153: Todd Finney-from skateboarder to product designer and founder

March 19, 2019

Great conversation with with Todd Finney today, Todd tells us how he got into skateboarding and surfing his first experience on a cutting room floor, we spend a bit of time talking what it was like to start the brand Clive and much much more.

Show Notes

First Exposure to the Outdoors

When I was a kid I lived in a shitty part of Orange County and back then it was still orange groves. So we were outside all the time. And after my first school football game, when I got basically left out of the game, I decided I wasn't into the team sports thing. So I started skateboarding, building skateboard ramps and skating pools that were near my house. That was the golden era of skateboarding, it was really fun.

And then I moved to San Diego when I was 13. Up to that point we had done campground camping and we had a camper, we'd go to Mexico. Had a lot of fun with the family and motorcycles and hiking and all that stuff. And then I started surfing and I lived right by del Mar Skate ranch. It's maybe not traditional outdoors but I was outdoors a lot.

Things we talked about

Wolfgang Man & Beast

Eagle Creek

Skateboarding magazine

Powder magazine


Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell



Tim Swart

Rob Machado

Todd Richards




Steve Barker

Beaver Theodosakis

Jeremy Andrus

Joe Markham

Rocky Mountain Search and Rescue Dogs

Canines With A Cause

Outdoor Activities

Mountain bike




Advice, tips

I think about what Mike Rowe said. Mike Rowe from dirty jobs said, just because you're passionate about something doesn't mean you don't suck at it. So there's follow your passion, but if you suck at it, don't follow it for a career. Find another passion. If you happen to have passion and you're good at it, then you can do something with it, which is great. The crossroads I see people come to and I've mentored some people over the years. The crossroads I always see them come to is the marketing versus product. Are they going to be a marketer or are they going to be a product developer? And those two paths lead lead to different places. Both can lead to owning a company, but both can lead to very different careers. That's one of the crossroads I see people come to.

I guess my main thing is, of course as a guy who didn't go to college, maybe I'm limited on how far I'm ever going to go, but I don't think so.

I always say I like to go 90 degrees to the opposite direction of everybody else and just end up way over there. And people say wait, why is that guy over there? That's my approach. I don't know if that's approach for everybody. People make a lot of money making kind of regular products and stuff, but you know, the traditional path isn't for everyone.

Favorite Books

The Book of Mormon

Atlas Shrugged

The Communist Manifesto

Strengths Finder

Favorite Piece of Gear under $100

Luci Lights

Black Diamond Headlamp

Connect with Todd




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