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
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, 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.
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"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.
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, discussed how by using ne...
"CA has been doing a lot of things in the area of DevOps. Now we have a complete set of tool sets in order to enable customers to go all the way from planning to development to testing down to release into the operations," explained Aruna Ravichandran, Vice President of Global Marketing and Strategy at CA Technologies, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, 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.
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
Enterprises are moving to the cloud faster than most of us in security expected. CIOs are going from 0 to 100 in cloud adoption and leaving security teams in the dust. Once cloud is part of an enterprise stack, it’s unclear who has responsibility for the protection of applications, services, and data. When cloud breaches occur, whether active compromise or a publicly accessible database, the blame must fall on both service providers and users. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben Johnson, C...
"Infoblox does DNS, DHCP and IP address management for not only enterprise networks but cloud networks as well. Customers are looking for a single platform that can extend not only in their private enterprise environment but private cloud, public cloud, tracking all the IP space and everything that is going on in that environment," explained Steve Salo, Principal Systems Engineer at Infoblox, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventio...
Data scientists must access high-performance computing resources across a wide-area network. To achieve cloud-based HPC visualization, researchers must transfer datasets and visualization results efficiently. HPC clusters now compute GPU-accelerated visualization in the cloud cluster. To efficiently display results remotely, a high-performance, low-latency protocol transfers the display from the cluster to a remote desktop. Further, tools to easily mount remote datasets and efficiently transfer...
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, 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.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, 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.
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...