The other week, while Gregor was in London banging the drum about our second product and meeting up with awesome people, I jumped on a train to Warrington to give a talk at an exclusive sports thinktank. I’ve never been to Warrington. I got off the train and walked to the hotel, so I could feel as much of the place as possible.
I was there to tell my story. A decade of building the cold water surf company, Finisterre. Then to introduce this next journey with my compadre Gregor Matthews and tell people all about the awesome work we’re doing here at Why Buys Your Stuff?
The sports thinktank has been going for over 25 years. It’s an exclusive organisation for chief execs from the sports industry to get together twice a year and discuss some really high level things. Those who attend are sharp as hell, they bore quick, they don’t like wasting time - they are big dudes, they’ve grown some big companies.
Tim Drake kicked it off. He’s an author, Ted Talk, DoLecture and thinktank chairman. The evening started at the New Balance HQ, then moved to a hotel. Evan’s Cycles chairman Mike Tomkins gave the group a snapshot of where the cycling industry was heading and how Evan’s was going to grow from 60 to 100 retailers. I loved it. Then it was my turn to get up and tell my rollercoaster ride of speed bumps, cold water waves and the future of brands and their relationship with their best customers.
Totally honest, I was nervous. Not so much when I was travelling up, but the nerves kicked in when I got a clear idea of who was in the room. These are guys who have achieved a lot in business. They’ve heard it all, I needed to be interesting. I parked the nerves, settled into the space, and remembered to enjoy the ride (thank you mom and dad). A few minutes later, I let rip and told my story …
It was incredible speaking to them afterwards. They said they could genuinely feel the passion and loved the big problem we're attempting to solve. We moved on to a bar, drank wine and 3AM came quick. It was a big experience to spend time with such awesome, pumped, positive people who I’m grateful to now call connections.
Here they are …
Dave Daly: you are a total dude. Nike 30 years, now the next adventure begins. Keep me posted.
Mike Tomkins: so pumped to see what you guys do with Evan’s Cycles on its next journey.
Tim Drake: can I please get a copy of your next book? Thanks again, you are such a good guy.
Tony Lock: Gregor and I are most definitely visiting Tiverton to see your new set up.
Martin Hudson: grew a fashion label and sold it. He’s now the GM of a Danish women’s sportswear brand.