Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Gut in my throat...with excitement and anticipation - an entrepreneur's note

In the last week, this is the third time that I as the CEO of Local Motors have had my gut in my throat, bound up with anticipation.

The first was when we spent the first dollar of investor capital. At that moment, I knew in my gut that I was committed. It was great and scary all at once. I was alive with anticipation.

When it is your money, it is always easier to spend, but when the fiduciary responsibility steps in, you are bound to a higher standard, and you KNOW it.

The second time was when we declared a winner in our first design competition and I had to call the guy in Australia, tell him, and hope that he would be satisfied with the contract of several thousand dollars in exchange for a limited - but meaningful - set of rights to his precious design.

We were setting the market clearing price for distributed car design in this transaction. It had never been done in this way, and many people tried to convince us that it couldn't be done. If it couldn't be done, then we would not have succeeded. We did it.

Each of these two memories came rushing back this week during a third and equally momentous event. On July 15th, we launch the "Buy Button" that changes the face of American Automotive and takes Local Motors to the next level: we elevate from planting and watering to harvesting value...we start selling product. In advance of that event we have begun to receive a great deal more attention and several customers have begun to express their intent to place a deposit. Today I was explaining to a future customer the path that the purchase will take for his owning a Rally Fighter, and it suddenly hit me full force that I was having a third moment. I have always dreamed of making cars, but somehow the enormity of being responsible for placing such a complex and magnificent product in the market struck me with a great dose of sobering introspection.

We are ready no doubt, or perhaps I should say "you are never ready" but we have prepared fully. In any case, we are up to the challenge and look forward to seeing our charter customers drive away.

That will likely be a fourth moment in time for me.

I am honored to be able to be involved in such a Company and to feel so alive. I worry some times that I will never have such feelings again in a Company...at least not for a long time. So, time to savor.

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