After a year and a half in the making, RepairPal is finally live! Had I known how tough it would be to solve this problem, giving consumers the information they need to feel confident about the prices they’re paying to keep their cars running, I’d have long ago tossed it into the dustbin of great but unworkable ideas. Yet with some luck and a fantastic team (and many long weeks and weekends), we’ve created something truly amazing. The list of people who have contributed to its creation is too long to post here, but I am indebted to you all. Thank you! Why has building RepairPal been so tough in an era when ‘information wants to be free’? Chris Anderson’s notion of the Long Tail provides a starting point – there are billions of combinations of car brand, model, year, repair and geography to accommodate – but computers could put the data together if this was easily done. It’s not. The data in this huge industry is not structured for computers to combine in a way that’s usable by consumers. Hence we’ve had to put dozens of experienced mechanics in front of our computers to put the data together, model by model, procedure by procedure. It’s not a coincidence that every time you bring your car in to the shop, even for a simple oil change, the service writer creates a custom estimate for you.