Original+ - The start
My most personal skiing project begins
Kitzsteinhorn, May 2015, it’s a dream day: perfectly groomed pistes, sunshine and only a few skiing enthusiasts on the whole mountain. Like me, Siegfried Rumpfhuber, skiing a newly developed touring ski for G3 Genuine Guide Gear, a company I work for as a product development consultant. It’s a lightweight carbon ski with an innovative polyurethane damping and a – then brand-new – Marker Kingpin binding mounted. With that setup and my Scarpa Freedom RS 4-buckle boots I carve down the hard spring slope, faster and faster, finally making wide GS turns that I want to go on forever. The slope ends and I swish to a halt with a big smile on my face. I’ve never skied a touring ski as sporty as that before – the performance is really close to that of the best All Mountain skis I know. At this point of time I am an external consultant for my client’s development team and I really like this job. But still, at this very moment, here at 2.630 meters at Kitzsteinhorn, something clicks: I decide to start my own ski company where I can pull the strings and bring to life my own vision of ski building and of how to do business in the ski industry. The decision is a gut call, but it’s not a spontaneous one: a lot of thinking, highs and lows and getting over personal defeats preceded it. But most importantly: it feels right, and it’s starting to be fun.
Re-thinking the ski industry
Forchheim, July 2017. Markus Flossmann and Stefan Willared, heads of YT Industriesmeet with me for an intriguing lunch to discuss about my idea. YT is currently the fastest growing bike brand globally. Today, in year nine since the launch of their first bike model, they generate a turnover of 40 million Euros. I had reached out to them a month earlier, asking about an exchange of ideas. I’m thrilled that now both Markus and Stefan dedicate a lot of time, focus and energy to me. When I made the decision to found a ski company one thing was crystal clear to me: the ski industry will be facing major changes soon, which is why we will be breaking new ground now. So while developing our business plan we looked pretty much everywhere, from the bike to the automotive industry and we checked out several crowd-funding projects. The one thing we did not do, on purpose, was looking back at the traditional ski industry. Apart from loads of positive energy from talking with Markus and Stefan I also go home with YT’s basic success formula: a clear and cool brand message, a focused and technically outstanding model range and an innovative distribution concept of 100 % online direct-to-consumer sales: that means unbeatable value for money. Three weeks later I order a carbon All Mountain bike from YT’s web shop. Ever since I’ve been riding the trails with a big smile on my face, acting as a happy brand ambassador, because my bike is just awesome!
"There are no shortcuts in life."
TYPS GmbH, or Take your pleasure seriously
10.000 hours, that’s the equivalent of three hours per day or 20 hours per week, over a period of ten years. The “rule of 10.000“ says that you have to dedicate that many hours to something in order to gain the know-how and experience needed to belong to the world’s best. I started ski racing at the age of 13. After university I switched sides and worked as an alpine Product Manager for Fischer Ski for three years; followed by seven years as the General Manager and shareholder at Kästle Ski. Counting all that in, I probably exceed the 10.000 hours easily. But it was actually only in the last two years, after my time at Kästle, that I got self-confident enough to realize: over all these years I have acquired great skills and competences that I am now able to put into practice. And the name for my new company is an expression of what skiing means to me: Take Your Pleasure Seriously. I believe that this fundamentally describes what distinguishes myself as a human and manager today from what I used to be in my past professional roles in the ski industry. While there I could count on extensive, almost unlimited resources, the downsides of complex organizational structures predominated: difficult decision making mechanisms, long decision making processes and various interests that had little to do with the core of the business. Finally, it was the defeat with Kästle that allowed me to rediscover the racer in me who goes to the starting line fully motivated and confident.
The new company is family business and 100 % owned by our family. Since 2016 we have been operating a very successful ski service center called KANTE SCHARF in Salzburg, offering repairs and tuning on the highest level for alpine and touring skis as well as snowboards. We will launch our new company ORIGINAL+ in the fall of 2018, and we are already offering a small first limited edition this winter. Our goal is to set up and run a successful, medium-sized company that will operate long-term. We highly appreciate our independence and are probably one of the few start-ups that is neither looking for an exit nor searching for an investor.