Our Two Cents: Hagerty Media’s elevator pitches for automotive businesses?
We here at Our Two Cents like to ask questions that both challenge and enlighten our staff and our readers—at the same time. Since I have a business background, my perspective as an automotive content creator (as it were) might be a little skewed from that of your average blogger. To wit, I’ve wondered what would happen if Hagerty Media staffers applied the concepts of an elevator pitch with our collective knowledge base on all things automotive.
But I don’t want a good elevator pitch. Take this clip from CNBC’s Shark Tank as an example of what I envision:
Well, that was entertaining! Now let’s ask our team to come up with an entertaining-yet-horrible elevator pitch that includes automobiles. I’ll add my thoughts on their pitches, and I encourage you to also contribute. Because aren’t we all residents of a reservoir filled with selachimorpha while we read this article?
“Brandan’s Auto Vacations”
“Instead of placing your beloved collector car into a cold, dark, lonely hibernation this winter, let Brandan’s Drive Cool Cars for Free Scheme Auto Vacations whisk your car away to sunny Los Angeles, California, where, for an affordable monthly fee, your car can visit the beach, drive windy canyon roads, and generally live its best life.
“There are no opportunistic rodents (except for me), and no freezing temperatures or lengthy periods of stagnation that can take their toll on the hoses, gaskets, and seals that keep your car running right. Brandan’s Auto Vacations is not responsible for butt grooves in the upholstery, or tire wear.”
My take: The doggy-day-care business model has some relevance here, so I wish to both invest and become a C-level executive in this venture. Looks like a fun opportunity to get myself a sweet ride when I land at LAX. Since I’m no lawyer, what could possibly go wrong?
“The Curated Corvettier”
Managing editor Stefan Lombard’s plan for The Curated Corvettier aims to change what’s already been done elsewhere with newfound success. His plan includes “a haberdashery for Corvette owners that sells a full line of polo shirts, regional club raffle graphic Ts, crossed-flag windbreakers, and other wonderful, Corvette-themed accessories.”
My take: I admire the passion and product offerings, and the regional club swag is a cool idea to curate for a larger audience. But I’m gonna politely decline. Google shopping, social media (namely Facebook Groups/Marketplace) and the traditional catalogs already have this business plan covered. I’d put my investment dollars elsewhere, maybe in those awful T-shirt companies that use personal data on Facebook?
“The EV Jerrycan”
Community coordinator Eugene Leeds came up with The Jerrycan. (Nope, not the actual thing.) The concept is simple: He will drive around in a lifted Ford F-350 with a diesel generator helping EV owners that ran out of charge. Perhaps he will follow the tried-and-true Silicon Valley mantra of making the app free, then add a ton of fees once the service is actually needed. Put another way: “Every time you spot a dead EV on the side of the road (which is all the time, ammirite?) you offer to charge their car for a flat fee of $200.”
My take: This elevator pitch has universal appeal, for both stranded EV owners in need and for EV detractors looking for a good time. I would like to read your business plan, especially if you can tow a diesel generator with an F-150 Lightning for maximum irony. More to the point, shut up and take my money, Eugene!
“Accelerated Storage Solutions”
Editor Kyle Smith plans to offer “accelerated storage” to would-be customers. As he puts it:
“A 10-year stored car is not a cool story, but a 40-year stored car that you found is a wicked story! My business proposal is I will pick up your car from your home and store it somewhere–but I won’t tell you where. You will get your own barn find where you won’t pay the premium for the valuable dust and crusty coverings, because you already own it. For an additional fee I will give hints or extra age the car by using a dirty location like a farm or log cabin. Flat tires are always free at Accelerated Storage Solutions, too!”
My take: everyone loves to use the term “barn find” for any vehicle that’s been sitting around for several years. I think Kyle’s business expertly capitalizes on this popularity, so I am down to invest. We all want it, now we can have it without even needing a barn!
Our associate managing editor, Grace Houghton, would like to remind us all that “no one in their right mind would use a smart phone without a case, so why would you put your nearly-as-smart car at risk?” Her company, CarCase, has a “line of low-profile automotive shields that are lab-proven to improve upon factory crash protection*, shield from scratches, heighten water resistance** and increases the safety of vehicle occupants***.”
CarCase offers: “3D-printed, clip-on segments for the bumpers, hood, and roof that work seamlessly with transparent, smudge-resistant panels laser-cut to match the factory windows of your vehicle. Our industry-first ThinSkin panels are available in satin, matte, or high-gloss finishes. A clear option is available, should you eschew our rainbow of colored resins.”
** full submergence voids warranty
***not yet tested with human drivers; we assume the robots’ loss of power was related to electromagnetic interference from early CarCase prototypes that support solar charging (on EV models only).
My take: This is a clever and enticing elevator pitch. That said, get back to me when the patent gets approved, Grace. Until then, I am out.
“Cam’s Vermin Service”
“Imagine, only being able to use your record player, French press, or other antiquated analog devices when the weather is favorable. Rather than parking your car to avoid salt, I encourage you to use Cam’s Vermin Service. With CVS, Northerners can use their car in the winter. Basically, I release a bag of squirrels, chipmunks, and rabbits in your garage. The furry friends surround the rolling salt lick and remove any unwanted brine. Unlike power washers, they are able to wiggle between the undercarriage crevasses.
“As an added benefit, some of the chipmunks will likely stay in your car, cleaning out unwanted insulation which they will neatly pile on your air cleaner. Now you can actually hear your exhaust from the driver’s seat. When you roll out your ride for the next go in the snow, it’ll be clean and louder than ever!”
My take: This is so silly I must throw money at it … just to see what happens!
Dani Brewer, our advertising operations coordinator, has a great way to deal with back-seat drivers, and it has the perfect name for it:
“I present you with the opportunity to invest in Passenger. This is a state-of-the-art VR headset that connects directly with your phone’s navigation app. Driving with a friend or relative who needs to take a deep breath? Passenger provides them with a view of the road without an opportunity to judge your driving. It even comes with its very own reusable barf bag for our pals who are a bit more prone to motion sickness. WARNING: The Passenger Company cannot be held liable for any damage to the interior of your vehicle. Do not use Passenger while driving.”
Cameron Neveu is back again, as this question truly piqued his interest:
“Does the thought of riding with an acquaintance induce crippling anxiety? Are you prone to durations of awkward silence or do you often select inappropriate conversation topics?
“With Non-Playable Character, we commission a car to follow you to your destination. Lull in the convo? Just press the red button wired to your dash and NPC springs into action. The trail car will pass you to reveal a mix of conversation starters on their back hatch. From a confusing vanity plate to a tasteless bumper sticker, you’ll be talking about that car in front of you for hours.
“For an additional charge, the NPC driver will cut you off allowing you to complain about the area’s drivers. There’s no shortage in conversation fodder with NPC.”
My take: Now he’s just trolling me for asking this question in our chat room. You know, in a good way.
Our Special Projects Editor, Steven Cole Smith, has a hot take on a food delivery services currently infesting sweeping across the world.
“Two years ago, I began my journey as a Door Dash driver. Now I am a Door Dash owner! Which means I am current on my payments on a 2001 Chevrolet Impala. I have a lot of time to think, and consequently sometimes do, and what I think about is this: How can I better utilize my corporate chariot?
“I look over and see one seat up front, three seats in back EMPTY! I think of all the people in the world, and specifically in my hometown of Amarillo, Texas, who are in a bind. They have NO PLACE to go, and NO WAY to get there! And I have four empty seats! So I call myself a Door-to-Door Dash driver, a name my principal investor (my fiancé Ismelda) especially likes.”
“Transport prisoners? Sure! Stock up on Taco Bell and have them sell it out the side window? Yes, please! I envision a squad of Door-to-Door Dash drivers across greater Amarillo that I will own soon, and I can trade up to the redesigned 2006 Impala.”
My take: Clearly, we saved the best elevator pitch for last. A gig-economy app like Uber with the ability to multitask between taxi services for food and humans? Right now that’s lacking, as you pick either/or within the Uber app. There’s probably a good reason for the disconnect, along the lines of stress management for the employee contractor…but no matter, Steven Cole Smith gets all the venture capital he so desires … Will he now lease a 5-year-old McLaren to celebrate his newfound tech-bro credentials?
Perhaps I’ve gone too far with this question. Did I go from silly to downright stupid, or was this still worth reading? You tell me, as perhaps maybe you can guide future installments of Our Two Cents.