Ryan Hersh- Founder, EDISON Bicycles
Why he inspires us: Ryan is taking transportation by the spokes and building a better way to commute around Atlanta with EDISON Bicycles.
The commute from Kirkwood to Emory is about 4 miles, but it was taking Ryan Hersh an entire hour to get from his door to his desk fighting traffic. The search for a better way started with a sweaty bike ride for this tinkering bike-rider, but it quickly logged miles to become EDISON Bicycles, an electric answer to busy byways and boring commutes. Now, his top-notch product (aptly named for the light-bulb-brained innovator himself) helps a community of riders get to their destinations faster and feel a lot better doing it.
What makes EDISON Bicycles stand out from the competition?
Everything. The frame is custom-built to be lighter and more balanced. We use the best components possible, because most of the time, our customers are relying on EDISON to commute. It needs to be reliable. Plus, we are local and have this incredible family of EDISON owners that I cannot wait to get back together after this pandemic blows over.
What’s the most surprising part about the EDISON journey for you?
Our customers. ‘EDISON is for everyone’ is a mantra that constantly rings true. There is no demographic that can be used to describe our EDISON family—you never know who is going to come through that door. The smiles on their faces when they get back from a test ride is what keeps me going.
What would you tell a fellow innovator as they’re starting out?
It’s hard, so you must love what you are creating. If you don’t, you will fail. If you don’t believe in it, you will fail. Nothing good is easy, and if it was, everyone would be doing it! We are still the only company in Atlanta that builds electric bikes— because it’s hard! But we love it.
How do you keep yourself motivated during tough times?
I remind myself that I am a leader. My leaders and my mentors are calm, wise, and have a better longview and perspective. If I start feeling overwhelmed, I remind myself that I am a leader for my family, employees and customers. They are counting on me. What does it say if I lose my cool? I will not fail them.