Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we’re talking with CEO and co-founder David Brim from Tomcar, the car manufacturer that accepts payments in Bitcoin.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
Tomcar Australia manufactures the world’s best all-terrain vehicle. It can go where no other car can, it’s that simple. So it’s absolutely perfect for industries that need a robust machine which will survive and thrive in wild conditions. Tomcar was originally developed by the military, and while we still serve that market, its unique design also makes it ideal for rural, mining, emergency services and recreation applications.
Our market approach is also juxtaposed to the legacy auto industry. We sell direct on-line. We don’t use dealers, and we don’t use traditional advertising. We know that most of the ways traditional car manufacturers go to market are outdated, so we generally use it as a model of what not to do.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
We are bootstrappers by nature. So we prefer to invest our capital in building an amazing product and letting the word spread organically. We are self-funded which means we can take a long term approach to our business. Our main method of growing is via product demonstrations, because it is the best in its class by a long way. We like to say that before you drive a Tomcar no explanation is possible, and after your drive one, no explanation is needed. Every customer we have becomes a brand evangelist.
What’s the biggest challenge facing your business?
Our core challenge is infiltrating the market in a product category which has slow purchase cycles. But it’s something which can be done when you’re self-funded.
How do your differentiate your business from your competitors?
The best way to differentiate yourself from your competitors is not to have any. In its pure product form Tomcar is unique. We know this means our advantage is sustainable in the long term.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
Google Drive. Our entire supply chain management system is based on the cloud. It enables us to bootstrap a complex multi-supplier business at a cost which is economical, nimble and mobile. We know this gives us a massive operation advantage as all our data is housed in a modern system.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
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