MAKING RENOUN: PART 1 OF 4

Failing Fast

Renoun’s been around longer than most people realize.

 

Our history goes back to our college days, when we were a group of geeky engineers who gathered every so often to chat about a few of our favorite things.
 
Numbers. Analytics. Data. And skiing. Whoo-boy, did we love skiing.
 
What if we could put some of our nerdy engineering knowledge into skis?
 
Nah, that would be crazy.
 
But one day, in a light-bulb moment, you might say, it switched.
 
Donny said: “Let’s do it. No, like, for real, let’s try it.”
 
The rest of us looked at each other and, eyebrows raised, said, “Sure, why not?”

Fast forward 5 years and here are the blueprints that came out of that fateful day in 2011

 

Now, we wish the story were much cooler. We wish it involved a group of bros swilling from a flask of whisky after a 12-hour excursion in Alaska’s deep powder, icicles still stuck in our beards and a glint of fire in our eyes.
 
Nope, just a group of techies talking over a mechanical engineering assignment.
 
We had no idea how to draw up a business plan, but the next day, Cameron tried to anyway, and submitted it to a competition for startups.
 
We came up with a name. But if we told you, we’d have to kill you. It was the worst name on the planet. Only later, during a second light-bulb moment, did we brainstorm Renoun.
 
Anyway, turns out we won that competition.
 
No, seriously. An eight-page document turned into a $6,000 check two weeks later at the final competition.
 
We were ecstatic. Excited whispers of “We’re going to crush it!” and “We’re going to be huge!” ran rampant in the halls — college dormitory halls, mind you.
 
Uh, no. Not so.
 
That cash flew faster than a flake of Utah snow during a Wasatch blizzard. By the time we had designed and built a press, purchased enough equipment to shape the wood cores, rented space for our table saws (we were starting to annoy the other folks in our dormitory) bought miscellaneous other supplies and messed up a few times, we had eight skis to show for it.
 
Yes, eight. As in 8. One zero on top of another.  So now we had eight pairs of skis and a really bad name. So much for being huge.
 
There were no awards, no special sauce. We were exactly like every other ski company out there touting the same story as every other.
 
Then, not long after the snow melted, we stumbled upon a little something-something called non-Newtonian material.
 
Little did we know that stumble would turn into the biggest leap of our lives.  

RENOUN_best_skis_2017_cores

A stack of ski cores before milling begins

 

••••••••

End of Part 1

Read Part 2 >

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