Play Bold: The ride to the next level

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

How do you build an electric motorcycle that can be composted but can still be an icon for the fashionable set? And why would anyone want to do that when the whole world is saying that its a crazy idea and won’t work? In this upcoming podcast of Magnus Penker with friends, Magnus interviews Taras Kravtchouk, founder of Tarform, a skyrocketing start-up covered in major magazines and newspapers like the New York Times. He is a designer, entrepreneur, a Zen philosopher, and a hardcore biker living in Brooklyn. He will transform how you see the concept of a motorcycle. This is a ride you will not forget.

Welcome to the PLAYBOALD podcast byMagnus penker in this episode the ride to the nextlevel. How do you build an electric motorcycle that can be compasted butcan still be an icon for the fashionable set, and why would anyonewant to do that when the whole world is saying that it's a crazy idea and won'twork in this upcoming podcast of macnus penker with friends, magnus interviews,terrace craucook found of taffold a skyrocketing start up covered in majormagazines and newspapers like the New York Times, he is a designerenchepreneur, a ten philosopher and a hard core biker living in Brooklyn. Hewill transform how you see the concept of a motorcycle. This is a ride. Youwill not forget good, dinning and wellcome to the nextepisode of Tabol. Tonight we have a fantastic guest with us, teras crashok.He lives in New York in Brooklyn. So a very good afternoon. New York Torres isnot just a designer he's an engineer, an technologist. He is a martial, autexpert and he is a same philosopher and he also created, and will next year,launch Tafoor the next leven of motorcycling. It's a great plessr to have you herewelcome atorus. Thank you, Mying USS, much pleasure tospeak, O ly. Why did you start taform and an an aplisit? Why did I start ofher? So I spent probably over ten years working in technology space and H,consulting everything from fortune fier companies to Napkin, sketch start upsand basically building products, so, whether it's a additial product or aphysical product and what drew me into that world isbasically creating something so going from zero to one. I think most of itcomes from my childhood of just playing in the garage and then being surroundedby multiple cultures like it was. I sort of grew up in a culture ofconstant change right, although this was Stockholm, Sweden, my parents areRussian, so I had this duality of multiple cultures. Essentially my dadwas an entrepreneur, so I grew up watching him, build companies and thendo something else. So, every three years there was something new, so itfelt kind of natural for me to keep doing things that don't exist. I movedto New York about ten years ago and after few years in a textpace, Inoticed that there's a lot of amazing concepts and a lot of groundbreakingideas and promises and Haw to change the world with using this platform thisplatform. But after a few years I realized that a lotof the intention was not aimed towards sort of the final vision of the product.So you launch something and then you got an race capital or you get acquired,and then the founders left the company and then suddenly there was nono vision.Le Theeere the product didn't make it as far as they would hope for so thatgot me interested in how. How is it that, despite all the technologicaladvances that we have today, weare not making the progress that we have tomake growing up in Sweden? Environment is something that the nordics care alot about. When you look at recycling and the use of natural materials, so Ifelt there was some sort of a disconnect between the promise thattechnology makes versus the world will live in today when it comes to justlooking at the destruction of petroleum based industries and fueling thiseconomy of F of consumerism. Essentially, so I start thinking whatis there something else that technology can be used for and how can it be usedto actually create something that is at...

...provides a value to people at it atcreates an isperation, and it gets people to think and a little bit ofdifferent context in terms of primarily the products that we use. One of mybiggest passions was intage motorcycles, so Kinda to get away from the digitalscreen. After my agency work, I went to a garageere in Brooklyn D and startedbuilding mintage bikes usually triumphs ne thousand nine htdren and sixtiesnineteen seventies, bssas and Nortons, and during the process I just fell inlove with with a machine where that you built with your hands. You know, andit's it's such a different thing than creating something in the computer.When you're working and you're welding- and you know, you're- surrounded bythis, this mechanism that has been essentially running the moderncivilization- you know the internal combussion engine and since theinvention of physics and mechanics so started learning more about that worldand then essentially the idea s. How can I combine my love for technologyand love for vintage motorcycles, ere motorcycles in general, with also sortof looking at current trends in our society and creating creating a brandthat looks at transportation from a little bit of different perspectve,instead of just going from pointain to point B, which we most of the time doon a daily basis. You know we wake up and we either use our car or bus orsubway or bicycle or walk to work or wherever wean og go. AWAK SOE obilityis obility is an entengeral part of our civilization right. We can fly all overthe world, but during the process, weave also created the bite productthat is distructed for environment which his fossil fuels and emissions.So kinda. Looking at the landscape of what's happening, I felt Thi. Here's ahere's, a good challenge to take aponwhy, not create sort of a new kindof vewacl that not only transports people, but it dasithav been a joyfulmanner. Some writing motorcycleis one of those powerful experience if you',if you've tried anything in two wheels. You know that exhilarating experienceof being exposed sitting on this thing that you know, travels sixty hundredmiles an hour and if you do it in a in clean unquient way without anyemissions. For me, it felt like the perfect, the perfect transportation andalso something that I knew I could dedicate many years of my life too,without getting tired, because that's that's essentially what I've been doingyears before so that was kind of the inception behind tarforn Magnuspenker's play pold potcast. Did it ever strack you that that you, likechanlences forces all over the world? Basically, you challent toll outte,Mostin e motorcycle industry, jus thought about that. Um! Not Really. I mean you know, working at a shop back inBrooklyn, you think of of just potential. You don't think aboutlimitations, or at least that's that's the state I was in four years ago, andso the idea was okay. If we're going to build a motorcycle, obviously it has tobe electric. We cannot use an internal compussion EGIP, but besides making anelectric, what other things can we rethink? How we build our products andh? I started looking into materials that are commonly used in theautomotive industry and realize that many of them are incredibly toxic, somost of them are using petroleum based plastics. They use nonrecyclable,aluminum or steel, a lot of virgin materials tha that require tremendousamounts of energy to produce, as well as one of the most sort of mind,blowing concepts that I get introduced to is planned up solescence, whichessentially means that most of the things around us today, specificallyVioas, are engineered to break. So when...

...engineer sits down and creates you knowany movieg mechanist, we have the tools and the technology to build things atlast, but because of the powers of our economy, it doesn't make sense tocreate a thing that less so products around as are engineered to break down,and we see this reflected everwere you buy a new car. Usually it's new carwarrants you'R round three to five years right. It's no coincidence thatthe car breaks after five years after you warrant expires o same thing onyour eye: You're, no you're, not just challenging the patrolor industry. Yousee challenging that damn the whole work shot. Part ofte, Mor e, so youthings will not break it, doesn't need any patrolum, and if I understand itright, you might be able to compose part of you weekons right, absolutelyyeah. Could you tell more about that? I mean that's even more crimsy. It couldtell more about that yeah, and this is in reality, not a new concept. A lot offurniture designers have been using this for over a hundred years. So ifyou work closely with natural materials, you understand where they come from,you understand their limitation and their potential, so the beauty ofnatural materials is add. They are natural, they come from the naturalworld, but also they require a little bit more attention than care for themto to essentially make them long lasting. So because of science, wedeveloped synthetic materials that come usually from petrolum industry andplastics are amazing, like we've built our modern civilization on plastics,but now is it time to start rethinking the way, we're making things, becausewe have enough understanding of material science that we can actuallyuse natural materials that are high performance and biobase. So we now forthe first time n you know, since in this cialization we can actually createcompeting materials that are natural. Thet can compete withpetroleum, based so being inspired by the furniture design where a lot ofnatural fibers are used to create a various sort of composite looking partssuch as guitars and chairs. The idea was well, you know, if you can make achair out of this. Why can't Sheu make a motorcycle Oso? We startedprototyping some parts on the bike and used essentially a natural fiber weavethat is made out of flagseat and T it's th, the scene that you put in yourGrinala. So what happens? Is You grind to see down and you create a cloth,looking texture or a fabric that you that you impregnate with resin and weuse a bio based, Reson and then for color. Instead of using toxic pigments,we used to Algeo rigt pigments, so the results essentially three partconstruction that is fully recyclable and fully by itgradable so that thatkindof gave us an insider cave. This is possible. BYIN wiar. Isn't everythingmade this way Yo? I are. We still perpetrating outdated industrystandards, so I mean you, you bring the art of creating a motorcycle to totallyin new level a and you created by anintersection with manymanteddisciplines. So what would you say is the main blockers I mean now you'retaking this product to the market and you've been covering your times andelsewhere. A everybody I think, would I have motorcycle from you. So what would you say? What is the main blockers for doingsomething? Tok, the new asidu Magnus penker's play bold podcast. Answeringquestions find out more at innovation. Three Sixty Com fordslash play bold.What we've encountered oer the last couple of years? I initially it's it'schanging people's perception, because there is a lot of amazing things thatare being developed in small companies...

...and factories that understand that wehave to change the way our manufactury works and we have to start embracingethical supply chains. You know responsible sourcing of materials,Natural Materis, however, most of them never really rise to the top, becausethere is no monitor incentive. Yet most companies don't spend enough money onresearch and developments in looking into alternative materials. So when wepresented our case, we a lot of sort of the big industry, guys said Od. Youknow this is not feasible in production n because it's going to be veryexpensive to you to produce. So the part is not going to last as long sothat was sort of the biggest resistance. But what gave us more motivation istalking about this to the consumer and creating it from not not a standpointwhere we say. Oh, we have to use natural materials because- and nobodyelse is doing it, but rather inspiring them and saying here's an alternative,and this is what we believe is the right thing to do, and you know ourseats is made out of pineapple leather, and then people ask what I didn't evenknow. Pineapple leather existed h exactly. You know, this is how it works.So I think the biggest the biggest thing that has to happen is for theconsumers to develop an interest and where are products and materials comefrom, so does that? Does that mean that that your letter, prolie Avegam, is atype made out of non animal product or what does it mean yeah, some of it? Sowe have a couple of different materials. One of them is a biobased letter whichis made out of eighty percent pornstarch. Another one is pineapplebase, leather and the third one. We use a natural cowhide, so there are onlytwo companies in the United States that use a natural dye for their Kay.Cowheights and CAWHEINZ is a BI product of the meat industry and there aremillions of cahines that are being thrown away. So initially we thought,let's not use animal products, but then we saw well a lot of this is beingwasted, so we might as well use it which is kind of a tricky thing becausemost people they have this new jer coreaction, like Oh, don't use leathers,you know, but in many ways leather from bi product, MEA industry, is actuallymuch more sustainable than, for example, a virgin plastic or Binal, and so I mean this this. Thisapparently lead me NTOO. You know the big topic about sustainability. So whatwhat does that mean to you? What is his daiability for you in your perception,as if, if you look at the word, sustain ability right, it's an ability tosustain something. Unfortunately, looking at the state of our world today,we can't just sustain things. We have to regenerate them, which means that we'rewe have a finite amount of resources and our concept, our modern consumerbehavior, is not based ununderstanding that we have a fine item out ofresources. We think it's infinite. We go and buy things and we don't reallythink about Ohwell. Do I really need this thing, and how long am I going touse it for so I think it's a little too late to tellthe consumer stop buying things, because it's so deeply ingrained intoour you know. Modern S posation so o we have to do is to simply create productsthat do the work for you, which means not preaching to people to be agreeingor recycle by having, as a corporation, take that responsibility and if you'rerunning a company that produces physical things, I believe it is yourresponsibility to produce products. Tha Do the least amount of environment atleast amount of harm to the environment, but even better. So how do youregenerate the environment? So for me, tostayng ability is build aproduct, build the product using honest and natural materials and build aproduct that lasts as long as possible,...

...and I think that is the core ofsustainability, because what are the products that we use for along time? Those are the products we tend to enjoy and we find themeaningful. So if you look advintage, you know Porcha oe, housand, nine, teenand Sixtie, not a lot of people. Throw that thing out, because there'ssomething there's something beautiful about that. So for us, how do we create a vehicle that is sobeautiful that you don't want to throw it away? And I think that becomes thesort of ultimate statement is sestainability Magnus penker's playbold podcast answering questions, so I know a dipenda of time, upstate NewYork in in in nature to get despired. Could you tell the audience ibit aboutwhy and and how do you use the insight from the nature to understandinnovation, design, sustainable models, because I guess you get inspired bythat yeah n during the development processof the prototyming process, I got introduced to concept of Bilimicry,which essentially means observing nature. Nature is based in annovationright, it's it's the first sort of innovator. It looks at a process andunderstands whether this process works or doesn't if it doesn't work indiscards. It- and you know fast, for a couple: O billion years we have life,forms, evolution and ultimately, humans. Humans are amazing, spieces. You knowwe're very clever with invented devices that take us out of orbit and to otherplanets, but somewhere in that process. I think we kind of lost touch withnature, and we we put too much emphasis on scientificprogress and technology. So I think if we look at sort of the timeline ofevolution of humans for the vast majority of our existence, we lived inharmony with nature, and why? Because we we were part of it. We wereobserving nature and we trying to understand you know what is thispattern of belief? How does a bird fly? How can I translate that into deviceI'm construct, but it feels in the last a hundred or two hundred years, we'vekind of devalued that there is. There is a rising trend on how we chow do wecombine our technology with biology and the field of biotech and BIOIMICR. So Ithink that that that concept is GOINGTA, lock, massive change, where we trulyunderstand what how nature works and how do we imitate those processes toessentially create to a more well adjusted balance on in oursociety? I have been told that resources thatatmit tried to simulate the elephant trank, but I haven't been able to so. I guess that we can find all kind ofinforation in modonature and to understand more yet touched upon likereading a story. How important is it to have the story and what you need tocreate a good story? I believe it's incredibly important. I mean againlooking at sort of the process that got us here. Is We pass information fromfrom person to person and we've been doing that since we were tribal and wepassed that information and knowledge through stories, because for somereason we retain stories? You know it's it's much more interesting to remember.You know, but this guy that went into the woods and then slaughtered demoncame back as opposed to memorizing facts. So stories is some sort of agenetic memory that is being passed on from from generation generation. So it's no wonder that number one industry,you know is entertainment, is essentially stories being presented invarious informants like movies and...

Theatr, and books and whatnot. I thinkthereis a lot of room for or companies to embrace that, but embrace it in amore responsible way. So marketing is a story right up until nineteen fortiesfifties there was a product and there was one prodect on the shelf wo. I wascalled SOALP. There was no branding, it was just one kind of soap. You knowpeople went and bought soap and then in the fifties, economy got interested inunderstanding what drives consumer behavior. So we started borrowingconcepts from psychology and philosophy to really understand why people buythings how to buy them and what is the relationship to the priuct? So westarted creating these marketing stories right, which is advertisingesentially, and I think today, a lot of these tools ofinfluence are being used to manipulate customers and seldom a product that wenecessarily don't need, and it's not a good product, but thes story is soappealing that we feel Oh, I must havp it rih. I must have this pair of shoes.I must have this car because the power of storys so is so powerful, but what's interesting is also looking atthe field of conscious consumers where people are actually asking the questionlike well: Where does this product come from? Who made this? What does it mean?Out of you know his this? Is this the thing I want to use. So it's it's. It'sa definitely positive trend and I think, there's just more things to do in termsof positive storytelling. Such magnus penker's play bold podcast find outmore at innovation. Three Sixty Com fordslash play bold. Would you sa that as story telling and ausing that to reach to ASS CONSUMERIis a way to beck engineer the supply chain and and really be able to launchnew Ranical innovesion as you get blocked in the traditional suppry chain? Yeah, that's a great question. Sosupply shonlogistic is an amazing thingightw. We figure out this network.How do we manufacture and distribute products all all over the world, butit's also a very complex system. So, if you look at large companies like hnmapple, their supply chains are amazing, but it doesn't mean that they'reethical, nor responsible. So when a company that size says that we wantedtocome sustainable, it is so much more difficult for them toredesign their supply chain. I hope it's gonna. You know they're going tostart embracing that, but it's just it's a massive oil tanker. That's justfloating! You know you can't change it, but if you're in a little motorboat youcan zip around in a second. So the advantage of being as start up is thatwe can design our supply chain from zero. Where we say. Ok, how do we buildthese products? In the most dustainable manner- and I spent three weeks inChina last year, visiting factories o suppliers and I saw okay, here's afactory where people work with solvents without respirators fourteen hours aday. Most of these people are going to develop resper toard disease. So Idecided look the way, they're building things over there. It just didn't feelright. You know. If we're sustainable company, we can't have people buildingour products and not being protected and breathing toxic fumes all day. Sothat's part of the decision making right, but if you already have afactory that has that it's really difficult for you to to implement thosechanges. So another driving factor is for the consumers to ask thosequestions is for the consumer to say whats my tshirt made by a seven yearold in Asia, or was it made by somebody who was being paid a fair wage is beingtreated and that company gives back to...

...the local community, and that startswith awareness. It starts again by telling the stories of, for example,what Toms did right buy a pair of shoes and then a kid in Africa gets a secondpair of shoes. People Wan TA wn feel that they're participated. Magnus penker's play old podcast findout more at innovation. Three Sixty Com forrdslash play bold. It it'sFascinatin to hear you'R reasoning around how to change. I would not sayin youcrate a new industry actually based on on ontruneed and and behaviour change. So what advice wouldyou like to give to Alder unto Pronurster who, like to you, don'tchange the world yeah there's a! I think that that concept of changing theworld comes from Sillichon Valley, right where every startup is destinedto change the world. My insight after working with so many starts N andhaving my own startis a tat. Does this thing really need to exist?And if you choose to dedicate your time and running a startup, it's a tiheconsuming endeavor right, so you're going to be spending years and years inyour life. WHAT IS THE END Goald? What a e you? What are you building at theend of this? Is it just a product that you can sell and monotize, and you knowgain monetary wealth? Fine, but I think there's a bigger challenge that we haveto embrace as a society and that vision should not be based on yourindividual needs. We have to understand. We have to makea survey. Basically of this is the things that are not working in oursociety and there is a lot there's a lot of challenges. We can address righteverything from a climate change to a poverty, racial wars. I mean all theconflicts, O th e, there's, so many things we can be working on together tocontribute to sort o. Now the greater good orwhatever you call it th socialevolution so pick that challenge and work towards it. Don't don't don'tchoose something that is you know, transient or or just not long, lastingasception, but find something that is meaningful, yeht, that's a really really greatadvice and to be make it tangible, concrete possible to ricialize andatsolve a true lead, and I I really agree it's? U Right. Now. We havepartmanly challenges and, if it Oonpiquan, maybe we can fix it thatThar is AIPOSSITIV. It has been great having you on the CalTaras and I will follow you closely and watch out all fomtaxttogether, ansureand success that will there following youfulsteps my pleasure. Thank you somuch further nd letting me share a story. Thank I o a think around o.Since I lie you, you have listened to Magnis Penka withguests and the playbold podgast go to innovation. Three sixty com,forwardslash playbold for more episodes and additional material.

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