Top 2 in Fortune's top 50 movers and shakers are Seattle companies

 
 

 

 

Interesting that Seattle companies took the top two slots in Fortune's list of 50 movers and shakers. Howard Schultz of Starbucks, who the magazine estimates is now worth $2 billion, got the nod for reviving the company and "taking steps to raise funds for job creation and to fight political dysfunction in Washington." According to the magazine, President Barak Obama called Schultz for advice on how to create more jobs.

Jeff Bezos of Amazon took second for having a "blowout year, capped by the recent release of the Kindle Fire." The magazine also pointed to Amazon's success in cloud computing, which we covered here in 2009.

Also on the list was Jim Sinegal, the co-founder of Costco, a company that Fortune says "handily outperformed big competitors like Sam's Club, generating sharply higher revenues per square foot.

Bright Idea: Mechanics Making House Calls

Bright Idea: Mechanics Making House Calls

Wrench wants to take the hassle out of car repair.
| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 
 
Need a quick oil change? Maybe a complete tune-up? A year-old startup called Wrench dispatches a certified mechanic to your home or workplace and eliminates the hassle and cost of having to drop off your car at the car dealer or repair shop.
 
“We’re 30 percent cheaper than a dealership and on par with an independent shop,” says Wrench cofounder and CEO Ed Petersen. “But we’re more convenient.”
 
Petersen adds that the pitch to consumers is simple: “Our goal is to make owning your car completely hassle free.”
 
To request service, customers can visit Wrench’s website — getwrench.com — or they can use a smartphone app. Its most popular service is an oil change, which starts at $68. Wrench also offers memberships, which include quarterly visits for oil changes, tire rotations, safety inspections and fluid top-offs; memberships cost $14.95 a month for cars and $19.95 for trucks.
 
 
Last June, the Madrona Venture Group contributed half of a $1.2 million seed round. Managing Director Len Jordan says the big market potential, clear pain point and compelling solution sold Madrona on Wrench’s concept.
 
“We like the market opportunity,” Jordan says. “There are more than 120 million cars on the road that are more than three years old.”
 
So far, Wrench has serviced more than a thousand vehicles. Jordan says the startup is still in its infancy, so the focus is less on making a profit and more on establishing a presence. Demand, however, is apparent. Wrench expanded to car-happy Phoenix in November and is studiously eyeing other markets.
 
Wrench has a contract to service vehicles for Lyft, the ride-hiring service. And it hopes to expand its services to office and industrial parks; it already has deals with Bellefield Office Park in Bellevue and North Creek Business Park in Bothell.