Episode #05


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Turning Inefficiency Into Sexy


Intro the Show:

Hello, this is Jimmy Rex and welcome to the Jimmy Rex show podcast where each episode I dive into the seemingly ordinary events that catapulted my guests into the extraordinary. We talk about the actions, mental frameworks and life lessons that you can use to make your life and the lives of those around you extraordinary.


For those of you who don’t have background info on me (or “For those of you who are wondering, ‘Who the heck is Jimmy Rex’, well I’m…), I’m an award winning real estate agent, entrepreneur, . I also love to make the world a better place through service and invest my time and resources in such causes like blah, blah and Operation Underground Railroad (check out episode 4 with Tim Ballard to learn about that).


Without further ado, our guest today is...


Guest Bio:


Trevor Milton is the founder and CEO of Nikola Motor Company which designs and manufactures electric components, drivetrains and vehicles including the Nikola One and Nikola Two electric semi-trucks. With it’s most recent round of funding, Nikola has reached unicorn status with a valuation of over $1Billion and over $6.5Billion in presales. Trevor is a serial entrepreneur who before Nikola, was the CEO of dHybrid Systems, LLC a natural gas storage technology company that was acquired by one of America’s largest steel providers, Worthington Industries, Inc. Trevor has an eye for innovation, market needs and product perfection. He’s also the author of several patents and has helped advance green technologies through his years of industry experience. A self proclaimed lover of electric vehicles and powertrains, Trevor and his team have created the most fuel efficient electric semi truck ever built.


In our wide ranging conversation we hit on what a 20 year old does with a million dollars, the pitfalls of rapid business growth if you’re not ready, recognizing if you’re “in the current” of an innovation and how changing something that’s inefficient or ugly into sexy can launch a billion dollar business. It takes a minute for us to get warmed up, but I can promise you you’ll walk away viewing the world differently after these 20 minutes.


Selected Links from the Episode:


Show Notes:

  • Introduction [2:11]

  • Trevor on learning the hard lessons of entrepreneurship early in his career [3:16]

  • Beating Amazon and Ebay to the first online shopping cart and the downside to rapid growth [4:19]

  • How to make money from taking something ugly and inefficient and making it sexy [5:52]

  • Business being like a river current, and when to realize you’re fighting the current or riding it to a successful outcome [6:38]

  • On the decision to retire or ride the zero-emissions wave [8:19]

  • On the beauty and design of the Nikola One [10:00]

  • The hardest part of being the most successful private launch in american history, over $6Billion in pre-orders [11:17]

  • Trevor on the obligation he feels to make Nikola successful [12:09]

  • On balancing relationships with business [13:00]

  • Surrounding yourself with unselfish people to be successful [15:45]

  • How to build a world-class team [17:45]

  • Being passionate and dedicated to something to position yourself to be in front of the next wave [19:37]

  • On loyalty, learning, risk and failure for new entrepreneurs [21:15]