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The Propcast

Oct 12, 2021

In this episode of The Propcast, Louisa talks with Tyler Scriven and Maxwell Bonnie from Saltbox about making warehouses and logistics accessible to everyone in e-commerce. We discuss creating hyperlocal logistics centres, what this means for diversity and reducing the barriers to entrepreneurship for everybody across the board. We talk about building a compelling brand and recruiting the right people to deliver a mission which is much bigger than just warehouses and logistics.


Companies Mentioned

Bessemer Venture Fund


Key Insights From This Episode

  • ’I'm drawn to really hard problems that have a big impact.’ - Maxwell Bonnie
  • ‘I also encountered this ugly, dark side of digital commerce, which was having to source all of the goods.’ - Tyler Scriven
  • ‘I found that I was, along with millions of other smaller e-commerce entrepreneurs, pushed to the fringes of the real estate ecosystem. And implicitly also pushed to the fringes of the entrepreneurial ecosystem at large, because we were forced to work in basements, garages and self-storage facilities.’ - Tyler Scriven
  • ‘There is this simple reality, which is that e-commerce begins and ends in the physical world. It will always be that way until we moved to purely digital products.’ - Tyler Scriven
  • ‘Logistics begins with the warehouse, plain and simple.’ - Tyler Scriven
  • ‘We're creating access to that infrastructure, and we're doing that in a way that reflects the fact that our primary user, that merchant, is a human… The very basic idea is human centric logistics.’ - Tyler Scriven
  • ‘You could summarise it by saying that what we're doing is we are creating an access to critical logistics infrastructure… in a way that makes it very approachable, very accessible by a normal person but without any sort of meaningful trade-offs to the efficiency or productivity of those tools.’ - Tyler Scriven
  • ‘Very quickly what we realised what's actually happening during the pandemic was this exponential growth in adoption of digital commerce. When people were just buying more online because they weren't leaving their homes. That was like gasoline on the fire.’ - Maxwell Bonnie
  • ‘A small business seeking to work with a very large 3PL is challenging. The incentive structure of that 3PL is just not aligned to meet the needs of that small business.’ - Tyler Scriven
  • ‘One of the things we were seeing is the demographics and firmographics of who our customer base is, reflecting the changing dynamics of people who are business owners.’ - Maxwell Bonnie
  • ‘We're seeing that it’s more heavily index with more women as founders of these (e-commerce) companies, and more heavily indexed on people in persons of colour. Where traditionally you see something like 70-80% white males, we see like more of a 50/50 split, which is very interesting.’ - Maxwell Bonnie
  • ‘The issue that we need to address is that when one pursues a business, like the sort of businesses that are built at Saltbox, they often are doing so without operational leverage in a way that's going to help them to grow faster and achieve their goals. And so, we want to solve that.’ - Tyler Scriven
  • ‘As a founding team of essentially three minorities, we're a pretty unique founding team… we are building a culture that is attractive to a diverse array of people. If you asked me that the key to that, if we are doing it well, is to treat everyone the same. It's not rocket science.’ - Tyler Scriven
  • ‘Warehousing is the means to the end. So you have this attractive mission. There’s a story that people want to be a part of. And then you have internally a culture where people feel supported and feel that they can be themselves. We talk a lot about self-awareness, talk a lot about vulnerability as key tenants of our culture, so when you have that in place, those are like the little kernels of a culture that people can feel comfortable. With that, we can attract the right people who want to be part of us achieving our ambitious mission.’ - Maxwell Bonnie
  • Tyler - ‘As we think about the future of logistics and in particular, the future of logistics for small companies, we believe in essence that this is something that every company will need in the future, and they'll need it in a way that is much more humanised, in much smaller scale, much more flexible, much more approachable. And that's really the vision that guides us.’ - Tyler Scriven|
  • ‘We think that in a world in which there is some trillion-ish dollars worth of market cap of companies that are enabling things to be sold online today that surely there's a few tens of billions at least for companies that enable those things to get to where they're going. And that’s exactly where we’re focused.’ - Tyler Scriven


About Our Guests

Tyler Scriven 

A thoughtful, dynamic, and innovative entrepreneur, Tyler is currently the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Saltbox, a venture-backed startup building workspace and logistics infrastructure to power the future of commerce. Saltbox was founded in 2019 and is on a rapid growth trajectory.


From 2016 to 2018 Tyler served as the Founding Managing Director of Techstars Atlanta, a global early-stage venture capital investment fund. At Techstars he led investments in dozens of early-stage startups.


From 2009 to 2016 Tyler served as Head of Operations and Chief of Staff at Palantir Technologies, the world’s leading big data analytics software provider. During his tenure at Palantir he built and led people operations, recruiting, IT, real estate, corporate development, and various other operational functions. His responsibilities led him to build and lead teams across the globe, including Europe, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, and India.

As a key member of the company’s executive team, Tyler was broadly engaged in scaling the operations of the business from 100 to nearly 2,000 employees and saw the company grow to become one of the most valuable technology companies in the world.


Tyler currently sits on the board of directors of the Serenbe Land Corporation, a pioneering and nationally renowned wellness community connected to nature on the edge of Atlanta.


Tyler began his career in 2005 with J.P. Morgan, and worked in the fields of private equity and investment banking in New York City prior to moving to San Francisco in 2009. He holds a bachelor's degree in American Studies and Economics from The University of Virginia. 


He currently resides in Atlanta, GA with his wife Faith, and son Patterson.


Maxwell Bonnie

Maxwell Bonnie is one of the cofounders of Saltbox, currently leading all aspects of the Member Lifecycle and Product. Prior to Saltbox, Maxwell helped build the Customer Experience and Bionic Operations teams at FullStory and was part of the leadership team in the Research and Operations departments at Bridgewater Associates.


Maxwell received his bachelor's degree in American History from The University of Virginia, and his master’s in Economic Development from Georgia State University.


About Our Host

Louisa Dickins

Louisa started her career in property working at a well-known estate agency in London. Realising her people skills, she moved over to Lloyd May to pursue a career in recruitment. She now is a Director at LMRE, who are a specialist recruitment firm driven by PropTech and recruitment professionals, and Louisa oversees their 5 core areas. Louisa co-founded LMRE and provides a constructive recruitment platform to the new disruptors in real estate. Louisa is also on the board of Directors at UK PropTech Association (UKPA).


About LMRE

LMRE believe there is a better way to recruit. LMRE focus on a more comprehensive, client led focus delivering exceptional talent to the place at the time. They are passionate about the industry and passionate about people's careers. LMRE spend time with each client to become and an extension of the business, and their transparency and core values help them grow with the sector. LMRE simplify recruitment and innovate with our clients and evolve the people driven, PropTech community.


Resources Mentioned

Saltbox Fulfilment
Bessemer Venture Fund