First Exposure to the Outdoors
like most of the things that I got into it was sort of backwards. I grew up in the New York suburbs. Wasn't particularly an outdoor guy at all. I was more team sports guy. I was one of these guys who played everything pretty well and nothing great. I plated in a varsity in a couple of things but not that much. I hung out with a bunch of athletes and really enjoyed playing to all kinds of ball sports.
I went to American University in Washington DC and started hanging out with people that you have an affinity with. Next thing you know these folks that are my better friends, some of which are still my best friends today, started doing some camping and backpacking in the Shenandoah mountains. Which is, you know, an hour and a half drive. And so I kind of got introduced to that activity really through through the college folks that I hung out with
Things we talked about
Hermans Sporting Goods
Hudson Trail Outfitters
Well, I would start with, there are no easy answers. And the business really isn't the same business. I mean the products are the same. The outdoor pursuits and the consumer is doing the same thing. How you get to that consumer is so different now. You know, I'm glad I got out when I did because my skills will become obsolete I think in most industries.
Outdoor specialty retail is in significant danger of being extinct, online is the place to be. I would say what Barker and I learned with Eagle Creek is, if you're going to start a business, you've got to understand what your core competency is and what your leverage point is. In order to be competitive in the marketplace you've gotta be better than most other people at something. Whether it is . . . most people think it's cost right away, but it doesn't have to be cost. You know, you could be more innovative and it can be cheaper. You could be more convenient, you could have a better relationships, but you've got to have a point of leverage. And if you can't find that, if you can't figure out what your core competency is, as my Jewish mother would say, don't bother.
So many people go into business thinking, I really love the outdoors and I want to start an outdoor business. It's like, OK, so what are you good at? You know, how you're going to beat the competition and find your niche in the marketplace?
Other Outdoor Activities
Best Gear Purchase under $100
Fleece Zip Turtleneck
Connect with Ricky
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