Our founding story – From autopilot in aviation to Autopilot for digital-first brand operations

Christian Umbach

An inspiration from the early days

I’ve been flying on planes since the first year I was born. My career started off in aviation, and it turned me into an avid traveler. I grew up with the complexities of the aviation business, and also with the appreciation of its automation. Researching human - robot interaction at the aeronautics department at MIT was another angle at that. Autopilots in aviation are engaged in more than 95% of the flight while airborne. 

Inspired by the groundbreaking work of Lawrence Burst Sperry, who revolutionized the aviation industry with the invention of the autopilot system in the early 20th century, we set out to create a similar paradigm shift in the realm of eCommerce. 

Drawing from Aviation

Just as Sperry's autopilot maintains an aircraft's course while optimizing numerous parameters for the most efficient flight, we envisioned an equivalent for eCommerce. Our tool would help online businesses stay on course, continually refining variables to maximize efficiency and, most importantly, profitability. Thus, Autopilot, the Brand Operations AI, was born.

Sperry's autopilot was a game-changer for aviation. Here are five ways it enhanced flight efficiency:

1. Cruising Optimization: Sperry's Autopilot adjusted the altitude and speed during cruising for the most fuel-efficient flight, resulting in cost savings.

2. Navigation Precision: Autopilot allowed for precise course and altitude hold, reducing the likelihood of straying off-course and causing costly delays.

3. Smooth Flight: Autopilot maintained stability and control, offering a smoother, more comfortable flight for passengers.

4. Pilot Workload Reduction: Autopilot allowed pilots to focus on system monitoring, air traffic control communication, and strategic decision-making, rather than manual flight control.

5. Increased Safety: Autopilot enhanced safety by monitoring and controlling multiple aircraft systems simultaneously, reducing the potential for human error.

Today, the system is engaged in more than 95% while the plane is airborne. 

Making merchants more independent - on Autopilot

Mirroring these benefits, our eCommerce Autopilot takes over once your product is launched - when your "plane" is airborne. Here's how it translates to higher profits and increased revenue:

1. Optimization of Operations: Our Autopilot adjusts various business parameters to find the most profit-efficient settings, mirroring the way aviation autopilot adjusts for fuel efficiency.

2. Precision in Execution: Autopilot keeps your brand on a precise course, preventing costly missteps or diversions, thus ensuring maximum profitability.

3. Smooth eCommerce Journey: Autopilot guarantees a smooth operational journey, minimizing hitches that could affect your brand's performance and, ultimately, your bottom line.

4. Reduced Workload: Autopilot handles routine tasks, freeing your team to focus on strategic decision-making and creativity, which are key to driving business growth and increasing profits. Instead of capping out at a number of SKUs your team can manage, you can scale faster with your existing crew. 

5. Enhanced Profitability: By automating and optimizing various operations, Autopilot reduces the chance of human error, thereby improving the reliability and overall profitability of your eCommerce business.

In the spirit of Lawrence Burst Sperry's innovative contribution to aviation, we at Autopilot are dedicated to helping your eCommerce business soar to new heights of success and profitability. Just as Sperry's autopilot transformed aviation, our Autopilot aspires to redefine eCommerce, focusing particularly on helping you realize higher profits and make more money.

In aviation it contributed to the ability for people to travel and explore the globe, we believe that in eCommerce our capabilities translate into stronger independence of merchants to grow and offer a variety of products that we as consumers love to shop. 

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