RIP Tony Hsieh

Tony Hsieh was one of my startup heroes, and I was saddened to hear that he tragically passed away after suffering injuries in a house fire.

46 years is no age. Tony was involved in a lot of different things, and there were plenty of mind blowing new approaches to business and entrepreneurship to be had for us all from him. But alas, it was not to be.

When a tragedy such as this occurs, and you think being the immediate pain of the loss for those he leaves behind, you have a choice;

Uou can mourn the future that has been lost, or you can celebrate what he managed to achieve in a remarkable career.

Tony was one of the first to truly pioneer the idea of being customer centric. After helping found Zappos he was instrumental in building the company around happy customers to an extend that he was perfectly happy to offer employees money to leave the company, if – in a clever ploy – they were more motivated by that check than by working to keep customers happy.

Tony was an original an independent thinker. He wasn’t a slave to dogma, he questioned every assumption and dug out his own data to base decisions on and he was a level above and beyond most in terms of applying creativity to business and venturing into places and doing things in new ways that few others would have thought.

Tonys tragic passing should aside from mourning the loss be a celebration of the original thinkers. Of those who dare to challenge the status quo, not submit to ideology and never just go with the flow.

It is a super tough spot to be in and the setbacks are legio. But the world needs people like Tony in order to move forward in a sustainable way that brings prosperity and happiness to as many people as possible.



Bye bye, Endomondo

A couple of days ago an old love affair ended, when I deleted the Endomondo fitness app from my phone.

For what seems like many years I have been a loyal Endomondo user, and for a period of a couple of years I also subscribed to the product to be able to get customized workout plans for my running.

It was a really nice and cool product that carried me through a lot of training sessions and a couple of half-marathons – something which I would never have thought, I would ever be able to achieve (yes, I am that bad a runner).

Now it’s being decommissioned by fitness apparel manufacturer Under Armour (UA), who acquired Endomondo a little more than five years ago for close to 100M USD.

Of course I don’t know the inner workings, and why UA has decided to sunset the service, although they apparently want to focus more on more seasoned athletes.

To me it just seems like yet another acquisition gone wrong after the “Look, shiny new thing, gotta have this”-honeymoon ended.

But alas, it doesn’t matter at all; Endomondo is dead.

UA wants me to export my data to their other service MapMyRun. Now, why would I do that after they have just left me out in the cold?

It always baffles me when a company that have just let you down thinks that you want to dive straight back into another adventure with them. I think it’s quite an arrogant assumption.

Instead I have decided to give Strava a go.

I have already clocked my first couple of runs, and I must admit I can see, why Endomondo is being shot down; it just hasn’t got the attention from UA for a long time that I can see Strava is giving their product. It is vastly superior.

Endomondo was great once. Thanks for the memories and the help.