknown sea with a collection of spoons as paddles and heading towards land that is somewhere ahead, albeit a long ways away. “Spooning” our way there wasn’t going to cut it, but towards the end of the summer I decided I wanted to stay and hopefully have a hand in building proper paddles, a mast, sail, a compass and plug the holes in the ship. Looking back at the decision what I really decided was to throw away the comfort (and nice salary) of a software development job and throw myself in the startup business with an unpredictable sea, a Kraken underneath and brewing storms overhead. Knowing what I know now I wouldn’t change the decision, but I would’ve done things a little differently.



The way I really got to know the business was in September of ‘05. Rob and Nat took a month long scouting trip to Asia to meet with a few vendors and find a new monitor supplier. That left me in charge of store operations and our accountant...in charge of accounting. Trying to meet the company’s ends (order processing, shipping, phone and email customer service, phone and email tech support, inventory management, shipping supplies management, fraud screening) made for very long days, gray hairdo, and a boot camp on priorities management, multitasking and efficiency. The result of that fiasco was hiring Matt to help out with shipping and after a while support. He was smart, worked very hard and was a lot of fun to work with during his time here, but as it often happens people move on to bigger and better things.



Since that September of ’05, my main role here has been with store operations. Just making sure the store runs in one capacity or another. For a while I was processing orders, fraud screening, inventory management, shipping and shipping supplies management, consulting, building hardware, some small internal software projects (like moving data from the old store to the new one), online store maintenance and a few other things that cropped up unexpectedly and at the most inopportune times.



After a couple of years of doing that things were getting a little stale around here. However, things have changed recently since Heather came on board and I’m pretty excited about where the company is headed. There have been some changes in the past 8 months and a lot more to come.



What I do these days is mainly techy stuff. I do the tech support and RMAs for Mp3Car, the hardware builds (although Scott is doing a lot of them these days), Project Management (hardware and software) for large clients, hardware consulting and systems design, and a few other things that crop up at the most inopportune time. I also take care of the CarNetix forum and tech support (email and forum), and manage the CarNetix inventory.



In my free time I try to fix my car and I religiously follow the Green Bay Packers. I really hope something happens today and the Favre fiasco gets resolved one way or the other. I really don’t like drama and I’d much rather know whether Aaron Rouse is making his way in the starting lineup over “butterfingers” Collins (seriously dude, you’re a good solid player and I like you, but make friends with the jug machine or use glue or do something to hold onto those balls that keep slipping through your hands). I’m glad we got Grant back though and I am looking forward to the Vikings on opening night. They’ll be tough and the schedule looks brutal the rest of the year, but if you want to be the best you gotta’ beat the best right?



Oh…my name is Goce and I’m from Macedonia. Did I mention I like football?

I started my career at Mp3car in the spring of 2005 right after I finished my Masters degree in Computer Science. One of my best friends, Mike, was working with Rob at the time and he mentioned that Rob’s startup company needed some help packing boxes. I figured why not make some extra money while I am looking for a Software development job. It wasn't something I was thrilled about, packing boxes, but it was a job and it paid the bills.



My first day on the job, and my first responsibility, was to organize the new inventory that was piled up in the middle of the smallest room in the basement (about 12x12). The room reminded me of the pantry room we had in our house, you know, the place where you would keep groceries, dishes, etc...so I started calling it the Pantryroom. We've since moved out of there a long time ago, but my work machine is still called the Pantrybox.


Anyway, so this room had a whole bunch of Lilliput boxes piled up in the middle of it along with some Xenarc products, M1-ATXs, OPUS products, CarNetix regulators, startup-shutdown controllers, and shelves fresh off of Home Depot. So I assembled the shelves, put them up along the walls and organized the products the best I could since I had no idea what most of them did.