Close Mindedness = Success Avoidance (August Newsletter)

Dateline: Summer of ‘62
“If everybody had an ocean
Across the USA
Then everybody’d be surfing
Like Californi-A

You’d see them wearing their baggies
Huarache sandals too
Bushy bushy blonde hairdo
Surfin USA"


Dateline: Summer of '62, Coronado

“Hey, who are these hodadds… so what about surfing and sandals…these Beach Boys should be the Valley Boys... They don’t even surf… Now we are gonna be invaded by a bunch of in land barneys who don’t know a board fin from a shark fin. I’ll still get my huaraches in TJ.“
BR, Yours truly,
Lesson 1: Close mindedness = Success avoidance.
Dateline: Summer of 2018, San Diego

Did you ever wonder, “how did they know?” In this case, the “they” of course is the Beachboys…be it accidental, serendipity, insightful…whatever. There it was for all to see: the global call to the amazing Southern California beach scene. Imbedded in those 8 short lines find the DNA for many of the cornerstone So Cal brands. In the interest of brevity, I will spare all the names and other events except Gidget, the 1959 Sandra Dee surf movie that “tipped” attitudes toward the So Cal Beach scene that exploded a few years later with the Beach Boys.

As a semi youngster grom at the time, I was opposed to all change as it related to “my territory” at the beach in Coronado. Rather than embrace change it made me all the more intractable:

“Hobie invented foam boards. Not for me. Balsa is beautiful.
Hobie grabbed our home-made skateboards and started an industry. Not for me.
Short Boards…you are kidding. No Way!
Hobie made amazing catamarans and teased us with epic surf crashes. I got interested.
Hobie made RC sailplanes. I was all in.
Oh, there’s school too…the beach was the antidote to that too."

Well, it turns out Hobie Alter was not the devil and the Beach Boys were not fakers, both were innovators extraordinaire. The amazing success of the many brands over the years serve now as a reminder that I had I been a bit more prescient or even a little insightful, I could have been part of the business end of the hobby. In fact, it took me 38 years in business to finally get back to San Diego and actually participate in the sport I have embraced for 60 years.

So the Summer of ‘62 is happening right now again. Innovation abounds. We see it through a slightly different perspective here at SDSI. It’s true our candidate Accelerator companies most likely do not produce surfboards or sandals, but they have the same innovation aperture that Hobie and Ekstrom and Rusty and the Aguerre brothers and all the other game changers had. They see opportunity all around them. They produce amazing new products and services in the Sport and Athletic Lifestyle space. Often they are techy. Often they are clever expansions of ideas as clear as “huaraches too.”

The cohort for our Fall 2018 accelerator program will be determined in the coming weeks, stay tuned to learn more about these amazing companies!