On Building A Construction Technology Company Selling Foldable Homes

Galiano Tiramani
Founder, Boxabl
$10M
revenue/mo
2
Founders
20
Employees
Boxabl
from Las Vegas, NV, USA
started December 2017
$10,000,000
revenue/mo
2
Founders
20
Employees
212K
alexa rank
567K
followers
80
followers
market size
$66.9B
avg revenue (monthly)
$10M
starting costs
$18K
gross margin
90%
time to build
270 days
growth channels
Publicity stunts
best tools
Twitter, Tiktok, Instagram
time investment
Full time
pros & cons
40 Pros & Cons
tips
2 Tips
Discover what tools Galiano reccommends to grow your business!
productivity
Discover what books Galiano reccommends to grow your business!
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Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

My name is Galiano Tiramani and I am a founder of Boxabl. Boxabl is a building construction technology company. Modern-day construction is inefficient, time-consuming, and costly. Raw materials are shipped to a construction site, exposed to the elements, and then used to build a structure by hand. Boxabl takes a different approach. The Boxabl approach mimics the automotive industry; an assembly line for houses. The result is a highly efficient, cost-effective, solution for a trillion-dollar industry.

We are also a design company. The main attraction of our product’s design is that it is simple yet complex. Kind of like an iPhone. I believe simplicity is something that is often overlooked by entrepreneurs first starting. The most successful companies have simplicity at the forefront. Apple uses a simple design. Amazon started with a simple idea. Facebook started with simple code. Did their design, idea, and code evolve to become more complex over time? Absolutely. But this evolution towards complexity occurred over years by learning from failures and obtaining expertise.

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What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

Our background is not in the housing or construction industry. Our background is in problem-solving. When contemplating issues still present in the modern world, we saw an opportunity to pioneer a new frontier.

Construction is the last big industry to move onto a production line. Just look around; cars, airplanes, TVs, are all manufactured on a production line. Some people may find it foolish, or even impossible, to make a building or home on a production line. We believe that through first principle thinking, engineering, and exceptional design, anything is possible.

Take us through the process of designing and prototyping your first homes.

There has been an extraordinary amount of time spent on the development of our units. The first 2 years of the company were spent researching materials and processes, testing different designs, and engineering the best possible solution for our customers. We would make panels using different materials or adhesives and then test them ourselves. We would jump on them, hit them with a sledgehammer, and torch them with a flamethrower. Of course, we have also had 3rd party testing for official energy, strength, and seismic ratings. Throughout this learning process, we iterated on our wall panel design 3 times and have a 4th design in the works.

this-company-sells-foldable-homes-makes-120m-year

Throughout the process we always aimed to go big. We’ve been told “no” a million times. We’ve had a million things not go our way.

During the early days, it was also important for us to understand the building codes that Boxabl would be subjected to. We quickly found out that navigating these building codes would be key to our success. This ultimately led the company to design our production processes to fulfill the modular building codes outlined by the International Building Code (IBC).

We viewed the decision to build under these modular codes as the fastest way for the company to enter all of our desired markets while maintaining high levels of safety, design, and functionality for our customers.

Describe the process of launching the business.

We started by outsourcing the prototype development. It took some time to even find someone crazy enough to build our idea. Once we had the prototype we showcased our product online. A big moment in the history of the company was being invited to the International Builders Show in 2018. This opportunity put us center stage with some of the most well-known in the industry.

Eventually, we harnessed the power of social media and managed to drive massive interest. From there we used the traffic to build a pre-order list. This list grew exponentially, proving the demand for our product. We leveraged that demand into capital and resources. Now we are a few days away from moving into our first factory.

Of course, in reality, the process was not this smooth. At one of the first home shows we were invited to, it rained heavily. Our prototype unit was not built to withstand a lot of rain. We spent hours repairing the damage and clearing out the water. On the way to another show, one of our prototype units ran into a bridge miles away from where it was to be set up. It was a disaster. Throughout the process, we always aimed to go big. We’ve been told “no” a million times. We’ve had a million things not go our way. Looking back it was all a part of the learning experience to prepare us for where we are now.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Without a doubt, social media and clever marketing have driven the massive interest in our company. The attention has resulted in a waitlist with over 50,000 names for our signature Boxabl Casita. When I first began marketing, I attempted to get on traditional media outlets like the local news. At some point, I reached out to a YouTuber, Kristina Smallhorn. She ended up coming out to Vegas to do a video on our company:

I immediately saw our web traffic, social media following, and inquiries increase substantially. We ran with this. I reached out to as many YouTubers as possible and pitched our company to them. I hoped that our product was unique enough to showcase in one of their videos. The plan worked. Our online presence exploded.

Additionally, we like to keep our customers up to date on our progress. Some customers have been following us for 2-3 years, and feel as though they are a part of our journey. We do our best to keep them in the loop. However, some people get impatient. They see our prototype units in a video online or have been on the waitlist for over a year and they want us to deliver their home now. What these people don’t see is the daily headaches and problem-solving necessary to keep the vision alive.

The Tesla Roadster concept was released in 2017. The first 1,000 people that paid the deposit have been waiting 4 years and will have waited a total of 6 years when it is finally delivered in 2023. The reason people are willing to wait for the Roadster is the same reason people are willing to wait for one of our units; excitement. The excitement of something new, the excitement of being an early adopter, and the excitement of freedom our product provides. When you are attempting to redefine an industry, the people that get it will be more forgiving.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Currently, we are setting up our first factory. Factory 1, as we like to call it, is a 170,000 square foot building that will produce thousands of houses and generate hundreds of millions in revenue. The first 156 units produced in the factory will go to the government. During this time we will learn our processes, make mistakes, and make adjustments.

this-company-sells-foldable-homes-makes-120m-year

Factory 1 is just a proof of concept for Boxabl. Once we have a proven concept, we will scale. When we scale, we will stick to going big. We have plans to open the largest modular housing factory in the world. This factory will also be the first of its kind in that it will be fully automated. We won’t stop there. We will continue to bring our proven model across the globe; setting up factories in areas where housing supply cannot meet demand.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Use the power of the internet - there is unlimited opportunity. We learned we had a great idea by showcasing it. We also learned a great deal about what our customers want. Trust me, people on the internet have no problem telling you what they want from you. Critics also offer a lot of insight. There have been plenty of instances where we have been able to avoid future issues by listening to the concerns posed by people on the internet.

If you have an idea but nothing changes in your life to work towards that idea, literally nothing will happen.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

Boxabl has been in the fortunate position of being able to take full advantage of the power in social media. We have racked up millions of views, gone viral, and even caught the eye of celebrities (recently, Boxabl was mentioned on a podcast by Post Malone: Post Malone - Steve-O's Wild Ride! Ep #57 ).

Internally the company has implemented NetSuite. This cloud business software offers a consolidated suite of business tools on one platform. Transitioning over to NetSuite has been a headache, but if we had waited any longer it would have been a nightmare. I would recommend any company that has plans to scale to implement something like this early. The longer you wait the more painful the transition will be.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

We are attempting to do something that hasn’t been done, so for us, it's just research on obscure topics. Lots of Googling and lots of YouTube.

Books: Good to Great, Start with why, Extreme Ownership

Podcast: The Tim Ferriss Show, Naval Podcast, Masters of Scale

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

First, you have to just go for it. If you have an idea but nothing changes in your life to work towards that idea, literally nothing will happen. Once you decide to go for it, accept that the path is going to be difficult. You are going to fail, you are going to have people tell you the idea will never work, and you will certainly have days where you feel like giving up. Once you accept this, all that is remaining is the hard work.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

Many positions! Will have a jobs page at boxabl.com soon.

Where can we go to learn more?

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Galiano Tiramani, Founder of Boxabl
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
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