Press

Basic Info

Full Name: Ben Sullins

Born: Jan 27 1982, Conroe Texas

Current City: San Diego, California, USA

Social Links:

Contact: [email protected]

Stats

  • Monthly Unique Viewers ~350K
  • Monthy YouTube Views ~900K
  • Avg Video Watch Time ~8min
  • CO2 Saved >501K lb
  • Gallons of Gasoline Saved >50K
  • Annual Growth Rate (2016-2017) +900%

Biography

My passion for using data to make sense of the world started when I was working at MCI in the late 90’s in Phoenix Arizona. My first role in tech was as an intern on the help desk of a call center with around 1,500 people. At the time this was as high-tech as companies got.

Being an intern I did every odd job the rest of the team didn’t want to do, and as a result, I learned a little bit about every aspect of the tech world at the time. This is where I found myself gravitating towards working with data to help teams make better decisions.

With the highly advanced Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) programming language and Microsoft Office 97 my team and I built real-time analytics platforms from old dumb terminals and Unix based systems. To be successful in the early days of tech required a hacker mindset. That is, out-of-the-box thinking and a “get it done” attitude. This hacker mindset and love for data set the stage for the next 18 years of my professional career.

After MCI was bought by Verizon and closed all the call centers, including mine, I bounced around in various development roles and became a contractor focused on database development. At 25 years old I was ready to move to San Diego while working remotely for an online learning company in Scottsdale Arizona. This didn’t go as planned…

Our company was bought by our largest competitor and they denied my move. So I did it anyway. I packed up my car and moved to San Diego without a job in sight. I knew that in life I wouldn’t get another shot like this so I better take it.

After a few months of settling in I started back up as a database developer consultant. This was a fun time and eventually landed me a gig at Facebook in 2012.

At Facebook, I designed and implemented a new architecture for one of their primary data analytics platforms, Tableau. I spend three months on-site doing the migration and training users then about a year remote doing support whenever they had issues.

A couple years later I found myself as the Chief Data Officer for an online learning startup named Pluralsight. I started at the company with around 50 employees and had free reign to build out the core data organization and help the company learn to use data for their decision making. We opened an office in San Diego that at it’s peak was home to more than 30 developers and data professionals. I was living the dream.

While working at Pluralsight I had my first son. At this time my priorities changed and I knew that the long hours and stress were going to make it hard to be a good father, something I didn’t have growing up. And like all parents, I wanted to give my new son what I didn’t have.

Soon after he was born, I started to look for other avenues to generate income that gave me more flexibility in my schedule so I could spend more time with him. I had already been producing data science training videos on our platform at Pluralsight so I had some residual income built up. In April of 2016, I took the leap and decided to quit my full-time job and dedicate all my time to authoring online courses and doing YouTube teaser videos for my online courses.

This was a scary moment.

As I started making more online content, I honed in on YouTube as it seemed to be a great avenue to build an audience and thus a sustainable business. This is how I ended up using my data science skills on Tesla data.

I started my Tesla journey in January of 2016 when I bought a used Model S. Almost a year later my wife asked me how much money we had saved over the past year. So I put my data geek hat on and did some analysis. As it turned out, we pay a ton for electricity here in SoCal, so it ended up only being about 40% cheaper which for us is about $30/mo.

This video landed well on YouTube getting over 500K views in less than two months. Since then I’ve realized that the Tesla community is a passionate group of intelligent people that love the detailed analysis of the facts behind the company and their products. This is why I decided to focus my YouTube channel solely on Tesla and other companies like them that are changing our world for the better.

To this day that is my focus, to help share the story of companies helping make the world more sustainable by focusing on the data first and seeing what they have to say.