(That’s not a typo, by the way.)
December 28, 2017. Josh Mead, co-founder of Adventure Driven Design, becomes the first person interviewed for The Gearhead Project. The plan was simple. I wanted to find out more about how he and Adam went from being a couple Mitsubishi Montero-loving gearheads to gearhead entrepreneurs.
Did the idea just come to them? When? Where? How?
Did they take action immediately or take their time? Why?
Did they even take the idea seriously the first time?
I sat down on Josh’s couch wanting to discover some nugget of wisdom I could share that might make a difference in your life.
Yes, you. YOUR life.
The person reading this right now.
Gearbox Magazine is YOUR magazine and we want to help YOU succeed.
Being a gearhead has 100% guaranteed changed my life for the better. I’m pretty sure Josh can say the same thing. Through The Gearhead Project, we’ll be interviewing others who can say likewise. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re a gearhead like us.
GEARHEADS LIKE US
Originally, Gearbox Magazine was all about cool cars and the people who owned them. In the eight years since, I’ve come to find the people who own them are far more interesting.
Josh is no exception. In fact, by the end of our conversation, I realized we’d basically reshaped the future of Gearbox Magazine! We got personal, and that led me to FINALLY figure out our personas.
Personas are like avatars, highly visualized examples of the people you most want to serve with your business. (See. Told you it wasn’t a typo.)
Here’s who will get the most from GBXM moving forward:
1. GEARHEAD ENTREPRENEURS
You’re tired of punching a time clock and building someone else’s dream. It’s your turn. If you haven’t already started your own thing, you’re thinking about it.
It feels a lot like the early days, way back when you first got started playing with cars. You knew if you globbed up you’d be bumming rides until payday. This is just as important. Maybe even moreso.
And because you actually learned a few life lessons from your time under the hood, you know you don’t just start throwing parts at a vehicle without a plan. So where do you start? What do you do next?
Congratulations. You are our #1. Our ideal customer profile. And starting this year, we’re pulling out all the stops to help you succeed. Because we’re trying to do the same thing.
2. ALL AROUND GEARHEADS
You don’t know about all that start-a-business stuff, but you sure as hell love catching up on interesting people and projects. Maybe moreso the projects if we’re honest. (No harm in that!)
You like reading about new models from time to time—and seeing how gearheads like us improve them. From race cars to rock crawlers, you like to keep up with all of it, because you know good ideas come from seeing how OEMs and owners improve their vehicles.
And you’re in luck, because we are OFFICIALLY partnered with The Auto Reporter—a female- and veteran-owned startup publication about our size dedicated to reporting on all things automotive in the PNW. We’re going to be publishing on BOTH sites this year, so get ready.
3. NEXT GENERATION GEARHEADS
Like both of the above, you love all things automotive AND want more from life—but you don’t know a whole hell of a lot about working on cars. They’re still more than a bit intimidating.
You want to learn how to modify your machine because you want to modify your life. So where do you start? Facebook has all but killed the discussion forum, and those that remain tend to be corporate af.
You want the freedom that comes from knowing how to fix your own shit. Maybe you need it, too. A lot of us started out because we couldn’t afford a major repair.
What you need is a mentor, someone you can trust to shoot you straight. Well you’re in luck, pardner, because you round out our top three.
Subscribe, and reply to any email you get from us with your rookie questions. We’ll get you answers.
[ Note: Just do us a kindness and keep things higher level? We want to publish those answers to help as many people as possible. Much as we’d love to help you troubleshoot the stalling issue on your barn-find, 2003 Mitsubishi Galant with 280,000 miles, that’s better served by a forum somewhere. ]
THE FUTURE OF GEARBOX MAGAZINE
It starts with a good look back at the past. I’ve kept in touch with a lot of the people interviewed over the years. A big part of our content strategy revolves around going back through the crates and rerunning some of our favorite stories.
To the OGs who will likely spot the reruns immediately, you have my word we’re going through them first. I have been consistently amazed how often I see typos and errors in my old work. Wherever possible, the reruns will feature improved images, cleaned up copy, and additional context explaining WHY these pieces are coming back to the front page.
To our new brothers- and sisters-in-arms, you’ll know the reruns by the “originally published” details at the beginning. And again, we’re going to be clear about why these stories and conversations were deemed worth your time. We hope you’ll give us a like, a share, or a comment once in a while.
TRUE TO YOUR ROOTS
Some of the people we’ve interviewed over the years, like Josh, have radically changed their lives by using their automotive skills, experiences, and connections to go into business for themselves.
10 years ago, he was a DSMer in Michigan looking for a 4WD beater to drive in the snow and salt. Now he runs an Arizona-based Montero off-road adventure supplier.
Times change. People change. You gotta stay true to your roots.
Gearbox Magazine has always stood for the enthusiast owner. And we haven’t been as good about communicating that as we’d like. Yes, we want to help you build high performance machines—but we also want to help you build high performance lives.
Spending a little time with Josh reflecting on the road that got him where he is today helped me discover Gearbox Magazine’s true calling. Over eight. Years. Later.
Confucius said, “It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.”
We’ve been spinning our wheels for too long. It’s time we put our collective power to the ground.
Do us a kindness and pick up the free subscription, because shit is about to get real.
Go fast with class. Press on regardless.
Gearheads (like us) always do.