Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

Can't We All Just Get Along ? The Need For Collaboration And Transparency Continues

If you read my posts (thanks if you do) I am certain you might get a little tired of the terms “collaboration” and “transparency”. That technology is democratizing much of the world is a reality that everyone should ponder for many reasons. You just can’t hide anymore. That competitive collaboration can lead to more fruitful innovations is unquestionable and done every day in other industries. In reflecting on some events last week, I had to ponder these subjects myself because of what happened, again. You see I think a lack of transparency and a failure to collaborate are some of the biggest challenges our industry faces.

In a few of my networks last week I shared that Johnson Health Tech, which manufactures the Matrix Fitness brand, is recalling Matrix Fitness trainers and ellipticals that pose a fire hazard. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall on January 23, 2014.. About 2,800 Ascent Trainers by Matrix and Matrix Fitness elliptical units that were installed from November 2011 through December 2012 are being recalled.

As Club Industry reported and tweeted , this is the second product recall pertaining to the fitness industry that the CPSC has announced this month. Cybex International is recalling 234 Olympic decline free weight benches manufactured from December 2008 to September 2013.

What was interesting were several emails I got from a few people who found my tweeting the recall and sharing it on Linkedin “distasteful”, “tacky”, reflecting a “lack of credibility”, being “negative” and “undermining the industry” .  By the way, this information was being shared all over the Internet by others and I did not in any way twist the facts or share a particular view on it. Many of our customers and industry friends rely on me sharing pertient industry information, which I try to do. Do some people really believe that tweeting (sharing) public information about an equipment recall is somehow undermining a global brand like Matrix ? Or is the sensitivity a sign of something else ? I think its the later.

Before I get into this subject and In the interest of full disclosure (again to transparency) our organizations have happily done work for  and with Star Trac, Schwinn, Stairmaster and Mr. Michael Bruno with whom we have a wonderful relationship. We also advise and sell other equipment, programs like Les Mills, services and technologies. We work with some of the leading bricks and mortar health club brands in the for profit and non-profit club business among doing many other things. I guess any of these various players could see each other as competitors but we try to be as transparent as we can keepig the big pciture in mind. Most people who know me, follow me and read my work would think we are pretty transparent (I hope). I don’t think you couldn’t know what I am doing or where I am on any given day and we don’t try and hide it. If you disagree please let me know.

What the emails and comments I received regarding the Matrix Fitness story did reflect is something I’ve noticed over the years in the health club and fitness industry in general. Of course there will always be a bit of strain and stress in any marketplace and not everyone is going to like you. Robert Dyer and I laughingly say that many of the organizations and professionals we speak with before they get to know us keep waiting for the “hook”, but there is no hook when it comes to us. I don’t think some people believe that though because of other experiences they have, like my emails.

I replied to the emails regarding the Matrix recall and asked the folks who did write to call me so we could talk. In the world of transparecy its important to be transparent. But there are many who probably didn’t write but might have felt the same way and this is what I want to address.

This attitude of distrust, of short term competitive advantage, of one over another is damaging the fitness and particularly the health club industry. It is a major contributor to why the industry has not collaborated on shared technological development in DECADES and its this short term view that could be our undoing. We’ve got to help each other but by working on constructive solutions . I was privy to the behind closed door discussions and negativity put forth by various competitors during the turnaround of Star Trac as Michael Bruno rescued the business; all designed for competitive gain. I’ve seen it happen to others as well. My reputation has been attacked by some leading professionals in the space as well behind closed doors and sometimes not. Like they say, "haters are going to hate." Anytime anyone is leading change its what you’d expect but instead of letting that be the bottom line we need others to stand up and show another way, to fill the void.

This is why I am involved with a number of other leaders in the Fitness Industry Technology Council. We need to create a forum to advance the supply and delivery side of the industry given the rate of technological change. Its why I am thankful to participate with ACE’s Industry Advisory Panel as well as the other organizations like IHRSA and their Public Policy Council where we try and help.

We’ve great respect for almost every major player in the industry including our friend Michael Bruno, Star Trac, Stairmaster, Schwinn, Johnson Health Tech’s Matrix, Cybex, Precor, Life Fitness and Technogym among many others. Believe me, tweeting about the Matrix recall was not done to damage Matrix. But in an age of transparency and with the realization that the biggest threat is not each other but our failure to collaborate I ask that you read some of my other blog posts and content and see my intention is to bring people together to identify a changing world and marketplace and collaborate around the future. Failing to do so will only lead to missed opportunities for us all.

So tell me, should I be more transparent and how ? Should I not tweet anything about any supplier in the industry if it touches upon a challenge they are having ? Would that make me better, less transparent ? Please share your views with me and thanks for taking time to read the post.

About Bryan

 

Bryan O’Rourke is considered by many to be a thought leader on technology, health club, consumer and wellness trends. He has been quoted in periodicals like the Wall Street Journal, and has been published in journals around the world on his views of how technology will create the dawn of a new era of opportunity for the health club and fitness industries. In addition to being an industry expert, Bryan is a keynote speaker, technologist, financier, shareholder and executive in several companies. He has spoken on a range of business and trend topics on four continents. As a contract executive and advisor, Bryan wears many hats, including working for Fitmarc, which delivers Les Mills programs to over 750 facilities in the US. He serves as a member of the GGFA Think Tank, sites on ACE's Industry Advisory Panel and is CEO of the Fitness Industry Technology Council. To join FIT-C visit www.fit-c.org . To learn more contact Bryan here

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bryan O'Rourke

Bryan O’Rourke is a health club industry expert, technologist, financier, shareholder and executive in several fitness companies. He consults with global brands, serves as a member of the GGFA Think Tank, is President of the Fitness Industry Technology Council and a partner in FitmarcIntegerusFitsomo and the Flywheel Group. To learn more contact Bryan here today .

Latest Stories
"With Digital Experience Monitoring what used to be a simple visit to a web page has exploded into app on phones, data from social media feeds, competitive benchmarking - these are all components that are only available because of some type of digital asset," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"Codigm is based on the cloud and we are here to explore marketing opportunities in America. Our mission is to make an ecosystem of the SW environment that anyone can understand, learn, teach, and develop the SW on the cloud," explained Sung Tae Ryu, CEO of Codigm, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...
Enterprise architects are increasingly adopting multi-cloud strategies as they seek to utilize existing data center assets, leverage the advantages of cloud computing and avoid cloud vendor lock-in. This requires a globally aware traffic management strategy that can monitor infrastructure health across data centers and end-user experience globally, while responding to control changes and system specification at the speed of today’s DevOps teams. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Gray, Chie...
Learn how to solve the problem of keeping files in sync between multiple Docker containers. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Aaron Brongersma, Senior Infrastructure Engineer at Modulus, discussed using rsync, GlusterFS, EBS and Bit Torrent Sync. He broke down the tools that are needed to help create a seamless user experience. In the end, can we have an environment where we can easily move Docker containers, servers, and volumes without impacting our applications? He shared his results so yo...
FinTechs use the cloud to operate at the speed and scale of digital financial activity, but are often hindered by the complexity of managing security and compliance in the cloud. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Sesh Murthy, co-founder and CTO of Cloud Raxak, showed how proactive and automated cloud security enables FinTechs to leverage the cloud to achieve their business goals. Through business-driven cloud security, FinTechs can speed time-to-market, diminish risk and costs, maintain continu...
Creating replica copies to tolerate a certain number of failures is easy, but very expensive at cloud-scale. Conventional RAID has lower overhead, but it is limited in the number of failures it can tolerate. And the management is like herding cats (overseeing capacity, rebuilds, migrations, and degraded performance). In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing for the HGST Cloud Infrastructure Business Unit, discussed how a new approach is neces...
"This week we're really focusing on scalability, asset preservation and how do you back up to the cloud and in the cloud with object storage, which is really a new way of attacking dealing with your file, your blocked data, where you put it and how you access it," stated Jeff Greenwald, Senior Director of Market Development at HGST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, discussed how AI can simplify cloud operations. He covered the following topics: why cloud mana...
Docker containers have brought great opportunities to shorten the deployment process through continuous integration and the delivery of applications and microservices. This applies equally to enterprise data centers as well as the cloud. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Jari Kolehmainen, founder and CTO of Kontena, discussed solutions and benefits of a deeply integrated deployment pipeline using technologies such as container management platforms, Docker containers, and the drone.io Cl tool. H...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
Kubernetes is a new and revolutionary open-sourced system for managing containers across multiple hosts in a cluster. Ansible is a simple IT automation tool for just about any requirement for reproducible environments. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Patrick Galbraith, a principal engineer at HPE, discussed how to build a fully functional Kubernetes cluster on a number of virtual machines or bare-metal hosts. Also included will be a brief demonstration of running a Galera MyS...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
Enterprises are universally struggling to understand where the new tools and methodologies of DevOps fit into their organizations, and are universally making the same mistakes. These mistakes are not unavoidable, and in fact, avoiding them gifts an organization with sustained competitive advantage, just like it did for Japanese Manufacturing Post WWII.
DXWorldEXPO LLC, the producer of the world's most influential technology conferences and trade shows has announced the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO "Early Bird Registration" is now open. Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)