Monday, October 25, 2010

Meeting Local Motors Jay Rogers in Miami

Last week in Miami there was a very successful Global Forecasting and Marketing Conference, AMT's Annual Meeting and the Board of Directors Meeting.

The highlight for me was listening to and having a chance to spend some time with the founder and CEO/President of Local Motors - John "Jay' Rogers.   This is fascinating to me because it is a car company based on the principles of open source software.

As Popular Science stated:  

"The company was co-founded in 2007 by former Marine and Harvard Business School graduate Jay Rogers on the notion of combining the crowd-sourcing and DIY movements with staid auto manufacturing. Amateurs and professionals submit designs to Local Motors’s Web site, and users vote on the winners in a monthly contest. If, among other factors, a vehicle generates enough buzz that the company thinks it could sell at least 500 of them, the engineers fine-tune the design to make it feasible. Then Local Motors sets up a micro-factory—think automotive plant meets semi-pro DIY garage—where buyers build the car themselves under guidance from the company’s instructors for an estimated $50,000. “We’re not trying to make cars for soccer moms,” Rogers says. “We’re trying to make cars for people who are really deeply interested in automotives. Local Motors can bring these low-volume, highly desirable vehicles to market.”
As Wired Magazine stated:
"In June, Local Motors will officially release the Rally Fighter, a $50,000 off-road (but street-legal) racer. The design was crowdsourced, as was the selection of mostly off-the-shelf components, and the final assembly will be done by the customers themselves in local assembly centers as part of a “build experience.” Several more designs are in the pipeline, and the company says it can take a new vehicle from sketch to market in 18 months, about the time it takes Detroit to change the specs on some door trim. Each design is released under a share-friendly Creative Commons license, and customers are encouraged to enhance the designs and produce their own components that they can sell to their peers."

This is definitely a company to watch and Jay Rogers is a real thought leader.