Thursday, February 28, 2008

Is Bigger Always Better?

In the case of off-road vehicles, I'd have to say that it most certainly isn't.

Even the people responsible for the behemoth HUMMER H1 and H2 have recognized this ideal in producing a smaller version of the aforementioned in the H3 and in introducing their Hx concept, which is roughly the size of a Jeep Wrangler. This speaks volumes about HUMMER's change to a such a vehicle because when it comes to off-road pedigree, it's hard to cite a vehicle with a stronger lineage than the Jeep (and the Wrangler in particular).


Why is a smaller vehicle better in off-road applications? Other than the obvious reason of being able to fit in tight spaces, there is one main reason for the success of vehicles such as the Wrangler: Breakover Angle.

Breakover Angle is defined as the largest angle of an obstacle that a vehicle can traverse without getting hung up between the front and rear axles. This depends largely on the wheelbase of the vehicle, with shorter wheelbase vehicles having a greater breakover angle.



Of course ground clearance is also a determining factor in the ability to travel over obstacles, but the breakover angle isn't something that can be adjusted easily as can your ground clearance if you have adjustable suspension. Unless you modify the chassis/wheelbase, your breakover angle is largely predetermined from the point of manufacture, and you can't simply adjust this out in the woods as you can with an adjustable suspension. Therefore, if we are to produce an on/off road capable vehicle, the wheelbase is something we will have to research intensely for the appropriate blend of on and off road performance.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Farewell, Boyd Coddington

Hot rodding legend Boyd Coddington passed away today at the age of 63.


Love him or hate him, Boyd Coddington is easily one of the most
influential figures in the history of hot rods, and custom built cars.

From starting the billet revolution in his home machine shop in his
younger days, to spawning the hugely successful and innovative billet
wheel craze, to doing more than just stripping the paint off of a car
and changing small aspects like the grill or lights and calling it a "custom" built car, Boyd made a mark
on the entire concept of what it was to build a hot rod or custom car
whether it be from scratch or starting with an existing platform. His
philosophy of machining one-off parts for his cars while everyone else
was buying parts that were made in bulk is the essence of building a
custom ride.

For that reason, his cars have earned such accolades as the
prestigious Ridler Award, in addition to the “America’s Most Beautiful
Roadster” Award a record 7 times.

In my opinion, one of the major mistakes he made along the way was
allowing TLC cameras to roll in his shop for the
show “American Hot Rod.” Just like with their other series “American
Chopper”
in order to keep viewers watching, things become about
conflict, ridiculously tight deadlines, and problems abound which does
nothing but create a bad image of the way your shop is run and more
importantly the quality of your product. I have to believe that most
of the issues and lack of quality craftsmanship come from this
pressure. I can’t imagine someone with a resume like Boyd Coddington
got to where he is by being arrogant, totally lacking people skills,
unable to run an organized shop and not to mention having a “bull in a
china shop” mentality to building fine cars as portrayed on the show.

Many people will argue his impact on the industry based on the above
or because they’ve taken sides with former Coddington apprentice Chip
Foose – a rift that is well documented. A rivalry nothing short of
that of the Red Sox/Yankees and the uncompromising allegiance of its
followers, one thing can be said in either case – each designer/
builder has brought talent both innate and unique to an industry that
cannot survive without it and inspired thousands of designers,
builders, engineers (people like us) to continue that tradition.

For that, both men are deserving of great praise and deserve to be
remembered in a positive light at the time of their passing, no matter
which camp you belong to.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

We Do. They Don't.

Tonight on the way home, I stopped at a local car dealership where a friend needed to have some work done on his car. The trip would have been made much sooner, but he had to wait several weeks for the part (some window weather stripping) to arrive.

As we sat in the waiting room I began to wonder how we at Local Motors can avoid delays such as this once we have our first facility established. The first thing that came to mind was that the wait was most likely due to the fact that the large GM dealership simply can't stock every part for every car in the lineup at any given time.

There are two reasons that come to mind why this should be easily avoidable at Local Motors.

1) We may have several models in due time, but nowhere near the degree of larger auto manufacturers. Also, the designs will be simple, and many parts will be used on multiple platforms.

2) We (each Local Motors location) will be the dealer AND the manufacturing facility under one roof, so we should always have any and all parts in stock. If we don't, both service AND production could come to a halt.

Maybe this is a bold line to draw in the sand this early, but it makes sense and is a pretty simple concept. That sensible simplicity is just what will allow us to offer a game changing customer experience far unlike that achieved by any of the larger auto manufacturers.

Our philosophy on the ENTIRE customer experience at Local Motors can be summed up by a phrase on a poster in the dealership waiting room I saw:


If you can't read the fine print, it says that MOST 2007 Pontiac vehicles come with one free year of OnStar®. They could be doing so much more to improve the customer's experience.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Driving Assistance

As a continuation of my post about the F 200 and how adding some features that improve upon safety issues (specifically, I mentioned the lighting) are welcomed (with some qualifications of course), I am going to expand by citing an article I read today on msnbc.com.

In the article, the move to add such electronic features as blind spot warning, rear view cameras and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) standard on all vehicles by legislation is discussed. The latter has been mandated as such and should be universal by 2011. The slide show showing "The top Ten Safety Features for the Future" includes a picture of a current ESC button to turn it on/off. Once it becomes standard I wonder if you will still be able to turn it off since in certain conditions you don't want the ESC on?

Adding such features in the name of safety is again, a welcomed addition despite adding a great deal of complexity as long as they are SECONDARY to the driver's intuition/actions to control the car in my opinion. The driver must be left to serve as the omnipotent authority over the car and its supplemental features for overall safety.

As people become busier and more distracted while driving as time goes on (ie: Driving while talking on a cell phone) it would be naïve to say that adding such technology is only a Band-aid and we need to focus 100% on eliminating distractions and forcing people to be more attentive drivers. Therefore, adding this technology does help (help, not replace) people's ability to drive safely, which is a good thing as long as it remains supplemental to the human brain. Particularly if the system malfunctions and the driver is left with only his ability to maneuver as we have since the advent of the automobile, long before the idea of a computer controlling our actions came about.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Mercedes Benz F 200 Imagination



The revolutionary technology used in the concept is just that. The styling however, is very uninspiring and I may go as far to say ugly.

According to Snopes.com, when introduced in 1996 the F 200 was meant to demonstrate "just how technical innovations could open up new avenues for the styling of future top-of-the-range cars."

In my opinion, what it did was begin the revolution in which we are trapped in ever so deeply. Albeit, some of the technology is welcomed, like the variable light distribution bi-xenon headlights. The "revolution" I'm referencing is the removal of the soul of vehicles - the purity of what it meant to get behind the wheel and just drive. No "forward-looking driving dynamics control," nor fancy electronics to control steering, breaking etc. to assist you. Certainly no voice recognition for your cell phone.

Just man, machine, and the open road (or open trail for that matter).

Our goal is to spark a revolution of our own - the return to automotive purity. We may add some technology where appropriate, or allow the customer to add it later, but we feel it's crucial for the core of the car to speak to that beauty in simplicity that once was.

Get in, start 'er up, and drive. Have fun. That simple.





Thursday, February 21, 2008

IC Engine Lovers and Environmentalists Re-joice!

It was brought to my attention today that The Scuderi Group, LLC out of West Springfield, MA has "Solved the Rubik's Cube of Engineering," according to their website.

What they are referencing is the fact that Internal Combustion (IC) Engines using current technology operate at 33% efficiency, only using 1/3 of the available energy in each gallon of fuel that could be used to power the vehicle.

What they've done is develop a technology using a split cycle where there are two cylinders: one for the compression stroke, and one for the power stroke. The compression cylinder can use air from a storage tank linked to the cylinders, which creates the same effect as using a supercharger. This system increases efficiency to 40% and also lowers the toxic emissions generated by up to 80%. Independent tests show it also has higher power, torque, and efficiency ratings under full load than standard turbocharged engines.

Click Here for a video demonstration on how it works.

What does this mean for industry, the environment and our dependence on foreign oil?

The Scuderi website does an excellent job of addressing this pressing issue by providing some statistics:

- A 10% efficiency improvement in vehicle performance would save over $10 billion and reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 140 million tons per year.

- A 20% efficiency improvement could reduce foreign oil used today by 1/3.

- Environmentalists claim that increasing the average vehicle mileage to 40 mpg would save more oil than we get from Persian Gulf imports, the Arctic Wildlife Refuge and California offshore drilling combined.

What does this mean for Local Motors?

Being a small company that can operate without the bureaucracy of the large auto manufacturers, we plan to incorporate a few core competencies to gain competitive advantage. One of those advantages will be the ability to get to market quickly and do so with innovative technology and manufacturing techniques.

New technology that isn't too far a departure from existing engine technology, but far more efficient could be something we can incorporate into our designs with our limited budget (relative to the "Big Three") and time line and still deliver a game changing product that speaks to the heart of the customer, in particular, the potential customer that loves the ability to go fast, have power on hand but doesn't want to compromise that by using an alternative power source. I for one, can't stand the thought of living a life where Prius-like vehicles have replaced the high horsepower, high torque, spirited autos in order to help the environment, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

There has to be a way to have both, and this could very well be it.

By the way, this technology can be used in all forms of transportation using an engine with pistons, which leads us towards our goal of sustainability in methods of mobility and mobility systems.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Not For Everyone

We're not manufacturing tooth brushes. We're not manufacturing batteries. We're not manufacturing purified water. In other words, we're not manufacturing a product for just anyone.

And that's OK.

Actually, the way we see it, it's better than OK - it's the only way to do things.

I've mentioned this before, but in the famous words of the host of the show about children's books named Reading Rainbow, none other than LeVar Burton (Also known for his role as Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation (19871994) for you Trekies out there, and Kunta Kinte in the 1977 award-winning television miniseries Roots), after offering his opinion on a book,

"You don't have to take my word for it."


Here is an excerpt from a recent post on jalopnik.com about the Factory Five Racing GTM, and more importantly, an exchange between its readers, reaffirming this point:

User: Karmavore
"One of the better looking original kit-car designs.I don't think I'd build one though because I'd be afraid the resale would be awful...

User: 79TA
"No such performance car should be bought for "resale." Leave that sort of thought for the soulless commuter cars."

What this means is that those that apply the "trade in" mentality to autos is not our customer. 79TA hit the nail right on the head - he's our customer. We're passionate about cars and those we build in particular to the point where we don't think of them as things you'll ever get enough of.

The Return on Investment is endless - you'd never want to give it up.

Even though we may be a bit to the far side of fanatical, we know that there are a lot of people like us when it comes to cars. Therefore, these are the people we plan to serve.

Nothing wrong with buying a car with resale value in mind if it's a Toyota Camry or the like, but not for the vehicles we will produce.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sustainability and Design Part II

As I mentioned in a few previous posts, sustainability is what is going to drive auto manufacturing in the years to come.

Also mentioned was the success of such designs and how we need to speak to people's hearts as we design new vehicles and mobility systems.

One example of the "nostalgia" aspect I mentioned previously is the creation of the 2008 Morgan LifeCar. This is clearly a design based on an elegant, classy car from the past with a modern twist on the styling, not to mention the technology involved - it's a hybrid powered zero-emission vehicle.


"The LifeCar’s purpose is to demonstrate that a zero emission vehicle can also be fun to drive.

The combination of performance, range and fuel economy will allow a sporting driver of the future to demonstrate a concern for the environment."


Pairing that statement (from the Morgan website) with the styling of the car, I'd much rather be apt to purchase this vehicle over last night's entry, the sQuba. Again, this car connects with the fact that a car is meant to be driven, and when it performs well, that speaks to my heart far more than the ability to submerge the car.


Therfore, I think this design is one that could be very sustainable...now we just have to wait to see how much it will cost to make the final call!

Monday, February 18, 2008

sQuba Anyone?

No, that isn't a spelling error. What I'm referencing isn't the traditional "scuba" but a new concept named "sQuba", the "world's first real submersible car," according to Rinspeed's website.


As you can see, it's based on the Lotus, so like the Tesla Roadster (although the Tesla makes a further departure from the original styling of the Lotus compared to the sQuba), it has unique, eye catching styling.

It's interesting to note that the car uses green technology and is a zero emission vehicle (it's power comes from rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries). Also, the lubricants used in the vehicle are biodegradable.

In the interest of sustainability, it incorporates "movable modules and components" to make use of existing technologies adapted for different applications.

Despite these characteristics, I don't know that it has the "I have to have it" factor. I'm not so sure most people need the ability to submerse their daily driver, although the idea is cool.

I'd be interested to know some performance characteristics of the car. Does it still perform like the Lotus? Based on styling alone, if I wanted something that looked like the Lotus, I'd simply buy the Lotus. If it still performs like the Lotus I'd still stick with the Lotus; adding the ability to go underwater isn't something that I feel is very useful in most environments.

In contrast, we will be trying to incorporate unique styling, more environmentally-friendly technologies in a sustainable design AND manufacture the vehicle into a package that has the "I have to have it" factor.

Friday, February 15, 2008

A Well Deserved Thank You

About five years ago as my friends and I were about to graduate college, one of my friends decided not to enter the WORK force after all of our hard work to earn degrees as Mechanical Engineers, but to enlist in the ARMED force[s].

About a week after graduation, he was on his way to boot camp.

Since then, I've gone from seeing him every day to maybe three or four times in the last five years.

He's been on several tours to some "not so nice" places like Afghanistan to gather intelligence as a member of our Special Forces. To give you an idea of the kind of person he and his compatriots are, here are the qualifications for such service according the the Army's website:

YOUR MOST POWERFUL WEAPON IS YOUR MIND

If you possess boundless ideas and creativity and you always think of new ways to organize and strategize, the Army wants to talk. Warfare today has new rules and calls for a different type of Soldier's new warrior.

You need to be mentally superior and creative, highly trained and physically tough. Alone and part of a team, you'll work in diverse conditions, act as a diplomat, get the job done in hostile situations and, at times, establish residence in a foreign country for months.

These Soldiers are part of the Army's Special Forces (SF)'the Army's most specialized experts in Unconventional Warfare.


The mental fortitude it takes a person just to make such a decision deserves the highest honor in itself, but I couldn't be more proud to say that he was recently awarded the Bronze Star for,

Serving in or with the military of the United States after 6 December 1941, distinguished him- or herself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight, while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

When awarded for bravery
(which it was in his case), it is the fourth-highest combat award of the U.S. Armed Forces and the 9th highest military award (including both combat and non -combat awards) in the order of precedence of U.S. military decorations. (Wikipedia)


He'll be upset that I called attention to this since he's a modest guy, and to put it as the day he told me about it, it was, "Just another day on the job."

Wow.

He's in town this weekend, so I'm heading out to buy him a few rounds as the most minimal of ways to say "Thank you" so I'm going to have to end my post tonight here by saying "Thanks and Congratulations" to my good friend and to encourage everyone reading this to remember our friends, family members, and the Service men or women you see in uniform at the airport whom you don't even know by simply thanking them for the sacrifices they make every day as we enjoy our everyday freedoms here at home to let them know we love them and appreciate their valor in simply enlisting, Bronze Star or no Bronze star.

Having said that, I will continue to keep the ball rolling by giving a special thanks to our own Jay Rogers for his service in the Marine Corps prior to making another bold decision to start his own company we now call Local Motors. If you don't have someone in mind to send that thanks to, drop Jay an email.

We salute YOU ALL!


Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Valentine

My valentine this year is a very special one; that I can say for certain.

Just who is she, you might be wondering?

Is she the cute, fun-loving "girl next door?" No.

Is she a young, sophisticated lady with drive for the finer things in life? Nope, not her either.

Is she a young, beautiful lady like Victoria's Secret model Alessandra Ambrosio? No, although I could pull it off. Hey, if Patriots QB Tom Brady can date a Brazilian Victoria's Secret model, what's to say I can't?! I haven't won three Super Bowls, have tons of money, or have the position of one of the greatest players of all time, but I'm a decent-looking guy that knows how to treat a lady and I've got some things going for me (a man has to have dreams right?).

Alessandra Ambrosio


Alessandra would be my pick over Gisele Bundchen anyway, despite the love one of my close friends has for her that is so intense he once said (jokingly of course) he'd "punch his mother for Gisele Bundchen."

Anyway, no young model, girl next door etc. Valentine this year. She's actually quite old to be honest. She has ties to me, several other people throughout recent history and the future, but most importantly, she can be linked to the great philosopher Plato himself - a connection easily verified in his Republic.

She is of course, none other than Necessity..."the mother of all invention." Sounds really geeky, doesn't it?!

Although I am in the early stages of seeing a few ladies, none has become the front runner, deserving of all my attention just yet.

Therefore, since I don't have one lady to celebrate this year, I thought about what it is that is deserving of such recognition and decided that I'd pay homage to the "lady" responsible for allowing me to earn a paycheck doing what it is I'm passionate about (working with a great team to develop game changing automobiles, especially when it proves all the naysayers and much "bigger" players in the game wrong), and still seek out my other passions with the same fervor. It's not easy to find this just anywhere (I've been looking for a LONG time), so I thought it fitting to pay my respects to just such a special "lady" on this Valentine's Day.

Ok, so why?

There are numerous necessities that have created this great opportunity I have at Local Motors, but most notably, the main necessity driving this invention of not just a new vehicle, but a whole new way of developing and manufacturing the next great American car company we have embarked on is to care for and respect yet another lady whom we all know and (should) love...

Mother Earth.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What Came First...Part II

Today we had affirmation of my previous statements regarding which comes first - the chassis or the body - when in a project management meeting involving design of the vehicle we will deliver, the Local Motors website design, and structure of the Design Competition.

We concluded that since our goal is performance and function based, the pivotal characteristics in achieving our main design/performance goals are the aspects that make up the core of the drive-line, the suspension, and the rigidity of the chassis, which means the design begins with the chassis, not the body.

The secondary (although still influential in the performance of the vehicle) element of the vehicle is the shape of the body. Design of the body can begin once you have determined things like wheelbase, suspension travel, engine location, track width, and approach angles. The development of the chassis in regards to the above elements can occur while the body is also in development. Once the body shape is determined, you can design the rest of the chassis around it.

Our discussion also gravitated around the idea that the alternate approach of starting with a design first makes development of the vehicle much more complex, time consuming, and expensive as a result, not to mention compromised.

This is the paradigm of current transportation manufacturing and explains the difficulty resulting from designers "throwing a design over the wall" to the engineers to work with what they've been given. It also explains why a car can look completely different (usually less impressive) from when you first see the concept and when the car reaches production - compromises had to be made to fit critical components in the envelope provided, allow the car to meet regulatory standards, and perform to specifications.

For these reasons, we feel it necessary to start with the critical areas of the chassis and design the body concurrently if we are to create a shift in the paradigm that is the current unsustainable, inefficient, and uninspiring method of transportation design.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Systems, Cities, and Sustainable Mobility - Simplicity and Flexibility

In addition to the three principles I mentioned in my last entry regarding the success of designs/systems in relation to their sustainability, there are two other underlying factors that will guide our approach at Local Motors not to just providing a sustainable product, but to serve a bigger goal of educating consumers by example on how cars should be made and how the methods of current auto manufacturers are lacking in these areas:

Simplicity and Flexibility

The Summit at the Art Center reinforced our belief that maintaining simplicity and flexibility as core competencies will be what allows us to implement new, sustainable designs with the most success. This was evident in the admonition made by Paul Hawken (author of the ground-breaking books Blessed Unrest, Ecology of Commerce and Natural Capitalism) to executives at one of "The Big Three" after viewing the newest concept cars they had to offer. After being told that the concepts that had the most "bells and whistles", the largest passenger capacity etc. would be the cars of the future and not the simpler, more utilitarian concepts they were working on, Paul stated that they had it backwards and that the car of the future is the one that was the most simple of the vehicles in that it would be capable of meeting the demands of the user, and also be flexible during the changes in cities, systems and mobility to come in the near future.

I agree.

If you keep the design simple (yet still effective in its intended use) you also maintain its flexibility to adapt to the users needs as they change over time. Understandably, uncertainty is the biggest roadblock to sustainability. Therefore, flexibility is the key to sustainable design. By keeping your design simple, you allow yourself, or the consumer in some cases to "re-invent" it as time progresses and needs change with little interruption on the core design and the energy used to manufacture those core aspects of the vehicle.

We plan to make this possible by providing the core capabilities of what the vehicle(s) we produce will need to perform their main function at a class leading level, while maintaining flexibility by allowing the consumer to customize and repair as needed over time while reusing the core components.

More details on what the core components will be to come...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Systems, Cities, and Sustainable Mobility - Review, Part I

At the Art Center College of Design Summit, "Systems, Cities, and Sustainable Mobility" that I attended last week, Alex Stefan of worldchanging.com said that you have to "speak to people's hearts" when it comes to sustainable design. I believe this is true of any design, but for something to be sustainable, people have to have an even more special connection to the new product they may purchase, the new system or a change in environment to which they have to adapt.

The three major principles that make or break society's connection to new, innovative (and as a result, sometimes controversial) designs are nostalgia, fear and aspiration. This "connection" seemed to be the issue each presenter felt would be critical to affect sustainable change in systems, cities and mobility within them in the years to come.

Why?

It's not just about the product, but the type of people we will become in the future. People are generally nostalgic. This explains the success of "new" designs derived from previous versions (ie: VW Beetle, recent iterations of the Ford Mustang), so moving forward must have an element of going "back to the future." There has to be a sense of one's history as they move toward the future.

We aspire to continually improve ourselves. The key question here is this: Does improvement mean obtaining more possessions, or owning our actions? For example, Stefan also stated that our aspirations of continuous consumption are not fitting of a "one world life." We are using up the limited resources we have to strive for our house on the cul-de-sac, the SUV, the home theater systems etc., and when we need a break from that which allows us to obtain such things, we "get away" to a much simpler environment. Sometimes an environment far disconnected from those things. Therefore, we need to ask ourselves what's really important, and how do we continually improve ourselves while limiting our consumption of consumer goods. Notice I said limiting and not E-liminating our consumption of goods, since there will always be a need for certain products. Furthermore, we can make better decisions on WHICH products we purchase in an effort to live a "one world life."

Fear. Fear of the unknown - very influential in the ease of transition to new systems and designs.

We at Local Motors will also strive to incorporate components in our designs and offer products which help promote a "one world life". It's our job as designers, engineers, and most importantly, the people that can affect change to keep these three factors close to our hearts as we design new products and systems.

The people of the world purchasing such products/navigating the new systems certainly will.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Excessive Crossovers

As I said in one of my last posts, to be successful, it's important to create a demand and then supply that demand.

For some people, the demand [for a performance off road vehicle] already exists, according to Ezra Dyer in his latest installment of "Dyer Consequences" in the March issue of AUTOMOBILE.

In the article, he speaks of his desire to have a vehicle that fits his needs and wants AND his wife's:

"Most women secretly want to drive a monster truck, and [my wife] is not different. My job, then, is to consder what she wants (Grave Digger with a vanity mirror)and what I want (at the moment, the General Lee as interpreted by Chip Foose) and meet in the middle. That means a crossover.

There's only one problem. From a car-guys perspective, 'crossover' is the new code for 'minivan'."

He later goes on to explain how he could avoid having to explain away his new "minivan" if he could only have tons of horsepower, big wheels, a manual transmission and cool styling in an "excessive crossover" as he puts it....perfect!

The demand is already alive and well in many red-blooded american men AND women, just as we expected, so now all we have to do is dot the i's and cross the t's on an "excessive crossover" and we will have supplied the demand that has already been created.

I wonder what the best way to quantify this demand is...

Friday, February 1, 2008

Supply and Demand

I was in the barbershop today flipping through a recent issue of Stuff Magazine while I was waiting, and came upon a piece they did on “How to Dominate the Competition Before Age 30.” Being 28, and in a position to affect change in the auto industry, I took special interest in this column just by reading the title. In the article, they gave a ranking of well-known men in such professions as music, athletics, acting, and business.

After listing the qualifications for the rank they assigned each man, they supplied a quick one or two line quote from him. One of the quotes that garnered a raise of the eyebrow was from a rap artist named T.I. His quote was this,

“You have to create a demand and then supply it. You must make it so the market can’t function right without you.”

Although he’s referencing the music industry, I identified with it for two reasons that are specific to what we’re doing at Local Motors:

1) “You have to create a demand and then supply it.”

For a car to be really successful at any price point (particularly 40-50k+ range), the “I have to have it!” factor must be present.

2) “You must make it so the market can’t function right without you.”

Change the game with your product design, method of manufacturing, and the way you conduct business with such impact that other manufacturers in the market can’t function at your level without modeling the practices after those which you engendered.