About this Episode

TWiST #134: John “Jay” Rogers of Local Motors

We love to see real-life products — and Jay Rogers, CEO and co-founder of the next-generation car company Local Motors, delivered by bringing the crowd-sourced Rally Fighter car to our studio. He and Jason discuss the Local Motors business model, the wisdom of crowds, DARPA having LM design a new military vehicle, electric cars and Jay’s military service (including a favorite Jason movie, “Black Hawk Down”).

Support This Week in Startups by joining our new producer program at twistlist.co!

0:00-0:30 Today we have Jay Rogers of Local Motors on the show, plus an Ask Jason and the winner of the .CO contest.
1:15-6:00 Jason reads off the 20 .CO finalists (see the list below).
6:00-9:15 Jason and Tyler discuss the .COs they like most.
9:15-10:00 Winner is announced: ihatemy.co gets the MacBook Air and speedbump.co gets an iPad 2.
10:00-11:00 Welcome, Jay — when did you get this idea?
11:00-12:20 Jason asks Jay, a U.S. Marine Corps vet, about going to war over oil.
12:20-13:00 Jay talks about his two deployments and starting Local Motors.
13:00-14:10 How the “wisdom of crowds” works in reality.
14:10-15:00 Industrial engineers are the dreamers.
15:00-15:45 How Local Motors uses creative commons.
15:45-17:00 Why people participate in crowd-sourcing a car (or anything): recognition.
17:00-18:30 : The business model for Local Motors: We make the cars the big guys can’t make (see the clip).
18:30-20:00 Making cars in a sustainable way, from the factory process to the materials.
20:00-23:00 Video of Rally Fighter shot that morning — this was Jay’s design with his wife and kids.
23:00-24:00 How many cars have been built?
24:00-27:00 Why the U.S. military asked Local Motors to design and build the XC2V (see the clip).
27:00-29:00: Discussion of how true to life “Black Hawk Down” is and why existing military vehicles fail to fill all battleground needs.
29:00-30:15 Many in the LM community have a background in transportation design.
30:15-31: 30 Trada ad.
31:30-34:00 Harnessing the community’s energy and how the LM community designed a shoe for Reebok.
34:00-35:00 Jay says the LM community could crowd-source anything, but the company will stay away from music and code.
35:00-37:00 Jay explains a component competition they held for the Rally Fighter.
37:00-38:00 Applications need to meet a basic standard — is it manufacturable? — to be in a LM competition.
38:00-39:00 How big is the company? And Jay gives the benefits of being LM CEO.
39:00-40:10 Are LM cars allowed to be on the road? Jay explains federal Department of Transportation rules.
40:10-41:45 Jay Rogers on who can be in the Local Motors community — and how to work with the crowd (see the clip).
41:45-42:30 Design contest for a 100 miles-per-gallon car? How the SpaceX program inspired Jay.
42:30-43:45 How to get to a 100 m.p.g. car and why compromise is needed if the car is going to have a large market.
43:45-45:50 Possibility of LM building electric cars and what Tesla has done and not done.
45:50-47:00 GoToMeeting ad.
47:00-48:00 Did Jay get to keep his KA-BAR knife?
48:00-56:40 Ask Jason with caller David Durall, who asks: My company doesn’t share data, but does the data have value to someone who acquires the company? Does the acquiring company have to honor my policy? [some legal background Tyler found]
56:40-57:30 Jason says he is speaking at the upcoming ReadWriteWeb 2WAY Summit, a gentleman’s throwdown with Nick Denton. Use code THROWDOWN for discount.
57:30-59:40 Jason promotes the new twistlist.co, our producer program that supports TWIST and gets you insider info.
59:40-1:00:45 Jay has 45 angel investors in Local Motors, Jason says he crowd-sourced his funding.
1:00:45-1:01:30 Profit in near term will come from contests. In the future, making the cars will have a greater legacy.
1:01:30-1:03:40 Have traditional auto companies expressed interest in using Local Motors?
103:40-1:04:45 Jason wants the XC2V, designed for DARPA.
1:04:45-1:05:30 Jay talks about being in combat.
1:05:30-1:06:50 Jay explains the Stockdale paradox (see Brad Feld’s blog post on this).
1:06:50-1:08:00 Jason and Jay talk about “The Hurt Locker” and post-traumatic stress disorder.
1:08:00-1:09:20 Jason thinks military guys make great entrepreneurs, and Jay encourages startups to hire from the military (LM has three vets in addition to Jay).
1:09:20-109:50 Thanks and closing.

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About Jay

About Local Motors

About the Rally Fighter



Jason: @jason
Tyler: @steepdecline
John “Jay” Rogers: @johnbrogers
Local Motors: @localmotors

And support This Week in Startups by joining our producer program at twistlist.co!