Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:11 pm Posts: 125 Location: Los Angeles, CA
Ttriche, A better mousetrap? I believe I've made the product better with my design. I haven't necessarily reinvented the wheel but I have improved it. Innovation is the sole purpose of my desire to start my own company. Anyone can make a splitboard and put their name on it but it takes vision to make the product better. Part of my reason for asking question 2 is because I feel that the more defined the goals are of a company, the more likely they are to achieve them. In theory, a company that ONLY made splitboards and splitboard related product should be very in touch with the specific needs of the market. Whereas a company that make all sorts of other products may find it difficult (if not impossible) devoting time and resources to the splitboard segment of their business.
That company would also need some capital to get off the ground. Partnering with someone like Voile or Bomber, someone with whom you have an existing relationship, someone who is committed at least as much to the sport as to the almighty dollar.
Whoever pointed out the standard evolution path in mountain biking was spot on. There were a handful of companies (SRAM, for example) that survived. Most did not. This is how consolidation happens in any industry -- there is a boom that produces a lot of small players, and eventually the market matures and stabilizes through consolidation.
I don't agree with the joking comment you made re Voile. They are not in the business to rip anybody off. They are aware of my plans and supportive.
So am I -- remember what I suggested about waiting until you get your patent granted?
Voile has got to be one of the most core companies I can think of -- their success is a testament to the free market and they have ALWAYS been incredibly cool to me. I'd better go edit my post to clarify that -- basically, if you think your invention is going to be complicated to fabricate (I do), you'll be better off with a partner. If you're going to partner with someone, a company like Voile or Bomber is a hell of a lot more trustworthy than the Microsofts and Burtons of the world.
I should edit my previous post to clarify that.
Re your friend Paul and the overall image of splitboarding. This is one of the biggest things that has held the growth back. We have no IDENTITY, we have no real ambassadors, and we are not marketed towards (lack of publicity). Without these things it becomes very difficult. The mfgs need to identify the market. We are very diverse. While most are snowboarders to begin with we also have skiers, climbers, backpackers, mountaineers, etc all mixed in. The age range is pretty broad too. All these things don't make it easy to reach the market but it is possible with the right plan.
You've got the pieces, put them together.
It's a very exciting time and I can't wait to share the real nitty gritty with you.
Wait until you get your pending notice. I watched this happen several times on rc.com, sharp kids who got a bright "eureka!" idea, and it was heartening to see them go to small, core companies like Trango and Omega Pacific when they got their paperwork in order. You can bring your idea to market, that much I'm certain of. Do it with good people who you want to see succeed, and who want you to succeed.
There's a local bike shop in town where the owner just fabricated and patented his own clip-in pedal and crank design. It's like nothing I've ever seen and for roadies it is brilliant -- negative stack height, insanely low weight, bombproof attachment, idiot-proof step-in. I figure it'll be a big success if it falls under the right eyeballs... marketing is important. People won't buy a product if they don't know it exists. (cf. Paul)
Part of the reason I've been looking into ways to improve the site's plumbing is because I think you're going to have to cross-over to a broader segment of the market in order to successfully expand it. If there's a simpler, easier way to plan trips, get avy reports for your area, and hook up with people for tours, I doubt that only splitboarders will want to use it.
Keeping an open mind, and building what people want are very important. You've got the former point nailed. The more people who associate splits with descents like Zellers' and pics like yours of the Doodad, the easier it will be to attract part-timers, frustrated or injured telemarkers, and mountaineers to cross over.
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2004 11:42 am Posts: 2372 Location: California
I don't want to be rich in terms of wealth, I want to be rich in terms of happiness and job satisfaction.
I know your goals aren't focused on money, I was refering to a crossroads I think you'll eventually come too-sell or stay independent. I guess I was jumping the gun because I'm so sure that your products will be desirable.
I think this statement is the comment of the day:
if you think your invention is going to be complicated to fabricate (I do), you'll be better off with a partner. If you're going to partner with someone, a company like Voile or Bomber is a hell of a lot more trustworthy than the Microsofts and Burtons of the world.
I would also ask the question about cost? Do you have enough time and/or money to get your product to the marketplace? Voile or Bomber would get your products to the market sooner but would obviously take some of the cash.
Would you prefer to be an employee or business parnter?
There's a lot of great energy and advice flowing on this thread. I'd like to pitch in with a few thoughts of my own.
The mountain bike analogy is great, but we really have to consider the realistic numbers here. Backcountry glisse will never capture the masses like mountain biking has, and this is obvious for a few reasons. First, many people are scared shitless of the great white dragon, and they will never embrace mountains in winter because of that. The majority are after a safe place (ski area) that they can go enjoy with minimal risk. The next big hurdle is the weather. Not too many people turned off by warm summers in the mountains. On the other hand we all know folks who shudder at the thought of freezing their asses off in February while wandering around in the mountains.
The comparisons to Tele gear is also distorted. If we analyze the ride that tele has enjoyed over the past decade, we'd find that this has pretty much hit a plateau. Yes, splitboarding is currently riding a "wave" of popularity, but we'll never see those numbers that tele has. Why? Because the biggest increase in the tele market has been at the resort. Open up a G3 binding box at the store and check out the lack of climbing wires. How far would a bc tele'r get up the skin track? The wires are accessories because the masses are at the resorts! Not too many people out there eager to plunk down a major wad of cash on a splitboard for carving the resort.
To clarify a bit, splitboarding is seeing a significant growth spurt, and I believe this will carry on for quite some time. We'll see the resort jibbers age and start embracing the bc, it's a natural progression for many. The age demographic for bc skiers/boarders is significantly higher than their resort counterparts. But even with all of this growth, we still need to be realists.
BCR, this is your passion- just look at this cool site! You'll only regret it if you don't pull the trigger. I'm just throwing out some realism since we're all so into splitting that we forget that there's not that many of us. Yes there's room for new players, and it will happen, but the market is small. I have no doubt that if you continue to pour yourself into your passion, you will be successful. Best wishes to you in your endeavors!
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2004 11:42 am Posts: 2372 Location: California
My analagy w/ mtbing had nothing to do with the growth of the sports. Of course splitboarding will grow very there different that mtbing did. At least I hope so. I was simply pointing out the typical progression, as I've seen it anyways, of what's happened to most small part/bike builders. That's all.
Your mood seems doom and gloom yet your encouragement and predictions point toward success.
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 4:58 pm Posts: 152 Location: Incline Village, NV
this could be slightly depressing for you but the mexican shop next to yuba hasn't been open in a while. It was empty all summer, but I did hear a rumor that it might be reopening. As far as I know Greg from Yuba had nothing to do with the mexi joint.