"It has been an incredible ride. 10 years ago this week, my father, Norman, and I decided to start NextLot. My dad had bought machine tools and factories and partnered with auctioneers to sell the assets for 35 years. He had witnessed the growing popularity of online bidding and was troubled by auctioneers running online auctions on public portals where they would share their buyers with their competitors. As we talked, we recognized an opportunity to help make the auction industry better and provide auctioneers a far superior solution for online auctions. I had built a line of business for a software company making technology easy to use for the average person and had the ability to make my father's dream a reality.
When we started, it was far from a certainty that we were going to be successful. The vast majority of auctioneers weren't running online auctions yet and didn't appreciate the benefits of selling online. Remember, this was before iPhones, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. Also, mobile internet bandwidth was still quite slow. I decided to take a year off from law school and see if we could make a go of the business. We built a prototype, got a trade show booth at the National Auctioneers Association Conference & Show in San Diego, CA, and started to sell the product.
As we started talking to auctioneers, we learned that many auctioneers felt the same way that Norman did and were wanting to use online auction software that would be privately branded and hosted on their websites. We experienced tremendous growth right off the bat, which culminated with making the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing U.S. companies in 2012. I think the secret to our success has been offering a privately branded online auction solution that brings auctioneers better results. With decades of experience in the auction industry, we also were able to better understand auctioneers' needs, which helped us to innovate. For example, we were the first platform to be completely web-based with no software to download and the first platform that offered mobile bidding. Over the past 10 years, we have run over 16,000 auctions, sold over $16 billion in assets, and registered over 400,000 online bidders.
So, is that it? Companies that cease to innovate die. NextLot has big plans for the future, starting with releasing its HTML5 Webcast this year. We are going to do what we've always done, which is listen to our customers to best understand what auctioneers are looking for. We are so thankful for the support we've received from our clients over the past 10 years. Without you, we wouldn't be here today. We also have the greatest team with some members being with us from the beginning. We couldn't have achieved our success without them. Lastly, I'm so thankful that I've been able to work with my dad every day. It has been a blessing that has made us much closer. I also think being a family business gave us a competitive advantage because many auctioneers also have family businesses and could more easily relate to us.
So, now onto the next step. I'm very much looking forward to the next 10 years and to the continued success of the auction industry."
- Scott Finkelstein
CEO of NextLot Inc.