DLYohn Notes & Quotes From Asi Action Sports & Apparel Innovator Panel


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notes from the ASI Action Sports & Apparel Innovator Panel

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DLYohn Notes & Quotes From Asi Action Sports & Apparel Innovator Panel

  1. 1. the entrepreneurs behind four of the most exciting brands in action sports shared their business-building advice with students – here’s what they said… <br />
  2. 2. Panelists:<br /><ul><li>Brian Enge, CEO of ZootSports
  3. 3. Andy Laats, Co-Founder and President of Nixon
  4. 4. Todd Richards, Olympic Snowboarder, Co-Founder OmaticSnowboards
  5. 5. Beaver Theodosakis, Founder & CEO of prAna</li></ul>Moderator:<br /><ul><li>Michael Brower, CFO, Triple 7 Group, Inc.</li></ul>2<br />
  6. 6. on starting small and focused:<br />3<br />
  7. 7. “find your niche <br />and then exploit the heck out of it”<br />4<br />
  8. 8. “try to be a big fish in a small pond”<br />5<br />
  9. 9. “make a little bush fire <br />and then let it catch on from there”<br />6<br />
  10. 10. “start by building a leadership position in a small market – then partner with someone who can help you get bigger”<br />7<br />
  11. 11. on fundraising and working with investors:<br />8<br />
  12. 12. “fundraising is a living business plan” <br />(ask rejecters for advice on how to make your business plan better)<br />9<br />
  13. 13. “choosing your investors is the most important business decision you will make”<br />10<br />
  14. 14. “fundraising is when you find out what kind of entrepreneur you are”<br />(you learn what your risk profile is)<br />11<br />
  15. 15. “don’t surprise your investors”<br />12<br />
  16. 16. “take care of the people who were with you in the beginning…they will be your biggest advocates”<br />13<br />
  17. 17. on marketing:<br />14<br />
  18. 18. “we are leaving a trail of bread crumbs for people to follow as they learn about us…we let people discover things like easter eggs…we don’t tell everything at once”<br />15<br />
  19. 19. how to differentiate?<br />“it’s all marketing. kids want to associate with a name and feel they are part of a movement.”<br />16<br />
  20. 20. “don’t talk down to your customers”<br />17<br />
  21. 21. “we were in Big 5 every Saturday talking to every skateboarder about whatever they wanted to talk about”<br />(be willing to do the work to <br />build relationships with target)<br />18<br />
  22. 22. “throw anchors in the opposite direction”<br />(as you get bigger, <br />go deeper with your core customers)<br />19<br />
  23. 23. on strategy:<br />20<br />
  24. 24. “there is no such thing as a defensible strategy. product innovation is our lifeblood but it isn’t defensible…it can be copied. what works is a good strategy well executed.”<br />21<br />
  25. 25. “you may be a consumer brand but for the 1st 18 months, it’s about B2B” (getting distribution)<br />22<br />
  26. 26. “take your core [target] on a journey with your product innovation”<br />23<br />
  27. 27. final thoughts:<br />24<br />
  28. 28. start-ups are evaluated on four P’s:<br />product<br />people<br />potential<br />predictability<br />25<br />
  29. 29. “an entrepreneur is someone who makes money off of someone else’s money”<br />26<br />
  30. 30. compiled by denise lee yohn<br />mail@deniseleeyohn.com<br />