Turning the Truck Industry Green
Since its launch in 2009, Motiv Power Systems has grown 50x--and it isn't slowing down. Co-founder Jim Castelaz talks about the grind, hustle, and payoff of transforming gas-powered vehicles into clean tech.
FULL STORY When Jim Castelaz started Motiv, he had no money, product or experience--just a few good engineers and a great idea.
FIRING In a small business, there are some things you shouldn't delegate.
SILICON VALLEY As an automotive company, the Motiv team can occasionally feel out of place in app-obsessed Silicon Valley.
SALES You have to stay focused on your customers, their real needs, and the state of the industry.
LABELS Jim Castelaz is hesitant to apply certain labels, because, at the end of the day, Motiv sells components for trucks.
TRAVEL As a founder, you have to get used to more travel than you might want.
TRADE SHOWS Use trade shows to find out what customers are really looking for and to build relationships.
DATA Motiv's challenge now is convincing fleets that electric vehicles are a good investment over time.
DESIGN When you're customizing a product for a customer, there are a lot of pieces to keep in mind.
IMPACT As Motiv launches an electric school bus, Jim Castelaz is excited to be helping improve air quality for kids.
RETROFIT Is it better buy something new or adapt something old?
OBSTACLES There will always be people standing in your way, but you can't let them stop you.
LEAD Entrepreneurs have to wear many hats, some of which are more fun than others.
BALANCE To achieve better work/life balance, Jim Castelaz makes sure to be as focused as possible at the office.
GRIND Enthusiasm is the beginning of the sale, but you need a lot more to close a deal.
HUSTLE You have to be able to communicate your vision to everyone from engineers to investors to customers.
PAYOFF For Jim Castelaz, the payoff is in helping play a small role in tackling one of the biggest problems facing the world.