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Rich Kronfeld

No thanks, Mark

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My consultants, friends and other marketing experts tell me I HAVE to use Facebook. In this age of social marketing, social networking, that Facebook is mandatory, (as is Amazon). Thanks, but no thanks.

Facebook is clearly subverting responsibility for profit. Facebook makes money off advertising, which is no big deal, every publication does it. However Facebook will take money from organizations that have nothing but malicious intent. You don’t see lots of ads for white supremacists in Better Homes & Gardens. But with the way Facebook and other social networking platforms work, all kinds of bad actors can place ads that target very specific kinds of people. And the old, venerable newspaper and magazine just can’t do that.

I can’t in good conscience pay a company that, in my opinion is helping people attack our way of life. It’s one thing to just be on Facebook, (I’m considering leaving all together) and spend any ad dollars, it’s another to be a Facebook customer.

How?

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As we gaze in horror yet again at what happens to black people in America, we ask ourselves; “How soon till this happens again? When will it finally stop? What can we do to stop it? How do we stop it?” The brilliant Steven Covey said that we may know that we have to do and what we have to do, but not how to do it. And that is the hardest part.

The American myth of “pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps” is just that – a myth. I know from my own experience that it is extremely difficult to make significant progress in your career without any outsider help, connections, contacts. I was born white, middle class, Jewish, well educated and still I have had a difficult time finding investors for Kronfeld Motors. I cannot begin to imagine how hard it must be for low income African Americans to get into good schools, good jobs, good careers, or launching their own businesses. I can’t stand the phrase “It takes a village”, but it’s true.

Throughout my life I have seen friends succeed and become “made” men and women because of the good work they did and equally if not more importantly the associations that they had. Does anyone honestly believe George W. Bush became president because of how smart and gifted he was? Or Donald Trump? No, it was because of what they were born into. FDR and JFK for that matter, presidents we all can admire were born to wealth and privilege.

And it’s not just politics; Elizabeth Holmes, of Theranos, who cheated investors out of $100’s of millions was born rich, white, pretty, well connected. There is simply no way she could have sold her “better than Star Trek technology”, (thanks Thunderfoot), idea if she were born middle class, poor, black, etc. It was because of her family’s connections to wealth and power. She went to Stanford, but she obviously was better suited for community college and it’s where she would have been if not for what she was born into. Not that there’s anything wrong with community college.

We see over and over again examples of incompetent people being awarded golden parachutes for terrible performance, (Target, Boeing). This blatant truth is part of the fuel for the riots and protests; it’s not just about George Floyd, or police brutality; it’s continued and increasing BS. The lie that so many of the people at the “top” are really that bright, gifted, smarter than me and you – no, they were just born very white and very rich and we all know it.

No, no one is an island. No one is 100% responsible for great successes and achievements. Sure there are those that start from nothing and rise to serious leadership roles, (this is what gets me about political conservatives that love the “pulled myself up by my own bootstraps” myth – the last several Republican presidents were born to great connections and privilege Bush, Trump; while the last several Democrats were not – Obama, Clinton – okay, okay – yes Reagan wasn’t either) but the vast majority of successful people had some kind of help.

So back to the “How”. How do we solve the problems of inequity when so much of it boils down to what you were born into and the connections you have? This has to be one of the most challenging human questions of all time. And we can’t just throw money at it. The only thing I can think of right now as I hurriedly write this is that we all have to do something in our own lives. Hire an African American, shop at a black owned store or service, volunteer at organizations that help minorities. Just do something positive without waiting for someone else, or the government to do it.

The Fossil Fuel Industry: Total Disaster As Business Model

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It’s estimated that deaths from car pollution exceed 33,000 per year, (Union of Concerned Scientists). Now that we have become more aware of deaths, damage to the economy and overall harm to our country due to viruses as well as other contagious diseases, it’s time to include the actual, real pain that fossil fuel inflicts. From supporting totalitarian, oppressive regimes in the Middle East, to causing asthma in your children from the school bus they ride on, there is nothing, nothing good that comes from fossil fuels.

Think about it; all along the fossil fuel process, damage is left in its wake. The extraction process physically harms the immediate environment whether it’s being drilled out, or worse; ever hear of “mountain top removal?” Whichever process is employed to get at the oil, the infrastructure needed at the site adds greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Once extracted, the crude product has to be transported by truck, train and ship to refineries, which adds yet more CO2 to the atmosphere. Then, the refined product has to again be transported by trucks to gas stations, adding even more CO2. Fossil fuel companies enjoy special treatment from the federal government; incentives, tax breaks, policy maneuvers protecting them from competition, insulating their profit and planet damaging business model. And like the days of denial by politicians and tobacco executives about the death caused by their products, currently politicians and oil executives are pushing the exact same lies about fossil fuels; “It’s not that bad and think about the jobs it creates.”

Direct planetary damage, or “atmosphere as dumpster” as my friend and climate change hero Paul Douglas likes to say is just one hugely terrible part of fossil fuel’s “total disaster as business model”. The oil industry props up middle eastern autocrats, “petro-dictators” are able to rule absolutely mostly because of the unbelievable amount of wealth their kingdoms have amassed from oil. Additionally, in those countries that rely so heavily on one singular industry, (namely oil), creativity in other industries is stifled. The one “super industry” rules all else and smart, creative people organize around that one thing to the detriment of other business models, as well as artistic expression. Politics shift to accommodate the super industry; it gets all and whatever it wants, becoming so closely tied with business that democratic leadership of any kind is impossible. We’ve seen this here in the US, in cities that become super centers of one company, or one kind of company. Sure they provide jobs, but once that super company leaves, or goes out of business, the town is left hollowed out, destroyed. Vendors that rely too heavily on one, gigantic customer always put themselves at risk because once that sole customer finds a better deal, or goes out of business, the vendor is toast. Happens all the time.

Of course we don’t have exact numbers on how many people have been killed by petro dictatorships and oil companies, but it is very safe to say that they have caused immeasurable pain, suffering and death; just like the tobacco companies did and still do. The only way human civilization can move into a brighter future, or a future at all is to run away as fast as possible from fossil fuel.

Can human ingenuity beat a piece of self replicating RNA?

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As I sit down to watch movies with my family several nights a week now due to COVID stay at home, it strikes me that there will be many books, movies, songs that will emerge from this global emergency. When you take a moment to think about how much art has been created out of past desperate moments in our culture’s history; WWI, WWII, Vietnam, Cold War, Civil War, slavery, Great Depression, etc, you see the enormous effect that trying times have on people. Artistic creativity seems to flourish in us as we face anxiety. People need to express how they feel, it’s a deep human need to be understood.

Creativity also in a business sense expands during tough times. We invent solutions to the problems we face; countries build new, more powerful weapons when faced with the existential threat of war, indeed what we consider America’s greatest achievement – the Apollo program was a product of Cold War competition. And most business ideas start with some sort of problem solving need/desire on the part of the inventor.

As an inventor, I’ve had a few preliminary ideas and have seen several other inventor’s ideas in response to the pandemic. The amount of time, focus and work being invested into Sars-CoV2 research and care must be in the millions, perhaps billions of human-hours by now. With billions of people around the world focusing on this one, serious threat, who knows how many ideas will spring from this terrible moment. We all have to take a moment and think about the professionals working long, lonely hours combating Sars-CoV2 as health care workers on the front lines and researchers in labs and be confident that human ingenuity will triumph over a self-replicating strand of RNA.

Back to the Future Past

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In 2017, when this website was created and when I had just returned from the incredibly wonderful NMotion startup accelerator in Lincoln, Nebraska, things were going in a positive direction for my company, Kronfeld Motors. I had 25 reservations from 25 wonderful people who put down payments to reserve a vehicle. In addition to the reservations,  we had generated some great press and we had been recently featured on a TV series spotlighting cool, exotic new vehicles called Tech Toys 360, (on Netflix, I think we’re in episode #6); the show did an awesome job making the Raht look like an exotic supercar from the future, instead of the functional yet unrefined first prototype that it is.

That was then, this is after then. I owe all of the great people who fell in love with the Raht and followed me an explanation for my long silence.

Starting in the fall of 2017, numerous calamitous events befell my family. My dad was helping me load the Raht off of a trailer when a makeshift ramp I had stupidly placed at the edge, was not strong enough and broke. The rear of the Raht fell off the ramp and took my 87 year old dad with it. He had to go to the hospital. Thank God he was not seriously injured. However later that year, he became very ill, as did my mom and she began a horrible, torturous experience in the hospital which ended with her death in 2018.

In addition to these unhappy turn of events, when it came to the company and the Raht, there was something strange happening. In order to get the Raht into development for production, we had to raise money. A lot of money. To do this, required some creativity on my part, since I do not have friends in high places. Oh, sure I made pitches to investor groups and applied to a few funding sources/platforms, but I also tried making contacts, cold calling, emailing, snail mailing to people that might have had an interest in the Raht.

Now, I have been a show business entrepreneur most of my life. I’ve been very fortunate to work with really talented, good people who were also entrepreneurial in show business. We struggled, had some success, some failures, but eventually made progress overall. My experience with attempting to promote and find funding for Kronfeld Motors was unlike anything I’d ever encountered. Not only was I completely unsuccessful in finding anyone to help me fund the company, curious episodes would happen where someone I had reached out to was suddenly, inexplicably offended and people I had hired to help me in this regard were incompetent to the point of harming the company. In addition, I found myself making really stupid mistakes which led to more missed opportunities with potential contacts.

And work on the prototype fared no better. Ryan Anderson, my friend and lead engineer had re arranged his work situation, so he could work on the vehicle with me. In session after session, we would run into cascading electronic failures. Also a number of batteries in the vehicle failed and we did manage to successfully replace them, but progress on our control system was not to be had. Ryan, who has a beautiful, young family had to go back full time and use his engineering skills and great work ethic somewhere he could actually make money.

Finally, last year, I had no choice but to shudder the company. After thousands of dollars and hours into my dream as well as the dream of the people who helped me and all the supporters, I had to end it all and drive the Raht off a cliff, jumping out just in time and watch it explode into a fireball. No, wait, that was Bullitt, or maybe Star Trek 2009. Sorry.

Anyway, I’ve gone on too long and bored you to tears; TLDR. Now that we are all in an upside down world, I will sink a little time into looking for an investor again. Lots of great companies started in really bad economic times. A little company you might have heard of named Disney started in 1929, right at the beginning of the Great Depression. So who knows.

Thank you.

-R

Moving to a new location

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W hen it is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar. The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen. She packed her seven versalia, put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way. When she reached the first hills of the Italic Mountains, she had a last view back on the skyline of her hometown Bookmarksgrove, the headline of Alphabet Village and the subline of her own road, the Line Lane.

“Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. ”

Mr. NectarThemeNectar

but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen. She packed her seven versalia, put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way. When she reached the first hills of the Italic Mountains, she had a last view back on the skyline of her hometown Bookmarksgrove, the headline of Alphabet Village and the subline of her own road, the Line Lane. Pityful a rethoric question ran over her cheek, then.

Our Role In The Market

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Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen. She packed her seven versalia, put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way. When she reached the first hills of the Italic Mountains, she had a last view back on the skyline of her hometown Bookmarksgrove, the headline of Alphabet Village and the subline of her own road, the Line Lane. Pityful a rethoric question ran over her cheek, then she continued her way. On her way she met a copy. The copy warned the Little Blind Text.

put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way. When she reached the first hills of the Italic Mountains, she had a last view back on the skyline of her hometown Bookmarksgrove, the headline of Alphabet Village and the subline of her own road, the Line Lane. Pityful a rethoric question ran over her cheek, then she continued her way. On her way she met a copy. The copy warned the Little Blind Text.

Busy People Working

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A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar.

Checking out the cave

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S eparated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar. The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen. She packed her seven versalia, put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way. l using her.Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia.

Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar. The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen.