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Thursday March 29, 2018 facebook-white twitter-white

Amazon, Quo Vadis?

As all members of SDSI know, Amazon is a frequent topic in our business forum. You can imagine the comments…from unprintable to laudatory. The question remains unanswered: “is Amazon a Devil or Angel?”

SDSI was among the first to poise the question 2 years ago in our very first Amazon workshop, presented then, as today, by Quiverr. Our local expert Ryan Mulvany pointed out to the crowd that “No Amazon strategy in indeed a strategy… for a train wreck. “ Three years later most all of us, retailer to brand managers, do in fact have a strategy. The choices are becoming more clear… sell direct, sell through 3rd parties or try the new Hybrid model by trying to do both. Many very successful brand managers have also taken the “no thank you” route and have actively, make that pro-actively, taken steps to make sure their brand does not appear in any Amazon portal.

All pretty good. As an industry, I think we have overcome the denial aspect and are slowly understanding that the consumer now is the ultimate brand manager. The advent and complete penetration of hand held devices has impacted the way we behave. Once upon a time Amazon was a gateway to lower prices. Now days it is often a gateway to convenience. Think about it… 20 minutes on the 5 to go 10 miles and 20 minutes back… or one click!

Yeah, I have to say Amazon is the little devil. I have made my choice. Its disruptive, annoying, unavoidable. But the big Devil is… technology. There is lots of good news about technology and one alarming thing: it does not care what you think about it, technology marches on with or without your endorsement.

The Industrial revolution is over.. completely. The digital revolution is about 1 minute old and it has completely changed our lives already. Want a glimpse of what could happen? Take this test:

What is the biggest economy in the world?
What is the 6th biggest economy in the world?
What is the 21st largest economy in the world?

Answer: USA, California, Alibaba! Make that, Nation, State and Platform!

We haven’t seen anything yet!

SDSI Springboard Class 11 is Underway!
Congratulations to our Class 11 companies, we look forward to watching your progress unfold.

StrengthPortal - Personal training management software for gyms that helps track workouts, retain clients and increase revenue. This SaaS platform replaces antiquated and ineffective systems that most gyms are using for personal training. The StrengthPortal system is already in use in multiple gyms across the country, including Equinox fitness locations.

Street Swings – Fun, interactive golf experiences that come to you! Street Swings is an experiential marketing company offering highly customizable experiences for all types of events. With customers like Qualcomm, SDG&E, and the attention of the golf market, Street Swings is poised for growth in golf and beyond!

Wearbands - Wearbands is a patented resistance band training system the gives you the freedom to perform any movement at any speed, anywhere, under full-time, no-impact resistance. With sponsored athletes that include Olympians, NFL players, Endurance athletes and more, the Wearbands mantra is: You choose the workout, WearBands makes it more productive.

Victorise - Data is everywhere we look, but it takes “smart” technology to be able to use it, learn from it. Victorise gives its user the information he or she needs when the user needs it most by leveraging app enabled hardware is unobtrusive and race ready. Prepare to become faster than ever with Victorise! 

Brian Lopes Becomes BLDG Active Athlete Ambassador
Springboard Grad BLDG Active, brings 20+ year pro mountain bike legend Brian Lopes onto the team! “Scrapes and cuts from bush whacking or a crash here and there, are part of riding – how quickly they heal is key in getting back into the fun,” Lopes said. “Active Skin Repair goes on any scrapes or cuts as soon as I come off my bike and I’ve noticed a huge difference in healing time,” he added. Read the full press release.

SUP Magazine Dream Retreat in Hawaii
Join Connor Baxter, Suzie Cooney and other top SUP athletes for a dream getaway on the North Shore of Maui. This event features four days of paddling instruction (for any level) from the best teachers on the planet, surf, fitness, yoga, healthy island food, a luxurious private room at the Lumeria Maui, and more… If only we could swing a “team-building” trip for SDSI employees from April 23-28th… Learn more and sign up soon.

ElliptiGO Releases New SUB Product
Smooth transition from SUP (above) to SUB… The new Stand Up Bike (SUB) is not only a ton of fun, but a great work out as well - burning about 33% more calories than that of a traditional bicycle. Want to test one out, swing on by SDSI and take ours out for a spin – we have thoroughly tested ours this week with lunch/coffee runs and just about every trip results in someone saying “whoa, that’s cool, where can I get one?” Read the Robb Report article, press release, or order yours today!

America’s Finest Corporate Dash Announced
Looking for a great way to build company moral and unity? Want a little healthy competition? Look no further than America’s Finest Corporate Dash 5k! Last year, we had a number of SDSI companies participate and this is always one of San Diego Running Co.’s most heavily attended events – take a look at the 2017 recap video. Assemble your team and sign up soon - price increases next week!

30th Annual ROTH Capital Conference a Success
With over 500 presenting companies, 65+ private companies, 18 panels, and 4,700 attendees, it is safe to say that the 30th Annual ROTH Capital Conference was another great success! Additionally, the conference continued it’s focus on supporting Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) with the annual ROTH Ride, Yoga, Tennis Tournament and more. So far, these activities have raised over $980,000 for CAF! Read the recap on Shop-eat-surf or take a look at the event photo album.

Adventure Sports Network to Stream Outdoor Sports
ASN (part of TEN: The Enthusiast Network) will be launching an outdoor sports streaming video option to outdoor sports enthusiasts. “Audiences will be able to engage in more of their favorite adventure sports by watching hours of high-quality video content through the ASN mobile app or streaming devices such as Apple TV and Roku. ASN on the OTT platform is for sports and outdoor enthusiasts in search of uncrowded surfing waves, camping sites, hiking trails, or simply those who wish to experience other wild adventures.” Read the full press release.

Hookit Tech Shines Light on Gender Pay-Gap
Team USA’s female athletes drove more social media interactions per athlete than their male counterparts. While Shaun White had the most engagements, he was the only male in the top 4. There is also the case study of Brazilian skateboarder, Leticia Bufoni, bringing in $2.5M worth of social media engagements for Nike. Expect her to have a lot more negotiating power when it comes to renew her contract! And we have hookit to thank for quantifying that data. Read the whole article on Forbes.

Slyde Handboards Featured on Mark Cuban Show
Steve and Angela Watts are featured on Mark Cuban Presents opening the 4 minute episode with the Steve’s wise words of “I just figured you started a company, sell some stuff, and like get rich.” View the whole episode on Facebook Watch to hear thier company story and what has been successful for Slyde Handboards. 

Jessica Dallas, Cofounder of IPPOS, Profiled by UC Irvine
Springboard Grad Jessica Dallas talks with UC Irvine about what led to her decision to pursue dual degrees - law and business. While already at Law School and going through SDSI Springboard, Jessica told UCI “It was my experience co-founding and growing a business, however, that showed me the value of this type of knowledge and the power it has in the practice of law. For these reasons, pursuing a concurrent degree in business and law seemed like a natural progression for my career.” For more on IPPOS, visit their website or read the full interview if you want to feel like an underachiever.

SHACC pre-registers “The Endless Summer” License Plates
We are approaching the final stages of the process to create a Special Interest California License Plate featuring The Endless Summer theme to benefit the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center (SHACC) led by SDSI mentor, Glenn Brumage. To proceed to the next step, SHACC must pre-register 7,500 applicants for this special edition plate. For more info, visit the website or pre-register.

TurningPoint Exec TurningPoint Tip: We wouldn’t go so far as to say firing someone is as difficult as being fired; but terminating someone is no picnic. In instances where the termination was a long time coming, managers find some comfort knowing they did all they could to help their employee improve. Although, being “justified” does not decrease the emotional burden of taking away someone’s source of income and impacting their future employment. It is important that you do it quickly, once you have determined the employee is no longer a fit, and be sure to spend the time to be 100% clear when letting someone go. This is not the time for ambiguity or dragging your feet. Learn about how to orchestrate an amicable separation in our latest blog. Questions about hiring sales & marketing professionals, contact Ken Schmitt directly at

Job Openings
President, Technology – San Diego
Director Global Sourcing, Consumer Products – Orange County
Channel Manager, Software – San Diego
Account Manager, Software – San Diego
Sr. Brand Manager, Consumer – Los Angeles
EVP Strategic Growth, Marketing Services – San Diego
Director Strategic Sales, Marketing Services – San Diego

Digital Operative – Senior eCommerce Account Manager click for info

ElliptiGO – Inside Sales Position click for info

Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa - Multiple positions/internships available click for info

Hookit – Multiple positions/internships available click for info

J!NX – Domestic Sales Lead click for info

KPMG - Multiple positions available click for info

SKLZ - Multiple positions available click for info

Apr. 24 - Board of Directors Meeting

May 1 - Springboard Class 11 Panel

May 22 - Advisory Board Meeting

Jul. 31 - Board of Directors Meeting

Mar. 31 – Del Mar Mud Run, Del Mar, CA click for info

Apr. 17 – Workstation Ergonomics: Train the Trainer, La Jolla, CA click for info

Apr. 23-28 – SUP Magazine Dream Retreat, Maui, HI click for info​​​​​​​

May 12 - SurfAID Cup - Seaside Reef, Solana Beach, CA click for info
May 15-18 - SIMA Surf Summit, Los Cabos, BCS, MX click for info

Jun. 28-29 - Agenda Long Beach, Long Beach,CA click for info

Jun. 28 – America’s Finest Corporate Dash, San Diego, CA click for info

Jul. 23-26 - Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, Denver, CO click for info

This email was sent by SD Sport Innovators at 253 S. Highway 101, Suite C, Solana Beach, CA 92075.

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