25 Jim Jacoby BODY 3 Greetings one and all, a very warm welcome thank you for tuning in to this episode where I am thrilled to be welcoming the wondrous Jim Jacoby – who as you will discover is really pushing the boundaries of creativity, craftsmanship and business.

Meet Jim Jacoby, co-founder of Bienville Legacy Motorcycles. His company have built the most powerful luxury motorcycle in the WORLD that comes with the a price tag of $350k. This bike is quite literally a work of art, fusing master craftsmanship and engineering genius.

But as you will discover, the journey, the craft and the act of creation is where and and how the true value is being discovered and extracted.

Jim has an incredible story too. He spent the first decade of his career building a world class design and user-experience agency that was valued at over $40m. But he got sick of it all, and started to question the ‘why’ in everything. In an act of inner defiance, he left the company HE had spent so long building and decided to risk everything he had, throwing every penny in to the founding of a project that focused on ART and CRAFTSMANSHIP first. The ‘Bienville Legacy’ was born.

Jim is an incredible special human being. A creative mastermind with a wonderful brain and a relentless drive to create. We spoke about

  • How Roald Dahl has influenced his life
  • His views on making money, and the single most important decision he ever made
  • The nonsense of a trickle down economy
  • How to overcome the flaw of wanting to be liked
  • Redefining entrepreneurship
  • Investing in human beings, not in companies
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  • I’m voraciously curious about what people are capable of
  • Creativity is the synthesis of different discoveries
  • Creativity in business itself, is the last frontier for value. We’ve been through decades of efficiency, (especially in manufacturing models which most companies are still following), and then accuracy, and now maybe just touching on the beginnings of things like resilience; but that’s really where creativity and flexibility in a business starts to become really important.
  • If all you make is money, you make is nothing at all
  • Risk is what let’s you know you’re alive
  • Wherever you’re walking the edges, is where magic is going to happen
  • I can’t rely on a corporation to pay my pay check
  • I always try to ask: How do you put humanity back into business?
  • What you make makes you
  • We are apart from, and a part of everything all at once
  • The best thing that can happen to a man is to lose everything at the top of his game
  • Welcome to entrepreneurship, it’s like chewing glass and staring into the Abyss
  • It’s not about how dangerous a thing you’ve taken on personally, it’s how much you’ve unleashed someone to become what they could be
  • Isn’t it unfortunate how uncurious the rich are
  • Where are you going to get people more creative and industrious than those who live on a dollar a day!?
  • “ Design is Not pretty, it is a process. It is an everyday act of thinking and living. It is problem solving, and it’s core to what makes us human”
  • I believe that user centered designers have more of an impact on the human condition than any other profession”
  • I want to find ways to put Humanity back into business, find deeper value through exploration of meaning and find ways to reconnect with meaning
  • The most terrifying thing you can do to start is to look inside yourself
  • Why you can’t not do what you’re going to do next is what’s most important
  • We have to infect communities with a hunger for meaning
  • Happiness is not your outcome, happiness is a wonderful moment – but it’s not your goal. Your goal is to produce.
  • Producing is what gives you legacy and immortality
  • Wanting to be liked is a critical flaw
  • Creation is a dialectic
  • Whoever you are, take the next risk you can tolerate – because there’s another risk behind that that’s even bigger and better
  • The Universe is designed to make and create, and we are just members of that who are most happy when we’re making and creating
  • Familiarity is a false friend


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Links & People

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Time Stamped Notes
  • 00:04:02 – Helping people become great. Unleashing people’s greatness
  • 00:05:28 – Creativity in business
  • 00:08:10 – On the values instilled when Jim was growing up
  • 00:08:42 – Roald Dahl
  • 00:10:15 – Jim’s perception of money
  • 00:14:09 – On risk
  • 00:15:39 – Setting up early businesses
  • 00:17:32 – User Centered Design
  • 00:19:25 – An early model used to start Jim’s company (good ‘model’ tip for embryonic businesses)
  • 00:23:50 – What you make makes you
  • 00:35:20 – Building a business based on craftsmanship FIRST, then finding assets and business models SECOND
  • 00:41:12 – Redefining entrepreneurship and uncertainty
  • 00:43:36 – Balancing finance & money with purpose & value
  • 00:45:39 – About ADMCI (human craftsmanship and a human being, as a business model)
  • 00:48:39 – The importance of defining WHAT you are as a business
  • 00:51:50 – Understanding meaning – and why you can’t NOT do what you have to do
  • 00:53:17 – The spooky connection between Jim and the Rebelhead logo
  • 00:54:57 – Personal challenges
  • 00:55:42 – Happiness is not the goal, the goal is to produce
  • 00:57:32 –  Jim’s biggest character flaw (wanting to be liked)
  • 01:03:06 – Creation and craftsmanship as a ‘Conversation’
  • 01:04:40 – Jim’s definition of success
  • 01:06:05 – Fear and risk
  • 01:10:08 – Rebelling against familiarity and comfort
  • 01:11:16 – On disruption (disrupting with love)
The Rebel Wrap Up Round

If you could go back to any point in your life, and have 1 hour with your past self; what moment would it be and what would you tell yourself?

01:15:42 When I was working for a company call MarchFirst (that was imploding) and tell myself to relax and enjoy it, and say “you’re going to be OK”. Because if you can enjoy those implosions they’re going to be a heck of a lot more fun and educational

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received, who gave it to you and how has it positively affected your career?

01:16:04 Observed in my Grandfather – he would take compliments and say thank you for the kind words. So I really try to be grateful for the actual words of the compliment, rather than getting distracted by the compliment itself.

Who is the most disruptive, rebellious or revolutionary entrepreneur of the last 2 years?

01:17:02 Prince (the musician)

What is the one generally agreed upon rule, or conventional piece of wisdom that you disagree with?  

01:17:30 Do what you’re told

If you could change one law what would it be?

01:17:35The Movie ‘The Big Short’, illustrates the laws that should be in place with derivatives and what not. None of those laws are in place, and they should be. So I would change the set of laws that make the financial playing field fair and transparent

What’s your definition of entrepreneurship?

01:18:11 Survival, and becoming a better human being

What advice would you give to anyone listening to this who wants to become a creator entrepreneur?

01:18:26 If there’s a nagging voice in your head that’s telling you to do something you just haven’t had the courage to do, put down whatever you’re doing right now and start doing it. Period.

Who do you nominate to be a guest on the RebelHead Entrepreneurs podcast?

01:18:45 Peter Himmelman http://www.peterhimmelman.com/home.php


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About The Author

Matt Cheney
Executive Producer

Matt has been in the media industry for 11 years, specialising in audio post production. Matt has created Emmy award-winning music features, BAFTA nominated animations and acclaimed festival documentaries. Max & Matts’ paths merged in 2015 to produce the REBELHEAD podcast; publishing the successful series, telling stories of today’s most disruptive and rebellious entrepreneurs. Matt is currently Head of Audio at Vice Media UK and currently partner in two growing audio production companies. As part of the REBELHEAD Production team; he is ambitiously road-mapping the rise of REBELHEAD via new media and emerging technologies.

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