Adam Pettler grew up in the East Bay in Walnut Creek, California, as a huge fan of all bay area sports organizations, in particular the A’s and the Warriors. After high school he went to college at the University of California, Berkeley where e studied Molecular and Cellular Biology, with an emphasis in Neurobiology. Afterwards he got a job in the biotech industry at Genentech. While at work he went to business school at the University of California, Davis. Now that he is graduated, and recently founded Revolights, Inc.
Adam Pettler has an amazing wife, loves the outdoors, enjoys a good crossword puzzle, playing a bit of guitar, and golf as much as possible.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I am working on the business end of the Revolights bike lighting system, a product of the newly formed Revolights, Inc.
Where did the idea for the Revolights bike lighting system come from?
The idea came to the inventor, Kent, on a ride home from grad school at Stanford. With a light on his head, he had the thought, why is the light I use to mainly illuminate the ground, so far from the ground. As a mechanical engineer, he has a unique way of solving problems. Born was the concept of a wheel mounted light.
What does your typical day look like?
I happen to be on sabbatical from my 40hr/wk job, so I luckily have more free time than most. I have a few skype calls, or conference calls each day. Approx once to twice a week we have in person meetings for various reasons, usually on the weekends or at night. But other than that my days involve emailing, working over the internet, planning, coordinating and getting estimates on future efforts, etc.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I feel we bring ideas to life in a very well thought out process. We spend the time to ensure everything makes sense, and that the ideas really represents an opportunity. Ideas without application will have a tough time existing. From there it’s basically a) remaining a step ahead, b) planning for all you can plan for, c) being persistent, and d) fiscally conservative.
3 trends that excite you?
Crowd Source Funding
What is the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I’ve haven’t had a terrible job, but I have had a terrible boss. I felt he was incapable of getting me the things I needed to develop. I couldn’t rely on him for even the simplest things. Ultimately I learned the value of patience. But on a more basic level, I realized after a certain period passed that it was no longer my manager, or my boss’ boss’ problem. At a certain point, it became my issue, and therefore my responsibility to own, and my circumstance to resolve. I had the ability to change my situation and I did.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I wouldn’t do anything differently.
What is the one thing you did/do as an entrepreneur that you would do over and over again and recommend everybody else do?
Use social media. It really has become important, especially with new ideas or concepts. It is in many ways an open proving ground for market feedback. Facebook, blogs, youtube; all have become essential and add all add value. I recommend all entrepreneurs embrace social media.
Tell us a secret…
My wife is amazing, and in 4 months she will have our first baby; a girl.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
One business idea I’m willing to give away? Hmmm, ok, I’ll give this one away. I wish I had the money and time to pursue it because as an avid player I know the existing options out there stink… I would start a full service, high quality, reliable fantasy football website. There ya’ go, the cat is out of the bag.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read, and why?
This is a really tough one. From a business perspective, not necessarily a book, but I think Warren Buffet has some really great stuff to say.
If you weren’t working on Revolights bike lighting system, what would you be doing?
I’d be working my other job in the biotech industry, hunting for new projects or ideas to develop.
Three people we should follow on Twitter, and why?
Companies: @springwise – I recently found this website when they featured us, and I’ve been pretty attached to it ever since. All about new ideas. Really interesting.
@revolights - no doubt. Our official handle, where the latest product and project updates can be followed. You can get the newest info on Revolights.
@SFBikeExpo – It’s going to be a blast. We’ll be there and have on display our most recent prototype. November 12th – 14th.
When is the last time you laughed out loud?What caused it.
I just watched a video on wimp.com where a German guy was like upset, or maybe didn’t understand why a certain type of spider is named Daddy Longlegs. The best line is, “it [the daddy long legs] is like a q-tip, with little frozen spiderweb leggies.” My wife also makes me laugh all the time. She has pretty good dance moves.
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
Recently learned about Garrett Camp. He founded StumbleUpon.com and recently founded Uber (a text and get a pre-paid on your credit card taxi. Even tip is already included. Need pay nothing, cabs arrive in 5-10 minutes). I just think his ideas are cool and am now interested to learn more.
Who is your favorite professional baseball team?
Good question. My favorite baseball team is the Oakland Athletics.
How many siblings, and how many dogs?
Two siblings (older sis & younger bro), and two dogs (pitbull & beagle).