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My office was a trailer: Start-ups that started from nothing employees look on at the 2013 Hackomotive event

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The online car-pricing company was founded in 1966 and purchased by the Steinlauf family in the late 1980s. At the time, it was a niche print publication with four employees and run out of the family's garage. But as an experiment, it ventured into a newfangled realm called "the Internet," and things changed drastically.

"From 1994 to 1999, our revenue grew 229 percent, and that was largely due to the website," CEO Avi Steinlauf said.

The company, which now employees nearly 600 people, has since continued to experiment as a way of finding success. Its employees participate in Hackomotive, a "competition between innovative teams to create products and services that improve the car shopping experience," Steinlauf said.

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