Monday, March 22, 2010

Welcome to the Wonderful World of WikiSpeed! This project truly has taken on a life of its own. Let me explain.

My brother, Joe Justice, is just an average Joe. He has a lovely wife, two cats, a great job doing techy stuff. 

But there is another side to Joe that we, his family, knew about . . . but tried to ignore. Joe loves SPEED. In college he bought a civic, then a different civic, then a del sol, with which he did super shifty things on the way from Laramie, Wyoming, to Boulder, Colorado, for Kung Fu class. On his honeymoon, he rented high-performance cars just to see how they would handle on the winding roads of Oahu. When visiting his wife's family in Japan, he scheduled a side trip to the Honda manufacturing lines for the NSX and insight, to take pictures of suspensions, and to eat in their gourmet restaurants.

I kid you not. He loves this stuff.

So in 2006 Joe decided to build a high-performance car for under $17,000 in his garage.

Then it happened . . .

He heard about the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, a competition to create a 100mpg car for mass production. As he reviewed the criteria, the pieces began to fall in line.
  1. His existing design met the preliminary criteria.
  2. His agile programing skills could be put to use here. He could evaluate and change the design at regular intervals to meet competition deadlines and performance criteria.
  3. With a background in lean/agile project management and modular engineering, he could split the big work into smaller tasks and have volunteers all over the country (and a few abroad) work on pieces of the big picture.
  4. The prize money was nothing to sneeze at.
  5. His family are green freaks! (His mom and step-dad raise worms, for Pete's sake!)
    And so the process began, in secret, in his garage. 

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