A sincere thanks to the Piton for "mixing it up." You'll be missed. It doesn't matter that I didn't always agree with their positions ... because I always read them anyway, and always thought about them. The following is BB's final unpublished rip. It's too good of a read to not land in the blogosphere.
"It's not that I don't enjoy it, but it's kind of like a trip to Disneyland. You get so excited about a ride on the Matterhorn, and then when it's over, you realize you wasted all that time in line for a minute and a half upside down and the chance to throw up." --Murphy Brown
Bomber's announcement that he was pulling back from his duties at The Piton is just the latest in a long decline of creative interest in this blog. Many lesson's have been learned since we started The Piton. The main one being that a good effort takes time, time that we had to steal from our jobs, our sports, and our families. Many time's our greatest inspiration came in the middle of the night when we thought our significants wouldn't notice, only to realize that we paid the price the next day as we nodded off during an important meeting. Love it or hate it, The Piton was a lot of work, but at first it didn't matter. We were fired up. Years of pent up opinion now had an outlet. It spewed forth. Much of it total crap, funny only to us. It was great, and it didn't matter because nobody was reading it. We used the site to exercise our strategic opinions, practice our (aberrant) writing skills, and learn about a new powerful medium that we knew nothing about.
Somewhere along the way it got serious.
People we respected were reading, we really pissed off a few companies, we received our first cease and desist letter. We started to get real traffic, which was great, but a sense of "having to perform" crept into our actions.
So for now, this is it. We're turning off the authors passwords, letting our Typepad subscription run out, and ceasing all new content. We're going to keep the URL alive because I've learned to never say never.
Thank you to the authors and contributors. We had a real community here at The Piton and many of you were active participants. Your jokes, comments, and encouragement was what made this a great experience.
The Final Rant:
How this industry got taken over by such a bunch of uptight fuckwads is a story that could top the New York Times non-fiction list. The outdoor industry was built on equal parts of inspiration and innovation. Crazy people like Dana Gleason, Yvon Chouinard, Royal Robbins, Fred Williams, Dick Kelty, Wayne Gregory, Bill Masters, Chan Zanzwig, Steve O'Meara, not only innovated gear, but they inspired a generation to flip-the-bird at the life their parents had prepared them for. They inspired a generation to follow a new path that placed the value of experience ahead of climbing the corporate ladder. They could even inspire those who were already stuck with a mortgage to drop it all for 3 weeks a year and go climb, ski, and explore.
Times change. Companies were sold, rescued, consolidated. Founders quickly tired of the corporate bullshit and bailed to higher ground. Awesome brands were analyzed, leveraged, and expanded. Products improved. Sales grew. New highly trained business ninja's rolled in and had all the answers. All the answers except one, how do we inspire a new generation of believers? Press releasing that your company just bought another brand, that your sales results are up double-digits, that you just opened a new warehouse DOESN'T MEAN SHIT. Your brands (this includes you Specialty Retailers) must inspire people to get off their asses, and our current state of industry just isn't all that inspirational.
The Piton has a solution. A three (five?) point plan to get you, and a whole new generation of people off the computer and into the river.
1) Demote your CEO. You may need a highly skill business killer, but DON"T LET THEM GUIDE YOUR COMPANY. Make them report to some hardworking, tele-turning, river guiding, single tracking, genius.
2)Become customer focused. Cancel all subscriptions to Leisure Trends, paid news publications, and group trade organizations. The bulk of the momentum in this business was created before these groups existed, and there is no proof that they are helping us in any way.
3) Let your people get the hell out of the office. Install a shower, make sure they know you value non-paid leave.
4) Stand for something besides shareholder value. Pick anything. Access, human rights, hoods in the woods, the environment. Find something you're passionate about, inspire your employees to be passionate about it, and hopefully you can transfer that passion to your customers.
LINK: The Piton