Our values are key to our success. They also shed a guiding light for hard decisions and provide us with a higher-level metric of that success.
We have a simple philosophy: Hire intelligent and interesting people that take pride in their work and enjoy making other people happy.
The easiest part of the job is learning how to fix devices. We can teach that. We can't those other skills and they are critical to being a great coworker and providing an exceptional customer experience.
The story of Jet City Device Repair begins in 2007, in the dark, with one very sleepy person stumbling out of bed in the morning to get ready for work. It also involves a T-Mobile Dash cell phone, a pair of jeans, and a less than stellar dirty laundry organizational system.
Here's the story in my own words (my name is Matt McCormick and I founded Jet City Device Repair):
I got out of bed one morning blurry-eyed and tired, took a few steps and there, under my heel, I discovered that I'd not only been careless by throwing my jeans in the middle of the floor the night before, but I'd left my expensive smartphone in the pocket.
Smartphone + Heel = Broken Smartphone
T-Mobile said the phone was unfixable and I'd have to spend $299 to replace it. No way. It was just a cracked LCD and everything else worked great, so it was off to Youtube to watch some repair videos and then eBay to find parts and tools.
The whole process took about 4 hours and cost $75. It definitely would've been cheaper (if you count time spent) and faster to just buy the new phone like T-Mobile wanted, but then I wouldn't have had the fun of fixing my own phone, nor would I have been struck by the idea of starting a small side business fixing T-Mobile Dash cell phones for people.
Armed with this idea, my software development skills, $600 from savings and a little knowledge of Google Adwords, I launched a simple website offering T-Mobile Dash repairs for people through the mail (the iPhone didn't even exist yet).
Within a week, people from all over the country started mailing me their broken phones, I'd fix them in my basement, and mail them back.
By late 2008, I had added a few more phones to our list of repairs. The most significant of which was the new iPhone 3G. Business exploded.
At the same time, a great friend and past co-worker at Microsoft (Tom) suggested it was time to put the freelance web development business down and pursue the smart phone repair business full-time with him as my business partner.
It was a fantastic idea.
Over the next month I closed out all of my freelance clients and worked with Tom to develop a business plan. Part of that business plan was for him to run our Seattle area business and for me to move to Chicago and start a branch there (I'm from a small town in southern Wisconsin and wanted to get closer to my family). This should help explain a common question we get asked: "Why stores in Seattle and Chicago?"
Since 2008 we've taken this business from two guys working out of their homes fixing maybe 100 devices a month, to 3 retails stores in 20 employees, and about 2500 repairs a month. In total, we've fixed 289,833 devices!