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Meet Matthew McCormick of Jet City Device Repair in Lincoln Park and the Loop

Today we’d like to introduce you to Matthew McCormick.

Matthew, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started as a small boy growing up in the Wisconsin countryside…Let’s start a little later than that.

I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and after 3 years working in technical sales selling robotics equipment, I decided to go back to graduate school at Madison for computer science. Sales sucked. However, I think it’s something everyone should do in their life – especially engineers – because there’s a lot of great skills that can be learned.

After getting a Master’s Degree in computer science from Madison I was asked to stay on for a year and teach operating systems. Then Microsoft called me up and asked me to come work for them as a software developer in Seattle. Seattle was awesome and Microsoft was okay.

By early 2007 I’d had enough of Microsoft and decided to start my own business building websites for small companies. Then in mid-2007 I broke my cell phone, learned how to fix it myself, and started a small online hobby business offering to fix the T-Mobile Dash for people. It was the only phone I fixed, but within weeks people from all over the country were mailing them to me.

Fast forward to today…We have 5 repair stores (3 in the Seattle region and 2 in Chicago) plus two repair depots catering to schools and businesses (one in Chicago and another in Seattle). We employ 22 people and should do about $3.25 million in sales in 2017.

Has it been a smooth road?
Hahahaha… Starting a business smooth? No way. It’s been a crazy ride and not always fun. I’ve made some big mistakes both in strategy and hiring. The competition has also grown steeply over the past few years – including Apple getting seriously into the iPhone repair business.

There’s also the challenges of importing parts from China: Dealing with serious quality issues at times, unexpected shipping delays, 2 week long delays for Chinese holidays, and a host of other issues – including a massive, industry wide shortage of parts in 2014.

However, there has also been a lot of great things that have happened and some really good decisions made. It’s been an amazing learning experience and there is still a ton left to learn.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We have two core businesses: Our B2C channel fixes (mostly) broken iPhones & iPads for consumers. These repairs are often done in 30 minutes while the customer waits.

We also have a B2B business fixing iPads & Chromebooks for schools and some businesses.

Our customer service is what really sets us apart in both areas. Between our 5 stores we have about 1500 or more Yelp reviews and maintain a 4.5-5 star rating at all of those.

As for the most proud of? That would be living our core philosophy. Taking great care of people: our employees, our customers, and our investors – in that order.

We firmly believe that if you create a great place to work, your employees will provide an excellent experience for customers. If you have happy customers, you can’t help but have a solid bottom line.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Chicago is a hyper competitive market place, but it is a great place to do business. I’m from the Midwest so I maybe have a bias for the people here but to me, whether it’s the customers or the employees, I think it’s a great place to be in business or to go to work.

Pricing:

  • iPhone Screen Repairs: $69 – $129. Fixed in 30 minutes.
  • Most iPad Repairs: $89

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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