Posts Tagged bramscher

Fear Less

Today's mail

I want to tell you about one of my favorite “Let’s save the planet” blogs, FearLess Revolution. That website sprang out of a place dubbed the “Fearless Cottage” in Boulder, Colorado, that was founded by Alex Bogusky, his wife Ana, and Rob Schuham.  If you’re wondering how this relates to Brammofan, well, you haven’t been paying attention.

Go back and read some of my posts tagged CP+B, which was the advertising agency (Crispin Porter + Bogusky) that Alex Bogusky (the B, obviously, in CP+B) ran.  Around the time I started blogging as Brammofan, Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher bid on eBay and “bought” 17 summer interns from CP+B. I had a great time that summer – 2009 – covering their antics, which included an attempt at making a logo for Brammo and a pretty nifty music video that included some great Brammo footage before the Enertia entered full production.

The biggest “campaign” in which CP+B participated was, without a doubt, the Shocking Barack saga.  More than just a story of two guys on Brammo Enertias traveling from Detroit to Washington, D.C. to give Obama an electric motorcycle, it became an internet phenomenon – followed by hundreds, then thousands, then… who knows how many people before it ended.

You know what?  This is not a story about Brammo or CP+B or Shocking Barack.  This is story about fearing less.

A couple weeks ago, the FearLess Revolution blog announced a little contest.  (I’m not going to get side-tracked here, but Bogusky and Brammo used to be really into contests – search for it).  It was a contest to name a new “Occupy Wall Street” themed flavor of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream.  Since I love ice cream and contests, I figured I’d give it a shot.  My entry: “OccuPie Wallnut Street – A delicious mix of walnuts, pie crust and the tears of the oppressed majority.”

After pleading on Twitter and on Facebook for my friends and followers to vote early and often, it turned out that I won!  Thrilled, I was, and especially because the prize was quite a treasure: a FearLess t-shirt.  These shirts are pretty awesome and you should go order one before they run out.   Just make sure it’s appropriate – since I have kids around here, I got the “Fear Less Love More” shirt.  (They just came out with the “Kill Less F@ck More” shirt – uncensored, which I would love, if I were a college freshman again).

Here’s where the “Fear Less” lesson comes in:  One of Bogusky’s lackeys employees sent me an email requesting my size and a mailing address.  I responded with the appropriate answers and then, PUSHED PAST MY FEAR OF ASKING FOR WHAT I WANT.  Here’s what I wrote:

I would like to request a handwritten and signed note by Alex expressing the “thanks of a grateful nation” or at least the thanks of a grateful FearLess Force, and a hand-drawn picture of a rodent or other small mammal of his choice.  I will settle for less, but I have learned to be FearLess when I make these special requests.
And here are the results:

My very cool Fear Less Love More t-shirt - a $25.00 Value!

A little closer, on that post-it:

Yep. It's a small mammal.

So… he took my request VERY literally – the damn thing is almost microscopic.  Yeah, leave it to that ol’ comedian, Alex.  Okay, so no “thanks of a grateful FearLess nation,” but I did say that I would settle for less.
The takeaway:  If your dream is to one day own an original piece of art, signed by the artist, then you’re going to have to push outside your comfort zone to get it.  I did, and now that little Post-It note is framed, hanging in my living room, right where I imagined, long ago, it would be.  You don’t believe me?
Fear Less.  Love More.  Dream Big.

Birds by Audubon, Small Burrowing Mammal by Bogusky

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Brammo and Polaris, EV Stars

From left to right: Brammo Enertia, Craig Bramscher, Polaris Ranger EV, and Brammo Encite

I’ll leave the re-printing of the press releases about Brammo’s new partnership with Polaris  and the closing of their Series B funding round to the other publications; my role in the great scheme of things is finding the little things and making a big deal of them. For instance, the picture, above.  Oh sure, it’s all warm and fuzzy with the Polaris EV Ranger with the Brammo Encite in the bed, and CEO Craig Bramscher proudly standing by, but a closer look reveals some interesting details:

1. The hidden GPS data behind this photo shows it was taken on the site of the proposed (now ‘confirmed’?) new headquarters of Brammo, on land adjacent to the existing facilities.

2.  More significant, perhaps, is the contraption mounted on the hood of the Polaris Ranger, connected to a spaghetti-jumble of electric wires.  That device appears to be some sort of data-logger, retrofitted to a standard Ranger by some zealous Brammo engineers, no doubt, looking to improve the already impressive performance of the Ranger with some Ashland hoodoo magic. Sure, go ahead and read the press releases and congratulate Brammo and Polaris as the two recipients of this year’s “match made in EV heaven” award.  I’m already expecting big things to come from the pair – electric snowmobiles, ATVs, maybe even a cross between Polaris’s own Victory brand cruisers and the Brammo electric drive train?  This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship, and as choices among investors go, Polaris is a good one, with a better than expected financial report during this generally depressed motorsports market.

3. Finally, kudos to Mr. Bramscher who’s looking much healthier and trimmer than we’ve seen him in months.  Will he get down to his fighting weight from his high school football days?   Anything is possible in this crazy mixed-up world.  Who knows, maybe Brammo will even come out with a motorcycle built for two someday.

Craig Bramscher, EV Ranger

Press releases after the break.

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Autumn in Ashland; Brammo Gets Raking

According to a Form D (Notice of Exempt Filing of Securities) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week, Brammo has secured another $5.2 million in last year’s $30 million offering of Series B funding.  See prior posts on this: Brammo News: Sounds like KA-CHING and Brammo Private Offering – Who’s Who.  Back then, the offering had $12 million in subscribers and was looking for another $17 million to round out the series.  Those figures have swapped positions as of this week, showing some progress toward closing out the funding.  Other than the change in those figures, there are no other notable changes between last year’s Form D and the current one.

Under the “Related Persons” of the form are the following individuals, listed as Directors:

Craig Bramscher, (also listed as Executive Officer), the CEO of Brammo.

Kuk Yi is a Vice President at Best Buy and is also a Managing Partner at Best Buy Capital.  Best Buy Capital, the Venture Capital arm of Best Buy, was a major part of the $10 million  Series A offering Brammo received in 2008.

Brian Wawro is the Senior Vice President of Investments at Chrysalix Energy, the other VC fund that provided a sizable chunk of Brammo’s 2008 funding.

Bruce Gilpin is the Chief Financial Officer of Brammo.

David Kurtz  – According to Sustainable Business Oregon, Kurtz is with Alpine Inc., an oil and gas investment firm out of Oklahoma.

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Brammo and TTXGP: By Our Powers Combined . . .

“Hey, you got chocolate on my peanut butter!”

“Hey, you got peanut butter on my chocolate!”

The humble beginnings of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

Remember those care free days when we strolled down the street, enjoying our jars of peanut butter?  And remember when we collided with someone enjoying their chocolate bar, only to discover that these two great tastes, combined, made something better than the sum of its parts?

Now, imagine another collision:

Craig Bramscher, CEO of Brammo, gliding silently down the street on an Empulse.

Azhar Hussain, CEO of TTXGP, riding silently down an intersecting street on his Mavizen, in full race livery.

Bam!  (They were both going slowly, so no CEOs were harmed in this imagined scenario).

“Hey, you got TTXGP on my Brammo!”

“I say old chap, you got Brammo on my TTXGP!”

The beginning of a "grand alliance" (Drawing courtesy of Brammo's new wunderkind, Greg Stoermer)

What can a Brammofan say upon hearing the news that two of his favorite companies are coming together to create something that will represent the best of both?  I’m verklempt.  Talk amongst yourselves.  And while you’re at it, read the press release, after the break.

NOT the official Empulse TTX logo.

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Brammo Tech Crunch Winner Gets His Bike

Brammo Enertia finds a new home

Remember a few weeks ago when Brammo’s CEO, Craig Bramscher, agreed with Tech Crunch editor Michael Arrington to give away a Brammo Enertia to one lucky person at Tech Crunch Disrupt 2011? Here’s the link.  The winner was a woman who made a compelling pitch about giving the bike to her son.

The bike was delivered last week:

Misha, on his new Brammo Enertia

Misha writes to Brammo:

Dear, Mr. Bramscher

Today at 4pm I received a call from the Fedex guy that I had a special package waiting for me downstairs, I immediately put on some shoes and ran downstairs! The Fedex guy was wondering what could possibly be in this package, I told him I had a Brammo Enertia motorcycle in there, he peeled away some of the cardboard and we both got a small peek of the bike. We were both amazed how beautiful the bike looked, I actually had a huge smile on my face.

As soon as we got it out of the truck I got to work on stripping off all the cardboard and getting those metal frames off, after a couple minutes it was time to sit down on the bike and unloosen the two belts holding the bike in place. After the bike was free, I put the key in the ignition and started up the bike. All my neighbors and pedestrians that were walking by on the street couldn’t help but look at the bike, and were surprised such a cool looking bike was electric. I told them it was the bike of the future. It was one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced in my life. I never thought that I’d be an owner of such a great bike. I’ll make sure to take care of this baby. Thank you guys so much for giving  me this motorcycle, I’ll never forget this day!

Sincerely,
Misha S

Congratulations on your new bike, Misha!  I hope you find the time, between riding and admiring it (while it charges) to join us over at the Brammo Owners Forum.  As for that “huge smile” on your face, I know the feeling.  Gear up. Ride it. Enjoy it.  And stay healthy, kid.

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Brammo Enertia FTW

Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher was at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC yesterday and, although he wasn’t planning on it, he ended up giving away a Brammo Enertia to someone.  Disrupt is part technology conference, part hackathon, and part Sand Hill Road-East Coast version.  Venture Capitalists rub elbows with doe-eyed computer nerds who have emerged from their mothers’ basements for the first time in weeks.  CEO’s from successful start-ups chat about what worked for them and how they’d do things different and blah blah blah.

But you’re not reading this article because you wanted to learn what Disrupt NYC is.  You want to know who got to ride this sharp-looking Brammo Enertia home:

Hold onto your wallets; Michael Arrington comes up with a crazy idea.

First, the lead up to this story.  Bramscher was on stage along with Donald Runkle, an annoyingly talkative guy who had some misconceptions about electric vehicles that Bramscher didn’t really get a chance to correct.

Arrington, backstage.

At the end of the scheduled talk, however, Michael Arrington, Editor of TechCrunch, who had been riding the Enertia around backstage (until security stopped him), decided it would be cool to give an Enertia away.  Hilarity ensues.  Short version: the crowd was allowed 10 seconds to pitch reasons why they should win it.  It was awarded to a woman whose son is thinking about enlisting with the military.  She hopes it will convince him to stay home and ride quietly up and down the streets of their neighborhood, rather than blowing things up in a foreign land.  If only there were a Brammo store next to every recruiting office . . . .

But I digress.

You’re probably wondering if the lady just saddled up and drove that Sunburnt Orange Enertia home.

Oh no.  Not THAT Enertia.

That Enertia belongs to That Guy we dredge up from time to time when it’s a slow news day and we need some time to reflect on the fact that, no matter how carefully we budget, we may never have quite enough money to build that race track behind our motorsports museum.  And isn’t it a shame that our Ariel Atom will never look exactly like That Guy’s Ariel Atom, unless, of course, we have some orange paint and a hot blond wife?

Yes, it’s the Enertia owned by Alan Wilzig, the first man East of the Mississippi to own two Brammos (the Ariel counts as #1, the Enertia, #2).  He loves them both.  He was there at the beginning.  Here’s what he wrote to me today, after I asked him how his ride to and from the conference went:

I was basically mobbed going in and coming out of the conference. 3-4 guys came over and were all over the electric vehicle thing.  They asked the typical questions — Range / speed / cost – how it handles the city ( of course I had to slip in that “café owners welcome you , chicks dig you….guys want to be you”)

Then they asked how long ago I bought it – and I finally just let my hair down and fessed up that “I am probably the 2nd person (not named Bramscher) that knew Craig was on the ‘the next big thing’ and that’s why I invested in the company.  And happy I did.

I explained how he built Jay Leno Ariel Atom #1 and I got Ariel Atom #150 — the last Brammo-made Ariel.   (they all started talking about Clarkson / Top Gear / Youtube Ariel Atom ) and how Craig was going to make an electric one and then realized bikes were ready for electric, cars, not quite yet”

So I bought into much more than the bike. I bought into the man , the vision , and the amazing team he has assembled. That’s why I’m not just an owner — I’m an investor.  RIGHT NOW is about the last chance to get in on Brammo before it’s too late to be an IPO-winner.

According to Alan, he’s going to have some sort of event at Wilzig Racing Manor on July 9-10.  Unless he manages to crash it again, chances are he’ll have his trusty Enertia with him, too, offering rides to some of the lucky folks in attendance.

As for the other lucky person, the woman who won the Enertia at Disrupt NYC, her new bike will be shipped to her from Brammo’s Ashland, Oregon headquarters.  Probably on a FedEx Ground truck.

Happy Day for Moi.

I think I know just how she’ll feel.

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Brammofan Motorcycle of the Year – 2010

Rhapsody in Blue

(Kansas City, Missouri, December 7, 2010) – Brammofan, the blog with the mission of “covering the momentum of Enertia” has announced the awardee of its coveted “Brammofan Motorcycle of the Year” award for 2010.  This year’s recipient: the 2010 Brammo Enertia.

Artist's re-creation of actual trophy.

Brammofan, a/k/a Harry Mallin, announced the award today to a packed house of media representatives and electric vehicle dignitaries attending the first annual “Brammofantasy Ball” in the spacious Shawnee Ballroom at the White Haven Motel, Overland Park, Kansas.  Holding the golden lightning bolt trophy above his head, like Zeus upon Mt. Olympus, Mallin broke the news to the surprised crowd.  “Enertia!” he bellowed.

“We were totally surprised” said one attendee.

“I am thrilled to finally share the recipient of this year’s award,” said Brammofan.  “The Brammo Enertia is already the recipient of several awards, but I’m sure the gang in Ashland has saved a special spot in the trophy case for this one.”

Craig Bramscher, Brammo CEO, was unavailable for comment, but Adrian Stewart, Brammo Director of Channel Development, who was also unavailable for comment, would likely say something British and zany, like “we’re thrilled to get this award. Bloody thrilled. It’s all part of our cunning plan to save the planet. Cheerio.”

Brammofan will be announcing other awards throughout the remaining days of 2010.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to announce the Past Tense Intransitive Verb of 2011.  ‘Thrilled,’ of course, was the winner of the PTIV for 2010 and it was put to good use in many press releases.  Many.  I don’t want to give you any useful clues for what 2011 holds, but let me state that you just might be titillated to finally hear what it will be,” said Brammofan.

Brammofan also screened the following teaser from the epic film about Brammo that he is producing in conjunction with Spielberg*.

*Izzy Spielberg. No relation.

Stay tuned for more surprising announcements coming later this month.  And yes, Bill, there will be a Brammo Babe of the Year award.

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