Tim Williams insists that he is not special, but the 25-year-old does have one quality that makes his life different: He asks for what he wants. “The go-to reaction a lot of people have is somebody would never be interested in this,” Williams says about emailing CEOs his ideas, “Sure, there may be a lot of non-responders. But I think it’s important for people to know that their ideas would be received more often than not.” There was nothing new about the email Williams, a native of Huntsville, Alabama, sent to Nicholas Cole, CEO of Car2Go, the Smart Car-sharing subsidiary of Daimler AG. In a blog post about the entire story, Williams recounts writing to Cole:
After a funny parking story (related to Car2Go) during a visit to San Diego, we were discussing how awesome it would be to create a viral video for you guys. We have in mind something comical that has to do with “synchronized driving” — witty and clever, but shows the true genius of Car2Go‘s service.
The email was forwarded around the Car2Go offices and soon Williams heard back. The answer was, basically, think bigger. Working with the CMO for North America Paul DeLong, what ensued was a adventure in which Williams and Director/Editor Nic Davis spent 72 hours in each of the 14 North American Car2Go locations, seeking out adrenaline. Skydiving, helicoptering, zip-lining, bobsledding, horse riding, jet skiing, fish-catching Pike Place-style, jamming at Red Rocks … all along using the car service to get there. The resulting 2-minute, 37-second video has garnered nearly 40,000 video views. “It was super hectic,” Williams admits about the experience. “But I think that was the same reason we got to do so many cool things. We were motivated.” I first heard about this venture before it actually happened. Williams, who splits his time between Boulder and L.A., spoke to students in a colleague’s class last spring and told them about landing the gig. He also told them a life story that included starting businesses when he was still in high school and having a funder-backed venture at the age of 19. Williams took some college classes, but knew taking the time for a degree was not for him. Instead, he has been building and collaborating on a series of brands that, at least to me, symbolize a new order of business, one that might provide insight into how some millennials expect to make their way through the world. The brands are often easier to experience than explain. Take House of Genius, a monthly meeting now happening in 25 cities around the world, which flips networking on its head by starting with ideas first and concluding with personal introductions. Or Jack Reynolds, the name Williams has given “my bolder alter ego,” which is a website dedicated to, “documentation that anything is possible through original stories and videos – aimed to inspire a more interesting life.” Williams also operates Baumhaur Group, a design and front-end development firm. What is not hard to explain is the rush of traveling across North America, having one ridiculous adventure after another. Car2Go expected a video at the end of it, but Williams said beyond the basics, telling the story was not their primary obsession during the trip. “We didn’t have a lot of time to think about, oh, this part would fit nicely into the story,” Williams says. “It was just, let’s just get as much as we can and experience as much as we can. Frankly, we were far more interested in enjoying it for the experience than making this video for a company. We’ve got this incredible opportunity and we’re just enjoying this while we can. At one point we were talking about being thankful for being thankful.”
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