E1090: Nikola Founder Trevor Milton on competing with Tesla, hydrogen over battery, going public as a pre-revenue company & more



about this episode

Check out Nikola: https://nikolamotor.com

Follow Trevor: https://twitter.com/nikolatrevor

Follow Jason: https://twitter.com/jason

Follow This Week in Startups: https://twitter.com/TWiStartups

0:59 Jason intros Nikola’s Trevor Milton & talks about how Nikola ties in many trending topics in tech/business: SPACs, Robinhood investors & renewable energy
3:25 How WeWork’s downfall propelled Nikola to go public & what problem are they solving?
7:12 Proper balance of founder authority, how WeWork & Facebook relate, why Nikola wanted to allow retail investors to come in early
10:52 Hardest part of being a public company so far?
14:59 Why focus on hydrogen instead of battery in their trucks?
22:04 Nikola’s business model, why hydrogen hasn’t taken off yet
26:10 How & why are trucking companies phasing out Diesel?
30:03 When will they know if hydrogen works, why Nikola’s builds through OEMs
34:08 Competing against Tesla, OEMs vs. self-manufacturing, what Nikola’s 400+ employees are focused on, outsourcing self-driving
39:14 Why he chose the name Nikola
44:42 Building up their war chest of cash, going into the consumer pickup truck market
50:28 Building & selling their own batteries
53:21 What should Elon/Tesla be focusing on?
55:02 Trevor’s background, why he chose the SPAC route to go public as a pre-revenue company
1:07:00 What does Nikola need to prove in 2020 to change the doubters’ minds?

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