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"It works: custom-made skis"
We’re certainly not going to complain about a lack of media coverage. In our first two years of operation ORIGINAL+ has already received a lot of press.
One of our favorite articles was published in January 2019 in the renowned German business magazine brand eins. The focus topic of the edition: “OVERCOMING OBSTACLES”.
ORIGINAL+ founder and General Manager Siegfried Rumpfhuber was about to install the new, highly precise automatic edge grinding machine when brand eins called. Whether they could come by for a personal interview – of course they could! After all, brand eins is probably the best-made German economic journal and one of the most successful business magazines in the German-speaking world. The journal’s stories are less about big enterprises and well-known top managers, but focus more on people that forge new (thinking) paths and are often quite successful in doing so.
Just like Siegfried Rumpfhuber with ORIGINAL+. With his business idea of building customized skis for recreational skiers, he has clearly challenged the ski industry’s status quo. And he’s set new standards, but more about that later.
By mid-December the time had come and brand eins paid us a visit in our 300 square meter workshop in Salzburg. Representing brand eins: a journalist and a photographer, armed with lots of exciting questions regarding the company’s history and every single step on the way to a custom-built ski.
“The way to uniqueness is the same for everyone …”
“… You need to answer 21 questions: In what kind of terrain do you ski? How would you rate your skiing skills? Where will you take your new skis?“ This is how the article in brand eins’ first edition of volume 21 starts. And this is exactly how the process begins that will configure and produce a pair of ORIGINAL+ skis, adapted to the skier’s needs in both material and construction. So far, comparable skis have existed only in pro sports where it is common to tinker as long as it takes until the ski fits the skier perfectly. They usually end up costing round 8.000 to 10.000 Euros. Siegfried knows that from his longstanding experience in the industry. Together with his team he’s found a way to offer virtually equivalent skis starting from as low as 650 Euros. How that’s possible, brand eins author Wolfgang Wieser wanted to know. Siegfried’s response: “By automating the conversation with the customer.”
When digging deeper, you’ll find out: the “secret” behind ORIGINAL+ is a self-learning online program called ORIGO – developed by the founder himself in cooperation with the Salzburg based start-up Fact.AI. It fulfills the tasks of a ski developer by interpreting the answers to the 21 questions and configuring a ski –with the help of artificial intelligence. “The more data, the better the software’s recommendation,” Siegfried explains in the interview.
“I believe that especially ambitious skiers will benefit.”
Brand eins wouldn’t have been voted one of the most important German-speaking magazines by top decision makers in media, advertising and industry, if it weren’t on the highest journalistic level. That’s why the magazine consulted an external sports scientist before going into print – one that has successfully worked with skiing stars like Hermann Maier, Stephan Eberharter and Hans Knauß. His conclusion on customized skis: the best ski is the one that fits the skier best. Because you need to see the “skier as a unity of human, boot and ski,” explains the expert. And he goes on: “I believe that especially ambitious skiers will benefit from it.”
We couldn’t agree more: Every single one of us is unique and so is the perfectly matching equipment. Or, as brand eins nicely puts it: “Siegfried Rumpfhuber makes skis personal.” Because we take your pleasure seriously, just like our company name suggests:
Take your pleasure seriously!
Thanks, brand eins, for the exciting questions and the appealing article!
Check out the original article by brand eins here. First published in brand eins magazine edition 01, January 2019.