A few bad Partsearchers..

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Back in 2006 I left Accenture to join a company called Partsearch Technologies. It had the world at its fingertips.

I think part of me took the job because I hated my life and career at Accenture by that time. I shed most of my 20s working for the tech consulting titan and I had had enough. I would have rather been selling ice cubes to penguin farmers in Tibet than to have to work another day there. But another part of me took the job at Partsearch because I was completely blown over by the business concept – selling parts for just about any device out there – from projector lamp bulbs to refrigerator doors, and 16 million other parts in between, Partsearch could help anyone fix or replace any part to just about any consumer good. It was one of those game-changing ideas in an industry stifled by major players unable to communicate with the consumers who needed the parts or the technicians that made the repairs. Partsearch was a revolutionary solution to bridge all gaps. Sky’s the limit.

I’m going to lie about the numbers, but I know I remember hearing something along the lines of 50% growth year-after-year for the first 5 years in business. We were included in the Inc. 500 fastest growing companies on June 21, 2007. I came in at year 5… the tail end of the “golden years.” We had moved to a fancy new office up Park Ave. There were parties and nights out on the boss. Tickets to Yankee games. The softball team, our uniforms and beers after the game (sometimes) were company-sponsored. Car service home if you worked past 10:00 PM. We even had our own game room (my doing) equipped with a 42″ plasma, Xbox 360, Wii, foosball and couches. Nice, eh?

Today, Partsearch sent its staff home and closed its doors, indefinitely. WTF. I’ll tell you wtf.. a few bad apples…

The walls started coming down in 2008 with the hiring of several executives that took a fragile company and brought it to its knees. Poor decision after poor decision left this once darling of the parts and eCommerce industry in shambles.

So today I started a group on LinkedIn called Partsearch Alumni. Hopefully it’s used to help the jobless network and land on their feet elsewhere. After 24 hours it has almost as many members as the original Partsearch company group, but I guess that makes sense, given the circumstances. And now all of the people I consider friends, are scrambling to find another home because a few schmucks ran the company with their eyes closed. Suffice to say, those assholes will get the good ‘ol reject when they apply to the group. I’m sure they know who they are…

What a mess. Good luck to you all.

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One thought on “A few bad Partsearchers..

  1. Jooby

    Thank you for this post. I worked out of NYC for Partsearch for the last few years. Unfortunately, I missed all the fun glory days when the company was growing quickly, but like you, the reason I joined PS was largely because I was impressed with the concept. I felt with the right management decisions and a couple big deals, the company could evolve into the premiere parts destination and expand into all sorts of verticals. I too recognized all the hard working and talented people, both in NYC and in Kingston.

    I wasn’t close enough to the top to know exactly where to assign blame and I don’t know what happened with Best Buy, but I never cared for most of the upper management and I do place blame on their shoulders for running this company into the ground. There was a lot of egos, a lot of money wasted on stupid pet projects, a lot of BS coming from the top.

    While I was there, I had one CEO (you know who he was) who was to aloof to come out of his office and talk to anybody. Then there was a period of a year without any CEO where a bunch of highly flawed a*sholes tried to jockey their way to the top, seemingly auditioning for the prize of who could be most hated. Finally, there was the last CEO who will have to live with the company’s demise on his watch. I don’t know how much blame he deserves, but I’m not shedding tears for him.

    During my tenure there, I never saw any clear coherent vision for the future or a realistic way to get there. The one thing that irked me more than anything was that the CSRs were forced to lie to customers about things being in stock, it was like “Hey, who cares about our reputation or the 1000 negative reviews, let’s just make an extra buck today, screw tomorrow!”

    Poor decisions, some in technology, some in customer service, and many in business, dating from a few years ago really left the company vulnerable – it’s downfall was probably inevitable. In another time and place, with different leadership, Partsearch would be a billion dollar company. Now it can serve as a case study in upper management incompetence.

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