If you’ve been following our Insta at @dustmoto_offcial you’ll know we’ve been building towards a big announcement on 8th August in newsletter #10.
In this edition (#8) and next (#9) we’re going to set the stage further by talking about the roots of our team , design philosophy, and our approach to business.
Dust is our opportunity to create a category defining brand. American Electric Moto. The culmination of a 50 years of combined design and business knowhow. Our collective experience spans consumer product, tech and mobility including brands such as Allbirds, Skullcandy, Hydroflask, Specialized Bikes, Sphero, Glowforge and finally UBCO bikes.
While at UBCO working together on electric motorbikes, we discovered a big opportunity to grow the global dirt bike industry by building innovative electric dirt bikes rooted in US moto culture.
Our founding team are all designers and engineers. Sharing a passion for solving problems and understanding what end users need. We‘re open and transparent. We value community and partnering in the broadest sense.
Our design roots drive us to involve riders and moto luminaries in the design process of Dust. We also want to help show folks what it looks like to build a brand and company, and also to pick their brains and networks along the way.
An inspiration for Dust is Blackcrows which spends a huge amount of time with their community to understand what they need next. Last winter their Ski Sauvage programme and ambassadors met 400+ skiers across US and Europe in 14 resorts on 34 test days with 2,650 skis tested. Giorgio Saviane CMO says "Ski Sauvage is about sharing adventures and the love of skiing with like minded people in pursuit of pleasure".
Our approach to Dust is to open our design process, sometimes referred to as ‘building in public’ or BIP. Achieved by generally being transparent, and specifically by inviting a core early community of users, experts, evangelists and investors inside to support our journey.
To provide a unique higher level of access to the development of Dust products and brand to end users. This professional + consumer activation helps create a "prosumer" offering, as both sides influence the design and development process.
These open concepts are in stark contracts to 'building in stealth' or 'stealth mode' which is route du jour for software start-ups to quikly build LinkedIn credibility and protect copying by being a closed island.
Web3* is taking BIP and prosumer one-step further through shared ownership by blurring the lines between fan and creator. For example, Shibuya funds films through NFTs (non-fungible tokens), where holders vote or influence plots to earn tokens that represent a share in final product sales.
*Web3 (AKA Web 3.0) is the next iteration of the Web incorporating concepts such as decentralization, blockchain, and token-based crypto economics where everyone has equal access to participate and no one gets excluded. Web 2.0 by contract is centralized in a small group of companies sometimes referred to as 'Big Tech'. Parallels can be drawn to the closed development environments of the entrenched players in powersports.
Our design and manufacturing process has a clear list of must haves. Over the next year we'll hone these green shoots in partnership with our tight group of first customers. Our key building focus areas are:
- Brilliant basics - Everything we want, nothing we don’t need. Reliable bomb proof bike. Name brand components. Low maintenance. Switch on, take off.
- Fit - Light moto demands a new level of consideration with touchpoints. Where riding styles and settings converge, our bike will rip.
- UX - Simple, intuitive, approachable user experience for first time throttle riders, experienced electric riders, and everyone in between.
- Design - Useful, lasting, meaningful product design. Form communicates use, without frivolous detail. Colors, materials and finishes will wear and patina with intention, over time. A Dust bike will be easily identified, intuitively ridden, and not so easily put away.
- Supply chain & manufacturing - Designed & built in America.
In newsletter #9 we're going to build on the insights above on the roots of our team and the shoots of our design philosophy by talking more about our approach to business. Specifically tackling head on the issue that “Hardware Startups Are Only As Successful As Their Cash Flow Management” Forbes 2018.
- The Champ is coming back! There hasn’t been much of an update on Monster Energy and Yamaha Star Racing’s Eli Tomac since he suffered a ruptured achilles at round 16 of Monster Energy Supercross in Denver. Last week Tomac blew up moto Twitter saying “I Think There’s More Racing in My Future”. (Here).
- Rad Power Bikes is pulling out of Europe to focus on US e-bike sales. Phil Molyneux CEO says "This move is necessary in order to sustain its business and achieve long-term success. This change really allows us to continue to set the standard for the e-bike revolution in North America, which as you know, that was our starting place. So its kind of back to our roots”. (Here)
- Josh Sheehan grabbed 4th overall last weekend in California at the X Games Best Trick with his double-backflip on a Stark Varg electric moto (Here). With the backstory on the cusp of this event covered (Here).
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Done and DUSTED for this week. See you all on the next lap.