Steven Adams is a lighting master; one of the founders of Rigid Lights, he’s stepped up again with Nacho Offroad Technology. The world is brighter with Steve in it, be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.
5:33 – I’m sure he thought I would just throw my life away because I wasn’t being an airline pilot
17:16 – I pulled up Bender’s How to Bend Tech 101 and taught myself how to make a light bar
21:38 – Hey, if you’re going to do this, here’s what you need to do…
28:14 – We need to make this an American made light
38:38 – not that making money is a bad thing, but that was the only thing
48:24 – I didn’t realize you don’t have scientists growing week, you have stoners growing weed
57:18 – We’re not going to do anything if we don’t have fun doing it!
Special thanks to 4low Magazine and Maxxis Tires for support and sponsorship of this podcast.
[00:01:39.300] – Big Rich Klein
On today’s episode, I will be speaking with offroad lighting entrepreneur and businessman, Steve Adams. Steve, it is great to talk to you. Got a lot of history and off road, and I’m hoping to pull that all out of you. Thank you for spending some time with us.
[00:01:57.470] – Steve Adams
Well, great to be here. It’s fun to do this. It’s been fun to listen to all your episodes, and I think you put together a great program and a great service for the industry.
[00:02:06.620] – Big Rich Klein
Well, thank you. Thank you. It’s fun. It is definitely one of those passions that you get because you love the industry or you love what you’re doing. It’s not a job. And now that I’m part of the Offroad Motor Sports Hall of Fame as a board of director, it’s even more fun because now I get to interview all of the guys that have been inducted, guys and women that have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. So that’s even another special part of all this. But this episode is about you. So let’s start at the very beginning. And where were you born and raised?
[00:02:44.590] – Steve Adams
Well, I was born in Phoenix and grew up in, I say North Phoenix, but it really is Scottsdale. But I try not to claim Scottsdale. At least I remember it not being the Scottsdale it is today. I thought it was a great place to grow up with lots of desert and not the Scottsdale aspect of what everybody knows today.
[00:03:11.530] – Big Rich Klein
You don’t drive a McLaren?
[00:03:13.820] – Steve Adams
I don’t. No, no. No, it was a little different 30, 40 years ago.
[00:03:20.150] – Big Rich Klein
Yes, that’s true. So what was early life like in Scottsdale?
[00:03:28.990] – Steve Adams
It’s, youtell you. I had a very, I don’t want to say vanilla, but I had a great childhood, great parents and great home life. Went to school, typical teenage boy. My kids are going to listen to this, and my wife is probably going to kill me, but I got pretty crappy grades in high school. I got 2.5 all the way through high school and 2.5 all the way through college. But I felt like I was always interested in other stuff besides the school work.
[00:03:59.210] – Big Rich Klein
So it was that interest of what was going on outside of the walls that created that?
[00:04:06.310] – Steve Adams
Yeah. I knew from when I was a little kid, my goal was I wanted to be an airline pilot. I’d ride my bike over to Scottsdale Airport with my dad and just watch Cessna take off and land. I was lucky because my high school actually had an aviation program for a couple of years, and I was able to take private pilot ground school and got my when I was 17. Besides school work, I had a little 4runner, so I would go off roading. At the time, you could drive where the 101 is and go wheel. But my first job was working at a bike shop with this awesome for a high school kid and learning to fly on the side. I wasn’t doing anything bad. I just wasn’t doing my homework.
[00:04:57.420] – Big Rich Klein
You said paint shop?
[00:05:01.270] – Steve Adams
A bike shop. Oh, bike shop. Okay. Yeah, a bike shop. Yeah, Land of Cyclerie, which still around. And all my buddies were working crappy jobs. I was turning wrenches on bikes after school. So I had a early appreciation of turning wrenches and learning how things worked.
[00:05:23.830] – Big Rich Klein
So tell me about what your dad did for a business. Was that something that led to something else later on in your life?
[00:05:33.430] – Steve Adams
No. My parents were very traditional suburb. I had a great home life. And my mom was my cub scout leader and boy scout leader and super supportive of everything. Stay at home, mom always there for me and my brother. And my dad was an electrical engineer, started at Sperry, got into Honeywell and did work a 35 year career. I think him being in aviation, developed my love for aviation early on. And then funny story, I’m sure I’ll talk to you more later. When we started rigid, I had no idea what I was doing. I have this electrical circuit with an LED that’s lighting up. I’m 30 years old, 35 years old, entrepreneur with a business, and I got to call Daddy, Hey, Dad, can you tell me how the circuit works? Why is an LED lighting up? What’s this resistor and this thing here and this transistor. I remember my dad drawing literally on a yellow notepad how a LED drive circuit worked. And that was my first foray into electrical circuit design and engineering. So he’s designing for triple sevens. And all of a sudden now he’s got to teach his kid who’s a laid off airline pilot how an LED circuit works.
[00:06:55.630] – Steve Adams
I’m sure he thought I would just throw my life away because I wasn’t being an airline pilot. READ MORE