Monday, March 22, 2010

what i've been up to...



lately all my making and doing energy has gone into mopeds... in fact, nearly all of my energy has gone into mopeds.

so, i'm currently transition between being an engineer and not being an engineer. thus far i've been working on the transition for about 8 months. first step: quit job... check. next step: do something else. well, i'm thinking about applying for industrial design programs, as ID was the only part of my last job that i actually liked. plus this helps me move towards the eventual make stuff/do stuff community workshop i want to start (opening date: TBD). so, that brings us to the meantime. i thought about/tried to get an engineering job, but that wasn't what i wanted, plus the economy sucks. then my buddy anthony came back from india and this was the conversation we had:

anthony: dude (he probably didn't say "dude), we should start a company where we buy up old shitty mopeds, fix them up, and sell them.
geoff: *thinks for a bit* dude (i very likely said "dude"), that is a terrible idea. we'll never make money.
geoff and anthony: *debate followed by some napkin calculations to figure out theoretical business model*
geoff: i still don't think this is a good idea.
anthony: look, the worst thing that can happen is we buy a couple of mopeds, fix them up, and we can't sell them for a profit. then we'll have a couple of sweet mopeds.
geoff: i'm in.

and so that is how yet-to-be-named motorwerks was formed. so far we have 4 mopeds and are checking out another one tomorrow. currently we have two vespa piaggio ciaos, one vespa piaggio grande deluxe, and the crown jewel, a puch magnum xk. i've spent the last week tearing apart the grande deluxe. there has been a lot of good progress and board meetings over coffee. i'll keep everyone updated with the progress. in the meantime here are reasons, other than mopeds are awesome, that we're starting this business:

- we want to build a local community of people driving high mileage personal vehicles
- we want to teach people how to fix and maintain their bikes with periodical workshops (maintain the d.i.y. ethos). this has the potential to morph/expand into the d.i.y. workshop.
- we are both entrepreneurially minded and any business experience is good experience
- we can also sell parts from cannibalized mopeds for additional cash. actually this is the smart business, but defeats the purpose of some of the above reasons, so we'll only do this when we have to.
- we can justify road trips to buy/sell bikes and then write them off as company expenses.
- this is way more fun than an office job... although i think i'm going to start looking for barista jobs this week.

look for a spinoff blog associated with this venture soon