People have been asking what I’ve been up to since my unexpected departure from Serotta, the company…. So here’s an update!
First I have to say that I continue to be amazed and appreciative for the outpouring of support for my family and me along with the accolades for past accomplishments. Collectively, these gestures from friends, family and fans deliver a potent life fuel at a critical juncture for us. We are all the more determined to convert this fuel into future exciting and rewarding projects.
When I was asked to leave Serotta it took more than a few days to put the concept of being disconnected from a 41-year effort into a past tense mindset. Actually, it’s a process that I am still working on. It reminds me of rides I’ve had, when my initial in-the-zone tranquility was suddenly broken by a fury of horrific weather- wind, rain and fog to the point you can’t really see what’s ahead. Looking for options, I instinctively take whichever road looks most likely to lead to higher ground so that I might have better perspective on the best route to take. It’s usually a good decision. And it’s an apt metaphor for this moment in my life.
The good news is I see great opportunity in many directions. At the moment I’m in the process of whittling down a list of about 20 ideas into no more than 9 options- three each in short, medium and long-term projects. Although challenging, it’s an energizing process.
My three short term projects are: re-engage the bicycle fitting community in which I had played such an active role in creating; launch a personal, non-commercial blog site; and provide consulting services. The medium and long-term lists are still too lengthy and undefined to risk sharing. What I can say is that there will be incredible bikes and transformational ideas about business and I’m looking forward to partnering with a handful of like-minded people. I know it may sound brash, but aiming higher is how I roll.
The world of bike fitting has quietly transformed how the industry approaches its customers. Instead of “how can I sell this product to a customer?” we now ask: “how can I provide the best cycling experience so that my clients want to ride more?” It’s gratifying to be able to look in from the sidelines and see the progress, yet there’s always more that can be done. In the coming weeks I’ll be participating in the Medicine of Cycling Conference in Colorado Springs and later will address the ISCO symposium in Munster, Germany. In addition I’m hoping to able to be more directly supportive of SICI, the school that launched the new age of bike fit.
Now in its 15th season and under the stewardship of Christopher Jacobson, SICI is still one of a very few- perhaps the only- teaching organization within the cycling community that remains completely brand-neutral, just as it was when I first founded it. Its transparent philosophy and ever-evolving, effective hands-on approach to learning continues to draw students from the cycling and medical communities who come from around the world for its programs.
Blog site, BenSerotta.com
My personal blog site is getting its window dressing as I write. The genesis goes something like this. I’ve had my psyche beaten down by a rough couple of years in the business. There’s a lot that needs to be said at the right time in the right medium, but for now what I have realized is that in the midst of all the negativity, every time I get out on a good ride, or reconnect with great people, the poisons drain out and I rediscover the positive.
Actually, in fairly short succession I’ll be running two blog sites. BenSerotta.com is where I’ll talk about what I am doing and a second site, which will come on later this year will be a running celebration of the positive-people, places and things connected with my cycling life. You can think of it as a cross between the Robb Report and Conde Nast for cycling. I’ll also be inviting some of my trusted friends to participate as contributors. I expect to launch that site by the end of October and will announce on Facebook, Linkedin and in a general media release.
A long time ago I’d had some inadequate advice from a Harvard MBA turned professor and advisor. Later on, I was introduced to a consultant who was pretty much on it, but I ran up a pretty good tab by first teaching him about the bike industry before we really got down to my business. Both times what I needed was someone with cycling industry experience who could efficiently and effectively evaluate my business challenges and offer fresh insight, helping me identify realistic options. At other junctures what I could have used was a short term or part time champion executive to help implement a strategic initiative or to help evaluate potential investors. After serving as an officer in the Military, Bill Watkins, built a highly successful business career primarily in medical compression garments where his executive and leadership skills built an International success story. The point is, over our years in business, we’ve made plenty of mistakes to go along with the good decisions, and have learned from them all. Together, with our combined 70 years of business experience, we can provide a broad range of support services from short term assessments to direct engagement while implementing solutions including advising on capital resources and M&A on either side of the table.
That’s all for now. It’s another glorious September day here in the Northeast so I’m taking my daily dose of saddle time. So thank you again for your interest and support,…and as always keep your ideas and comments coming.
Hope to see you on the road,