Affordable Housing for All with Paolo Tiramani
Episode 592nd November 2022 • Construction Disruption • Isaiah Industries
00:00:00 00:58:20

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Shownotes

“The new part of Boxabl is that you can pack and unpack. You can grow your home, or you can make your home smaller.”

 

“If we don’t screw things up, we’ll bring building construction into a modern, post-industrial world.”


-      Paolo Tiramani, CEO and Founder of Boxabl

Their first customer was Elon Musk, their first big job was for the Department of Defense, and they’ve only been in business for a few years. Boxabl, a modular housing company from Las Vegas, is addressing the affordable housing crisis with a $50,000 modular unfolding home.

Their mission, “Significantly lower the cost of homeownership for everyone. [Boxabl is] obsessively designed to the highest standards of quality, strength, and sustainability to last for generations.”


With thousands of orders, Paolo and the Boxabl team are churning units out, anxious to bring housing to the people, one unfolded unit at a time.


Topics discussed in this interview:

  • Paolo’s story
  • A peek at the early days of Boxabl before they sold their first unit
  • Paolo’s motivation behind creating Boxabl
  • Addressing the affordable housing shortage
  • Finding a problem to solve instead of creating a solution first
  • Details on Boxabl and the packing/unpacking process
  • Expectations for the future of the company and their products
  • Manufacturing advancements for a cheaper, better house


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This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

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Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy

Transcripts

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Everything's built in a factory except for buildings because buildings are big, so they keep them in a field, they're built in a field. So I said, Wow. And then this sort of dovetailed in with the fact that there is a global crisis, global housing crisis, and close to our shores, very much a national housing crisis in terms of volume and costs. And we said, you know, I wonder if we can fix this.

Todd Miller:

:

Welcome to the Construction Disruption podcast, where we uncover the future of building and remodeling. I'm Todd Miller of Isaiah Industries, manufacturer of specialty metal roofing and other building materials. Today, my co-host is Ryan Bell. Ryan, how are you doing today?

Ryan Bell:

:

Hey, Todd. I'm doing great. How are you?

Todd Miller:

:

Well, my day started off a little rough, to be honest.

Ryan Bell:

:

Uh oh.

Todd Miller:

:

Yes, I had these guys kidnap me this morning early, they abducted me. They were mimes, you know, like the French clowns. I had these mimes abduct me, and they took me away. They tied me up, they tortured me. I'll tell you, Ryan, the things they did to me were just unspeakable. Okay, so that's my story for the day. Wasn't really all that dramatic. Anyway, our guest today, though, is someone incredibly dynamic, very excited about our guest today on air here on Construction Disruption. Our dynamic guest today is Paolo Tiramani. He is the founder and CEO of Las Vegas based Boxabl. Paolo grew up in London but soon relocated to the States. He is an industrial designer and a billionaire, not bad. His company, Boxabl, is a new technology in construction. They do in-plant construction of structures that are easy to be shipped across the country. They basically designed three basic building modules, if you will, that can be packed, unpacked and assembled together in a variety of ways on job sites. Of course, you can always learn more about Boxabl, and that's Boxabl without an e on the end. Visit them at boxabl.com, but there's no greater opportunity to learn than with our guest here today on Construction Disruption. Pablo, thanks so much for joining us, been looking forward to this conversation.

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Todd and Ryan, thank you so much. Todd, it's good to know you have no sense of humor whatsoever.

Todd Miller:

:

Yes, I think that's a great quality.

Paolo Tiramani:

:

I really like to show and very happy to be on. Thank you so much.

Todd Miller:

:

Well, thank you for joining us. Appreciate it. So let's just dive right into. You're hitting the construction industry in a strong and dynamic way. I know that you personally have a long history in engineering and design. You have over 150 innovative designs and patents in a wide range of fields, including hardware, sporting goods, medical, construction and automotive. Boxabl, on the other hand, was started just a few years ago in 2017. Tell us just the kind of a quick overview of your life before Boxabl.

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Yeah, sure. So, yeah, you're right. Industrial design and mechanical engineering degree from Central Saint Martins in London, which I still have the accent. So very, very, very, very good school and pretty much my whole career has been innovation, technology, futurism, I suppose. More recently with mechanical patents and designs. I'm a designer at my core, I suppose. I built and ran an intellectual property licensing company for a number of years. Some of those industries we innovated in and really monetized that business six, seven years ago to become an operator in the space and spent quite some time thinking what space we should enter into with the goal of finding a big problem and fixing it. And we liken it to a skill. If you've been doing something for a few decades and you have a team that have been doing something for a while. For example, if you're an accountant, you can count. You don't care what you count, you just count it. And if your job is innovation and engineering and technology, it's not too far afield from your wheelhouse. You should be able to innovate. So we started off looking for a problem. We didn't really start with the idea because the idea is what you count. So we started off with the finding a problem and we saw that everything in our lives is a consumer good. Everything you look around you. What your listeners are wearing around that table. Everything's built in a factory except for buildings because buildings are big, so they keep them in a field, they're built in a field. So we said, Wow. And then this sort of dovetailed in the last few years, especially with the fact that there is a global crisis, global housing crisis, and close to our shores, very much a national housing crisis in terms of volume and costs. And we said, you know, I wonder if we can fix this. This is a pre-industrial consumer category that isn't. This is the biggest and greatest possibly consumer category on earth that isn't. That has no global brand, no national brand. Fragmented industry absolutely ripe for the remaking. So that was the core genesis for developing Boxabl.

Todd Miller:

:

You know, I think that's fascinating and as I look at what you folks have done, I mean, certainly there have been other attempts and still folks doing things with various ways of off site construction. But what it seems like they've done is they just figured out, okay, how can we do the same thing we would do on a jobsite except do it someplace else and then move it? But instead you have taken this whole approach of, Hey, how can we look at the building, the shell, as something entirely different? And I think that's that's very cool. I'm kind of curious, you touched on this, Paolo, about, you know, the shortage of affordable housing. How do you see Boxabl potentially impacting that shortage of of affordable housing?

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Yeah. Yeah. So that's sort of fast forwarding, you know, right to the end. If we're successful with everything we do, we just we're just talking about it this morning that we started the company to fix a problem and do some good. So part of the brief, part of the product brief is not to just find a solution. There has to be a solution with absolutely humongous, massive scale. This is really the flip side of the problem, apart from the fact that you can't ship big things. The flip side of that is how do you make them in absolute mass quantities? I forget the name of the character. So, so what we've done is we sort of deconstructed building construction. I think we focused more on residential building construction and said rather than building buildings with finished architectural styles, let's take one step back and build room modules that stack, connect, cantilever in any number of configurations to build most things most of the time. Let's reduce it to a bite sized chunk, a sort of an architecturally neutral room, unless you're an Eskimo. You are living in an igloo which is round. I'll probably get angry letters from Eskimos now, but it doesn't matter where you are in the world. It can be lo-income, high-income, mansion, affordable housing. You're living from room to room in a six sided box. That's reality, 99.9% of the time. And so we looked at that and said, we need to rationalize that. So we came up with the Boxabl building system, which are these building shells and the building shells in feet, rough numbers, very, very rough numbers. 20 by 20, 20 by 30 and 20 by 40. And if you can plug into your minds the Lego bricks, the little square one, the rectangular one, and the one in between that nobody uses that one. So those are the three building shells and connecting them together, you can build most things. Within the construction of those building shells we have the fewest number of components, the fewest number of unique components, the fewest number of asymmetrical components. And we're pretty brutal in terms of efficiency and first principles and bringing things down to sort of the genetic level, finding the DNA, material science, cost, logistics, volume. We even care how far a material is transported in the factory from point A to point B. So all of these things combine to make a universal shells that can combine to make most things unique structures and satisfy the customer. At the end of the day, the customer is paying. That is our overlord. So the customer needs to get what the customer wants. And there's sort of three legs to our stool, if you like, that we need to make the highest quality product at the lowest cost possible in the fastest amount of time that we can. So these are some of the principles that we apply that will generate massive, massive volume. And the other part of it is that there's the product and then there's the factory that makes the product. So we consider the factory a product, if I were talking about that early this morning. And so we consider the factory, the product that makes the product. We are rationalizing this factory with automation to an extreme degree, and we can sort of veer off, talk about any of these topics. And once we have finished rationalizing the factory fully. You know, we're analog right now with a lot of people. But we'll be investing heavily in robotics once we've got our engineering fully complete. And then we can sort of print off those factories, we can multiply those factories and there's no additional work because there is no customization. The customization is, there is none. There are the factories, the factories can be larger or smaller. They make the three building shells. The building shells as a subset are configured into bedrooms, bathrooms, and such. And those modules configured into single-family homes, apartments, different architectural styles, customer gets what they want. We crank up the volume, the volume from sort of the genetic level of rationalization to great leverage with suppliers as the volume increases. And I think in a few years, folks. Folks are shocked at our prices now. I think people are going to be stunned when they see the speed and the price. The price, I think, is going to be unbelievable to people. And that's the problem. The problem is everything is custom right now, variable quality. So the long lead times, it's really it's really a mess. So we'll be bringing hopefully, if we don't screw things up, we'll be bringing building construction into a modern, post-industrial world. And when you think about what you absolutely expect is normal for the rest of the products you buy, you know, you order a shirt. It comes the next day on Amazon Prime. Well, I'm not saying anybody needs a home the next day, but they will be on Amazon Prime and you will be able to order it next-day. And it's not going to be magic. It's just going to be post-industrial production.

Ryan Bell:

:

So am I understanding this correctly, that your vision for this kind of is where, and I guess I can see it going both ways, but where people would order multiple of these boxes and then they attach to each other to make a unique space instead of just a single room living space. Did I understand that correctly?

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Yeah, absolutely. So it's sort of all of the above. If you think about that Lego analogy, it's really the simplest way because everybody's played with Lego too, to understand what you can build. So of those three building shells from an engineering, think about an engineering team. Those three building shells can accommodate most things. The largest shell is a 40 foot clearspan with a nine and a half foot ceiling, 20 foot wide cut doors and windows where you want without headers. I mean, what can't you build with that? And if you stay with that grid rather like the bumps on the Lego blocks and you stick with our window locations, if you buy sort of a shell, your windows and doors are going to line up. They're not going to bump into each other. It generally creates good architecture. So that's sort of the bottom level, sort of 101. We started the business, but the business is too big to start with the whole system. So we configured the smallest building shell into an ADU, an accessory dwelling unit for your listeners, very popular in California, which is a studio home. So we took the smallest building shell and said, Let's configure that, let's see if folks like it. I went through a show, see if that can give us sort of there's this sort of the pointy end, the pointy end, the thin end of the wedge and see if we can get traction. And, you know, here we are with 120,000 preorders, billions in orders. So you can see that the scale is very much on our minds.

Ryan Bell:

:

Wow.

Todd Miller:

:

So I think it's interesting where you say the factory is in essence the product. I mean, that's what you had to design was the factory to build what you need to do and to be able to turn it out. As you approach the actual development and design of the Boxabl units themselves. This may seem like a very strange question, but I am curious. Did you have more challenge with designing the interior or the exterior of the units?

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Yes.

Todd Miller:

:

Good answer.

Paolo Tiramani:

:

So I'll give you some metrics on how we approach things. First of all, you know, we sort of look at design. I'm gonna use a word I don't like, holistic. So we looked at the whole thing holistically, right? So we call it a problem pie, you know, whatever your favorite pie is and you just take slices of the pie and the product is just one slice and there are some slices within that of the interior configurations and bathrooms and kitchens. And then the rest of it is transport, shipping, logistics. It has to feed all of those things. But as it relates to that product slice, whether it's the shell of the interior, for sure the shell takes priority because the interior is merely a configuration. But I certainly talk about that as well. The numbers on the shells are very, very interesting and very, very simple. And one of the things we say around here is it's very complicated to make things simple. It really is. It takes a tremendous amount of time to make things simple, but then it pays off forever. So what are some of those numbers around the world? So it comes down to the highway. The first thing we had to fix was the size problem. So we're eight and a half foot wide, worldwide. That's what you can ship without flat costs which the rest of the factory built housing saddled with. They build products that are illegally wide to ship, but it's got to be eight and a half wide. It's not wide enough for a room. And then from the tarmac to the top, 13 and a half feet nationally, 14 feet overseas, these are some of our metrics. And then on the length, go up to 53 feet. That's okay. We don't really need to go much beyond 40 by our math. So very, very interesting. So we've made something that unpacks from that to a true actually, 19 foot from the exterior and then the length. We are, I believe, at 38 feet, but we just rounded up to 20 by 40. So that is an absolute key metric. One of the aha moments, you know, we have a number of innovations, patents, and that. But one of the aha moments is we realize that most residential construction is about two thirds empty space and about a third of it is what we call dollar dense. Dollar dense in labor for fit out, dollar dense in equipment and partitions, which was the second part of your question. And we realized that we didn't meet. So Boxabl folds down like a box, which is easier said than done, but we don't fold down the whole way. We leave a core of about seven feet. And interestingly, seven foot is very interesting number because we can fit kitchens, bathrooms, stairs. But it's not a seven-foot-wide kitchen, for example. This could be a huge kitchen. It can be a 20-foot-wide kitchen. But just like a normal house, all the plumbing is all against one wall. And we can move things out, so pretty amazing. We can unfold a whole module with a stair, with a low riser and a deep tread that's wider than code with a fireplace installed. And we can unpack that and it's finished. It's like a magic trick. So the exterior shell was the challenge. We're getting to a point where we've pretty rationalized the I-beams and the hinges, the gaskets to make it seal up. I mean, these are steel, concrete, and insulation. These are forever homes. We have a forever mentality when we're designing the stuff. So the shell is number one and we're sort of raising all the boats at the same time in terms of, you know, the factory, the technology, the automation. And we're still developing those building shells. I don't think we are consumer grade just yet. We've been fortunate enough to get some pretty, pretty nice trend of family orders, pretty large numbers. And when we get to consumer grade, the product should be that building shell should be like like anything else you buy, which is perfect. Pack, unpack dozens of times. I don't want to see how homeowners or their builders unpacking these things with hammers and screws. We'll have cam locks and so on and so forth. A true consumer products that unpacks. And then the interior configurations are a subset of that. I'll give you one quick example where we have a lot of a lot of panels for the kitchen and things like that. We've been able to get into rationalizing a lot of that. I mean, the shower is a great example. We couldn't find the shower that we liked, so we didn't think that they were generous enough in terms in height, everything was seven feet and we're like, we have a nine and a half of ceiling. Let's go eight feet, can't find it. So I think we started off paying something like $700 for something custom. Then we made our own a much nicer frankly in vacuum formed ABS as a material and process. And I think that came down to $400. Now that we know that the design is correct, the customers love it. We're going to injection mold that. Even higher quality under $100. Under $100. We're taking an $800 seven-foot shower that isn't what you want to our eight foot shower, injection-molded sliding glass doors, which we can buy for under $100. That's part of our secret sauce. And so if you think that we go with slowly going through the interior configuration's components, there's nothing too small that would ultimately evade our engineer's attention to go through those principles. And the cost of this was highly focused not on making a larger profit. We just need to make the profit to keep the doors open and reward our investors with dedicated to lowering the cost of housing. And it's this sort of thinking that will hopefully achieve.

Todd Miller:

:

Very neat. I liked where you were talking about, you know, how much unused space there is in a home. And it's kind of interesting, we were actually, a couple us were talking about that this week. It may seem silly, but, you know, we manufacture roofing systems that go on top of homes. And, you know, I just made the comment I said well, a roof would be a whole lot more affordable if we weren't covering a space that is never used. If the whole house was more compact and and just focused on what's actually used to live in and what's needed. So a very interesting approach. So you mentioned you've got some orders. Sounds like a lot of orders. You've had some friends and family, as you mentioned, place orders. Tell us a little bit about where is the state of Boxabl today? I mean, and you mentioned wanting to continually upgrade the factory, which is certainly the right thing I'm sure to be doing. But where do you stand today in terms of being in operational and putting out units and so forth?

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Yeah, great, great, great. I'm sorry, I'll answer that in two parts. We're a very young company. So we've been actively working on it for five years, speculating about it for a few years before that. We've been in our factory a little over a year, about 18 months. Customer number one was Elon Musk. That's now public.

Todd Miller:

:

So that is, that is a fact now, I wasn't sure. Okay.

Paolo Tiramani:

:

That was absolutely true. We were under an NDA and I was, we were concerned that if we spoke about it, which we wouldn't do. Leaving contracts and maybe one of his satellites would have obliterated us from the sky with a laser beam or something.So anyway, that's great. I just listen to the Full Send podcast the other day where he said, Yeah, I have a Boxabl prototype. And I'm like, Thank God he used the word prototype because it's a bit rough around the edges. I mean, not to normal people, but I know how he's going to look at it. So use the word prototype, so that was great. And yeah, it's an interesting story. It was really early days. We were in an R&D lab about 10,000 square feet and they kept calling and my business partner called me and said, you know, Musk's office is calling Space X. And I'm like, no, it's not real, don't worry about it. So anyway, they persisted and eventually we realized it was real and they said, Can we have one? And we said, No, we've only got three. But they're persistent; it's Elon Musk. So he got one. So that was great. We'll see what the future holds there. The second order was with the Department of Defense. So that was also really just sort of landed in my lap 156 units to Guantanamo. And we were so early, I remember bringing colonels, three colonels and a bunch of support staff through the factory behind me. And there was no power, there was nothing on, stone cold empty. And I was standing there telling them, We're going to do this and we're going to do that. They were nodding their heads. You know, we're a startup, right? And I'm pointing to an empty factory and they're like, Yep. I'm like, Alright fellas. And I got with my partner and said, Should we do this? And realized the risk was low and we were fully transparent, so we did it. We actually delivered early, so we were, for that 156. It was complete madness. You guys are, Todd and Ryan, you know, practical people and you can imagine something of this scale with hundreds of people starting from 0 to 1, onboarding the people while the production line supposed to be starting with an impossible deadline. So kudos to our team. It was absolutely some pain and hurdles. The ministry was fantastic to work with, actually came down to help us. We hired Porche Consulting, Porche cars, they have 700 consulting engineers. We're most akin to an automated production line. So yeah, we got it done. And since then now we've actually sort of slowed our roll, if you like, to one every building every 4 hours, we only run one shift because we're catching up to fix those structural items and improve quality. And our next round of equipment purchasing will go from analog to automatic, if you like, and we will be, I believe, at 40 minutes. And the goal is to produce one home every 60 seconds, which sounds like madness. But yeah, the Ford F-150 is built quickly. And then to answer the second part of your question quickly, the factory behind me, which is pretty huge, 300,000 square feet, six or seven acres, something like that. We see the scale of the endeavor is so large that we consider this still a prototype stage. We could build maybe 6000 or 7000 units out of this facility. We have a 120,000 order backlog on just the 20 by 20 Casita building shell that we know will be less than 1% of our total business. I mean, the numbers are just completely. I wake up in the morning, it's unbelievable. So this factory here, 200,000 square feet, we're figuring out what to vertically integrate, what to carry on purchasing. We're getting there, we're onboarding people. The factory team now is pretty good. We have folks from Daimler Chrysler here that we're onboarding, to be talking to people. And the goal is our first mega factory will be in the 3 or 4 million square foot range that should be north of 100,000 homes a year. We're looking now, you know, we are in glorious Las Vegas, Nevada. We are out West where the buffalo used to roam. I haven't seen any lately. And we'll see what happens then maybe I will see one. But we have a lot of desert and there are some pretty good buildings out here. So we'll be standing out three, four, four million square feet and we're just sort of starting that now. That has to go hand in hand with raising cash, which we're very good at crowdfunding. We're the largest crowdfund history of all things. I actually think we can raise $1,000,000,000 with a B crowdfunding. It's the craziest thing I've ever seen.

Todd Miller:

:

That's amazing.

Paolo Tiramani:

:

It's staggering.

Todd Miller:

:

Well, so I'm going to ask you a question. And if this is something you'd rather not answer, we will just edit this out. But I'm kind of curious. So, where do you think Katerra went wrong? I mean, what caused them to end up being roadkill on this whole thing, on this whole path toward affordable housing? Where do you feel they went wrong?

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Yeah, actually I toured the Katerra factory. I'm a very transparent person and we're a pretty transparent company, so I get myself in trouble all the time. I think Katerra, when we were starting out, when we were attending the shows. I think it was just more money than sense, this was SoftBank Saudi money. And I think people that are not used to having money get a little giddy with it and they sort of start to believe their own press. And I think it was just a long play, like same thing as We Work. You know, the same SoftBank type of money. And I think it just breeds massive, staggering levels of inefficiency. It can work. They had some successes as it relates to Katerra and the building industry. I mean, they just did so much wrong. First of all, they had zero technology. You know, we go to the show, we go visit them, and they'd be proudly showing a stick-framed wall. So what? Stick-framed wall. We've been doing that literally for a thousand years now. We have a nail gun instead of a hammer. And I'm like, I don't understand your metrics. I don't understand your business model. None of it made sense to me. And I think unfortunately the vision was I mean, it would have been great if it worked for all of us, but there was no business model there. At the end of the day, the money is only going to take you so far if you don't have something of substance underlying it. And to do things differently, it is difficult. Doing things differently is unreasonable just on its face. And if you don't have a technology that is measurably faster and measurably less money and faster and better, it's never going to take traction. And they didn't even have that. They just had money and wishful thinking with a giant factory. But those assets will be repurposed. I met the CEO of one of the companies. Can't remember the name now out in California, which has its own problems, by the way, Southern California legislation, the way it is then to fix up the giant factory so it doesn't just blow away in the wind. These are hard assets that will find value, yeah, so.

Todd Miller:

:

Well, thank you for addressing that. I was just curious. I know as I watched Katerra, it was you're right, it just seemed like more money than sense. And I kept saying, okay, now suddenly they're doing remodeling of apartment buildings. And it just seemed so off-mission for them and it just seemed seemed pretty wild. So very interesting. So tell us a little bit about what the process, back to looking at your company. Tell us a little bit about that process of unpackaging and assembling a Boxabk unit. What kind of skills does that require? What kind of equipment does it require? How many people? How long?

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Yeah, very happy to answer that. Again, it's still a work in process.

Todd Miller:

:

Right.

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Just taking one step back in terms of our materials and processes, because we're in a factory with big giant equipment, we don't need little nails and sticks of wood. So we use six panels, our structurally-insulated panels design. They're fully chased, which for your audience, means on a grid. They have holes running through the floor horizontally and vertically. If you had X-ray eyes, it would be like a grid. So that you can run wires any way you want before or after production, after it leaves the factory. But we press those panels together. No thermal bridging with 250,000 lbs. worth of pressure. So the reason I mention that is that they're insanely strong. They're insanely strong. And this relates to the packing/unpacking. So you guys know this, but for your audience, the laminate is an old tech, but it's the gift that keeps on giving. If I take a layer and put glue on it, put another layer on, put glue on it, put another layer on it, which is essentially what we have. Now, if I try to bend that, all that glue area is trying to slide past itself, but it can't because it's all this glue area. So you can have a panel that is massively strong in bending and that's what makes Boxabl, one of several things that makes Boxabl so amazing. So you have these massively stiff panels, which is great. So when you go to pack and unpack, it's not a big wobbling effect, which it would be if we stick-built. Currently we use a crane or a telehandler to pack and unpack. We just pick it up, move it around. That's not okay. So this is one of the things that we'll be addressing. So the end goal for that, for our engineering team is what is the lowest common denominator? I don't mean D.R. Horton, who's an investor by the way. The largest company, building company in America, great guys. I don't mean D.R. Horton in putting out a large community with cranes and such. I'm like, Fellas, what's the lowest common denominator? The lowest common denominator is a crazy man on top of the hill that wants to be fully off-grid in the fory-foot Boxabl, which is the biggest and hardest one to unpack that doesn't even have a car. I'm going somewhere with this, please bear with me. So we've developed an unpack mechanism. It's kind of Rube Goldberg with a car battery that can be in the car. Go to Costco, buy a car battery. And two guys, once it's on site, will be able to pack and unpack the Casita with the roof and everything by themselves in about an hour. We're not there yet. We're getting there, testing. And that's the lowest common denominator. I'm going back to our friends at D.R. Horton, and Lamar and Champion and others. Even if you are on site, you have a big crane. That big crane is really expensive, it is busy. So this stellar use case for a regular unpack and unpack mechanism to move the products around up to two stories. Again, we don't need a crane today. We can do it with a telehandler. Telehandler is just a forklift sort of on steroids, if you like. It's just a big forklift and the certs for the driver and the availability is much lower and more accessible than a crane, which is hard to get to backyards, spaces, it's a big deal. So these are some of the things we're doing to fix the entire problem. Like as I said before, you know, we're not simply focused on producing a product. We're focused on fixing the problem. And that goes from the supply chain to the installation. So we look at as good industrial designers and mechanical engineers, we look at how can we design this thing to serve all of these other things that need to happen to ultimately serve the customer? Very, very simple. First principle thinking where we use these thoughts as a road as we go through the development process to get to the end result that hopefully fixes or at least ameliorates these problems.

Todd Miller:

:

So when I think of someone living in a Boxabl home, you know, I think simplicity, I think affordability, I think resiliency, I think, you know, minimal carbon footprint, no more carbon footprint than we have to have. What are some of the other benefits that you think someone will really enjoy living in in one of your units?

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Yeah. So I like to think of it. The things we talk about here, it should be no-compromise product. Everything should be better. That's it. There's nothing worse, everything has to be better. So there's no compromise. And then in terms of the benefits, I would say, you know, folks are very conscious about sustainability in green. I'm more concerned about what it costs for our customer, frankly. And I think at the end of the day, that's what they're concerned about. So sustainability and low carbon footprint is the end result and the factor is typically cost. If you look under the hood of sustainability, it's about costs. 85% of the time, unless you do sort of carbon fiber or something like that. So if you move something shorter distance, if you have fewer costs, if it goes together quicker, can have multiple uses, if you can buy it in larger volumes, this will drive down the cost or all drives down the footprint and you have sustainability. So from that point of view, I think we're really well, pretty much carbon neutral. And then in terms of thermal, you know, we're sort of little thermal batteries. I mean, the things are concrete, steel, and foam. The insulation in the walls is PE, it's polystyrene. So, you know, if you want to stay warm, you can think of it as a thermos, if you want to stay cool, you can think of it as an igloo cooler, which absolutely drives down costs. And then in terms of the living experience, you know, you're in a nine and a half foot ceiling. You have an eight-foot tall window that are three-foot wide. There's a half a dozen of them in 400 square feet. And we make you feel small in the Casita, in the home, which normally so. Well, why would you want to do that? I don't want to feel small. Well, you do. When it comes to your home, you want to feel small. You want that home to feel big.

Todd Miller:

:

Sure.

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Like it's spreading its arms around you and it's very effective. And our architects pay attention to a lot of emotional cues like sightlines. You know, you can see right from one corner to the other, the space feels very big. Can't necessarily feel that from pictures. You know, you see that and you see maybe a tiny home. A tiny home has a seven, eight-foot ceiling and it's six foot wide. You know, or twenty-foot wide. It's not really the same, the same thing. And then in terms of building construction, other benefits for the customer, you know, the cost of money, keep the money in their pocket to the end. It's a big deal and things that we can't imagine today. I'm so old, I remember going from snail mail to email. That's how old I am. And people had a hard time understanding it at the beginning. What do you mean? And I think that it's something new. And the new part of Boxabl is that you can pack and unpack. You can grow your home, you can make your home smaller. So in the arc of life of a particular home, you might have a family that moves in and expands it, and then you may have an empty nester that doesn't want to pay the taxes and wants to free up a little cash. All the kids, they only want to have one bedroom, so they pack one bedroom up. So it really can change the way you think about homeownership and think about it as a consumer product with all the benefits, warranties that you would expect from any other consumer product. So I mean, those are certainly some of the benefits. And then on the interior, even though they're very, very affordable, nothing can be worse. It has to be better than everything. For example, you know, we started out with our military order. You know, it's $50,000. It's a home, it's incredible value. And we have sort of the Formica laminate countertop, right? So today we can buy a quartz countertop for less than the Formica and then we're designers. So instead of giving it a one or one and a half inch return, we gave it a three-inch return. So our upcoming generation and these are continuous improvement things. Our kitchen and bath counter tops are a three-inch quartz return. It looks like $1,000,000. You put it in $1,000,000 house.

Todd Miller:

:

Absolutely.

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Yeah, and we do that for absolutely everything. You may, if I may just give you one more analogy. You can get a guy that's an engineer or an executive, and he'd go through the tollbooth and the tollbooth guy is not making a lot of money. And they both put out iPhones. They can both pull out iPhones. And that's what the cost, that's what technology does. It lowers the cost of everything where everybody can buy the same thing. So even if you've got a guy not making so much, you can have sort of highly-paid fat cat. Still pulling out the same phone, pulling out the same phone and we see Boxabl the same way. You can have more, you can have less of it. But the quality is still there. The quality is even because it's the right quality.

Ryan Bell:

:

How permanent is it after it's set in place and opened up? Is it something that you're able to collapse back down and and move easily and, you know, down the road or in the future?

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Yeah, that's a great question. So when we unpack and it sort of relates to codes, things like that, right? So we're sort of built to modular standard, actually higher than module standard. But we'll be looking to have a Boxabl code at the federal level, which is kind of fragmented industry. It's silly right now. So we want that ultimately, which just getting together with lobbyists and such to get around to lobby for federal code for possible this modular currently modular which is higher than RV and trailers, but you can actually register it as an RV or trailer even those modular standards because it's portable, which is great. So that's one thing. And then to answer the question more specifically about solidity, these have very high wind ratings. These are very, very solid houses. They can bolt to any traditional foundation, but then all they can bolt to, they can just boil down to four or six piers in the ground would be fine for years and years. And then, yes. Packing and unpacking dozens of times, a hundred times is definitely part of the development brief. We have a prototype out here outside of our factory. We give tours, by the way. Everybody's welcome to come and it is the right time. And we still have the prototype outside. And if there's a home for abused homes, that poor Casita needs to retire. It's been packed. It's been all over the country, has been on the Washington Mall, Canada, San Diego. It's been packed and unpacked dozens of times. That's just the prototypes. So yeah, [it] reaches back to the whole sustainability argument as well that we were talking about earlier.

Todd Miller:

:

It's very interesting. Well, one of the things, as I look at our audience members, we think a lot of our audience members are younger folks in construction and design. Any particular advice you have for them or even ways that they could tap into what you're doing at Boxabl? I mean, you guys say, Hey, I want to become a local unpacker or an erector of Boxabl units or something like that. Any, any words of advice for folks who are intrigued by what you're doing?

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Yeah, I would say a couple of things. On the one hand, we are staffing up. So if you're brilliant, ambitious, if you want to come and join one of those companies, if as I said, if we don't screw it up. It's really you know, we're a technology company. It's a very exciting space. Las Vegas is not a terrible place to be. You know, when you invite people to come, they like, oh, they make excuses to come visit us. As opposed to, Oh come visit us in Boise or something. They don't want to come. Oh, I shouldn't say that now, gonna get lots of angry people from Boise.

Todd Miller:

:

Now the Boise people will be angry.

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Yeah, that's one. And on the other side, again, as part of fixing the entire problem, the product leaves our doors. How do we ensure quality and a good customer experience? And we have to have certified installers, which I think goes to the heart of your question. And so how will we do that? We're not there yet because we're moving down to sort of consumer products. The consumer product would be the onesy, twosy, as opposed to buying a couple of hundreds of the things that sort of the friends and family, I call it. But as we get to the consumer product, which we're very keen to do, we need to have certified installers. So what does that apply to? Of course, there are folks that install modular homes, trailer homes, things like that. They're used to moving big things around. I'm sure we'll be onboarding those as independent agents. I think the sort of Home Depot is very interesting to us. We haven't spoken to them yet. Yeah, they have a pro customer and they have a regular customer. That's a marriage made in heaven right there. So there's sort of a deep vein of possible installers there. What we plan to do as part of the whole franchise will be to have sort of a Boxabl U, a Boxabl University with a couple of different levels of certification. There'll be probably something like a weeklong cert and a school where they can come down to our factory here. And then of course, some places that's not going to be, they're not going to be able to do that for one reason or another. We'll have an online lower level of certification, but we will as company grows, be looking to have certified installers and builders. Young builders, old builders in the field could certainly, I believe, find a quite a profitable career as a certified installer. Because as we know, the home is just part of the equation. You know, we're architecturally neutral. You can finish them in different architectural styles and typically the homeowner is going to need a hook up to electric or if they're remote to a septic. They're going to need a driveway and they're going to need a slab. And we support where we can. We will support where we can with downloadable plans to take to the building departments if it's a onesy-type retail customer. But they're going to need a lot of hand-holding. You know, I don't know that a dentist knows anything about or an accountant knows anything about building construction. I'm pretty sure they need a building construction or construction professional. And I think that's a sort of three-way relationship works very well because the homeowner, who is our key focus, will have confidence that it's a Boxabl-certified installer and they know that there's sort of a mothership to complain to if they get sort of a rogue installer, you know, they're not just left high and dry. We got certainty that the product is being installed correctly, so we get less blowback for incorrect installations. And I think for repeat sales, I think everybody's certainly happy the homeowner may want to add modules. Certifiably, we are going to be happy for repeat business with the customer that they previously hopefully had a good experience with. We're certaintly happy to sell products to both.

Todd Miller:

:

Very good. Well, I love what you're doing. This has been very informative and thank you so much. We are close to wrapping up the business end of things, as I call it here. This has been a real pleasure and I've learned a lot. So anything we haven't covered today that you'd like to share with our audience?

Paolo Tiramani:

:

No, I just thought I would encourage folks to take a look at what we're doing, if they like what we're doing to come visit us in Las Vegas. We're very appreciative of our fans. They really got us where we are because of the crowdfunding. We set up here, the Disney tour. When I say Disney, I really mean Disney. We are big fans of Disney. The doors open automatically, they put gear on. We have a cartoon pig called Frank, etc., etc.. I think it's a great experience for you to come. Las Vegas is a great place to come. If you'd like a career at Boxabl, we're hiring everywhere from the factory floor to our executive and engineering teams. Just reach out to us.

Todd Miller:

:

Fantastic. Well, before we close out, I have to ask you one last question. One of the things we do often do here in the end of each show is what we call our rapid-fire questions. These are seven questions that we would pose to you. Some may be silly, some may be a little more serious. All you have to do is give a quick answer. And our audience needs to understand, if Pablo agrees to this, he has no idea what we're going to ask. So are you up to the challenge of rapid-fire?

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Yeah, absolutely. I'm terrible at it, I tell you right now. But let's go.

Todd Miller:

:

Let's do it. Well, we're going to alternate asking you the questions. I will let Ryan ask question number one.

Ryan Bell:

:

Alright, here we go. First job that you ever had?

Paolo Tiramani:

:

The worst job that I ever had was cleaning monkey experiment test tubes in a laboratory because I could not get a job as a waiter in college. Beat that.

Ryan Bell:

:

How did you find that job?

Paolo Tiramani:

:

I consulted the employment agency and said, I can't get a job anywhere. They said, Do you want to claim monkey test tubes?

Ryan Bell:

:

Somebody's gotta do it, I guess.

Paolo Tiramani:

:

With a very nice lady. You know, you go through life and you pick up saying and, you know, my name is Paolo. But she couldn't say my name Paolo, so she called me Paul, which is fine with me. I go around with her to get the test tubes, and she'd say, Paul, it's a good life if you don't, weaken. And you know what? She was right.

Todd Miller:

:

That's good stuff. Question number two, what's your favorite meal?

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Oh, God, I'm Italian. I can say it like that because I really am Italian. So I'm Italian, so I think it's got to be probably pasta or pizza. And I'm also a big fan of McDonald's. You notice there's nothing healthy in any of that.

Todd Miller:

:

Yeah.

Ryan Bell:

:

Have you ever had rabbit with your pasta?

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Actually, caniglio, as they say in Italian. Well done. So we can go down that rabbit hole. No, but caniglio. Yes, actually I've had, I've had rabbit pasta.

Ryan Bell:

:

Awesome. Third question. What would you like most to be remembered for?

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Oh, that's great. So growing up, my mother only told me two things. She said, I love you and you're the best. And that's I actually think as a parent, that's all you need to. You don't need to tell kids anything else; they'll figure it out. Just tell them you love them and that they're the best. And she instilled this in me, even though and it was quite evident that that was not true. You know, from my school reports, it's like, he doesn't speak a word of English, but he's very nice. It was pretty much he's an idiot sort of thing. But so I just want to be the best. If we're talking completely personally now, I just want to be the best at what I do. I just want to be number one. That's it. Maybe that's a little egotistical, but you ask the question, I'll give you a frank answer. And I think there's nothing wrong with saying that. And I think that everybody should have that feeling when they do a task. They say, I want to be the best at this. And then what I'd like to be remembered for is just doing some good somewhere, doing some good somewhere, you know. And that's sort of the phase of my life that I'm in and I'm having a whale of a time.

Todd Miller:

:

Those are admirable things. I love that. Nothing at all wrong with wanting to be the best either. I mean, that's that's the way the world has changed. That's cool. So kind of along those lines, since you have brought in your your mom already, that was great. But you got your choice here. So either the best or the worst advice you've ever been given.

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Oh, yeah. I'm an optimist and so I'll go with something positive for the audience. Friend of mine older than me told me years ago when things were a little rough. You know, things can get rough in all of our lives, professionally and personally. He said, Paolo, he said nothing stays good and nothing stays bad. And it's really unbelievable advice because when you're in a hole, you're going to say to yourself, this too shall pass. You got to say to yourself, this too shall pass. It will resolve, things will get better. It can be something in business, it could be a personal injury, it could be a death. But this too shall pass. You'll get through it. And then when things are good, you appreciate them because they're not going to stay good. Shit's going to happen. And you wake up every morning enjoying those good days and say, Holy shit, I can swear. This is ridiculous. Don't get comfortable. Just get out and just say, just enjoy the good times. Nothing stays good and nothing stays bad. Best advice I ever got.

Todd Miller:

:

Good stuff. Thank you.

Ryan Bell:

:

I like that. I think that's getting written down on a Post-it note.

Paolo Tiramani:

:

It's a Hallmark card, that won't sell.

Ryan Bell:

:

Alright. Name a mentor or other person you look up to. Is there anyone else other than your mother or?

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Yeah. I mean, apart from figures in history, I would say I look up to my single mother. She's ridiculously eccentric and wonderful and, you know, the usual suspects in the public space that everybody talks about. You know, the Musks and a few others. And I have to say my business partner, who is also my son, is just ridiculous. You know, I am his dad, and he's my son, but he's a serial entrepreneur. He goes from A to B as quickly as possible. He sort of teleports me to be whatever the task is. His critical thinking is nuts. And I've got to tell you, I learn from him every day, and he's my son.

Todd Miller:

:

Good stuff.

Ryan Bell:

:

That's awesome.

Todd Miller:

:

Okay. Next, back to a silly question now. If you had to choose, would you prefer to be a cat or a dog?

Paolo Tiramani:

:

I'd have to be a dog. I have to be a dog. I have to be because cats are girls and dogs are boys. More importantly, unrelated to girls, but cats are just weird, as you have no idea what they're doing. And dogs often fight with each other, and then 2 seconds later, they're happy and the pals again. And I think that goes for guys. We can argue and fight with each other and then we're good. We'll get along.

Ryan Bell:

:

You've got that right.

Todd Miller:

:

Good stuff.

Ryan Bell:

:

Okay, final question here. Favorite book that you would recommend to our audience?

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Ayn Rand, Ayn Rand. What's the name of the book? It's just, she is brilliant.

Todd Miller:

:

Is that Atlas Shrugged?

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Thank you so much. Thank you so much. Atlas Shrugged and her writings in particular at a first blush, you say, oh, she's mean, she's that, she's the other. Israeli lady, beautiful lady. Honesty and truthfulness are something that are always in short supply, I think in the human condition. And maybe especially today, we see it doesn't matter where you are, what side of the aisle you're on. Okay, not a lot of honesty or courage out in the world in terms of media and things like that and a lot of virtue signaling. And she didn't do any of that. She was brutally frank. Really, it's an incredible message of living a full, hopeful life that benefits you and others. But ir does it in a way, the advice is generated in a way that it works with the humans that we are in, the way that we're biologically wired for 4 billion years of evolution. So I really recommend her books. And you read the first two pages and you say, this is a horrible human being. But if you compare it to the end of the book, you should say to yourself, Wow, what a woman. What a woman.

Todd Miller:

:

Very good. Well, this has been great. I've really enjoyed this. I do need to share with our audience now something that I forgot to say earlier, but something that we have done in the last several episodes of the show is we have had challenge words, where both the hosts and the guests have had a word they've been challenged to work into the conversation. And at the end of the show I report whether we were successful or not. And pleased to see we're all successful. Paolo, you were so successful. I didn't even catch immediately that you were successful. It just was right there. So Paolo's word was Buffalo. So he's out there in Las Vegas where the buffalo roam, which seemed a little bit odd to me. But still it just went right over my head. Ryan's word was rabbit asking about rabbit and pasta.

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Because...

Todd Miller:

:

That was good. And in keeping with our animal theme, except dead animals, my word was roadkill. And I worked that in at some point as well. So I have to share with our audience also. I've been playing Mr. Miyagi here. I managed as we were recording this, to catch a fly in my hand. So I'm actually sitting here holding a fly right now that's crawling around. I didn't use chopsticks, but I still caught a fly. Anyway, well, this has been great, great pleasure. I've learned so much and I have to tell you, your wisdom goes far beyond just engineering and building buildings and designs. There is a great deal of wonderful information here today, so thank you very much for joining us Paolo.

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Great, guys. I've really, really, really enjoyed the conversation. It's been a wonderful way to pass an hour and a half, whatever it's been. It's been absolutely tremendous.

Paolo Tiramani:

:

Todd Miller: Well, it's been great. And I want to thank our audience, too, for tuning into this episode of Construction Disruption. I encourage you to watch for future episodes. We always have great guests on tap, but this has been a fantastic one. Don't forget to leave a review on Apple Podcasts or YouTube. Until the next episode, change the world for someone, make them smile, encourage them. Two very simple but yet powerful things we can do to change the world. Until the next episode of Construction Disruption, this is Isaiah Industries signing off. God bless and take care.