You both had opportunities to keep building with highly successful companies — What made you decide to take the risk and jump to start something completely new?
Jonathan: The obvious risk is the potential for failure. You have to accept the possibility that it just doesn’t work, and then you have to go back to the drawing board. To boldly take the step to create
something from scratch, you have to be scared of something more than you’re scared of failure. In this case, what I would’ve been more scared of is somebody else coming along and doing this and I didn’t
get to be a part of it. When you see that the opportunity is real and can happen, and it’s something important, you have to trust that belief.
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The reward is that we get to build a brand all about play. It’s fun, exciting and a new experience every day. You can only image what our team and company culture is like. We’ve built an organization
that lives its values and embodies the idea of play. We hire people who get along, love working together, we get a lot done and we love what we’re creating.
Ryan: The risks and rewards are tied together. What this has afforded, and the beauty of creating the brand is the direct conversations we have with real people that leads to the creation of ideas and
output of products that reflect a broader community. A lot of the technology and innovation you see within our products now would have never seen the light of day anywhere else. As a creative, you have these
ideas and you put them out into the world, and they can easily be rejected. When you put yourself out there, it’s always a risk. But, it’s different when you’re putting it out there into a community and
receiving direct feedback.
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Those filters that would usually hold you back from putting it out there also give you the protections to also say it didn’t work because of reasons out of your hands. The risk is really tied to
one’s ego, but the reward is something far greater, because you’re able to create something beyond yourself. As the company has grown, the greater reward is being able to create a community and platform
for a lot of people to put forth ideas that can be supported and shared amongst each other. We’re the first sneaker brand to open-source our technology, which is only possible because of the model we’ve
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