Imagine launching your own product aligned perfectly with your passions, heading out on an 18-month roadshow to market it at your favorite outdoor spots, and having someone else paying for all of it. Sound’s amazing, right? That’s exactly what Boulder Denim co-founders Bradley Spence and Taz Barrett are doing. They hit the road in June in a custom Sprinter and Airstream trailer, traveling all over the US to demo their unique stretchy pairs of jeans that work just as well climbing as they do out on the town. They started out with nothing more than an idea, but thanks to fearless knocking on doors, jumping at all the right opportunities, and a killer Kickstarter strategy (plus a comically random assortment of crappy high school jobs and college startups), they’ve pulled off the ultimate lifestyle business. And it could get huge! Check out show notes and photos at TheBuildCycle.com
What does it take to build a global brand? Mike Sinyard founded Specialized Bicycles to get the parts he wanted into the US. Then he created a road bike tire because he couldn't find anything that met his needs. Step after step, he built his company, and now it's one of the largest bicycle brands in the world. A big part of his success is owed to the strong culture he's built with passionate, open minded employees all focused on a single mission: Create the best bicycles in the world. Here's how he did it, and check the show notes for photos, video and more at TheBuildCycle.com!
Strava has created THE unifying platform upon which cyclists share their rides, amassing tens of millions of users, and creating a massive platform of paid subscribers and valuable data. They did this by making it device agnostic, gamifying the experience, and making it incredibly easy to use. The result? A service that's able to push more services and products to their customers, sell aggregated data to municipalities, and attract massive venture capital. Here, co-founder Mark Gainey shares their startup story and growth tactics.
What if you could start a business that funded you and your best buddies' adventures? Wolfpack Ninja Tour cofounder Noah Kaufman is using their teams' American Ninja Warrior celebrity platform to build a national consumer sporting event series. It could have just been a T-shirt business to fund climbing trips, but they kept their eyes open for opportunities and took advantage of them, and it's led them to create something big. And being smart about their growth, attracting sponsors, and learning as they go means they're buidling something that will last. Listen in as Noah tells how competition is good, how they're co-opting other's marketing to their benefit, and how they've focused on the right type of customer.
Chris Warner has summited some of the tallest mountains in the world, and now he helps leaders reach the top of their game. He's also the founder of Earth Treks climbing gyms, which owns the largest indoor climbing facility in the USA. He drops some tips for building your own leadership skills (straight from his very expensive seminars!) and discusses revenue and management strategy...two things most passion-based outdoor/adventure entrepreneurs desperately need to do better!
Be sure to check the show notes for this episode at http://www.thebuildcycle.com for a LOT of post-interview knowledge, links to his videos (including a full speech) and a free download from Chris!
So you want to start a website. Or a podcast. Or a blog, YouTube channel or any other media outlet. Being able to talk about the things you love and live it every day sounds awesome. And it is. But things have changed, and the publications that are figuring out the right mix brand partnerships and editorial are the ones that are thriving.
GearJunkie.com Founder and Editor Stephen Regenold has built a sizable team and business pursuing the activities he loves. He's able to climb, ski, hike and explore the outdoors and it's all "business". If that's not the definition of a dream lifestyle business, I don't know what is. But he's able to do that and support a staff of eight, each following their own passion to provide comprehensive coverage of the outdoor industry and life. Here's how he's done it.
As always, for full show notes, time stamps and more, check the blog at http://www.thebuildcycle.com
My favorite quote from this interview with Tepui Tents founder Evan Currid?
"Are we going to buy a house, or are we going to start this company?"
It's this mentality that makes things happen. Setting aside creature comforts, sleep, an easy day job, and other "sacrifices" barely seem like such when you're following a dream. Tepui was started with personal savings of $33,000 right after Evan and his wife married, and that question up above was the decision they had to make. Here's how that even became a consideration, and where they've gone from there to build the most well known North American brand in car roof-top tents!
It doesn't matter what type of business you want to build, strong partnerships will help you and and your industry grow. Competitor Magazine founder Bob Babbit used this strategy to amazing success, building not just his magazine but also launching a radio show, podcast, awards ceremony and events. All of which created an ecosystem that supported gear brands and their retailers, which in turn gave him more readers, listeners and participants.
There's some fascinating insight into the world of events here, but even if that and the media world aren't your interest, you'd be missing out to skip this episode! Easily one of my favorites so far!
For full show notes, links and an in depth analysis, head over to the blog at http://www.thebuildcycle.com
It's not just apps and websites kids are launching in college. Pure Cycles started up as an idea in the middle of a fall semester. By winter break, Michael Fishman and two friends had a container of bikes delivered and sold all of them before returning for spring semester. The best part? They did all that with just a few thousand bucks from personal savings! If you're launching a consumer product, Michael's thoughts on development, sourcing, sales and marketing will give you all the tools you need to get up and running fast!
Be sure to check the show notes for links at http://www.thebuildcycle.com and give us a follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram...we're @thebuildcycle on all three!
Want to travel the country, explore nature & have customers pay you to help with market research? That's the business Dean Wiltshire has built with Colorado Teardrops, a camper trailer manufacturer based in Boulder, Colorado.
He left a lucrative job in tech to start the company, which freed up his time to travel with his daughter. Thanks to his business skills, he's growing at a sustainable pace, controlling his retail sales experience, and is building the company off revenues. Listen in to see how he's done it and pick up advice for how to launch a consumer product, then head over to TheBuildCycle.com for show notes, photos and more!