Gregory George Moore: Co-Founder & Director of Marketing | Editor-in-Chief, Bike EXIF
Gregory is the co-founder of Iron & Air Media, a creative media company that specializes in automotive and motorcycle enthusiast culture. He also serves as the editor-in-chief of Bike EXIF, the premier destination on the internet for custom motorcycling. With decades of experience in the creative industry, Gregory has used his deep understanding of automotive and motorcycle enthusiast culture to build and manage social media audiences in the millions. Gregory is a formally educated designer and self-taught illustrator, photographer, and writer. He has managed creative projects with brands such as Toyota, Suzuki and Converse.
Adam Fitzgerald: Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief
Adam serves as the editor-in-chief of Iron & Air Magazine and ironandair.com. A passionate automotive and motorcycle enthusiast with a formal education in design and over 20 years’ experience in the field, Adam’s discerning content creation skill focuses on fuel culture and the enthusiast mindset. Self-taught as a writer, photographer, and illustrator, he has also creative directed branded editorial projects with clients such as Indian Motorcycle, Converse, Rebel Bourbon and more.
Q: Iron & Air began as social-first and quickly grew sizable followings on Instagram and Facebook prior to producing the print magazine. Now you’ve added an engaging online platform to the mix — can you tell us about what that transition has been like, evolving into a multichannel media platform, and what this says about your audience?
Gregory: Iron & Air has always taken a technology and new media-first approach. When the print magazine was still new to us, it represented a challenge in the digital age — building a desirable print product in the time of dwindling attention spans and ephemeral content feeds. But it quickly found a loyal core audience. The print magazine served as a “full meal” companion to the bite-sized content happening on social. Seeking growth, the next logical step for Iron & Air was to build a true digital destination for the brand to explore its unique type of storytelling online. While we’re in the beginning stages of this new journey with ironandair.com, we’re proud to be delivering on our mission to bring engaging storytelling to motorcycle and automobile enthusiasts, no matter the medium. The audience we’ve built seems more than willing to take this next adventure with us and we’re looking forward to all that’s ahead.
Adam: When we started out, we were simply trying to attract an audience of people who were into the same things we were and then give them something we couldn’t find ourselves. The result was a unique point of view on the culture of motorcycling (and later automotive) — packaged and delivered in our own way, no matter the medium the message was being delivered through. When we really had the chance to rethink the web experience for Iron & Air, we took that same approach trying to create something fresh that we’d want to experience ourselves. So far, the response has been great — so we must be doing something right.
Q: In today’s media landscape, audiences have so many options at their disposal, how does Iron & Air and Bike EXIF differentiate themselves and stand out?
Gregory: Our instincts. This isn’t the most technical answer, but I believe it to be true. They say you can’t teach or buy taste, yet we see ourselves as tastemakers and stewards of the cultures we’re part of and cover. Providing a bit of context and performance data to back this up, for Bike EXIF, it’s all about exclusivity and quality — Bike EXIF is the headquarters of the custom motorcycle community. To be featured is a badge of honor for hundreds of small boutique motorcycle shops and businesses pouring their hearts and creativity into these machines. And the audience shows up for it nearly every day
Adam: With so many things in our lives vying for just a sliver of our time, we don’t take for granted when a member of our audience chooses to give us some of that irreplaceable commodity. I’ve always believed that Iron & Air should deliver the same experience one would get if they were to take a road trip — there will always be the expected and familiar parts but there could also be unexpected discoveries and learnings to be gained from it all. Inevitably, you’d come out the other side of that journey a different person. We want the experience of engaging with Iron & Air to provide something similar. Knowing our readers engage with Iron & Air because they’re cut from a similar cloth to our own, our goal is to give them a lot to discover and explore within the content experience we’ve created and ultimately add value to their lives. If you are looking to see what an Iron & Air road trip really looks like, check out Sea to Sky where we ride across NH to explore some of the best routes, roadside attractions, and cuisine the Granite State has to offer.
Q: As Editors-In-Chief, what experiences — whether professional or personal — before Iron & Air would you say have been most helpful in fueling your success in your current roles?
Gregory: For me, it was skate culture, writing music and being in bands. In many ways being in a band is like running a small business. You’ve got to motivate the other band members, convince them of your ideas, make a product and sell it. Skate culture is an ever-evolving organism of what’s cool and what’s not. There’s a lot of gatekeeping but it taught me to be incredibly discerning about my taste.
Adam: Similar to Gregory, skate culture was a huge influence in my life. It was less of a leisure activity and more of a way of living and viewing the world through a new lens that encompassed all the things I loved — art, music and design. It taught me a lot and exposed me to many cultures I may not have otherwise been privy to. I always had a passion for automobiles; my affinity for motorcycling came later in life. Even so, I instantly saw similarities in the culture of motorcycling and cars that were present in skateboarding. It only seemed logical to apply what we gleaned from skate culture to what we wanted to create with Iron & Air.
Q: It’s not every day someone gets to truly blend their personal passion or hobby with a career. What has it been like for you translating your love for machines into a business?
Gregory: It’s amazing and frustrating all at once. As they say, everything becomes work eventually but at the end of the day, I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve done, the work we continue to do, the audience we’ve built and the tiny little dent that Iron & Air has made on the universe.
Adam: I have to agree with Gregory. When your passion becomes your profession, you ride a fine line between that thing being cathartic or driving you catatonic. Ten years in, I’m still constantly inspired by the subject matter so I like to think I’ve found some form of balance. It’s also important to remember that at the end of the day, this is a business and there are particular business functions that need to happen for it to be successful. Developing a pragmatic side toward the thing we’re passionate about has been critical to making good decisions that influence the future of the business.
Q: Looking back to when you co-founded Iron & Air Media, what do you wish you knew then that you know now and what advice would you give to your younger selves?
Gregory: Always start before you’re ready. Information and education can become an advanced form of procrastination. Be bold and confident in your decision making — a bad decision is better than no decision.
Adam: Surround yourself with the people you want to be more like. When something (or someone) feels wrong — personally or professionally — it probably is.
Q: What are your aspirations for the Iron & Air and Bike EXIF brands over the next few years?
Gregory: To keep Bike EXIF as the global voice of custom motorcycling and also develop authentic yet effective ways to monetize the brand better while continuing to serve the needs of our dedicated and loyal audience.
Adam: To grow Iron & Air Media into a multivertical media brand serving motorcycling and automobile enthusiast audiences around the world through passion-driven content. And to make some money while doing it, if I’m being completely honest.
Q: How do you see York Creative Collective playing a role in achieving those objectives?
Gregory: Whether that be investment or talent, YCC brings decades of experience to the table — we hope that can play an instrumental role in our future success.
Adam: In every phase of a business, there are unique challenges to overcome and opportunities to capitalize on — having a team of industry experts at our disposal gives us an edge we otherwise wouldn’t have as we enter this next phase of growth. Essentially, YCC is like having a pit crew for your business — ready to tackle any of the things you’ll routinely or unexpectedly encounter along the way.