Jay Giraud: A Trailblazer Redefining Mobility with Disruptive Solutions

Jay Giraud

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Today’s leaders face incredible challenges and seemingly invincible obstacles day in and day out. They are often filled with an obsession to accomplish something big and important to fulfill their dreams and become the best in the business. However, these big dreams are accompanied by bigger hurdles, requiring even more skill and determination to move forward. Thus, the ability to persevere when the tide is not in your favor and to do it over a long period, viz. perseverance—is the major differentiating factor that separates good leaders and great leaders.

I used to always say ‘attitude is everything,’ and it is. But I’ve learned to rank perseverance and grit above all other skills and talents in life,” quotes Jay Giraud (Founder and CEO of Damon Motors Inc.)

Jay is an automotive tech entrepreneur focusing on launching companies that redefine mobility. As the founder, inventor, and CEO of three automotive tech startups, Jay has built successful products and companies by allying disruptive solutions with disruptive business models. With high-performing teams, his startups have found success leveraging dozens of Fortune 500 partnerships and created a whopping market value to date. Alongside being a successful entrepreneur, Jay is a seasoned speaker, author of multiple awarded patents, and a professional snowboarder as well.

Optimizing Personal Experiences

Jay affirms that his greatest lessons and inspirations came from personal experiences. He was working in a bar when the US attacked Baghdad, which inspired him to find a way to rid the world of its dependence on oil. A decade later, Jay was in Indonesia—where he was taken aback by the country’s dependence on two-wheeled transportation and was inspired to create a safer and cleaner alternative for motorcycles. He believes that these two experiences laid the foundation for Damon Motors.

“Motorcycle of the Future”

Damon Motors was established in 2017 with a mission to create the world’s smartest, safest, and fully-connected motorcycle. Putting together a world-class team, the company is on the way to delivering its mission.

HyperSport—the signature motorcycle developed by Damon Motors is presently one of the leading motorcycles in its segment. Alongside record-breaking power, range, and speed, the HyperSport motorcycles offer proprietary and unparalleled features including CoPilot™—Damon’s 360-degree collision warning system, Shift™—which transforms the riding position between sport and commuter mode with the push of a button, and HyperDrive™—the world’s first 100 percent electric, multi-variant powertrain platform.

Blending the Assets

In every company, there are many parallel efforts in motion such as product design, brand design, sales, marketing, social media, operations, etc. Much like conducting a world-class orchestra, the magic of exceptional product-market fit happens when these parallel efforts are tightly interwoven and synchronized,” asserts Jay. He believes that it is the CEO’s job to make this happen, while at the same time packaging all the details into a concise, easy-to-understand narrative that falls from a crisp and exciting vision for the future for investors to understand and fall in love with.

Decision Making and Commitment

Jay mentions that there were several instances when Damon had to make decisions and commit to things that seemed invincible. For instance, the company committed to attending CES 2020 even though it was expected to be out of money a month before the event. Moreover, it had no idea how to get its team and the prototype 2000 km’s to Las Vegas.

But it’s always in making the commitment itself that somehow sets invisible things in motion that causes the resources you need to show up so you can fulfill on that commitment,” says Jay.

On the first morning of the event at CES, Damon’s team was still pushing the e-commerce website live from the Wi-Fi on the trade show floor. However, by the end of the day, the company had taken orders for 10 HyperSports and its innovation was written up in several dozen articles. “Magic happens when you just commit,” continues Jay.

Combating the Odds

Damon launched in January 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The company made an immediate impact and had considerable momentum, selling out its first series of HyperSports in four days. However, the economic downturn caused due to the pandemic confronted the company with several challenges. In the wake of the pandemic, it had to find a way to keep the momentum going, keep the demand and interest up, and stay on schedule to bring its motorcycles to market.

As it looks like we are now turning a corner with the pandemic, we are cautiously optimistic that the worst is behind us,” adds Jay. The pandemic also presented several challenges for leaders across industries. Being a leader, if a major effort is falling behind schedule, one has to find ways to keep the dream alive, the energy high, and still make the results of one effort line up with another.

In his journey as a successful entrepreneur, Jay learned the importance of slowing down with an executive team the hard way. This was highlighted during the pandemic as Damon faced some difficult cost-cutting decisions and had to make it all work to be where it is today. Jay affirms, “It’s super tough, but there’s nothing else like it.

The Man-Machine Fusion

In 2021, Damon is excited to demonstrate what the fusion of man and machine can do for motorcycling. The company is taking the sport and utility of two-wheel transportation to a whole new level that is smarter, safer, and more exciting than ever before.

Read full issue: The Top 10 Perseverant Entrepreneurs 2021

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