We thought it worthwhile giving a little background on me, Colin, the CEO here at Dust.
I grew up in Southern California, eventually going to high school in Murrieta. We were surrounded by the moto scene there, but I mostly focused my personal time on Soccer, BMX and eventually gravity MTB. Growing up I would always jump on the chance to ride motos with friends, but my mom prevented me from owning my own (D'oh!). During school, I tended to excel in math and science, setting me up for getting my mechnical engineering degree from UC Santa Barbara, with Honors.
My career has taken me through Rod Millen's workshop (MillenWorks) working on race cars, concept cars, EV powertrain demonstrators and theme parks. I have done individual contributor as well as leadership work at Skullcandy (headphones), Walt Disney Imagineering (actual theme park rides), Sphero (robot toys), Glowforge (robot lasers) and most recently, I led all of Product+Engineering+Design as CPO at UBCO (electric motorbikes). I have deep experience building teams from scratch, developing category defining systems and delivering products on time at mass-scale, including for complex vehicle systems.
Outside of work it has been pretty much bikes, cars and snowboarding. I raced downhill MTB at the Southridge series in Fontana, and built my own gearbox DH bike in 2008/2009. When I was building those bikes, I captured the process online on biking forums, really setting the stage for this "Build-in-Public" philosophy we are deploying now. I've co-driven in the Baja 500 and 1000, as well as the Transsyberia Rallye in a Porsche Cayenne with Ryan Millen. I consider myself pretty handy around a track on 4 wheels, on or off-road. My wife teases me that I have an internal clock that forces me to buy a new-used niche vehicle every 2 years. Its only been later in life that I have gotten into moto more, and consider myself an middling rider on a gas bike, but definitely more proficient on an eMoto (more on that later).
While working at Skullcandy in Park City, Utah, I married my wife Angela and we started on building our family. We've always selected jobs and locations to live based on the best possible access to activities and environment for our two boys (currently nearly 4 and 7) . We ended up in Bend after living in SoCal, Park City, Boulder, and Seattle. Bend has been an amazing place to set up shop, the combination of access, outdoors, and talent consistently delivers beyond expectation.
The prompt for Dust came up after an exciting journey at UBCO. I sunk myself deep into building a global development function from the ground up, equipping ourselves with hardware, software, design and product strategy capabilities. As a part of developing a roadmap strategy, we performed a serious amount of research in the eMoto and greater powersports space identifying various opportunities. At the time, UBCO had to make some strategic decisions around investment in new product development versus selling through inventory, and so we agreed that I should move on.
The thing that struck me most from my time at UBCO was that no matter what background you came from, electric motorcycles were simply joy machines. The innate feeling of freedom and flow that you get from twisting a throttle was not diminished by being electric, in fact it was enhanced in some interesting ways. I can't even count the number of times I got experienced riders from gas-bikes on an electric moto and had them walk away shocked at how much they enjoyed it. Further, I know that I personally have gotten more than 3 dozen brand new riders to learn to safely ride, typically in under 5 minutes time.
So, we separated, I took my knowledge and experience and have started Dust from scratch with Jarett and Neil with the mission to build the best possible electric dirt bikes for the current times. The team and I are 100% all in - the concept of ikigai seems to legitimately apply here.
While this is likely more than you'd typically learn about a founder early in a company's journey, we hope it comes to symbolize the level of connection and transparency we seek to achieve with our Build-in-Public practice. We know there is the appetite (thanks F50 crew!), and with such a rapid pace of change currently in the industry, we are excited to bring more folks along for the ride. Stay tuned as over the next few weeks we kick our content game into high gear, and share even more around the development of the biz and product.
- Triumph continues to share more info about their upcoming 250cc MX bike. With such a mature marketplace around 250cc performance, will be interesting to see if they can truly stand apart. (Here)
- Lamborghini debuted their first all-electric supercar, the Lanzador, at Monterey Car Week. (Here)
- The BigHillJam at the Hill Brotha's compund in Yoncalla Oregon was a blast. They just dropped this DirtShark video from that zone that just makes us want to get out and ride. (Here)
We've added a dedicated email to receive newsletter feedback! Catch us at email@example.com OR just respond to this email!
Done and DUSTED for this week. See you all on the next lap.