American Success Story: AutonomouStuff
Bobby Hambrick, Founder & CEO, AutonomouStuff and Chief Autonomous Officer, Hexagon joins Grayson Brulte on The Road To Autonomy Podcast to discuss the founding of AutonomouStuff, the acquisition by Hexagon and why AutonomouStuff is an American success story.
The conversation begins with Bobby telling the story of how he founded AutonomouStuff in a barn in his backyard and eventually sold his house and rental properties to scale the company.
I was born with this natural innate motivation and this drive to succeed. I have always taken this fearless approach to accomplish whatever task I had on hand.– Bobby Hambrick
As the company grew, Bobby reinvested every dollar that the company made back into the company to help it grow. He grew the company without venture capital as he invested in himself and his company. Every month Bobby operated the company it was was profitable.
The conversation naturally evolves into SPACs and why companies are going public with little to no revenue and zero profitability. Grayson and Bobby discuss the importance of operating a business that is profitable.
Building upon this, Bobby shares an insightful story from when he was interviewing an engineer who did not know how to use tools. This opened his eyes in a meaningful way.
Hard work and common sense can get you a long way. To be a successful entrepreneur, being smart is not enough. You have to be able to understand how things work and even more important is the power of the relationships that you have.– Bobby Hambrick
The ethic of hard work was ingrained into Bobby during his time growing up in the Midwest. The Midwest historically has had a reputation of hard work. Understanding this, Bobby founded and scaled the company in Morton, Illinois.
As Bobby was contemplating selling the company to Hexagon he thought about the following:
If I am going to sell to a larger company, I want to take care of the people who helped me. They are like family to me.– Bobby Hambrick
As part of the transaction, there was a clause that AutonomouStuff would stay in Morton for good. The impact that AutonomouStuff has had on the town of Morton cannot be measured. It is felt at the dinner table when employees discuss building the future and their travels around the world.
CES 2020 was one of those moments when it all came together when Hexagon showcased AutonomouStuff right next to the Google installation. Bobby goes on to explain that is merely just the beginning for AutonomouStuff. With the resources of Hexagon, the future is extremely bright for AutonomouStuff.
While the future is bright for AutonomouStuff, the rest of the industry is going through growing pains.
This is marathon This is not a sprint to whoever can show the best concept of driving around in the urban area. This is a serious business, people are spending billions of dollars and now they are realizing that it is not that easy.
This is probably one of the biggest engineering challenges of mankind.– Bobby Hambrick
Closing out the conversation, Bobby shares his advice for entrepreneurs who want to start their own business while staying true to their roots.