Founder Profile: Brian Cristol, Co-Founder and CEO of Isometric Technologies
Tell me a little about yourself. What life experiences brought you here today? When did you decide you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I came from a family of entrepreneurs – my parents both owned their own businesses (mom owned a beauty salon, dad a recruiting agency) and my grandfather owned a candy business. I grew up as an only child with divorced parents, so I was very independent from a young age. Watching my family of entrepreneurs, I developed curiosity, drive, and a bias towards action.
My first venture into entrepreneurship was when I was 10 years old; I started a mailbox painting business in Danville. I made marketing flyers and bought supplies in bulk, offered opportunities to upsell customers (adding address numbers or a red flag for an additional fee).
I maintained my entrepreneurial spirit into my early adulthood, but I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with it. In college, I worked as a valet and one night I had a memorable conversation with an older gentleman. We were discussing life; his wife had recently passed away and he gave me some advice: “Life is not defined by what you have, but rather what you’ve done. Life is about experiences, not accumulating nice things.” That really stuck with me.
After undergrad, I channeled my competitiveness and understanding of numbers into a job in corporate finance. After 8 years of this, I realized that while I was impactful, ultimately I was just a number. This didn’t sit too well with me. I realized that I wanted to do more, and find an avenue to apply my entrepreneurial spirit. I didn’t want to have any regrets. So I took a risk and left the comfort of a job at a big bank and went into a space that was unfamiliar to me (tech) and started to learn. I handed in my Blackberry, picked up a laptop, and learned what ingredients went into building a software business. By doing this, I got comfortable with being uncomfortable. As an entrepreneur, you do not know what comes tomorrow. I was used to structure and learning new skills in a new industry was a challenge, but it was worth it. It’s been 9 years now since I left. I never looked back.
If you weren’t building this company, what else would you be doing? What if money and prestige were no object?
If I could do anything outside of building ISO, I would still be trying to find solutions to problems and helping people. I enjoy working with children and have been a long time active member of The Guardsmen – an organization founded in the 1940s to raise money for at-risk youth in the Bay Area. We provide children with mentorship, capital to fund scholarship programs, and send them to summer camp. This program helps thousands of youth every year.
There are so many kids that grow up without resources and or opportunities to see different perspectives of the world. I believe that allowing children to gain new perspectives outside of their home environment is really important for their success. Focusing on finding solutions to positively impact youth drives me, and I plan to spend even more time involved with The Guardsmen later in my career.
What problem is ISO trying to solve?
ISO was created to fill an unmet need for reliable, verified supply chain performance data. ISO streamlines data reconciliation between shippers and their transportation partners, allowing them to identify and attribute the root-cause and financial impacts of supply chain failures to the responsible parties. When shippers and carriers operate on a single source of truth to create clean, actionable, and portable data, conversations between parties become more productive.
Through ISO’s modernized Performance Management workflow, partners align on a standardized source of truth, while simultaneously normalizing and correcting their flawed data. This normalized data can drive efficiencies across the entire supply chain ecosystem – from optimized carrier performance monitoring to industry-wide benchmarking, to efficient retailer deduction management, next generation procurement tools, and more.
Tell us about your team and the culture you’re building.
We’re a team of logistics and technology professionals with decades of experience from Uber, Google, FourKites, Flexport, C.H. Robinson, Echo Global Logistics, LinkedIn, Deloitte and other leading technology companies. We believe that culture is driven by the entire team. To that end, we gathered the team together at an offsite last October and aligned on the following company values:
- We provide a safe space to take risks
- We’re open and honest
- We look for new ideas everywhere
- We bias toward action
- We do the right thing, even when it’s hard
What is your ‘grand vision’ if everything goes right? How do you aim to transform your industry?
Ultimately, our mission is to become the industry’s trusted source of actionable supply chain performance data. If everything goes right, the industry will align on a standardized way to measure transportation performance; this will ultimately allow for cross-network data collaboration to maximize the world’s resources and drive efficiency and sustainability. The goal is to create a significant reduction in carbon output and waste in the world, allowing supply chain operators to spend less time doing manual tasks, automate processes and leverage bright minds in the industry to tackle more important issues.
What excites you most about your progress/traction to date?
We have an incredible team, incredible customers, and incredible global investors & advisors that believe in the mission & vision.
The odds were stacked against us from the beginning; 3 weeks after our Seed raise, the world shut down. We built an enterprise grade product for Fortune 1000 customers remotely and during a pandemic. The conditions we can’t control created higher hurdles, but we have incredible global customers that took a risk on us and we delivered. We’ve signed multi-year contracts, are delivering real value, and we’re seeing a lot of traction with new customers that want to work with ISO.
Lastly, we’re very excited about the value we’re bringing to carriers. The majority of carriers in the US are small businesses that own fewer than 10 trucks. Our platform digitizes & streamlines a process that they have been doing manually (scorecarding), and provides a single pane of glass for them to collaborate with their shipper-partners to showcase their service and grow their business.