86: HRI Becomes Homecoming plus an interview with Barb Norsworthy
December 28, 2018
Peloton officially rolled out yoga this week, Homecoming dates are revealed, and there’s a new celebrity Peloton owner. Plus we interview Barbara Norsworthy.
You Might also like
By Crystal — 10 months ago
It has been a crazy week in the world of Peloton. Hosts, Crystal and Tom O’Keefe put on their lawyer caps on and dive into what they know, and what they theorize, about the $150 million Peloton lawsuit that was announced. For this episode’s guest, they interview Peloton user Bill Luby about how he stumbled and came to love Peloton right at his 50s along with his love for music and wine. Join in on this rollercoaster episode as you go through the ups and downs Peloton has been going through and that Bill is taking us.
Listen to the podcast here:
Peloton Hit With $150 Million Lawsuit Plus An Interview With Bill Luby
It’s a crazy time in the world of Peloton. There are lots of things to talk about. We should start by asking, what do you have in store for people?
We’re going to talk a lot about the lawsuit and I have been told there has been an attorney located that will talk to us about this subject. We’re going to talk about this, but hopefully, I will be able to get this person on the show quickly so we can have a follow-up and real talk.
We can even do a special episode. It’s like a 0.5 episode.
I would love that. Just so everybody knows that and I haven’t even had a chance to tell you.
You haven’t. This is breaking news for me.
We’re going to talk about John Foley is cheating on us. Past guest updates and the newest Power Zone challenge. We’ve got a visit from the Peloton Prophet and it is all about the UK. This is new news.
Do we have a British Prophet?
No, we have a Prophet that gets around.
I thought maybe you had a Prophet on each side of the pond.
No, but there’s a lot about the lawsuit that we’re going to talk about and our amazing interview with Bill Luby.
Before we get to all that, don’t forget shameless plugs. You can find us in a myriad of places. We’re on Apple Podcast. You can go there to rate, review and subscribe. We have a new review and this is such a packed episode. This time’s out because it’s one of the short ones. This is from Ryanphx13579.
Is that his leaderboard name or his iTunes name?
It’s his iTunes name. He does not leave a leaderboard.
I was curious if that was also his leaderboard name and if so, I was going to try to find him and ask if he ever gets shout-outs because I was curious about that.
Ryan says, “What an amazing Peloton podcast. Thank you for the great weekly Peloton podcast. Keep up the great work.” We’ve talked about that before. Some people like to write these long, funny, interesting. People sometimes feel a little intimidated, you can also leave a short, quick one.
We appreciate it. Thank you very much for the next review.
If you have a lot of activity, quickies are okay sometimes. You don’t want it to be your only thing, but the occasional quickie? Why not? Feel free to do that if you’d like. Where else can you find us? Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play, wherever you get your podcasts. You can find us on the web throughout the week if you want to stay up-to-date on breaking news, like Peloton getting sued. What’s going to happen? You could do that at Facebook.com/theclipout.
If you’re going to say what’s going to happen, take that to the OPP.
That is all of that. Let’s dig in. Shall we?
You might not be aware of this, Crystal, but Peloton was sued.
I had no idea. I did not hear this. How did I miss this?
Let’s talk about that.
We need to start with what we know, what are the facts? Here are the facts. This is not an opinion, these are facts. TMZ broke the news, we should come back to that.
I was going to say, regardless of what you might think of TMZ’s tactics and presentation and there’s a lot to question there, their accuracy is pretty good.
Sadly good but I want to circle back around TMZ. TMZ reported that the National Music Publishers Association, NMPA, filed the lawsuit against Peloton for $150 million. They claimed in the lawsuit that they failed to obtain sync licenses, also known as synchronization licenses for some of the songs that they play. They have obtained them for other songs, but not these. They included in exhibit A, a list of 1,000 songs that they do not have sync licenses for. Interestingly enough, none of them was the Guns N’ Roses song that started all the brouhaha and they had incredibly flashy language included in the lawsuit.
How so?Life changes and you rethink what's important and how you need to get in what it is that you want out of life. Click To Tweet
This is what I mean, it starts, “This is an action to recover more than $150 million in damages from Peloton.” The next sentence. “Here’s why: It’s a central tenet of copyright law that statutory damages should be imposed on a willful infringer who either has actual knowledge of infringement or who acted in reckless disregard of its obligations under copyright law. Peloton is a textbook willful infringer.”
That’s odd lawsuit language.
There’s another one that got me.
I thought it was weird when they said duty head. That didn’t seem appropriate.
This isn’t far off, “By Peloton’s owned admission, music is at the center of the ballyhooed Peloton experience.”
It reads more like a press release.
It sure does and we’re going to circle back around to that, but it’s important to remember this language as we get to our opinions in a little bit, people need to remember and I know you know this. I’m saying this is some of the evidence that we’re using for this. The first question and anything from here on out, unless I say otherwise or Tom says otherwise is an opinion. I want to make that clear. No one has told us anything from Peloton. We have not spoken with any member of the Peloton employment community.
I feel like a magician. Have we met before this? Sometimes there’s a misconception that we have some crazy direct pipeline and we certainly have communicated with Peloton but not near to the degree that a lot of people probably think we do.
No, and I would never bother them with something like this. They can’t talk about a lawsuit. The first question that I feel people might think about and I saw a million times, will they hold the IPO? I think they will.
Do you think they’ll still hold it in the same time frame?
No, I’m saying the IPO will not occur.
They’ll put a pause on it.
The people who are suing them know that the IPO is out there. It’s not a secret and they’re trying to leverage that for a quicker, faster and larger pay date. That’s business. I don’t even begrudge them that. It wouldn’t surprise me if this, especially since they haven’t announced an official date, it’s easy to be like, “We’re going to pump the brakes.”
They have to think about their investors. The investors are going to be looking for their seed money back as well as anything on top of that. How do you do that when you have $150 million hanging over your head? Even if somebody proved that Peloton did something wrong here, it would be a fraction of that they would pay. Again, it is my opinion. This is another question I saw a lot, “Did Peloton completely screw up and they need to fire their legal department?”
No. Peloton is new technology and it’s using new technology in a new way. There are a lot of complexities and it’s not an easy world to navigate. For example, we’ve been trying to have this conversation on the show about music licensing because it keeps popping up in different permutations. It’s been an issue for a while off and on. We’ve been trying to reach out to people that I know through my profession and my previous profession in radio. I’ve reached out to high up people from like Slacker, which is an audio delivery streaming service. I have reached out to people high up at Amazon Music, former heads of record labels, a former iTunes executive, an artist management company that handles bands like Shinedown, Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Every one of them has essentially said the same thing. I don’t want to talk about this. Nobody at my company wants to talk about it because we don’t understand it. We don’t know what the laws are because there aren’t laws for it.
Music laws are set in stone, but not because the music laws that are there, as you have pointed out numerous times are based on antiquated materials.
When the laws don’t work for the new technology, the only thing you can do if you can’t come to an agreement is one side sues the other side and then the court has got to figure it out.
This is where I was going to go with this. No, Peloton didn’t screw up because look at it logically. They treat their employees wonderfully. They treat their customers wonderfully. I know there are some you out there Peloton has changed. Yes, Peloton has changed and you’re not always going to get your way because they have too many of us. When it was a very small group and a majority agreed on something, it was a lot easier for Peloton to move forward on that. Now, no one can agree on anything. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the OPP. There is no majority anymore. It’s insane. It’s like our government. It’s everywhere. Logically, they did not skip this. That was my point. I don’t think that they are a bunch of dumb people who got in a room and were like, “I know we’re going to base this all on music.”
We don’t get to pay anybody.
Why would we do that? Nothing else, look at the fact that they did pay for some music licenses. The lawsuit says in it, “They paid for some and not for others.”
They’re trying to use as an example of willful disregard, which you could make that argument, but you could also make the argument that it indicates that there’s something else at play because why would they pay one group of people and not another group of people? There’s nothing special about this batch of songs that makes you think you don’t need to pay for them.
I want to make clear because if anyone doubts it, I’ve had this twisted on me a couple of times the last couple of days. Tom and I fully support that all artists should be paid for their work. That is not up for discussion.
These people deserve to be paid. It’s a question of, “How much? What are the metrics? How do you determine the true value of these songs in this context?” They certainly have a value and I would say an important value because part of what people love about Peloton is that you get to listen to real songs that you hear in other places, not just generic royalty-free songs. It is absolutely a key component of the product they’re selling people. Those artists need to be paid.
I wanted to make that clear because it is important to me as a person that people never misunderstand that. I love Peloton but if they were willfully not paying people, I would not be behind that. I do not believe for one second that’s what’s happening here. People are like, “How could this have happened?” This is where you should walk through the entire theory that we’ve talked about. We’ve talked about several people at this point.
Our theory is that they were negotiating with these people and again, they were negotiating with these camps and they couldn’t reach an agreement that everybody liked. This group decided to sue them to force their hand, which is something that happens all the time. This is to show you how complex it can be. SiriusXM was sued by a group of artists led by The Turtles, Happy Together. They sued them for a bunch of money because they said that they weren’t calculating the royalties properly for songs like pre-1966 or something like that. There’s a fine example of SiriusXM. Their only job is to play music for people and they screwed it up and they lost that lawsuit. They had to write a very big check to artists like The Turtles. When people are going to go, “That’s dumb that they wouldn’t know how to do that.” SiriusXM didn’t know how to do it either because it’s a convoluted process. The two processes are also very different. You can’t say, “This is what Sirius did so this is what Peloton did,” because Sirius doesn’t have a video component. My theory and a lot of other people’s theory seems to be that, this is ultimately a negotiation tactic. They’re trying to create a PR nightmare for Peloton leading up to their IPO to force their hand.
Going back to the language that was written in the lawsuit. It’s not an accident. I’ve never read a lawsuit that is written with such flashy language that sounds, you’d never even read it. To you, the first thing you said is, “It sounds like a press release.” It was designed to be a press release and do exactly what it did, which is cause immediate panic and so everyone freaked out.
The more you freak out, the more the NMPA is cackling. From a legal strategy standpoint, hat tip, it worked.
A lot of people have said, “I’m glad this happened before the IPO,” instead of after. That wasn’t an accident. They knew the IPO was coming. It’s been in the news. We’ve talked about it how many times. This is their job. Their job is to go out there and get money for the artists. You can’t fault them for that. I feel bad for Peloton because, in my mind, I feel Peloton has been trying to work all this out. There is no way they started back in 2012 and since then they have been like, “Forget music. No big deal.” Otherwise, there would not be artists that don’t get played on the regular. Some artists have never been played. Taylor Swift is a great example. I don’t know the circumstances of it. I just know we’re not allowed to listen to it through Peloton. It’s never been a thing.
If they went through that trouble for Taylor Swift, you’re going to tell me they ignored Drake and Rihanna. No, they didn’t. I know a lot of you are reading and agree with me. It’s the OPP has been upsetting. I’m stressed. It’s so much stupidity. I can only contradict so much stupidity. People don’t listen. Everybody thinks they know what they’re talking about and it’s frustrating. It’s no accident that TMZ heard about it either. There have been other lawsuits that I have been aware of and TMZ didn’t know about those.
This also has the sexy component of Drake and Lady Gaga are suing Peloton. It’s also got a celebrity component that TMZ loves.
It does but I think that these people went and told TMZ. I don’t think that was an accident and it’s upsetting that the guy who talks on TMZ, the alleged douchebag, it’s my opinion, you can’t get mad. If he could sit there and say all these things about people, that’s what upsets me. He’s talking about how he took a Motown Ride that day and on Peloton and how much he loves Peloton. His little sidekick dude is like, “This is going to crush them.” No, it’s not. You guys are amping everybody up because that’s what you want to do.
Lawsuits don’t end companies. You reach a settlement and then you move on.
There’s no proof at this point that either side’s done anything wrong. I don’t blame the people going after Peloton for wanting their money. I don’t blame Peloton for not having “their ducks in a row.” As people say, “I think they did. They tried to fix it and it didn’t get settled.”
There’s not a song store that you get to go to and pick out your songs and then now you have the rights and you can use them in certain ways. It’s not that simple.
You said it very well when you explained the whole lawsuit thing because the laws are based on this antiquated stuff. The lawmakers have not weighed in on what should be happening with the new technology.
There is no roadmap. All you can do is if people don’t agree, they sue each other. I know their lawsuit is written in a way to sound outraged but ultimately it’s a bunch of rich people sitting in a room trying to figure out if the other rich guys are going to pay them the money that they want so everybody can be a little richer. I don’t fault them that. Lady Gaga is not going to lose her house.
They get $0.05 and $0.06 per song or whatever. This isn’t making or breaking them.
This isn’t Sly Stone from Sly and the Family Stone who was living in a van because the record labels weren’t paying him his royalties. He got a check for $5 million. This isn’t that either, but they need to be compensated.
The lawmakers need to step up here. At some point if I’m playing it to a roomful of people, when does it go from being a party to broadcasting and now they can come after me? I don’t know where that line is.
There are rules about that and a lot of it’s going to come down to, “Are you making money? Are you charging admission?”
What if it’s like there’s music on the background while we do a video? That counts. We can’t do that.
There was a lady that had a video that she put on YouTube of her kid doing something and a Prince song happened to be on the radio and the Prince camp had the video pole.
There needs to be less of that. That’s ridiculous.
The video wasn’t like watching my kid dance to Prince, it just happened to be on the radio. It could have been anything.
Even as I say that I realized that’s not that easy to do. Lawmakers can be like, “Let me go ahead and sit down with this little magic marker and make this all work.”
These are people that a lot of them, they barely know how to work their email. You want them to write laws that regulate how music licensing works through streaming platforms with on-demand opportunities for a fitness bike. There’s no way they’re going to be able to calculate all the different permutations that music is going to be used as we move forward with these different technologies.
They need to get those White House staffers in there and do some stuff. They’re all fresh out of college. How will this affect Peloton? I don’t think much is going to change.
I don’t think it will either. These people are going to sit around the conference table and they’re going to pay lawyers $800 an hour and it’s going to get hashed out. At the end of the day, both sides need each other. Peloton wants to play the music that people are familiar with and the people that write music want their music to be played in an environment in which they’re receiving compensation and so neither side has an incentive to say, “Screw it.” They both have huge financial reasons to come to a resolution. That might be a couple of months from now. That might be six years from now, but I don’t think this is going to end Peloton and nor do I think it’s going to change Peloton and in a greatly significant way.
There might be a few songs that you don’t hear for a while, but eventually, they’ll come to an agreement and those songs will be worked back in. This is part of hardball negotiations. You’re dealing with a multibillion-dollar company and you’re dealing with songs that are worth billions of dollars. Those people both have tough people who represent them to make sure their interests are protected. When you get to this level, this is what a fistfight looks like and they’re having one. At the end of the day, the artists are going to get paid and Peloton will still be around playing these songs, doing this thing. If you want innovation in this thing, this is the only way to achieve it.
It might do everybody in the industry some good. Maybe if they get it settled, maybe if they come to an actual agreement.
They’ll have a template for the next thing that wants to incorporate music in some capacity.
It’s not just Peloton that is struggling with this. That would be great that they could come to some resolution and use it as a template.
There’s a high degree of probability. People forget that Spotify got the crap suit out of them when they started streaming songs too. If the people that are apoplectic and they’re like, “Peloton is awful and it should be run out of business for doing this horrible thing to the artists.” Then you wouldn’t have Spotify, you wouldn’t have Apple Music and Pandora. There are lots of things that you wouldn’t have and sometimes the only path to resolution is through the courts.
I thought that there was a post that was shared with me from Christopher Sitter. I believe he posted it on the OPP. We are going to take a picture of that and put it on The Clip Out Group because it explains every similar thing to what we were talking about. It lends some credence to it that he’s an Information Security Director for Silicon Valley Company and he talks about, “Here’s what typically happens in these situations from a legal standpoint.” I thought it would be good to put out there in case you missed it because it’s so hard to find everything in the OPP and there were a million different posts about all this stuff. I’m going to go ahead and put this out there. Thank you for putting this out there, Christopher Sitter, because I think it’s well written.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled episode already in progress. What’s this about John Foley cheating on us?You need to push the envelope to be creative. Every decade, it gets harder and harder to find something new. Click To Tweet
John Foley is going to have an interview with another podcast. I thought whenever he had an interview on our podcast, that was it for him. I didn’t know there was going to be more.
We should contact our attorney, David Israelite and see if we can put the kibosh on this.
All in fun. John Foley, we think you’re amazing.
More importantly, all in fun, David Israelite, please don’t sue us.
I doubt he’s reading our blog. John Foley is going to be on NPR’s. How I Built This with Guy Raz. It’s going to be live from New York City. They’re going to talk about how he built Peloton. I wish I could be there. That’d be amazing, fly in for the day.
It would be nice if we had that juice.
If anybody out there can’t go, anything you can tell me about it. I know that I can listen to the podcast when they post it. I get that. It would be cool to see maybe pictures from the event or how John Foley, did he seem nervous? Details like that.
He doesn’t get nervous about that stuff.
I’m saying anything they can provide might be fun to have an on the scene reporter. It will be at the BMCC, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Theater One New York, New York 10007.
In case you want to write him a letter?
That’s the venue.
I know we have a nice past guest update.
We sure do. I’m super excited about this. I feel we should have balloons and a big banner or something.
That’s hard to do on an audio-driven thing.
Robin Nijankin posted that she has been two years cancer-free. Not only is that awesome for everybody, whoever has cancer that’s a great statistic. 90% of the recurrences for her type of cancer happens in the first two years.
It’s a major milestone.
Congratulate Robin if you haven’t already. We’re happy for you.
There’s a new Power Zone challenge for people that dig that stuff.
It’s eight weeks long, started this week and it’s called the Zone Wars. It’s based on Star Wars. Every week, there are fun posters that they’re like memes of Denis and Matt and all these Darth Vader and whoever they are. It’s adorable.
Do they make Matt Wilpers an Ewok?
I haven’t seen an Ewok but I’ve seen some pretty cute pictures. They’re adorable. I’m not going to lie. The memes might be my favorite part because I have New Zones now and they hurt. I hope to see you out there.
The Peloton Prophet has some new predictions for us.
This one is, I’m going to call this our UK edition of the Peloton Prophet. Peloton Prophet predicts that Peloton is looking for 32 instructors for the UK to be hired throughout the year in 2020.
That’s a lot. I wonder if it’s because of the metric.
No. It’s because they’re going to stuff up everything at once. They’ve got yoga, tread and of course the bike and they’re going to do it all at once. The interesting thing is the Prophet heard there were four rooms. What’s the fourth one?
That’s where they store all the stolen music because they got to steal all this British music. It’s going to be all British bands like Stone Roses.
The Smiths and stuff like that.
The Smiths are English? I didn’t know that.
I don’t know. I’m wondering if I’m wrong. Let me Google it. Where is The Smiths from? Manchester.
I did not know that. Thank you for clearing that up.
I’m glad I was right.
My little pop culture encyclopedia.
That’s what I do.
The Peloton Prophet is working on finding out who these instructors are. They have some ideas, but they don’t put anything out there yet. There’s more to come. The other thing is Peloton Prophet predicts that the UK instructors, Ben Alldis and Leanne Hainsby will be at the homecoming.
You remember them because you look at me and you’re like, “Hit all this.” Your giggle tells me that I’m right.
You’re not wrong.
That’s what the right means.
Joining us is Bill Luby. How’s it going, Bill?
I’m feeling great. I’m glad to be here.
We’ll see if we can fix that. It’s good that you have faith in us like that.
Tom is feeling feisty. Bill, what I always start with is, how did you find Peloton?
I probably saw the first commercial they ever put out. I was running at the time and I was healthy at the time. I thought, “I love to be outdoors. It sounds cool, but I never want a cycle in my basement or anything like that.” Life happened between then. I had some medical issues. I stopped running, I got melanoma. I didn’t want to go outside because I was in this vampire mode and my melanoma surgery led to knee issues and my heart issues. I had given up on riding and exercise. I was in a bad place to exercise for someone who had always been athletic. Finally, one day I wandered into my local shopping mall and there was the Peloton. I walked in and I knew even before I sat on the bike that I was going to buy it and take it home. I love it. I’d never taken a class, so I knew that was the answer. I needed something to rescue me from, “Suddenly, I’m in my 50’s and I should be in better shape. Where am I going? I don’t want to become a couch potato.” It helped pull me into a much better place physically and mentally.
It sounds like you had a mission when you walked into the Peloton.
I did. It had been in the back of my head and it was one of those things that the time wasn’t right when I first saw the ad. It looked perfect. I thought, “I’ll have that $5 million house in the middle of the woods and all that stuff. I’ll set the bike down in the middle and it will make everything complete.” For me, exercise has always been about getting outside and having the exercise being a byproduct of something. I liked mountain biking, I like hiking. I like kayaking. The fact that I was getting in shape was a positive by-product. I never belonged to a gym. I never wanted to get up and go and sweat for 38.4 minutes before I rushed off to work or that thing. That was never me but life changes, and you rethink what’s important and how you need to get in what it is that you want out of life.
It’s great that you did that.
Starting in your late 50s is like you crammed a lot before finals.
I had always been pretty athletic and I had run for about 30 years or so. Ironically, the reason I ran is that I wasn’t very good at it. I’m competitive by nature. There were lots of things I did when I was younger that I was very good at. The running was perfect because they never had to oil. If I practiced a little harder, I can win this or when that. It’s, “No. I’m doing this solely to wander off and be Zen and have a blank mind and not have to worry.” There was no virtual leaderboard that I was competing with. That was wonderful. My outdoor meditation was perfect and then suddenly, it was taken away. I was like, “I need to find a way to get this Zen thing back in my life. I need to find a way to get my clothes to fit again. I need to find a way again to be healthier.” All these things converged and I knew that the Peloton was there and ironically, I looked at it and before I got it, it’s like “I’m going to buy this, but I should hop on to see what it’s like first.” That was weird. They couldn’t talk me out of it. My wife looked at me like, “If you know what you’re doing.”
How long ago was that then?
This would have been June of 2017.
How long have you taken an exercise break? Where were you in that mindset? How long had that been?
It was 2014 when everything hit the fan for me physically. This melanoma and the surgery created a chain reaction of other issues with knees and whatever. I discovered the heart issue. That was about three years or so going from, “I’ll find a way to tough it out” to finally getting out and deciding, “How seriously do I take this melanoma thing from a lifestyle perspective?” It’s like, “Should I never go out in the sun again? No, that’s crazy but there’s no reason I should be running in the middle of the day either. Maybe I’ll try and go out at sunrise or sunset.” It turned out not to be very convenient. I was slower and fatter and less interested in what I was doing and trying to find other things that work. For three years, I struggled. I finally had given up about six months before I stumbled onto the Peloton. I had some knee surgery that was partially successful. I thought, “I’ve got to find something else to do. Maybe I’ll keep forcing myself to do this running.” It wasn’t fun anymore. I always found running to be fun. Some people do it for other reasons. To me, it was fun and then it was less fun. I forced myself to get, I was like, “This is not the way it should be. I need something that’s fun.”
Does your wife ride too since you brought the bike home?
She did for a while. She’s had some medical issues that have made it difficult for her to ride. She isn’t right now. She likes the bike. She’s a supporter of the bike other than the fact that it sits in our master bedroom, which does not go over well. Other than that, she’s prodded me in getting to exercise. She’s been very supportive and she would like to be able to bike if she can sort some things out medically.
She’s prodded you in getting to exercise but maybe not at 5:00 in the morning?You and I are more alike than we think. Click To Tweet
Yeah, which is never a problem for me. She’s had three cups of coffee before I even crawl out of bed.
Are you keeping her up late at night then when you’re riding the bike?
No, my wife never sleeps, which makes it interesting. She goes to bed later than me and gets up early. I’m West Coast. I work related to the stock market. I work a lot of East Coast-related hours too. Even if I roll out of bed at 6:15 in the morning, she’s long gone. It’s not an issue. I’ll never be on the 4:35 AM Tribe. I don’t know how they do it, but God loves them. That’ll never be me. Maybe the 2:00 AM Tribe if I still haven’t gone to bed yet, but not the 4:30 AM.
Tell us about your leaderboard name and how you came up with it?
My leaderboard name is PeloniousMonk. If you’re a jazz fan, Thelonious Monk is a famous jazz pianist. He is an interesting guy who plays music that is a little bit out of the ordinary and always had some, what sounded like wrong notes in there to keep people guessing. He is innovative and creative. Ironically, I’m not a huge jazz fan, but what I wanted was a wine name because I’m more of a wine person and it seemed like wine would fit well with a Peloton better than the music. I probably got that one wrong. I went to all these wine names and they’re all taken or I couldn’t come up with any interesting. Finally, I had given up and then suddenly, Pelonious Monk pops into my head and I got to backtrack quickly.
A long time ago, I was carrying a melon around with me and I joked to my wife, “If I dropped it, it would land with a melonious funk.” She looked at me like I made the worst possible pun ever. For years, I would try and pull out that pun to get a smile out of her and they’re rapping. I’m like, “Maybe there’s someone in Peloton who will laugh if I pull out the name.” I decided it would be it. There was a slight variation. When I got my first shout-out from Christina, it was PelotoniousMonk. She said, “PeloniousMonk.” I thought, “That’s better.” I could kick these syllables out of here. It will leave here. Unbeknownst to her, probably she helped refine it and narrow it down a little and make it easier to pronounce.
I’ve always wondered with Thelonious Monk, because it sounds like, “Does he know his piano sounds that way?” At what point was like, “No, I am a genius visionary. It’s not that I suck, it’s you’re not getting it.” I’ve never understood, where that line is.
It’s like, how can some people do that? How can some people pull that off?
It’s a good question because the first couple of times I listened to it, I was like, “It’s interesting but it’s not my thing.” Some things like that grow on you. The first time you looked at one of those abstract paintings, you’re like, “Who are these people? I could do that.” Eventually, it may or may not grow on you.
Regardless of whether or not it grows on you, you see that there’s more structure to it than when you first looked at it.
It’s like Death Metal. It’s like that too. I worked at a club where we booked a lot of Death Metal, but over time, you start to notice the differences between, “That’s not like Death Metal. That was more Black metal.” A few years prior, I’m like, “No, it’s just Cookie Monster Rock.”
You need to push the envelope to be creative but every decade, it gets harder and harder to find something new that’s fun that doesn’t sound, “They’re trying to be different for the sake of being different and no one’s ever going to listen to this, look at this or whatever the case may be.”
Speaking of music, I hear you’re quite the music lover. What kind of music do you enjoy the most and why?
This is an hour-long interview, but I’ll try and keep it short. My true love is classical music. I grew up in classic rock and I love classic rock and I had this massive vinyl collection when I was a kid. That’s where my heart lies. I was a single person in the twenties in New York City and I went to Carnegie Hall every night to educate myself. One day, I fall in love with it. It became a passion. I became a classical music freak. At the same time, I was also going to the jazz clubs too and I started getting into the jazz scene in New York. This was quite many years ago, but classical just hooked. I don’t know many people that are into it that don’t play the instrument. I can’t even tune a guitar. That may be why I appreciate it so much. I’m a huge fan of classical music. I love jazz that doesn’t sound like someone who isn’t trying to be avant-garde for the sake of being avant-garde. Somewhere between when disco began and the present, I lost track of music. If I listen to the Grammy Awards, I wouldn’t even recognize the name of one person on the stage anymore. I’m an old far in the musical department, but at least with classical music, that’s cool because they’re still playing stuff that’s a couple of a hundred years old and no one bats an eyelash. If you try the rock and roll, it’s not going to work well.
You might be the youngest guy at a classical music concert.
That’s an issue, at least in this country. In Europe, it’s different but here it’s a dying genre.
We were like that. It’s not classical music, but we went to see Bob Newhart and I’m like, “There aren’t many shows.” Crystal was with me, I’m the second youngest person in the room. The guy in front of us was like, “Do you even remember Bob Newhart?” I’m like, “I’m 48 years old, it’s not like I’m fifteen.” He had a hit TV show when I was in my mid to late teens. It was funny when you said the New York jazz scene, I’m like, “Is there another one?”
Yeah, it’s all in New York.
It’s not really. You figured there would be here in San Francisco, there’s a minimal. There’s some stuff in Chicago but in New York, it was pretty much it. In Europe, it’s a different story. That music is a little different there. It’s amazing how many American jazz artists from the ’40s, ’50s, ’60s had to go to Europe just to make a living so they could be who they wanted to be and pay the bills.
As a smooth jazz aficionado, what’s your take?
Smooth jazz, I draw the line there. The problem is anything I grew up that my parents ever listened to, whether it was on the radio, in the car or whatever, they thought they were being cool listening to soft rock. To me, smooth jazz to see the soft rock of jazz. I have one of those tastes on. I’ll push probably me being some condescending music snob or something but, “I can’t wait until we talk about wine.”
I love soft rock. I was doing it all the time. I have a major soft rock playlist that I’ve created on Spotify. It’s pretty awesome but at the same time, I know that for the most part, it’s not at the upper echelon of artisanship. A lot of it’s for me, my mom listened to that all the time when I was a kid. At the time, it didn’t have a name, but that was a popular sub-format. Those songs stuck in my head. Sometimes it’s like, “This is fun to listen to.”
There are a lot of good session musicians that put together some good stuff. You could argue that Mozart is like the soft rock of classical music. I’m sure people would have had those debates, probably not on The Clip Out, but who knows?
It’s funny though, I always feel when you get into genres like that, if it’s an artist, the average person knows and the people that love it are like, “Pfft, meh.”
That’s true because you hear it all the time if it’s something that you enjoy. It’s interestingly that you said that you can’t play an instrument and your theory is that’s why you appreciate it. I am the exact opposite. I have no musical ability at all. I also can’t appreciate music. I enjoy music, but I can’t pick out different instruments that are being played and be like, “That’s amazing. Look at him play that whatever.” I don’t know how to do that. It was interesting to hear you say that because that’s always been my theory. I have no musical ability, that’s why I can’t appreciate it, but I also have no rhythm. There’s something to be said about that.
You and I are more alike than we think. I bought a guitar. I had a windfall playing highly after my freshman year in college and I thought instead of working the summer, I would buy a guitar and travel. My parents put up with that for some reason. It was a lot of money that I won. The first thing I did is I bought a guitar. It’s like, “I’m cool. I’m going to teach myself how to play the guitar.” Twenty years later, I had trouble tuning it. It’s like, “Is that music higher or lower than that?” I would go to the symphony and it’s like, “This is cool.” I had no idea what they were doing technically. Maybe you go to a circus or magic show or something and you can understand what they’re doing. Maybe it loses some of their sex appeal. I have no idea. Maybe you appreciate better the intricacies of how they pull it off. It’s an interesting theory.
A lot of it is driven by your personality type because if you truly understand, you can enjoy it on a different level, but there are also people if they truly understand, it does ruin it for them. It depends on your headspace.
It is interesting because Tom’s kiddo is super musically talented. I’m not and he’ll always be like, “We’ll go to his concerts.” He’ll always be like, “What was your favorite song? What was your least favorite song?” I’m like, “The one sounded that made all these weird noises. I didn’t like that one, but the one that was smooth, I liked that.”
The one that had a melody.
I have no way to describe any of it to him. He’s always disappointed with my answers.
I have one classical music story that you’ll find funny. When I was in college, I was a Captain of the College Bowl Quiz Team. I was pulling down the tail left and right. When we would compete, whenever they would ask a question about classical music, none of us knew anything about classical music. I came up with this theory for the team, the strategy. I was like, “Whenever they started a classical music question, as soon as you know it’s classical music, no matter what, buzz in immediately and as confidently as you can say, Brahms.” They were like, “Why?” I’m like, “We’re going to get it wrong no matter what.” If you buzz in, you say, Beethoven or Mozart, everybody knows Beethoven and Mozart, go after yourself. If you buzz in and say, “Brahms,” even if you get it wrong, they’re going to be like, “That team knows classical music. They got it wrong but nobody guesses Brahms.” Everybody’s first thought is going to be Beethoven or Mozart. I’m like, “We’ll psych them out by making them think we know about classical music and they’ll think we know a ton of stuff.”
Did it work?
Yeah, we did pretty well. The funny part was the time we buzzed in and the answer was Brahms, we looked badass. As badass as someone can look when the answer is Brahms.
Bill, tell us about Pelotunes.
I’m not even sure who started that. It might’ve been a Mike Fierro thing. A few years ago, it felt like it was a smaller community that I could actually go on the OPP and I knew who was doing what or whatever and then it got too big and too crowded and maybe not positive enough. People retreated to instructor tribes and then the instructor tribe starts getting too big. There are all these sub-tribes of sub-tribes going everywhere. A lot of us who initially met on the CDE Tribe with Christine, I have found ourselves in other subtribes and I can’t remember someone that decided to get to go into the Pelotunes.
I don’t spend that much time on there now although this may or may not be funny, the new 3,000 kilojoule output challenge for March immediately reminded me of This is Spinal Tap movie when they lower the eighteen-inch stone. Hopefully, someone out there is laughing who finds this funny or knows the movie reference. I will periodically retreat to Pelotunes to learn more about music or to throw up some obscure reference to classical or jazz music. Other people are thinking, “Who is this guy and why does he think we care about this?” Maybe some obscure rock and roll trivia from 1971 before I lost interest in rock music. It’s the place to be a dinosaur and hopefully not have arrows coming out of your back or something.
That’s always a good thing.
Aerosmith, me and my arrow for Harry Nilsson. I know Harry Nilsson because he’s great, but also because his career was launched by The Monkees.
I knew that’ll be The Monkees reference.
That’s how he always knows it. There’s the Monkees or a movie.
He owes his career to The Monkees. They bought his first song, he wrote the song Cuddly Toy, that Davy sings. The famous story is they bought the song and then Harry’s manager turned to him and said, “You can quit the bank now.” He worked at a bank. He was good at computers, but when nobody else was. He was teaching them how to computerize bank records and even though he’s making money in music, it was not as much as he was making at the bank. When The Monkees bought a song from him, that was when he was finally like, “I’ll do this instead of the bank.”
It’s good for him. If you’d held on a couple of years to the keynote, the rise of computers and IPOs, you probably would have cashed out twice as big. He had more fun making music anyway. It’s a great story.
What’s this about you and wine? You’re Irish, it’s going to get you eventually.
Tell us about wine.
Back in the day, I used to take a bunch of classes mostly with Jennifer, Jess, and Christine, and they would often make references to all these people that have wine in their names. They kept saying like, “Someone should start a group.” I kept thinking, “Someone out there who has initiative is eventually going to do it. I’ll wait until they do it.” It got annoying because I thought, “One of the cool things about Peloton is eventually I’m going to go to HRI or something and meet a bunch of these people. It would be nice if I knew these people that had similar interests, whether it’s my obscure music interest or my obscure wine interests or my obscure or whatever interests. Wouldn’t be fun to get to know them in advance rather than to go around shaking hands trying to figure everybody out at a big cocktail party?” Finally, I decided that I should start something called Pelowinos. I wanted it to sound approachable. I didn’t want it to sound snobbish. It turned out to be pretty powerful. I was shocked. I might’ve advertised it once on the OPP and over the last years or so, 3,500 people or so found the way. We’ve had a couple of Meetups up in Napa, Sonoma and there’s going to be one in Texas. I wasn’t at HRI last year, but there was an HRI Pelowino event that I heard was cool and lots of fun.
That’s our story and we never talk about cycling which is so weird. I don’t think anyone’s ever asked a question about an instructor, a class or whatever. There’s never been a discussion. Some of the groups that are instructor-neutral, it’s a healthy environment because no one has the vested interest in, “You can’t say that about so-and-so.” There’s no pitting of people against each other. We’re all instructor-agnostic but for total wine, whether you drank Grigio or Zinfandel or anything, whether you drink smooth wine or avant-garde wine or soft wine, we don’t care. It’s a fun place. People mostly post what they’re drinking, “I had a bottle of this Spade.” A couple of times, I’m in a restaurant, “Here’s a restaurant list.” I throw up a snapshot, “What should I try?” “I’m traveling to Spain, which winery should I visit,” or anything like that. It’s become a little bit of a travelogue and about restaurant stuff. There’s a Pelo-Foodies group that’s almost like a sister group. A lot of people are in both. It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve learned a lot, too.
I’ve never been much of a wine guy. I know it will throw you for a loop with the last name like O’Keefe. I’m not much of a drinker. When it comes to drinking, Crystal is with music where she’s like, “I don’t know all the difference. I just like a pretty song.” I’m the same way where I’m like, “I want it to taste like Kool-Aid.” Whatever’s going to taste as much like a melted popsicle as possible, that’s what I want. That’ll get me liquored up.
Two things drove me to wine. One was too many dates where they handed me a wine list and I thought, “I have no idea. Should I pretend that I have an idea or should I learn something about this between this date and the next date?” Finally, I decided, “Maybe I should do something about that.” There comes a point in your life when you realize where tequila may have been my first love in my teens and twenties, that’s probably not a good idea for us to go through life without such a close relationship. You want to find something like wine or beer that you can have a more casual relationship with. I have to wonder what happened last night or last weekend or whatever. Those two things eased me into the wine and beer thing. Once I near the end of my twenties, I thought, “I need something where that if the Irishman in me pokes his head up, I can live to tell the story and not have to have the stories told to me.”
All I could think of is when you were like, “I want too many days where they handed me a wine list,” and I’m like, “Now, what?” I’m like, “You’re going some fancy dates.” Have I ever taken you somewhere where they hand us a wine list?
I was like, “Not everybody goes to a pool hall, Tom.”
You said you enjoyed it.
I did. What I’m saying is that’s not everybody’s choice, but no, we’ve been to lots of restaurants where they did that.
I still know what it means.
No, that’s true. When he was talking, I was like, “Maybe we should start taking pictures and get stuff to try.”
I grew up in New England, but I went to college in California. When I got there, everyone drinks wine, everyone who visits wineries. I felt like I had to learn something about the local thing. When everyone went out, everyone’s like, “What should we order for wine?” “I have no idea. I only drank beer before I went to school.” That’s where it started.
What’s your favorite kind of wine?If you've spent enough time on Peloton, you don't take yourself seriously. Click To Tweet
It almost feels like, “What’s your favorite kid question?”
If it’s like, “What’s your favorite kid question,” then we all know you have an answer. You just can’t say it. In this case, you can say it because the other wines won’t need therapy.
I have no kids, which makes it easier for the kids if I answer this question too.
That’s good. The pressure is off.
Let me throw out a couple of things out there. Most people will probably drink Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay because that’s what they know and are exposed to and enjoy or think they enjoy. I like your obscure stuff. I like your obscure classical music and I like your obscure wine. For me, a Riesling from Alsace, France and Mourvedre from Spain. I love it. Part of the reason I like it is, I can pull it out and that conservative dinner table and someone will say “What the heck is this? Where does it come from?” We visited these places, my wife and I have traveled there and we can talk about them and talk a little bit about the wines and the culture. We went to Greece and I fell in love with this wine called Assyrtiko, which only grows in Santorini.
If you ever want to have wine-related travel, I can recommend Santorini and the local Assyrtiko. It’s a great wine. It is impossible to pronounce. That’s why you never see Greek wine here because no one can pronounce them. Lots of great wines made around the world don’t get shipped in the United States and most people in the United States particularly live in California like I do tend to drink the local wines, which it’s unfortunate in some respects, but it’s nice. Some people know what they like and they’re comfortable with what they like. I’m always with, “I want to hike over the next hill, see what’s on the other side. I want to try though the weird orange-colored wine to see what the heck it tastes like.” That’s the way I’m wired. It is the way it works for me.
For me, which wine would most taste like a Capri Sun?
I’ll ask the Pelowinos for feedback?
That’ll be good to know. You can add it to your recipe.
They’re making orange wines. There’s the blue wine in Spain that’s got to be imported maybe to the United States. Stuff is getting different. Having to fight with the whole industry is having to innovate and come up with the rise of the whole cocktail industry. I don’t know if it’s taking over St. Louis the way it’s taking over San Francisco, but San Francisco has always been a wine town. We have some pretty good beer here too. The cocktail scene is interesting and innovative that wine is like, “How are we going to compete with this?”
I don’t know what our scenes are.
If it’s popular in San Francisco, that means we’ll figure it out in about 4 or 5 years. That’s about how we work here.
We’ll describe it to you. If it’s any good, you’ll hear about it. If not, we’ll have to suffer.
Most of us just stopped wearing acid-wash jeans?
I’ll let you know because they’re about to become popular here.
That’s what happens as soon as we give it up, then it becomes vintage.
The new guys are like, “They stopped wearing it. We can wear them again.”
We’ve talked about music, we’ve talked about wine and we’ve talked about reference clothing. It’s all one fashion or another and stuff goes in and out of fashion. It’s all highly personal. Hopefully, if you’ve spent enough time on Peloton, you don’t take yourself seriously. It’s like, “Do your thing. I’ll drink the Capri Sun wine and the acid-wash jeans with smooth jazz and that’s me. If you don’t like it, screw you. I’ve got my own thing down.”
That’s right, Tom, you do you.
I don’t know if I still had enough hair for a mullet.
No, Tom, I’m okay with that.
What advice do you have for people that are out getting their bikes?
The first thing would be to try all the instructors at least 2 or 3 times and eventually, you’re going to naturally fall in love with a couple. You’re first probably going to be interested in the music and then you’re going to be interested in the instructor. In the long run, I would say that the thing that’s going to keep you going on the bike and get you coming back after you have that century shirt and after a year it’s going to get harder and harder to PR. It’s going to be the community and the friends you make, whether they’re virtual as they’re more likely to be or whether you see any of them face-to-face.
Find some tribe, whether it’s an instructor tribe, a tribe that’s with a hobby, a profession, there are oodles of them out there or even to follow people on the bike. Don’t worry about feeling weird. Private message people if you start seeing them pop up just to say hello. I don’t want to get you fired, but it’s all about the community. Connect and you’ll find that six months from now, the reason you’re riding is not because of the instructor or the music. It’s because of the people you’re riding with, you want to celebrate their accomplishments. You want to make sure you ride with them for the 300th ride or you want to make sure that they ride with you when you’re celebrating. It’s going to ultimately be all about the community. The instructors are important, the music is important, but it’s the people you ride with that’s going to make this or break this for you.
That’s excellent advice, first of all. It brings me back to a question I thought of. Since you do have specific music tastes, you said obscure, do you have a favorite instructor from a music perspective that tends to hit the musical interests that you prefer?
Nobody cares what I listen to so I just do my thing. What’s interesting because I don’t make an effort to follow what’s popular with modern music. I’m learning a lot about the music that I should have learned about it in the ’80s. I’m learning about it 30 years later. You can backfill all these musical blind spots in my life. It’s like, “This is what had happened if I had kept up with the punk scene. It’s interesting.”
Have you found anything that you like?
It comes this close to hitting some of the classical rock notes and then Hannah does a good job of some of that stuff and JJ and Christine and whatever. Generally, the older the instructor, the closer they are to overlapping. No one plays much classical other than an occasional thing here or there or gets into hardcore jazz. I enjoy the music and I like learning about new music that I don’t know when I ride, which is interesting.
Have you found anything that you wouldn’t have heard otherwise that you’ve come to enjoy?
Yeah, the problem is I’ve done most of my rides more than 50% with Christine. I now know everything I need to know about Siouxsie and the Banshees, whatever happened. If I had been born many years later then, I’m now an expert. I’m not an expert, but all this stuff in the ’80s that I should’ve known about in the early ’90s. It’s interesting because there are times in your life where I went back to school for grad school in the ’90s. For a couple of years, I was in tune with the music scene during that time and before and after but I closeted myself back in my corner of the classical and jazz world afterward. Sometime in the ‘80s while I was discovering all the classical and jazz, I was living in New York. I can’t tell you how many times I walked by CBGB where all the whole punk revolution was born and it would’ve been a cool thing to do, but I never was into it. I didn’t hang out with that crowd, I missed that whole state. That would’ve been pretty cool too. To go to the CBGB and then go to the Opera the next day is a weird dual life.
You’d be surprised how many people do both though. Especially from a musician standpoint, a lot of them, they play one style of music and it’s like your job, when you clock out you don’t want to hear more of it, you want to hear something else. A lot of those people that perform this hard or tough music, on their time, they’re listening to stuff that’s different. I liked your advice for newbies. Going back to that. One, I know that since we asked that question a lot, it’s hard for people sometimes to have something new to say. You make a valid point about so much of what makes the bike sticky as they say in marketing terms, you start to develop relationships with other people in the community. You almost have to ride the bike if you want to keep talking to those.
I’ve often wondered a couple of things. First, if I had never discovered Facebook, “How much would I be riding relative to what I’m riding now?” I’m guessing it would be a third as much. Also, I wonder about the people who have gotten injured or gone through various living things and they no longer ride the bike for whatever reason. I wonder if they’re still engaged with all the friends they made on Peloton or feel weird. It’s like, you go to the party and you’re the only one who doesn’t do whatever everyone else does anymore, whether they feel weird. I have a sense they are probably still engaged with the people they met and became friends with. I know to take some time off, it feels weird to get back into the scene and there are different faces. People disappear and I wonder, it’s like, “What happened to all these Peloton people who are riding sometimes when I go in the archives?” I’ll take a ride from 2015 or something. Let’s do a “where are they now” document. “What happened to your fitness journey? Is it still going or did you change your name? Are you running now or did your bike die and what happened?”
That would be interesting especially since it’s grown exponentially, it’s easy for people to fall through the cracks.
Maybe we should find somebody who used to be on Peloton, who is no longer because they had something happen to them. We hunt them down and ask them to be on a podcast.
They would probably feel guilty. They wouldn’t do it.
You never know. It might be a way for them to reconnect with people if they haven’t stayed connected.
A lot of people are addicted. Probably a good choice of word is inning, but then something happens to them physically and they have to stay off the bike for three months and they missed the bike. At least they have the support group and they can still whatever. What if you had to take 1 or 2 years off or whatever reason. It would be tough especially for those people. For some people, it becomes the center of their social life as well. We all know that our real-life friends who we’ve said, “I’m sorry, I’ve got a meeting tomorrow or I have a conflict. I can’t go on vacation for the following week.”
You just put a fear into me. I was like, “I never thought of that happening. That’s terrible.”
I’m here to sprinkle evil ideas into yours and everyone else’s head.
Where can people find you in the various tributaries of the interwebs?
On Facebook, I’m Bill Luby. I’m PeloniousMonk on the leaderboard. I’m mostly on Twitter. I used to tweet a lot because I had a blog by the name VIX and More having to do more with my work life. You’ll find me on other social media @VixandMore, where there’s anything to do with the business side of what I do.
Thank you very much for taking the time out of your day to join us.
Thank you so much.
It’s my pleasure. I enjoyed it.
I hope you get to enjoy some music and wine.
That sounds like a great combination. Thanks.
He would’ve never thought of food and music otherwise.
Thanks a lot.
Does Bill have a recipe for us?
He does. Remember Bill is all about fine wines and nice things. He gave us a fancy recipe, Tom. It is Pan Seared Sea Scallops. You need sea scallops, unsalted butter, olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. I’m going to include all the preparation out on our website, but I want to let you know that he included a wine pairing. I’m going to put all this out there. He gave us some nice wine pairings and then he says, “The five keys to success in this simple but elegant recipe. Mix the butter and olive oil, pat the scallops as dry as possible before searing. Wait for the few first wisps of smoke before putting the scallops in the pan. Do not touch the scallops when they are in the pan except for flipping. Finding the middle ground between golden brown and not overcooked.”
It’s Lisa Goldman. She has quite a journey. You guys are going to want to tune into this.
That’s what people have to look forward to. Until then, where can they find you?
You can find me on Twitter @RogerQBert or Facebook at Facebook.com/tomokeefe. You can find the show online at TheClipOut.com or Facebook.com/theclipout. While you’re there, like the page, join the group and stay up-to-date on things throughout the week. That’s it for this one. Thanks for tuning in and until next time, keep pedaling and running.
- Bill Luby – Facebook
- Apple Podcast – The Clip Out Podcast
- Stitcher – The Clip Out Podcast
- Spotify – The Clip Out Podcast
- Google Play – The Clip Out Podcast
- The Clip Out Group – Facebook group
- How I Built This
- Ben Alldis
- Leanne Hainsby
- Pelo-Foodies Facebook group
- VIX and More
- @VixandMore – Bill Luby’s Twitter page
- Facebook.com/crystaldokeefe – Crystal O’Keefe’s Facebook page
- Twitter – Crystal O’Keefe
- @ClipOutCrystal – Crystal O’Keefe’s Instagram page
- @RogerQBert – Tom’s O’Keefe’s Twitter
- Facebook.com/tomokeefe – Tom’s Facebook page
About Bill Luby
Investment manager with an emphasis on volatility derivatives (VIX options, futures and ETPs), options, exchange-traded products (ETPs) and liquid alternative investments. Research interests include market sentiment, technical analysis and global macro issues.
Also blog on these subjects at vixandmore.blogspot.com, publish the VIX and More investment newsletter as well as the EVALS (ETP Volatility Analysis Long-Short) model portfolio and write an occasional column for Barron’s.
Previously worked as a business strategy consultant for two decades, advising clients on issues such as strategy formulation, strategy implementation, strategic management systems and metrics.
By Crystal — 4 days ago
Tickets for Homecoming go on sale February 21 and Crystal has tips on how to get your tickets.
Peloton was all over the pop culture universe this week – Howard Stern, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Steve Harvey Show, and This Is Us.
The new Power Zone instructors are officially announced.
A rare tweet from John Foley as he takes pride in Peloton being named a LBGTQ inclusive workplace by Human Rights Campaign.
Gearpatrol.com has an article comparing Peloton with Wahoo.
Dailymaverick.co.za compares all sorts of connected fitness products.
Robin Arzon makes the Create Cultivate 100 list.
A new Artist Series is announced featuring Billie Eilish.
Jersey Shore’s Snookie talks about peeing on the bike.
More evening classes are on the way.
HMC was in London.
Kristin McGee launches a yoga series of prenatal classes.
All this plus our interview with John Prewitt!
Listen to the podcast here:
Howard Stern’s Jenn Sherman Obsession Continues And Our Interview With John Prewitt
What do you have in store for people?
We’ve got a plethora of things, little bits and pieces of Pelotonia.
No sneak peek?
Yeah, I get tired of doing the sneak peeks. Basically. I repeat what we’re going to do.
It’s like a table of contents. Since you’re not going to do it, then I’ll do my shameless plugs. Don’t forget we’re available on Apple podcasts. You can go there and a rate and review and most importantly, subscribe. That is so you never miss an episode. You can do that wherever you choose to get your podcast. There should be some subscribe option and you should take advantage of it. You can also find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/theclipout. While you’re there, like the page, join the group. We have so many people joining.
I don’t know what you did. Somebody must have posted something about us somewhere.
It has been quite the influx. Hello and welcome. Also you can leave a review there and eventually, I’ll get around reading them. Here’s one from the good old iTunes. This is from ArnoldFamily1. They said, “I love all things Peloton but hadn’t leaned into The Clip Out podcast even though Britt Drake, #SweatingGlitter, told me it was fantastic, informative, fun and worth a listen. Thanks for all of your work and keep it up.” #AssLikeA10YOBoy is the leaderboard name. There you go.
Thank you for that very nice review. Thank you, Britt, for telling them we’re fantastic.
You’re not going to say thank you by name to the person that left the review?
Not even just once?
No. I don’t know their actual name.
You could use the leaderboard name. Also. don’t forget if you want to say up to date with everything that goes on with the show, you can sign up for our newsletter TheClipOut.com. It will come to you weekly-ish.
Homecoming will be here before you know it.
It is a few months away.
Tickets will be going on sale very soon.
February 12th at noon, Eastern. For those of you who are new to this, I am going to tell you to expect everything bad to happen. Expect that the internet won’t work. Expect that your computer will freeze up inexplicably at 11:59. Expect that Peloton will start ten minutes early. Expect that they will start ten minutes late. I don’t know which of those things will occur, but all of them happened.
Last year while trying to buy tickets, your computer got feline AIDS. You’ll never know what’s going to happen.
I had to take it to the vet. It was crazy. Here’s my suggestion for you. Have your phone browser ready. Have your computer from work, if you work, ready. Have your personal computer ready and have your spouse do the same because you can only buy one ticket at a time.
Do you want to give away all your tips like this?
I love our Clip Out audience because they’re going to ask me anyway. I’m going to get a thousand inbox messages. Keep it on the DL, keep it amongst all several thousands of you. If they’re planning on going, I want them to have the best shot possible. It’s my gift to you. Consider it a late holiday gift.
That’s very gracious of you.
That’s all we know at the moment?
It is. The tickets are $95. There is another thing that we do know actually. It appears that this year, you tell them which classes you would like to take. You’d say, “I like this instructor, I like that instructor, I like this type of workout.” Then they’re going to assign you where they want to assign you. There will be no signing up. They’re going to put you where they want to put you. I think that’s going to be horrible. There are going to be so many complaints. It’s going to be insane and everyone gets to attend the community run. Everybody’s in on that.
That’s probably an easier thing to accommodate tons of people for.
It sold out so fast last year.
The slogan this year is, “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.”
It should be that slogan every year. They will still throw a fit.
A little window into the mind of Crystal O’Keefe. If you’re wondering, sometimes I tease her about being stubborn and you see the bright, shiny side of her, not the stubbornness or things like the faces she’s making it me, but to show you how stubborn she is. I wish you guys could see her face. She’s giggling with her mouth closed. She’s laughing, but also has a sour face going. You only get that one about 2% of the time, so you’re very fortunate. Anyway, in the notes that I have here, it doesn’t say homecoming, it says HRI. For the newer listeners, we’re not going to explain it. You can ask a Peloton friend homecoming versus HRI.
I want to mention one other thing that was not on the list. I saw posted in The Clip Out group that Kristina Blair Howard mentioned that Peloton’s Q2 earnings are coming up on February 5th at 5:00 PM Eastern. That’s the Q2 earnings call for Peloton. I will be on that. If anybody would like to join and you have shares, you should listen along. The link is out there at Facebook.com/theclipout.
Back to our regularly scheduled program. Howard Stern continued his obsession with Jenn Sherman.Working from home, it's nice to have the option of getting a workout without having to go to the gym. Click To Tweet
I had a rough day when we were putting the news together, so I did not include it. He actually had a visit from Jenn via the call-in feature.
She had to be beside herself.
She got through.
Do you think she actually gave another number? When we were in the radio, we had the request line, but then you had what we called the hotline, which is if something had really gone bad. Then you had what we called the warm line. That was what you’d give to guests to call.
I don’t think so because this sounded like an unscheduled call. He was talking about how she sings on the bike all the time and that she had done a new track ride that week and that she didn’t sing as much. She was calling in to tell him, “That was me covering that ride. I didn’t know all those songs because I’m not the one that put it together.” You could tell how nervous she was. Her voice sounded so nervous. She kept it together. He would have never known how nervous she was but I know because I listen to her voice all the time.
He knew. He’s a very astute interviewer.
He was very gentle with her.
There’s a lot of bluster there but he’s good at picking up on cues and knowing what people’s buttons are. My guess is he knew it.
I have to mention that our interviewee, John Prewitt, also known as Kenny_Bania. He is the one who founded that clip for me and allowed me to post it on his behalf in The Clip Out. He said there’s another one because Howard Stern’s not done talking about her. I didn’t understand.
It sounds like he was talking about doing some hypothetical live event. He was trying to get people there for free and they were riffing. They started talking about having Jenn Sherman on a bike and having the entire audience on Peloton. They were being goofy.
Going back to the previous clip, after he hung up with Jenn, he started telling Robin, his cohost, about how Jenn Sherman is to him.
He should have told Jenn Sherman. It’s not like she’s not listening. She’s still hearing it. Does he know how radio works? I would think he does by now.
Maybe he was a little nervous too. When you’re starstruck, you’re starstruck.
Even people that meet famous people all the time, they still have those certain people that can rattle them. It happens.
I’ve seen it happen to you very rarely.
I don’t know what you’re talking about. It was all monkeys-related. Other than that, I’m just like, “What’s up, Bruce Willis?” He was like, “You produced Headquarters?” Then I get all nervous. While we’re talking about Peloton in the pop culture, it had quite a week with Stern and then there was an out-joke on Curb Your Enthusiasm.
I thought it was in the middle of the episode?
No, that was the final shot of him on the Peloton.
Maybe it was toward the end. He was riding a Peloton because he had been working out at the gym. Then at the end, he was riding a Peloton in tennis shoes because it’s Larry David.
It was weird though. You pointed it out, but I thought it was worth mentioning. It opens with him on a treadmill in a gym and then obviously there’s a kerfuffle and then later, he doesn’t want to go to the gym. He’s going to work-out at home and then you see his work-out room with a Peloton and a weight machine and a treadmill? I was like, “Why would you ever go to the gym?”
I don’t think they thought that through. Clearly, they’re not as obsessed with workout rooms as we are, because I am.
Also, Peloton got mention on This Is Us.
I don’t want to know any spoilers, but it’s something about Randall mentioned.
That’s St. Louis’ Sterling K. Brown.
For some reason, I wanted to call him RK Sterling and I was like, “No, that’s like JK Rowling.” I don’t know what happened. There were too many Ks in my head. The joys of getting old. I love him. He’s such a great actor. I like that show.
I think there’s only so long you can keep that storytelling. I said it when that show started, “This is going to be Lost for soccer moms.” It starts off great, but how do you keep telling a story like this when you want to tell it indefinitely? It’s still enjoyable.
That first season was magnetic.
That was like first season of Desperate Housewives. There are some shows when that first season is perfect. This Is Us, Desperate Housewives, Friday Night Lights, those are prime examples. Anyway, off of TV talk.
We’re not done with pop culture.
We’re not because Robin Arzon was on the Steve Harvey show.
She even got Steve Harvey to ride on a Peloton on his show. It didn’t look like it was for very long and he was still wearing his suit. They had a great talk and it’s been posted all over the place, so you can check that out. It was great to see Robin on Steve Harvey show. That’s awesome.
Christine and Olivia officially added to the Powerzone line.
The mystery is done. Out of the huge debates, the counting of the ballots, Christine was at the top every time. Olivia was all over the place, sometimes up, sometimes not. They’re both there. The Peloton Prophet was correct and it was announced during the joint Peloton Powerzone ride.When you're new to riding, it can be very intimidating to ride live. Click To Tweet
Another one. John Foley had an interesting tweet. He doesn’t tweet a whole lot.
I hope he doesn’t think I stalk him because I watch him on all social media channels.
There are lots of people who watch him on all social media channels.
He tweeted that Peloton have earned 100% on human rights campaigns, Corporate Equality Index for LGBTQ inclusive workplace policies and practice. He was very proud of that and that’s awesome. He should be proud of that. Everybody at Peloton should be proud of that.
I wonder what they score that on. I’ll have to go read that.
You can go read it. If anybody else is interested as well, you can find it at CEI 2020. If you google that, you’ll find it.
They compared a Wahoo bike and a Peloton bike.
What is a Wahoo?
It’s a training bike. The Wahoo bike is an indoor training bike. They have trainers that you can put underneath your bike, like we saw at the bike shop where you use your outdoor bike, you stick it on there. These weren’t rollers, but they have those too. They have different kinds of trainers.
You use your road bike as an indoor training bike?
This is their answer to Peloton Stationary Bike. They came out with a bike that is like ‘s bike, in that it’s an indoor bike. That’s the only thing they have in common, nothing else about it.
I wonder what all those road bike people who’ve been shitting on indoor stationary bikes because of Peloton.
They’re still shitting on it because I’m not done.
They were so above it.
They still are because here’s the thing, the Wahoo is specific to trainers or it’s to people who train outside. The reason that’s important is because if you’re training on it, you can move the handlebars back and forth. It gets you a more aerodynamic fit, just like your actual road bike, which the Peloton can’t do. It’s not meant to do that. There are a lot of differences. The Wahoo is more specific for people who are training for things like triathlons or riding outside in general. Whereas the Peloton is meant to be a stationary spin bike. You can also use it to train for outdoor rides. They’re two totally different tools.
I’m sure the Wahoo thing comes in handy, especially if you’re an outdoor rider that lives in a place where you get snow a lot.
You can use it with different apps. You can use it with Swift, you can use it with all these other different apps to do races or connect with other people online. When you do that, somehow it’s able to increase your incline or decrease your incline on the bike automatically.
It does it for you.
You also have gears that you can shift just like your outdoor bike. Those are all things that are very specific to training. This article was attempting to say, “Which should you do?” A lot of people had issues with this article. I posted it. I thought they did a good job of saying, “Peloton is for one thing and this is for another.” It was to compare them point by point.
I don’t even know how you compare it because it sounds like it’s pretty spiffy.
That’s why people had a problem with the article because they’re not equal tools. They’re not meant for the same purpose. There’s some crossover. If you had a Venn diagram, they could both be in the middle but one’s for training and one’s for spin class. I thought the article did a pretty good job of explaining that. They were very positive to Peloton and to Wahoo, which I was appreciative of because sometimes people are in one camp or the other. That’s why the article is valuable to me. It’s a great breakdown point by point of each bike for both of those different things. For somebody who is in the market for both, you’re in that Venn diagram center piece, this is a great article.
I’m sure if you ride outside and you enjoy that, but then you also see the benefits of Peloton. I’m sure you probably are torn, but there are probably tons and tons. I’m sure they’re out there.
DailyMaverick.co.za had an article and they’re talking about how the home gym has returned with a vengeance, which we’ve talked about many times. They break down all of the different connected fitness stuff that matters. I say, “That matters,” because not everyone made it. They talked about the Peloton Bike, the Peloton Tread, they talked about the Hydrow, they talked about Mirror, they talked about tonal. That’s a lot. Another thing I found interesting that somebody called out the second I posted it was they had the prices wrong for the Peloton stuff. What they did is they included the monthly fee as the monthly fee of the subscription and if you were buying it with financing it. They bundled it together. It looked like they would show, “Here’s your price per month and here’s your price for the bike.” It looked like it was a $2,000 bike, plus you’ve got to pay $80 a month. I was like, “That’s not right at all.” They did that on the Tread and the Bike, but they did not do it on any other piece of equipment. That was kind interesting. I think it might’ve been the person taking the information from Peloton didn’t get it right.
They didn’t process it properly.
It was a good article for what it was worth. It was a good break down of everything. They want to get clicks. It wasn’t anything too exciting.
Also, .za is South Africa, which then also makes you wonder who they’re writing this for because you can’t get a Peloton in South Africa. It was a British colony as we know, but I’m curious as to who’s the intended reader if you’re writing about it in a country where you can’t get it? Maybe it’s coming to they know something and we don’t. If they knew that much more, they will get the price right.
Tonal is not available in any country other than America. I don’t think that’s about what country of origin. For some reasons, this was about clicks.
There was the Create & Cultivate 100 list.
Robin Arzon posted about this. They went through influencers by section. Under Health and Wellness, she was listed as one of the top contenders of the Create & Cultivate list. It’s pretty cool. Congrats, Robin.
We should’ve talked about this in the pop culture stuff, but Snooki peed on her bike.
Maybe more than once, it’s hard to say. Apparently, you pop out a couple of kids and there can be accidents. Sometimes there’s a little stress incontinence and that happens for her on the Peloton. That has never happened to me on the Peloton. It has happened at other times though. Maybe you sneeze just wrong. Getting old sucks. She’s not that old.
She’s probably 35 or something. A lot of people chimed in. Half of the people were like, “You’re awful. I hate you.” There are a lot of people who chimed in, “That’s a thing.” I know that you refuse to watch Jersey Shore. I get sucked into it. I don’t watch the back to the shore thing they’re doing, but I like it. It’s easy to make fun of the cast of Jersey Shore. They’re very much cartoon characters. I will say, the longer I watch it, the more I was like, “These are pretty nice people. They seem genuinely nice.”Embrace the community you find from doing Peloton. Click To Tweet
We watched that Marriage Boot Camp. You might remember that some of the characters. It grew on me. I was like, “This guy.” Then he grew on me. He’s adorable.
What I like about most of the casts of Jersey Shore is that they were exactly what they told you they were going to be.
I have respect for that.
They didn’t have any shame in it. They didn’t lie. Even when they were out like carousing and tearing through ladies, they were like, “This is what we do.” They were very upfront about it. It was like, “This shouldn’t shock you.” I grew to have a certain amount of affection for them, much to my surprise.
I shouldn’t judge.
It looks like there’s a new artist series being launched. It will be the first one that the volume level won’t go past six.
That’s not true. It’s going to be Billie Eilish for those of you wondering what that even means. There are a lot of you who don’t know who Billie Eilish is. I didn’t know until about a year ago and I dig it. It’s not something that I would go to all the time, but Jenn Sherman has included her in some of her playlists, and it works. I think that this will be good. I don’t know if I’ll enjoy it as some of the other ones because I don’t know as many of her songs. Some of her songs I enjoy. I have to respect the fact that she’s been writing songs for so long and she’s sixteen.
She’s selling out arenas in a heartbeat. She does have songs that I like, but I just don’t think of her music as hard driving exercise. It falls into that whisper rock camp to me.
There are places of it. It’s very incumbent upon the teacher to do their magic with making it work. I think that these two that they chose, so it’s going to be Kendall on the Bike and then it’s going to be Becs Gentry for the run and Anna Greenberg is going to do the flow. I think that they’re all well-suited to do that. I like what these artists collaborations that they’ve been picking instructors, they’ve been matching them with musicians that they mesh with and they use in their classes. I think that’s great.
This is the first artist series that’s all cooled down.
It’s going to be good.
More evening classes are on the way.
I don’t know how much that’s going to affect a good portion of our audience. I found this on the UK page. There are more evening classes are coming in the UK. That’s six hours later than it is here. I think that will mean more afternoon classes for the US. We’ll see how that goes. They’re going to be coming in from the London studio. Of course, there are going to be more opportunities to ride live. That is very exciting for the London studio. They’ve been wanting to grow. Now, they have four instructors. This is great news for them. This is awesome.
I wonder how long it will be as they add more countries before there’s pretty much live classes almost 24 hours a day.
That will depend on where they’re at because they added London and then Germany and it’s probably going to depend on where they go because if they’re not constantly going one direction, if they’re not going East or West, it’s not going to matter.
I bet you, it happens eventually.
Hannah Marie Corbin was also in London this. That’s another reason that we wanted to mention London. She was there and she got to ride live with Sam Yo. Then afterwards, they had a little meet and greet out in the main area, the main lobby, and then she did some stretches with some of the people that came in. It was a great time from what it looked like.
There’s a new yoga class?
Yes. I should have included that. The last Wednesday of every month at 8:00 AM Eastern, there’s going to be a whole new series, 60 minutes live Prenatal Class with Kristin McGee. That is very exciting. People have been asking for these. This is so exciting. Eventually, all the instructors are going to have their own curated thing like this.
Now they have a Postnatal class, so you will stop peeing on the bike.
Joining us is John Prewitt. John, how’s it going?
How are you doing?
I always like to find out how people found Peloton originally.
We got our bike in July of 2017. My wife had a couple of friends who had the bike that she knew of and they were your casual riders. They weren’t drinking the Peloton Kool-Aid in all over social media about it and in the community. She was aware of a couple of friends who did it and liked it and had it. Right after that, all the targeted ads start showing up on Facebook. We had taken an interest, but we were both haters on the whole subscription model. We were thinking, “You buy a bike and then you have to pay a gym membership on top of that?” We had no idea of what came with that of all the other content than the extras. We lived in Austin, Texas at the time. What sold it for us as we went to the Austin showroom, which was fairly new and we both did a ride side-by-side in the showroom. We did a 30-minute Cody ride. Right after that, that sold us. We’re all in. We bought the bike and got it a week or so later. My first ride was a Cody 30-minute Guilty Pleasures ride. From there, it took off with our level of engagement.
Before this, were you guys both into fitness, going to the gym or didn’t go at all? How was that working?
We were not gym-goers. We never had a gym membership. My wife was always into barre-based workouts. When we lived in Chicago before we lived in Austin, she started going to The Bar Method, which is a ballet-based studio exercise class. This Bar Method blew up and this was back in 2006 or 2007. She started going there, taking regular classes and then we moved to Austin shortly after that and she got into a similar studio exercise experience called Pure Barre methods competition in the same exercise space realm. She became a teacher there. She was teaching Pure Barre and taking classes there in Austin for the entire time. We lived there for a few years. She always did Pure Barre. I always played sports. Growing up, I always played ice hockey. I played goalie since I was little and traveled in high school and college. After our son was born, I stopped playing in men’s ice hockey leagues in Austin. We had a crappy elliptical in our house, which I would like to plop my iPad on and binge watch Netflix and would casually go back and forth on the elliptical. That was the extent of the exercise. I’m not walking the dog every day. We both worked from home, so it’s nice having that option, not having to go to the gym but not gym-goers at all.
What is the difference between Barre and Pure Barre?
They’re similar like small movements with weights.
There’s no real difference between the two things? It’s just a different brand name. It’s Coke and Pepsi.
They are two different companies. My wife is more partial to Pure Barre. She thinks it’s a harder workout. She’s taught it and she’s more biased towards that, but similar workouts.
I should be careful because this is probably how some people feel when I’m like, “NordicTrack and Peloton.”
I fear for your safety, John, because she keeps it and you’re like, “They’re the same thing.”
I’m sure you have others that are crazy about the barre method. There’s something called Daily Barre. There are many variations with the word barre in it that are barre-based. It’s a little watered down.
You were sports-minded and fit, but Peloton, I would assume, was a game-changer for you, guys?
Definitely, because you didn’t have to spend all that time going somewhere. It was something to look forward to during the day. We both work from home, so it’s like we hop on there, jump right off and go right back into our work routine for the rest of the day.
How many days on end do you spend at your house without leaving?
It’s many. She still goes to Pure Barre. She supplements with Peloton. I’m working out maybe 4 or 5 days a week, but some days I’ll be home all day long and I go out and walk the dog at some point in the afternoon, besides getting the rides in. Before we moved into this house, we were in an apartment for four months while we were waiting for this one to be built. We were right on top of each other, working maybe 5 feet away. That was challenging and stressful. That tested the relationship, but we made it out on top.
Unlike the people that your wife knew that had Peloton, you guys are not casual users. You like social media and Peloton.
When I first started, I wasn’t crazy. I’m insane with it now with how much I ride throughout the day. My wife, she does it almost every day, but I do multiple rides in the morning and the afternoon. When we first got it, I was on the OPP, the Official Peloton Page, here and there like I was a newbie. I’m a lurker posting here and there. It was after I found a few tribes, I joined Denis’s Menaces first and then I found the JSS Tribe and then the #BooCrew. I started posting little snippets of pre-shows and then compilations. I took it to a whole new level.
What inspired you to start posting your videos?
Back when I first started riding and Denis was the one that got me hooked on the bike. Because he was hired basically right before we got the Peloton. I discovered him immediately. I loved his personality. I loved how he told stories through the ride and his corny jokes. I felt like he was always kicking your ass but you didn’t realize it because you were having such a good time. I noticed whenever I would ride live, I’d always join the ride early for the pre-show before they started taping for on-demand. Every now and then, he’d give a shout out and I would start recording with my iPhone. I would set up a little tripod. It was this janky recording or you hear me coughing in the background or blowing my nose from time to time. If you would tell a funny story or something or a shout out, I’d post that on the Menaces page or the OPP.
It evolved from thereafter iPhone had screen recording after they added that feature where you could record directly off the screen a nice clean recording. I started recording the pre-shows and then recording funny moments and randomly posting them here and there. It took off from there. When I started riding with Cody more and his pre-shows were hilarious, the things he would say before the ride would start. I would randomly start posting pre-show moments and then people would say like, “Do you have my shout-out from this pre-show?” I became the unofficial bootlegger of the pre-show, which I love to do because I feel like if you join the ride right when it starts or right before, I almost feel like you’re missing out on a little party because you never see that again. It’s gone forever.
I thought that you have stumbled into a little cottage industry.
Especially with all the rides that got deleted.
You can make a bank if you’ve got that Jenn’s Men Tribe.
I only got the pre-show and a little quip here and there from the actual ride.
As Peloton gets larger and more important, this is probably a portion of their programming that they might not even be keeping themselves.
I don’t know if it’s deleted forever. There was an awesome moment in a Jenn Sherman ride where her daughter showed up to ride with her in the studio for the first time and surprised her. I got most of that moment of the pre-show where she freaked out and realized it was her. Security came like somebody’s going to rush the stage. I sent her that clip, but I don’t know if they ever keep stuff like that because I’ve never seen it posted by them or anywhere else.
It’s a good question. From a data management standpoint, I’m guessing they delete it but from a, “We need to keep a record of all of the awesome things that we do,” who knows what they do?
All I know is my memory on my iPhone is rapidly dwindling. The amount of Cody albums that I have of clips and compilations, I got to start cleaning the house a little bit.
Do you have a place where you’re going to back all that up or are you going to delete?
I haven’t even thought that far ahead, Tom. Maybe the newest iPhone gives you more memory and go from there.
When TV first started, nobody kept all that stuff. It’s like, “Who cares? We’re going to do another one next week. It doesn’t matter.” Now when they do find stuff like that, people are always happy.
I did ask Peloton a couple of years ago if they had an archive and if they were keeping all this stuff. I never got a reply. I figure that’s probably some secret that they don’t want to divulge. Maybe they didn’t want to go find out.
They don’t want to deal with a million questions of like, “Did you get my shout out from the pre-roll a few weeks ago?”
I would think it’s lost. It’s too much storage to deal with.
The other thing that I find about you is that you give a lot of high fives.
No one gives more, literally. That’s been quantified.
What can I say? I give good high fives. That was a feature that suited me apparently when they added that, whenever that enhancement was added in the app. That’s the one thing about my level of engagement in the community and the tribe. I love to encourage, to support people to build them up. I like that high five. I love to cheer people on when we’re riding. It’s easy to do and it’s such a simple gesture that sometimes people seem to appreciate.
I love it when I hop on a ride and it always happens the most on a Jenn Sherman ride. Sundays are my day. Whenever I hop on a bike on the ride on a Sunday morning and tons of high fives are being exchanged. It is fun. In my head it’s like “cheers.” You walked into cheers.
I joined the ride in the pre-show, I do a quick round for as many people as I can I get to depending on how many are there and then start getting ready. My system is like when the ride starts, I have my whole following, the people that I follow. I try to high five at least once a song or after a big push and then I go back and expand the whole leaderboard and try to go up and down as much as I can. There could be 80 people that I’m following. It takes a while to get through all those.
It’s hard because especially if there’s a bunch of milestones, which there always are on the Sunday morning ride. You’ve got to go through like, “I’m scrolling. I know. I saw them. Where did they go?”
Jenn has a workout with the milestone shout-outs and birthdays on Sunday mornings.
How many high-fives on average do you give during a 45-minute ride?
I’d say at least 90. I don’t know.
Are you getting extra arm workout from doing it?
That right-hand gets tired out, yes, the high-five hand.
Have you ever accidentally tried to high five somebody while you’re holding a dumbbell for your workouts?
That’s where people get you too. They try to high five you during the upper body. It’s like, “Really?”
I’m like, “I have the dumbbells. What do you want me to do?” I’m trying to high-five with my pinky.
I’m super OCD so it’s like, “Do I try to return it or do I wait?”
It’s hard because it’s mocking you. It’s there and you have to clear it.
It’s lingering and then more notifications pop-ups and then it gets buried further down. It’s your first world problems.
They should disable the high-five during arm work.
Some people try not to overdo with high five, like how we got Nick and Lisa Getty. They’re the OGs that aren’t super into high fives. I try to be respectful of them.
You’ve got to respect the high-five boundary.
Everybody else I bombard. It’s all right. They can deal with it. To circle back when Tom said you could quantify the number of high fives I’ve given. That was a total shock when Alex and Robin shouted me out at the Homecoming celebration.
You had no idea that you were that high up on the list?
No. Earlier that day before the party at the Hammerstein Ballroom for Homecoming, I had gotten this random email from Jayvee Nava with Peloton and she said, “Please come to this entrance of the Hammerstein at so-and-so time.” I showed up there and walked in and they said, “You’re Kenny_Bania. This is so and so Chris with Peloton. He’s going to show you what’s going on. We have something special planned. I can’t tell you what it is.” I said, “How did I get on your radar?” He said, “I can’t give anything away.” He kept it all secret. He walked me over to the stage where they were doing a soundcheck before they started letting everybody into the venue. He said, “You need to stand at this X on the floor at the center of this in front of the stage and be here standing here at 7:45 and I’ll meet you here.” Basically, the party starts when Alex and Robin come out and do their thing. We’re standing there and then I see Alex. He calls somebody out stage right for however many, like 5,000 rides, some crazy number of rides. I realized he’s going to shout me out and I had no idea what he was going to shout me out for. The spotlight comes on me and I hear him go, “Where’s John also known as Kenny_Bania?” I hear him and I’m like, “He got the leaderboard name wrong.” You put the high five hand up and he goes, “He’s given out over 61,000 high fives,” and everyone starts cheering and high fiving me. That was cool.
I think that means that you got closer to any of the instructors that night than anybody else.
You guys were in there, weren’t you?
Yes. I remember you walked up to us and took a selfie with us randomly. You didn’t say anything else. You were like, “Quick selfie,” took it and you were gone.
I don’t even remember that. I remember meeting you guys when I was riding the lounge bike at the studio and you were standing nearby and I shouted, “Clip Out.”
I don’t remember that.
I’m like, “I’m Kenny_Bania.” Crystal is probably all like, “Backup slowly, Tom.” I waved to you guys randomly when I was probably trying to get another ride in to make sure I reached a milestone while I was in town.
Do you think you’re going to be able to repeat it?
I don’t know. It’ll be interesting to see if they’re still keeping count.
Maybe you’ve inspired a competitor.
There are a lot of other big high fivers out there. The competition is stiff. It was fun. The following day when I rode with Jenn Sherman for the Homecoming ride, I was talking to her about that moment and she goes, “We were doing a rehearsal for that. When they said your name wrong, I walked up to him. I was like, it’s Kenny_Bania,” and they still got it wrong. It would have been cool if it had been her shouting out. Alex and Robin are pretty awesome too.
Is that a sports thing? What is Kenny_Bania?
Kenny_Bania is a character on Seinfeld.
I was thinking is that a Seinfeld thing? I remembered a Bania character but I’ve never seen it spelled, so I didn’t know it was spelled weird.
He’s one of the supporting characters on Seinfeld who’s this bad comedian.
He’s the guy that that converted to Judaism so he could make jokes about being Jewish.
That was Tim Whatley, Tom.
I haven’t watched Seinfeld since it was on for the first time.
That was Tim Whatley played by Bryan Cranston, the dentist who converted to Judaism for the jokes. Kenny Bania was this bad comedian that Jerry despised. He was oblivious to it. I always thought he was funny and he always had these awful jokes. Jerry in one episode, helps him with his material and he’s going, “That’s gold, Jerry.” There’s an episode, which is my favorite Seinfeld episode, where Kenny bumps into Jerry and he tells him he’s got a brand-new Armani suit that he outgrew that he can’t wear and he offers it to Jerry. Jerry was like, “Okay, whatever. I’ll take the suit.” In the end, Kenny’s like, “You can take me out for dinner some time.” Jerry’s like, “Okay, I’ll take you out for dinner.” They go out to dinner at this restaurant called Mendy’s, but then Kenny says he’s not hungry, he’s going to order soup. He’s going to save the meal for another time. They go into this big argument. Jerry goes, “No, Bania. The soup counts. Soup as a meal,” and Kenny’s all, “The soup is not a meal.” A lot of times that’s what my location field, my leaderboard name reads, “Soup is not a meal.”
We have a big Seinfeld fan here.
That had to be a Larry David story idea. It’s got Curb Your Enthusiasm written all over it.
It’s some personal story to them, I’m sure.
Do you watch Curb?
I do. I watched a random episode from the season with Lin-Manuel Miranda from Hamilton because the next season’s coming back.
I like Curb better than Seinfeld.
My Curb knowledge, I don’t have the deep Curb pull out of your ass references as I do with Seinfeld.
I like Seinfeld, but I didn’t like the Kramer stuff. The Kramer stuff in Seinfeld was too broad for me. I like Curb because it’s much like Seinfeld but without Kramer. It’s more of the cynical aspect of Seinfeld, which is fine for me.
My eyes glazed over a little. I love Larry David. He’s great. I love Seinfeld, but you guys love it more than I do. Tell us about the shirts that you made. You have to describe it first because Tom probably hasn’t seen it or he doesn’t know if he’s seen it unless it’s been pointed out specifically to him. He wouldn’t have known. There are probably readers who have no idea what I’m talking about. You have to describe it first.
You need the visual and I know I’ve sent you some pictures, Crystal. You can get a better sense. Everything that we buy now, there are some random targeted ads that pop up in your feed randomly. I don’t know if it was Facebook or Instagram, but it was this custom shirt company, custom clothing apparel company where you could put a face shot of somebody plastered all over the shirt. It’s like one face 100 times over every inch of the fabric. I see this ad pop up and this is when I’m deep in Cody World and the #BooCrew Tribe posting compilations and funny Cody videos all the time. I randomly post a screenshot of the ad to the #BooCrew page and I said, “Please tell me why I shouldn’t get a shirt of this with Cody’s face all over it made.” Pretty much everyone’s like, “You’ve got to do it.” They dared me and I ordered it. I got it. My wife took a picture of me on the Bike after I received it. They got a big kick out of it. My wife and I and son and in-laws, we went to Disney World and I worked around Disney World. I posted a picture of us in front of the castle, that traditional picture you always take in Disney World in front of the big castle. I was like, “That’s right. I wore my Cody tank here. I am 100% that Disney bitch.” People got a kick out of that.
There are other instructors that you’ve done this for.
Cody was the first and then Jenn Sherman is my absolute favorite instructor and Cody and Denis. I got a bike shortly after that. I ordered one of Denis and one of Jenn’s shirts and posted those. I was back in New Jersey visiting my mom and sister and brother-in-law. My wife and I rode in the studio with Jenn on Sunday morning and the first ride that we did with her, the Best of the Decade ride, I walked in wearing the Jenn shirt and my wife and I was on bike 5 and 6. We were dead center.
We couldn’t miss you because I was where I was riding and I was like, “That’s a lot of Jenn.”
I posted the pre-show clip after the ride. Jenn was like, “Look at this guy just slipping into town.” She was like, “Is that me all over that?” She’s like, “How are you doing Jenn Sherman, all 30 of you there?” She thought it was funny and she looked a little frightened.
I was like, “Does this end with a restraining order?”
I haven’t been served yet, so I think we’re good. I’d probably get one for Cody soon.
I think they’re okay as long as you don’t try and resell them.
That’s it for the shirts though. It was fun. I haven’t had a chance to ride since I got them to ride in the studio with Cody or Denis, but I’m going back for Jenn’s Men ride and hopefully, I’ll be able to do a Denis ride and a Cody one and rock the shirts.
I’m telling you, capture that ride. If it gets deleted, that’s a 401(k) in your pocket. I understand you have to pretend like it’s a dumb idea because of Peloton, but you and I, we know.
Do you do any of the other Peloton workouts or do you stick to the bike?
I’m mainly just the bike. I don’t have any excuse not to take it. I need to take advantage of the other content. I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never done a yoga class with Denis, which is ridiculous because he’s awesome. I’ve maybe done one sleep meditation, but I’m not a runner, so I’ve never done any of the running classes. We’ve traveled and I’ve used the app when I had to use a shitty hotel fitness room spin bike. It’s nice having that option.
Crystal, you’ve done the sleep meditation at a time or two. It was upsetting. The one time she said she was doing a sleep meditation and did you know how the room gets quiet and you can hear it bleeding through the headphones? It was my other podcast. She’s pitiful.
It’s the perfect cure for insomnia.
I was trying to drown out your snoring.
Sometimes I nod off during my other show. The joke’s on you.
You’ve said who your favorite instructor is, but it sounds like you have a few favorites.
Cody was my first ride even before we got the bike. Basically, Denis had started with Peloton after we got the bike right before and he got me hooked on it. I joined his tribe, Denis’s Menaces quickly thereafter. I had a total man-crush on him. When he came, we lived in Austin. He came to the Austin showroom maybe a couple of months after we had gotten the bike to do the little meet and greet. I dragged my wife there. She didn’t want to go, she doesn’t ride with Denis. I dragged my wife and son there. I was totally fanboying. This was when his hair was probably four feet shorter than it is now. It was super short. He’s full Fabio now with the hair at its length and its current way. Soon after that, I discovered Jenn Sherman. I remember taking a Green Day ride. Back then, I didn’t ride live. I was a totally new, super-intimidated to ride live, to open up the leaderboard. I’ve come a long way. From there, I did this on-demand Jenn ride. It was a Green Day ride. I remember posting in the OPP about it, taking a Jenn ride for the first time. She connected well with the people in the studio and with the people ratting at home.
I was impressed with the way she commanded the leaderboard and went through the whole ride. From there, I love riding with her. In January of 2018, I finally got to ride in the studio and my first ride was with Denis. A couple of days later, it was with Jenn and it was an ‘80s ride, which is amazingly still on-demand and available. I rode with her on bike 6. I wore my Kool-Aid shirt and I had University of Michigan headbands and wristbands on. I was smiling ear-to-ear. It was an amazing experience. We talked afterwards and we’re both huge Howard Stern fans. We both grew up in New Jersey. We love the Grateful Dead. She has similar interests that we vibed well.
Do you feel like your favorite tribes match up with your favorite instructors or do you have other tribes that rise to the top?
The main tribe I would say is the JSS Tribe. I have some of my closest Pelo friends who are also in the Menaces and the #BooCrew. That’s where I’d say I have many great friendships that have formed since I joined the community in the JSS Tribe. I’ve gone Homecoming. I went to the JSS Tribe party, which I missed all of it because I was busy taking a Cody ride at the studio. I had to ride with Boo and I’m getting my ride in with Cody.
It’s hard to pick your priorities on Homecoming weekend.
It was like Sophie’s Choice there. I’m definitely closest to JSS Tribe with the folks there that I’ve gotten to know well like Janet Barr. I haven’t met Howard Godden and he’s the one person I haven’t met in person.
How is that possible?
Every time I’m in town, even at Homecoming, our paths didn’t cross. He was out of town when we were in the studio. He’s one of those people I have not met yet. I haven’t met Lisa Getty yet. She wasn’t at Homecoming. A lot of close friends. Another good friend from that tribe, Nicole Rachetti, Nikki_Pelos_For_Pizza. She’s my Phish, The Grateful Dead, Peloton friend. Whenever Jenn plays The Grateful Dead, we’re messaging each other. A lot of good friends in the Menaces. The #BooCrew page, I’m probably most active of the tribe page because I’m always posting something Cody-related to that page in addition to the OPP.
What state do you live in now?
Now we’re in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area in a town called Kenton, right next to Ann Arbor. My wife is from Ann Arbor and grew up here and went to Michigan. Our folks live down the road from us.
How often do you get to the studio? It sounds like fairly often for living far away.
I wish it was more often. It’s maybe once, twice a year if I’m lucky. When I go back to visit because I’m from Northern New Jersey originally, a little town called Summit. My sister still lives there and my mom’s there. We were there after Christmas and then I’ll be going back maybe twice for Jenn’s Men and maybe hopefully Homecoming. My mom tries to lure me back now to visit. She’s like, “You can go into the studio.” The fun thing was when we rode on a Sunday morning, my mom drove in with our son, our 7.5-year-old son Jackson. She drove into the city and brought him after the football ride ended. My mom got to meet Jenn, my son also got to meet Jenn and my wife met her for the first time as well when we rode together. My son loves Cody. He loves to say, “I’m going to snatch your wig.” The first thing he said to Jenn when he met her was, “Where’s Cody?” Jenn’s response was, “He’s probably still in bed from partying all night.” I jokingly refer to Jenn Sherman to my wife as my wife from another life because another lifetime, we totally would have hit it off because we have so much in common. I took a picture of just Jenn and my wife and I was like, “My two girls right here.” She knows how much I love Jenn.
You have an understanding wife.
We have a healthy relationship.
Do you have any advice for people getting their bikes?
This would have been great had I had it when I first got the bike and had taken it. I would say to the newcomers, don’t compare yourself. Everyone is from all levels of experience and walks of life. Don’t feel intimidated when you’re riding when you see someone with crazy numbers, crazy output. Like Cody says, it’s not that deep. Don’t take it seriously. The great thing is the community because when we first got the Peloton, we thought we were getting a bike. We had no idea of the community and all the friendships that awaited us. Embrace that community. Find your tribe once you gravitate towards an instructor or instructors. Seep yourself in that because there’s a lot of amazing people and there are many great things about it and it’s so much more than a bike.
Where can people find you on social media if you would like to be found? I have a feeling you would like to be found.
I have a public Instagram, which is a lot of Cody in there, as we know. I post everything that I post to the OPP on Instagram. It’s @JohnPrewitt. I also post all the compilations. I’ve got Denis compilations, Jenn Sherman compilations. I think I’m up to part 27 of Cody compilations, all on YouTube. My channel is PrewittJ1. There is a lot of good stuff on there.
That’s a lot of cool content for people. Stuff if you probably don’t always see, especially if you’re not taking live rides.
The Cody compilations I always put out usually every Friday. Friday seems to be a good day to put that out there. People seem to enjoy it. The one thing that I like about doing them is a lot of people are riding with them with Jenn or with Cody for the first time. I love seeing the comments like, “I haven’t taken a Cody ride yet.” His Backstreet Boys compilation inspired me to ride with him. I love it. I’ve given him free promotion there, so I’m sure he doesn’t mind. I’m working on a Jenn Sherman one. I put together a couple of pre-show compilations for Cody of pre-show moments that are a lot of fun. Usually, it’s comedic relief, but whenever there’s a cool, inspiring moment or funny, I’ll post that or I’ll add it into a compilation. As I’m riding, something happens, I make a quick note on my phone, the time and the moment and then I do a quick screen recording later in the day and splice it all together at some point and there it is.
Thank you for doing that. Those moments, they’re not captured. A lot of times, we’re taking a ride. It’s nice to have it captured in that way.
It’s a lot of fun. People seem to enjoy it. I’ll keep on doing it as long as people want to see it.
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your schedule to join us.
It’s good talking to you.
Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!Join The Clip Out community today:
- Apple podcasts – The Clip Out
- John Foley
- #CEI2020 on Twitter
- Create & Cultivate 100
- John Prewitt
- Official Peloton Page – Facebook
- PrewittJ1 – John Prewitt’s YouTube channel
- Denis’s Menaces – Facebook Group
- JSS Tribe – Facebook Group
- #BooCrew – Facebook Group
- @JohnPrewitt – Instagram
By Crystal — 2 months ago
Peloton may have earned its reputation in the fitness industry, but another product is competing its way to American homes. Tonal claims itself as the world’s most intelligent home gym and personal trainer and is ready to move you with its awesome techie features. Here to impress Crystal and Tom O’Keefe with this product is Tonal CEO Aly Orady. Aly points out what sets their equipment apart from Peloton and shares how their incentivizing strategy can transform the way people engage with it, thereby transforming their lives for the better. Crystal and Tom also share their thoughts on the controversial Peloton commercial and how it has affected the company’s integrity.
Listen to the podcast here:
The Peloton Commercial Everyone Is Talking About And Our Interview With Aly Orady
What do you have in store for people?
We’re going to talk about the Peloton commercial. I know you’ve heard it to death, but we’re going to talk about it anyway. We’re also going to talk about all the new stuff that happened with Peloton. They added a bunch of things. Tom found an article we’re going to discuss. We’re going to touch on the stock market. We’re also going to include a little message that we received. We’re going to talk about an update on Tonal, how that’s been going and some other new things that Peloton is doing as far as giving. The new collection dropped. We have a former instructor update that we’re going to touch on. We have The Clip Out challenge. You’re going to pick a square or two, so you may want to pay attention.
Before we get to all that, shameless plugs. Don’t forget we’re available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play or wherever you get your podcasts, you can find us. While you’re there, be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode. It makes it nice and easy so you don’t have to remember because remembering gets harder the older you get. Also, you can go to our Facebook page, Facebook.com/theclipout. Like the page and join the group so you can converse a little bit more easily. Check out our website TheClipOut.com, where you can sign up for our weekly newsletter. It’s where you’ll get all the show notes, links and videos and all that stuff just sent straight to your inbox so you don’t have to comb through the Facebook page to find some stuff that’s maybe 3 or 4 days old. There is all of that. Let’s dig in.
Let’s talk about the commercial now. We talked about it when we came out. You liked it. I was a little bit more lukewarm on it. For a lot of reasons, people are now vilifying it.
That is all the accurate information. I have to say, this is not my favorite Peloton commercial ever, but the reaction that it’s gotten, it’s not deserving of that. Although I find it fascinating that this commercial came out and all of a sudden, it goes viral. It’s like, “What took you so long?”
It took that long for it to reach the critical mass of frequency to people, see it a couple of times, and they’re like, “Wait a minute.”
An overview in case you somehow missed this commercial. The commercial we’re talking about is the commercial in which the woman gets a Peloton Bike for Christmas from her husband. She does a year-end review. She documents her experience. Her first live ride, her first shout-out, getting her milestone ride, getting up at 6:00 AM and things like that. She presents it all in a video form to her husband to say thank you for the amazing gift that she got. Apparently, all of that boils down to she’s been kidnapped, her husband beats her and makes her lose weight.
Even though she’s already thin.
She’s already thin so what the hell did he get her a bike for? It’s funny. People are all up in arms like, “Peloton doesn’t get it. They’re so focused on weight.” They never said the change was about losing weight. Never did they say that you added it.
People are used to when they see a fitness advertisement for product or fitness equipment, it’s about weight loss. That’s the intention. That’s a fair thing for the consumer to assume. If they’re going to send a message that your transformation isn’t just on the scale, then they need to do better storytelling. There needed to be some acknowledgment that she had requested the bike.
I do totally agree with that. I think there’s Peloton shorthand for those of us who are going to have a bike. We know that that woman was excited to get the bike because she wanted the bike.
You know why she was nervous to get on the bike where she was nervous about a live ride. That’s something that you see repeated time and time again on the OPP. People talking about being nervous getting on a live ride. They’ve had the bike for six months and they still haven’t done one. That’s a common occurrence. If you’re not already in the world of Peloton, someone saying they’re nervous about getting on a spin bike or a stationary bike sounds ridiculous.
I do feel that Peloton missed some of those moments of storytelling. As a person who owns the bike, it was very easy for me to fill in. That’s why I did like the commercial. It wasn’t my favorite, but I certainly didn’t hate it. I get why people did. I get why they feel Peloton didn’t tell the whole story. I think that there were other ways to go about this. I think that they could have described it and I think the Peloton now knows that they need to pay a little more attention to that. However, the real victim here is the poor lady in the commercial. Now, she’s a meme on the OPP. Everyone is like, “I lost my shoes,” and they have that fearful look in her eye or whatever. “I’m about to do power max ride for the first time,” and that look is on her face. It makes me sad because, as you’ve said a million times, Tom, she had to have been so excited to get this job for Peloton. Now it’s turned into, “Can she even walk down the street?” It’s everywhere.
I know I have to translate everything into pop culture and nerd and I picture someone to be like, “I got cast in the new Star Wars project. It’s so exciting,” and then it’s the holiday special featuring songs like What Do You Buy A Wookie When He Already Has A Comb? That would be sad.
The thing is that there’s so much happening here. They’re saying the stocks have taken a hit because they had this horrible ad and there’s so much backlash about it because they lowered the price, which we’ll get to. That’s another subject. The price has dropped. Here’s the thing. The entire stock market was crap. Regardless of your political affiliations, the stock market was affected by the fact that the president said, “We’re moving forward on trade, putting all that stuff in place,” embargoes or whatever he’s doing. The point is the entire stock market took a huge dive that day, not just Peloton. It has continued to slide. The rest of the stock market hasn’t gone as bad. I also think that it’s very possible that after they see all the sales that occur, it’s going to go right back up. It is a blip. This is nothing. Peloton in the long run I believe will be the better for this. I don’t know if you want to jump into their response.
They were hoping it was going to blow over.
No, I disagree. I think they were like, “Let it go. Let it run.” There’s no such thing as bad press and this is a silly thing and it’s everywhere. It would not surprise me if it shows up on Saturday Night Live.
It was on Jimmy Fallon.
It’s been on NBC. It’s been on Entertainment Tonight or whatever. It’s literally been on everything.
Even we were interviewed by our local NBC affiliate. They came out to the house and did a thing.
As soon as we see it, we’ll post it out there. Be nice because I was wearing workout clothes on camera. I’m a little vulnerable with that. It was right after Thanksgiving. It is not my best moment.
We’ve never told this story, but in this news piece, I revealed that I bought you the bike without you asking for Christmas. I ordered you to start a podcast and document it all. It was me. I apologized.
Thanks a lot, Tom. Peloton’s response to this whole thing was basically like, “You guys misunderstood. We’re sad that you misunderstood and fitness is important to us.” It was pretty short. They didn’t have a lot to say and they didn’t say who said it. It was a spokesperson for Peloton. I feel like this has been taken way too far.
People for years have been wanting them to do something, a campaign similar to like what Dove does. Maybe this will the impetus for them to do that.
It will be interesting to see what Peloton does with it. Consistently, Peloton has taken what members have said and they have listened to that advice. It doesn’t always take the form that we would like. It doesn’t mean that you get exactly what you want because there’s a bunch of us, but they do listen and they do make changes based on it. I am very curious to see what they do with their next ad.
In the midst of all this hubbub, there was actually a positive article in Forbes.
It’s a smart article. I enjoyed it, not just because I agreed with it, but it does help. It was from Forbes, like Tom said and it’s called, How the Peloton Ad Radically Changes the Conversation About Mental Health and Being the Boss of Your Own Life. I feel like this article sums up the real feelings that Peloton was attempting to say. There are so many things that can happen from this bike that aren’t weight loss. They’re being stronger, being fit, being able to have stamina to ride for 50 miles, 100 miles, 200 miles and thousands of miles in one year. Also, what can never be ignored is mental health. Anxiety, stress, depression, all of those things have been shown to be improved over and over again by exercising. I truly believe that this bike, that exercise in general makes me a different person. I do not feel settled when I don’t exercise at all. I’m sure you noticed.
No, you’re always charming and delightful. Are there fluctuations? I was unaware.
You look like the terrified lady in the ad. I thought that this article summed all of that up very nicely.
I concur. I like the one line they had. It says a lot about the people that they view exercise as punishment. I do, but it is interesting that the tone of so many people is like, “How dare someone exercise.” I get it’s also the mentality of their perception is that the husband is making her or there’s some passive-aggressive act of here’s a piece of exercise equipment. It does say a lot about how people view exercise.
It also says a lot that they’ve never tried it because that is how I felt about exercise most of my life. That’s it. Peloton doesn’t feel like that. Peloton is different. It’s like if you guys would just stop bitching long enough to try the product, maybe you might feel differently and you too would get the commercial. We all agree the commercial could have been done in a clearer way, but no one’s trying to fat shame, hate shame or anything, least of all Peloton. They would never do that. This is not who they are.
All of that eclipsed the fact that they have lowered the price for Peloton Digital.
It’s a big drop. $19.99 was the price and now it dropped to $12.99. Some facts that not everybody is aware of because not everybody has been around the entire time. The interesting thing is Peloton Digital used to be $13 and then it went up to $19.99. Now, it’s returning to the price. The other thing that I don’t think a lot of people understand is that at $19.99, you could have multiple accounts on it. No more. Now, it’s cheaper, but it’s per person. You and I could have had one digital account for $19.99. Now, we each have to have a $13.
What happens if someone was doing that already? What if it’s a couple, they got to buy two now?
I think they have to buy a single one. I did not see any notification of that. I saw your price is lowered.
If they had an option where like, “You can save the $20 level and have multiple accounts.”
They didn’t go into that. I haven’t seen any complaints about that. What I have seen is a lot of complaints about, “Are you kidding me? I pay $40 for my bike and these people get to have all the same content for $13?” I would say, “You also get all of the metrics and you get all of the software updates. You get it not only for the bike, but you get it for the tread. Let’s not forget, now it’s unlimited. Before, you could only have four accounts. Now, it’s unlimited. If we had ten people living in this house, ten people could have accounts.” It says unlimited now.
It’s a different product. It’s like complaining that Netflix charges you $9.99 a month to stream, but you can have the DVDs mailed to you for $8 a month.
If you’re a person who is a single person in your home, you own a Bike, you don’t own a Tread and you’re not using any of the other content other than the Bike, I can see where you’re a little frustrated. You’re paying $40 and you don’t have anyone to share it with, but the Bike itself would personally for me be worth it. I’m still good with paying the $2,000 for that because I love having the metrics live. Not everybody cares about that. If you don’t, there are bikes out there that go for it and you can use the digital membership and that’s fine. I love having live metrics. I love having my heart rate showing up and being able to high five my friends right on my screen. I find all of that integration worth it to me.
Has there been any insight as to why they lowered the price?
No. There are theories, but they are just theories. People theorize that they want to make it more attractive to basically get you as a gateway drug into the rest of the products.
That’s what I was thinking is that I wonder if they had some data that showed them that people that subscribe to digital eventually ended up going, “I’m using this. I want the real thing,” and they’d buy a Bike and they upgrade. I’m wondering if they realized that they weren’t stair stepping people as quickly as they used to because the barrier to entry got higher.
I’m curious to see because they did not address this on the last stockholders’ call. I’m surprised they didn’t. They talked a lot about digital subscriptions and how it was bringing in new users. What they did not talk about was they were planning on lowering the price. Now, it’s going to be another three months before we get the feedback and why they did that. The other theory of why the stock price has dropped is because they lowered the price. From a shareholder’s perspective, that sucks. They’re punishing Peloton by selling off their shares. We’ll see because also, at the same time all of this is happening, they also made some other major changes. Those major changes are now there is an Apple Watch app that people have been asking for forever. There is a Fire TV app. I’m going to start with the Fire TV app. It means if you have a Fire Stick, you can use the Peloton app on whatever TV that you have that with.Peloton buyers who are frustrated with their purchase are those who are not using the product. Click To Tweet
That’s a good clarification. When I hear Fire Stick, I think it means you need penicillin.
People seem to be very happy with that so far because now they don’t have a mirror to their TV or cast. They can simply use their app to do yoga or whatever on the TV. That’s great. However, the Apple Watch, people are not as happy about. I asked some people because over in the Peloton Data Junkies group, I needed them to explain to me why they didn’t like it. You can use it with non-Peloton apps, so you can run outside, get your data, you can run on a non-Peloton Tread, but you can’t use it on the Peloton Tread. It’s still not giving people what they want and when you use it outdoors on a non-Peloton run, you still have to take your phone with you.
A lot of Apple Watch apps, from my understanding, you don’t need to have your phone with you when it’s running on your watch and the Peloton one, you do. People are frustrated saying, “The technology is there, why aren’t you using it?” I say, “It sucks, doesn’t it? Join the Android club. I’ve been there for a long time.” I say that jokingly. They’re not quite as happy with how that turned out. My greater point is all of this happened in one week. You would think that even if shareholders were upset about the price, they would be like, “They dropped these other things that everybody’s going to love.” It is down overall. It reached a high at 37 and now it’s like the last time I checked, it was down to 31-something.
I will check the stock ticker at TheClipOut.com and it’s at 31-31.
That’s what it closed at on Thursday, December 5th. It’s been a rollercoaster week for Peloton, but it’s still trading higher than the IPO. To me, that’s still great. That’s a win. It’s going to be fine.
I did some show prep. I found an article on the internet about fitness.
Tell us about this article.
I thought you read it. I just read the headline.
Don’t worry. One of us actually did the work. This article, it’s from StudyFinds.org and it talks about the age in which many people give up working out. On average, what would you guess would be the age that people would be like, “I’m too old to work out?”
I would think if you’re already doing it, if you’re already an exerciser, it’s part of your life, that it would be in your 60s that you would do it. Once you’ve made it part of who you are, you would keep doing it until there was some major medical issue that sidelined you.
That’s the interesting thing. Two in five respondents admit that they feel too old to get back in the gym. That is 41 years old. The survey of 2,000 adults found out on average the age in which the survey felt too old to work out regularly was 41.
It also is interesting to me that age was one of the obstacles. The most common barrier was not having time, which if you had a Peloton, wouldn’t be a barrier anymore. Peloton is changing the world one exercise at a time. In our interview later with Aly, he’s going to talk about how Peloton opened the door for connected fitness and it is a game-changer. It’s completely changing the landscape and I find that interesting and that it’s coming from someone else who has started a company doing the exact same thing.
The interview is with Aly Orady, who is the CEO of Tonal and he’s also a Peloton user. He’s got a Bike. He got a leaderboard name, which he will reveal in the interview so you can follow him if you’d like. He has great things to say about Peloton as well. His fitness journey is fascinating. The work that went into Tonal and the thought process, I found it very interesting, which is says a lot considering it’s about fitness and it’s me.
I was surprised by how interested you were. I loved the product to begin with, but like many of you, that second fee, I’m not too sure about it.
I thought he had good answers and we will wait and let him explain it to you. I thought he has some good answers. He’s not explaining the price, but explaining the value. That’s the important thing. I was like, “That’s a good point.”
Back to other stuff. There was an interesting article on CFO Dive. I don’t know what KPIs stands for.
Key Performance Indicator.
Which ones the Peloton people track?
Jill Woodworth, who’s their CFO, talked about how they focus on three KPIs or key performance indicators. They were doing a panel discussion and it was hosted by The Wall Street Journal. That’s where this all came from. They focus entirely on their members, which I don’t think shocks any of us. They focus on their strategy. They want to know what things do our members like, what intensity and which instructors. If the engagement is going up, then that means the customers are happy. Also, they test everything before they give it to users. They can track how often one of us is using it. They can right off the bat tell us what works and what doesn’t. They can tell each other what works and what. They’re not going to tell us anything. It goes away or they change it. That’s why. Even though they have all these other things that they’re looking at, that’s what they’re focusing on. What are we using? What do we like? Besides that, the other big thing is churn. They’re looking at all these other things. They’re tracking all these other things, but they’re saying that the bottom line, these three things are the things to focus on. I say, “It’s working.”
We had a real nice voice message.
We had a Facebook Message. She left us a voice clip.
It’s from a Susan Burton Dunton. She took a German ride and told us all about it.
“Hi Crystal and Tom. I’m Susan Burton in Austin, Texas. I’m an OJ from 2014 and my leaderboard name is SusanATX. I’m calling you all to let you know that I finished the 45-minute premier ride with Irene. I have to say even though it’s in German, I didn’t understand everything, of course, but I still got a good workout. I could still make out what she was trying to say and accuse it. About midway through the ride, she said she was going to switch over to English and she took the time to thank some of the American instructors. It was sweet what she had to say. She switched back over to German for the rest of the class. Anyway, I loved it. She was very comfortable in front of the camera. She had a great presence and great energy. I want to encourage everybody to jump on and give her a try. I’m thinking if we ride with her enough, we can all learn to speak fluent German. Check this out. This is a count down from three, drei, zwei, eins. If you’re not into it, don’t care about it. Go on there to look at her because she is smoking. Sending you all love from the heart of Texas where we got the best barbecue, Tex-Mex, and live music. Bye now.”
How can they do that if they would like to?
You can do it in a couple of different ways. It’s basically you just need to get a voice clip to me. You can do that through Facebook Messenger by pressing the little microphone. It will say press and hold to record or you can send it over like an mp3 player. Use your voice recorder on your phone and send that on an email. Honestly, anything that gets to an MP3 works.
We had a couple of celebrity Peloton sightings, so let’s rank these people so they feel bad about themselves. We’ll start with Molly Sims who is the editor of O Magazine, Oprah’s magazine.
I was sent an Instagram post where you can see in the background, she has both the tread and the bike, and that was in Health Magazine. In the O world, we found out that Gayle King has a Peloton Tread on her list to ask Santa for.
Do you think there’s any skirmish between Gayle and Oprah? Oprah put a Flywheel. Oprah had a Flywheel on her Oprah’s Favorite Things list. Now, Gayle is wanting a Peloton Tread. Has there been a falling out?
No, I think it’s just that Oprah sells the list. It’s like we put this stuff on a list that people pay for and then there’s a list of what you actually want. I think she and Gayle are dead on. They would agree that Peloton is way better.
Also, Alanis Morissette.
She’s doing a 25th-anniversary tour.
That means she’s playing the whole thing from start to finish.
No. She came off the latest album. She’s doing her old hits and she’s playing some of her latest songs.
As a concert promoter, I love it when they play new songs. It’s great for beer sales.
They will do that, I’m sure. I hope that I get to go to. Tom, I want to go to Molly Sims.
My goal is to get all put together for next year. I’ve been gathering them.
The new holiday collection is out. You don’t need the Alanis tickets for Christmas.
No, that’s not true, Tom, because I use referrals.
You don’t need the Alanis tickets. You’ve got all the stuff that’s there. Can you use referral codes for Alanis tickets?
I can see the sad puppy dog face she’s making.
It’s holiday collection, I was a big fan and I didn’t even get all the things I wanted. I held back, believe it or not. I got a green outfit. It’s like emerald green and it’s gorgeous. I had to get that. I had to get the white shirt that matched it perfectly. I also had to get the Peloton pajamas. They look cozy, although they are ridiculously expensive. That was a lot. I also got a whole other outfit that was pink and gold. It’s like the sunrise one. I got a shirt to match that too. I also got a decal and some earrings. It’s going to be lots of packages. Maybe I don’t need those Alanis tickets.
It all comes full circle. Finally, we have a Steven Little sighting.
For a while, he’s been teasing about, “I’m coming back.” Everyone’s like, “Here we go again. What does this mean this time?” What it means is he’s completely out of the fitness game.A lot of movement is through cuing and through a learning curve. Click To Tweet
He’s not doing it professionally.
It’s not quite the same, Tom. I’m sure he still works out, but now he is selling real estate in Florida, so he’s got his own website, StevenLittle.Raveis.com.
He came from the world of real estate. He’s done this before. I know people loved Steven Little. There is a great deal of passion there. People like to know where the instructors that are no longer with Peloton have landed and what they’re up to.
That reminds me, I also have an update on Nicole Meline. She has a brand-new journal that’s out called The Aspire Journal and it’s a great way to keep track of your personal and fitness goals all in one place. You can find that on her website. You Google Nicole Meline, it will pop right up.
Joining us is the CEO and Founder of Tonal, Aly Orady. How is it going?
Thank you for having me. It’s going great.
Thank you for taking the time to do this. This is cool.
We’ve never had someone with their own producers setting things up and an engineer and it’s very fancy.
We’re excited to be here and we were in the production business and so maybe we overdo things sometimes.
We’ll take overdo as opposed to underdo any day. Tell us what exactly sparked the idea for Tonal for you?
It was a personal struggle, to be honest. If you rewind and look at my background, I’m not the person who should be the CEO of a fitness company. My first job out of college was working for Hewlett-Packard on their supercomputing lab, where I was designing computer chips and I worked there for a couple of years. Being in Silicon Valley, I went to a bunch of startups and was building telecom gear and video, on-demand gear. The things that bolt to a Verizon cell tower, Comcast data center. I started working on even heavier equipment, like the stuff that might go into Goldman Sachs data center to crunch lots and lots of numbers.
I then built a company in Silicon Valley. I sold it to Samsung. When I was 35 years old, I hit this breaking point with my health where professionally I was having a blast. It was doing great but by that point, I had Type 2 diabetes. I had sleep apnea. I was overweight. I had been overweight my entire life actually since I was a kid and I’ve struggled with my weight. It felt like I was heading to a point where if I didn’t do something about it, it was going to be like that for the rest of my life. My health is just going to continue to degrade. Quite frankly, when I saw my doctor and he was getting louder and louder.
He sat me down. He’s like, “You have to do something about this.” He started getting personal. I woke up one morning and I’m like, “I’ve got to do something about this.” I quit my job and said, “If I make something my full-time job, I succeed at it. When it’s not my full-time job, it always falls to the wayside. I’m going to make this my full-time job.” I spent about nine months getting to fitness and I lost about 70 pounds. I completely reversed the sleep apnea. I got diabetes very well under control to the point where my test results might argue that I’m not actually diabetic.
I got that all under control. Along the way, the first thing I did is I started doing a lot of cardio and watch what I ate. I’d go to the gym and hop in a cardio machine and I lost a lot of weight in the first four weeks, and then I plateaued. I was reading a lot, trying to figure out how to break through this plateau. I looked over and all the personal trainers were over in the weight room. I started to read more about strength training and quickly realized that strength training helps you build muscle. The most you build, the higher your basal metabolic rate and the easier it becomes to burn fat as opposed to cardio, which if you do too much it, you can burn muscle in the process, which reduces your basal metabolic rate and makes it harder for you to lose fat.
It’s ironic. I started figuring out how to strength train, which turned out to be hard. After doing this for about nine months, I got comfortable with it really. I got addicted to it. I loved it. I was getting up every morning at 5:00 and heading to the gym because that’s when I could be there and not have anyone else in my way and get it done well. I came to a point where I lost all this weight and I was thinking, “I’m going to have to get a job and probably have to commute and have a family, have kids, and have all of these responsibilities in life at some point. I can’t keep coming to the gym every day at 5:00 in the morning.”
That clearly is not realistic. I’m staring at this giant piece of equipment at the gym and I’m thinking to myself, “How can I shrink this down to something I could fit in my one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco?” That light bulb moment was when I realized that the reason this machine is so big is that it relies on big metal plates and gravity to generate resistance or generate force. If I could use electricity instead, I might be able to shrink it down. I went home. I ordered some parts. I strapped it into my kitchen counter and about three months later, had our first working prototype.
It wasn’t very good. Let’s call it a proof of concept. It was like the flux capacitor moment. It didn’t go below 25 pounds. It didn’t go above 40 pounds. Now, Tonal goes from 5 all the way up to 200. It only did one exercise. You couldn’t do full body, but it was enough to prove that this could be a thing, that this could work. The rest is history. Along the way, I also realized that the challenge with strength training, in general, is not just getting the equipment in your house. We’ve always been able to stick a stationary bike and the corner or a treadmill in the basement, but strength training takes up your whole garage.
I didn’t have a garage. Shrinking down equipment was huge. The other one is I was walking around the gym with a sweaty, crumpled up piece of paper in my back pocket. Strength training has always been analog. It’s never been digitized. You’re taking notes half the time. I’d finally graduated. In strength training, you jump in ten-pound increments. You might graduate from the 40-pound dumbbells with a 50-pound dumbbell and then I’d come back the next weekend, forgot that I graduated and I instinctively pick up the 40-pound dumbbell again. That’s what it’s like in the world when you had to rely on your memory. With Tonal, it’s all digital and automated.
You have coaches that guide you through all of your workouts. You have AI that keeps track of how much weight you should lift on every single exercise, adjust the amount of weight depending on how many reps you’re supposed to do, decides when it’s time for your way to go up. It goes up in one-pound increments. You’re not waiting six weeks to graduate from 40 pounds to 50 pounds. Pretty much every week, you’re bumping up by a pound or two on all of your movements. It’s also more motivating and it’s more fun than it’s in your home and there aren’t other sweaty people stealing your equipment from you. It’ great.
I would think that when you jump up but your only option is jumping up by ten.
There are probably times when you’re not quite ready, but then how do you get ready unless you make the jump?
What I always struggled with was I would be good about going to the gym, let’s say three times a week, but then something would happen. I could only go one time a week. I’m like, “Should I go back a pound or do I pick up where I left off? I certainly can’t up to my weight at this point.” It was that struggle of never knowing where it’s good to be picking up or I would just forget. I would lose the piece of paper. The piece of paper was gone.
Now, that we’ve been at Tonal, it took us 3.5 years of product development to get Tonal to market. Those first three months were like the very beginning. Along the way, some of the things that we’ve learned are number one, most people have terrible strength training routines. A lot of times, people tell me they’ve been following the same routine since college or that they just downloaded something off the internet and they’ve been using it for a few years. You’re not supposed to do that. Your body gets used to it and you’re supposed to switch up your routine every 4 to 6 weeks.
The other thing we realize is most people lift the wrong weight. They lift too little weight, and then they’re basically doing cardio instead of strength training and don’t even realize it or they lift too much weight and then their form suffers. They don’t get the benefits and that increases their risk of injury as well. Nailing how much weight should I be lifting is super important to get the results that you want and to have it be fun and not get yourself injured. Also having a good routine is super important. The vast majority of people have no idea how to program a good routine. That’s why coaches are so important.
When you’re looking at most cardio instruction, group fitness or even Peloton, the instructors are there to motivate you. Most of what they’re doing is they’re motivating you. They’re entertaining you. They’re keeping you engaged or getting you to push yourself harder. We, for the most part, know how to cycle. We know how to run. We’ve been doing those things since we were children. Strength training is less intuitive. When you’re with a personal trainer, the education burden is a lot higher. That’s a lot of what we’re doing with Tonal as well. We’re teaching people this new thing. When someone’s new to it and they’re learning how to strength train or someone who’s been doing it for a few years, but could be doing it way better with help, we’re also helping them achieve that as well.
To that point, something that I keep seeing come up over and over again as I talk about my journey with Tonal is that people ask, “What about the form aspect of using the Tonal?” Because you’re not able to get the feedback to say, “My back’s not perfectly straight.” I’m listening to the cues, but people worry that they aren’t going to know what form to use. Is that something that you think a lot of people struggle with or do you think there’s just a little bit of a learning curve? What do you think about that?
We think it’s a learning curve. In the early days, we went through 3.5 years of product development and in two of those years, we had people working out on Tonals regularly. In the final year, we put Tonals in 25 homes for an entire year and tracked 50 people as they worked out on these things. Somehow, they all managed to keep it a complete secret. We were in a building with fogged out windows and no one knew what we were working on. These 25 people were kind enough to keep it off social media and completely keep it quiet until the day we launched and announced the company. We learned a lot.
That’s a bigger achievement in the machine itself. You got 50 people to exercise and not share it on Instagram. What’s the secret?
How do you know someone’s going to be running a marathon? Have a 30-second conversation with them. They will bring it up. They totally kept it a secret. We learned a lot and one of the things that we learned is people learn how to do yoga off of YouTube. With a lot of the cueing that we give and a lot of the instruction, we were teaching people how to move properly. They’re learning how to do it. There is a learning curve. A lot of it is people coming to our communities. We have a bunch of these Facebook groups that are formed and sometimes people go there and ask questions. A lot of times, our coaches are filming supplementary videos and throwing them on social media to dive a little deeper. Here’s the other piece, which maybe you haven’t experienced yet. We have a lot more of this coming. The smart handles that you can use to turn the weight on and off with a click of a button. They also have accelerometers in them where we can measure your movement in three dimensions.
We’re crunching a bunch of that data. We have some of it, but as you get smarter, as our algorithms and our software get smarter and smarter, you’re going to hear better and better, more personalized cues specifically for your form. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but sometimes when you hear Tonal say things like, “Three reps left to go,” or “Last rep, good job,” that’s not prerecorded stuff. That’s personalized to you and happening at the moment that you are at three reps left to go. There are other things you might have heard some of our coaches say like, “Remember to move at a slow and controlled pace,” or “Try going a little deeper into your squat.” That’s all based on the data and the measurement that we have of what you’re doing. While we do believe that a lot of movement is through cueing and through a learning curve, we also are working on all of these avenues of personalized intelligence and personalized cueing for every single person.
People are getting more feedback than they realize, that’s crazy.
I logged into one of our communities one morning and one of our users said, “The first time that it said three reps left to go and I had exactly three reps left to go, I thought it was a coincidence, but by the third or fourth time, I was starting to wonder.”
I thought like it would automatically happen when you got down to three reps. Not every time, but just to keep you engaged. I thought that was an automatic thing. That’s fascinating. It’s cool.
It’s personalized. There’s a lot of personalization in programs. The pacing is personalized. The thing if you’re running or cycling or doing cardio types of activities, that’s usually interval-based. You’re doing something for 30 seconds at a time. In our high-intensity workouts, which are more like conditioning, the workouts are interval-based. When we’re doing stuff that’s more personal training type of content where we’re trying to help you build muscle or hit a specific goal that’s based on strength training, it’s important that you’re hitting rep targets rather than time. It’s important that you do six reps. It will take one person twenty seconds, one person 40 seconds to do that same thing.
Our videos speed up and slow down to match the pace of our users so that if one person needs a little bit of extra time, they won’t feel like they’re falling behind and they won’t rush into strength training, which is a great way for someone to get injured. We don’t want them rushing. We also won’t finish their reps and then sit around waiting for the video to catch up with them. My worst nightmare, pick up their phone and start texting a friend and then you’re no longer working out. Those are the things that you’re trying to avoid. The pacing is personalized. As you get more proficient at moves, actually the amount of instruction you hear will decrease. We say it’s like having our personal trainer and there’s a lot of technology in there that is trying to get people a more personalized experience.
I have noticed that the Tonal business model is similar to the Peloton business model. Was that on purpose or was that something that evolved?
When I started Tonal, one of the big questions you ask yourself is, “Who are you going to sell this to and for how much?” A lot of people look at the Peloton business model and they’re like, “This is a subscription model.” What you do is you sell someone a piece of equipment and then you get to collect membership dues for a long time. Hence, it becomes a profitable business. That’s not how I see it at all. What you’re doing is foregoing the profit you would have made on the bike, or in our case, the Tonal on day one. You’re foregoing that profit by keeping the price of that equipment as low as you can. You’re spreading that profit over the course of the next couple of years. As people pay these membership dues, that’s when you collect the profit.
Like Peloton, we make no money, no profit off of the Tonal. We make all of our profit off the membership. What that allows us to do is to keep the price of the Tonal low so that it can reach as many people as possible. Fitness equipment is expensive and for a lot of people, it’s prohibitively expensive. If you go on Google and type in the word functional trainer, which is the class of equipment that that Tonal is, you’ll find that most of the equipment costs way more than Tonal and it isn’t affordable. What that does is it limits your market size and limits your ability to impact people’s lives. The lower you can keep the price, the more people you can reach and the more lives you get to impact. In return for that, what we elect to do is use a subscription model where we spread the membership dues over for the course of the next few years. When I looked at Peloton, what appealed to me about the model is you can reach a lot more people and impact a lot more lives. All you have to do is be willing to wait longer to get that profit. It’s a great model.
Can I ask, or maybe you haven’t calculated this or maybe you don’t want to say, but if you weren’t doing this model, how much do you envision the Tonal would cost?
If it wasn’t the membership model, the alternate route that I considered was to go to market with a product that costs $9,995, believe it or not. In all fairness, if you were to compare the Tonal and its capabilities with all the other functional trainers on the market, it would totally be a fair price.
Let me ask you this because I have no frame of reference. What does a functional trainer cost?
They cost anywhere from $5,000 to $8,000.The lower you can keep the price, the more people you can reach and the more lives you get to impact. Click To Tweet
That’s right in line. Honestly, as a consumer, I would prefer this model not just because of the lower cost. Although you could argue over the life of using it, you might end up paying more. I would prefer this because I feel now the company is incentivized to continue creating content and servicing the product in a way that if it was a onetime transaction, they’re not.
It makes it so that we want to make people as successful as possible. Fitness women vendors have for years sold equipment to people and then they don’t use the equipment. Fitness women vendors have no reason to care. For us, we wake up every morning, we check our metrics, like how many people worked out. If someone isn’t working out, we call them. What this does is it allows us to reach as many people as possible. With the financing programs with $149 a month, it makes it much more affordable for a lot more people as well. That’s a great way to expand reach. When you ask the question, “Why this business?” it was about reaching as many people as possible at the end of the day.
Along those lines, one thing that stood out to me is that Tonal’s monthly subscription price is $50 a month. Peloton is $40 a month. How do you explain to customers that difference? I totally get what you’re saying about the cost of a functional trainer, but on the other hand, you could make the argument that for Peloton, that’s for their Tread content, their Bike content and their yoga, etc. I’m sure you have a reason for that, but that’s the big holdup that I hear from people is, “I don’t want to have two fees.” I’m curious what your thoughts are on that.
The $49 a month versus $39 a month, there’s a little bit of nuance in there. One is we’re replacing personal training and personal training sessions cost way more than studio classes. That’s one reason we charge them. Also, the $49 a month includes sales tax and the $39 a month doesn’t. It does even that out a little bit. In terms of the two subscriptions thing, one of the things that we’ve heard a lot from people who own Pelotons and I think you’re aware there’s some overlap, is they say that once I got my Tonal, I finally canceled my gym membership. They had their Peloton Bike for their Tread, but they kept the gym membership and they kept paying for it because that’s where they would go to strength train. Now they got a Tonal and they’re replacing that gym membership they paying for with the Tonal. For a lot of folks, that evens out. In people’s minds, they think of the products as complimentary and they think of their budget for strength training as different from their budget for cardio.
The other thing is we help people achieve goals. We’re not just interested in how often someone works out. We’re interested in whether or not they achieve the goal that they want. Our programs are designed around certain goals. We have a four-week weight loss programs. We have a twelve-week muscle-building program. We have programs to help people get stronger. We have programs to help people train for running a 5K or get ready for ski and snowboard season. That’s the powerful thing about strength training is personal trainers can use it to help you achieve all sorts of different goals. It’s like a Swiss Army Knife if you have an expert who knows how to create the programming. For us, we were delivering not just workouts, we’re delivering outcomes and that’s how we think about it. At the end of the day, if you stack up the value of having a gym membership and having a personal trainer help you figure out what programs you need to follow in order to achieve a goal and teach you form, $49 a month is a steal.
I’m curious too about vertical integration or your supply chain. Does Tonal keep everything in-house or do you find yourself having to outsource a lot of things? I feel there’s a lot of technology involved. I’m curious how that works for Tonal.
We keep almost all of it in-house. Clearly, there are things that we outsource like manufacturing and logistics but all of the software, all of the content production, the programming, the curriculum, all of that stuff is done in-house. We spun up a second studio in Hollywood. We now have one in San Francisco, where we film daily and the second one in LA. It’s trying to crank up the amount of content and the variety. It’s a very poorly kept secret that yoga is about to launch on the platform. In addition to the strength training content, we have a lot of this high-intensity content. It’s hit conditioning types of workouts which are interval-based to keep your heart rate up for 20, 30 or 40 minutes, depending on the type of session you’ve chosen. Of course, all the more traditional strength training stuff, which is very programmed for specific goals and outcomes. We do all of that in-house and it’s keeping us busy.
Have you ever considered some bundle for Peloton users to offset that maybe sticker shock of having two monthly subscriptions?
We see the products as complementary. I think a lot of our existing customers do too. Frankly, even if we were to consider something like that, it takes two to tango.
We get that question so much. Many people are interested. A lot of people that are interested also buy, but the initial reaction from people is, “I don’t want to have a second payment per month.” Obviously, we’ve talked to a lot of people that have gotten past that and are very excited to have both. From my own experience, I can absolutely say that it is very complimentary. I would agree with that.
I’ve been surprised since we started talking about it how quickly people seem to have gotten past it. I thought that there would be more resistance and I’m sure that there are still some out there. Some people, it’s just not in their budget and there’s nothing you can do about that and we understand that. I was surprised how many people were like, “You got me.”
Once someone has been in one of our programs for a couple of weeks or has gone regular with it and worked it into their fitness routine, they do fall in love with it. It provides a structure to people’s fitness lives because it’s not one-off workouts. It’s a program that does change the way people think about fitness. No one who’s had the product for a long time comes back and was like, “This is way too expensive.” In fact, they’re usually saying the opposite like, “This is well worth it.” On the financing programs, we worked pretty hard to roll out a 36-month financing program. We rolled that out and it brought the monthly payment down to $149. That was to make it more affordable for more folks. Health and fitness is an investment in oneself and it’s for the full household. It’s generally not just for one person, multiple people are using it. I hope you both try out the partner workouts that we have now, so two people can share a Tonal and work out at the same time. Those are fun and you guys can poke fun at each other, which I know you both love to do.
I don’t know whatever will it take to get Tom on a workout, but I did try the partner workout with a friend of mine who came over. We did a workout together and it was awesome. I loved it. Tom, he’s anti-exercise.
It’s my personal mission to get Tom to do a workout. I bet this is the thing that could break him and get them working out regularly. Let’s see if we can pull that off.
He did do a dead lift. When we got the Tonal set up, I was like, “Here. Try this.”
I was testing the resistance aspect because it makes that popping sound when you turn it on. The first time we turned it on, we were like, “Did we break it?”
When you turn it on, it goes through a quick calibration. The resistance, when people touch Tonal for the first time, the thing I most often get is, “This is heavy,” or “This can get heavy.” We say 200 pounds, but people look at it and it’s small and it’s sleek. They underestimate it and don’t realize 200 pounds is enough force to pick you up off the ground. A lot of people comment about how smooth it is. I don’t know what your experience was, but that’s what we hear most often.
It’s incredibly smooth. Our fifteen-year-old has been using it. He’s excited to do strength training. It’s cute to see him do it as well.
If he gets too ripped, I might not have the choice. I have to start doing it to keep them in line.
We’re going to crack you one way or another, Tom. Do you want me to partner workout with you?
The readers would kill me for all this and you’re like, “No, you’re out.”
The whole reason you’re here is to be the anti-workout. I finally cave and it’s not a Peloton. I wouldn’t feel too guilty. Now, he wants to make it happen.
Do you have any partnerships that you would like to see? I understand Tonal is completely separate from everything else. It has its own unique values, but I also can’t help but wonder if there are things that you see the bigger picture that you want to do with Tonal? That might be a joint partnership or a joint venture with anybody out there? Have you ever considered anything like that?
Nothing that we’re ready to talk about yet. Some of the things you would probably guess on your own. We’ve already started putting Tonals in a couple of hotels and those pilots are going well. We’re going to be doing a lot more of that. Some of the other things that we’re excited about are ones that you probably wouldn’t necessarily guess but potentially some stuff with physical therapy. Some of the more inspiring stories that we hear online are folks coming to us, saying that they’ve had back pains for years and after X weeks on Tonal, their back pain is gone for the first time in their lives or they feel themselves get stronger.
We released a program to help people who have shoulder pains manage that shoulder pain and that’s getting good reviews. The thing about strength training is it’s powerful. I didn’t realize this, but one in two Americans suffers from some musculoskeletal pain, back pain, shoulder pain and neck pain. Strength training is the only way to treat those things. If you go to a physical therapist, they will have your strength training too. There’s no drug. They’ll give you painkillers, but there is no drug. Strength training is the only way. I don’t know that those are necessarily partnerships, but they’re things that when we think about all the ways that we can improve people’s lives, it’s an area we think a lot about. The more places we can get Tonals, it makes it accessible to as many people as possible. We like hotels and we’re also thinking about other places where we can get Tonal so that we can touch more and more lives, which is what we care about.
Why do you think that this is all happening now in terms of what they’re terming connected fitness? It seems like it’s having a moment and taking off.
It’s a confluence of a bunch of things. One is technology. If you rewind the clock, if John had tried to start Peloton ten years earlier, the computing system, the tablet that’s built into the Peloton wasn’t ready. The internet wasn’t ready for that streaming. That was a big part of it, the technology getting to that point. If we had tried to build a Tonal ten years earlier, it probably would have cost twice or three times as much as it does now. As technology has advanced, the cost of the components have come down and made these price points more realistic. The second one and I have to give gift credit to the entire Peloton team. They proved something that no one else had known before. People have always looked at home fitness equipment and assume that it’s going to start collecting dust after six months.
The fact that they figured out a model that aligns the incentives of the equipment manufacturer and the member so that you keep working to make sure that your members are using the product day in and day out for years, that is powerful. It transforms the way people engage with fitness and as a result, that transforms people’s lives. I think that the proof point has brought a lot of investment to this industry. There’s us doing strength training and I think we’re the only ones doing strength training, but we’ve also seen a lot of other equipment hit the market in the cardio side. There are other bikes and other treadmills and rowers. There are all sorts of stuff out there. It was all sparked by what Peloton did. They had a lot of trouble raising money from investors. We had a lot less trouble and the credit goes to them for that.
That would open the doors for you. I didn’t think about that, but that does make sense. Do you see Tonal as being a direct competitor to Peloton or not?
I view it as extremely complementary. At the end of the day, people need to do both. You need to do strength training, you need to do cardio. I own a Peloton Bike. I’m a fitness fanatic. I use both products now. In my case, my core, my program is on Tonal and that’s what I’m following and I complement it with cardio. You need both and I view them as very complementary.
Would you like to share your leaderboard name with our readers?
It’s BeYourStrongest. It’s also Tonal’s tagline.
She can make fun of you. Hers is ClipOutCrystal. We’re doing the same thing.
It’s great because you clearly believe in that too. That’s important to you. That’s perfect for a leaderboard name. That’s awesome.
A lot of us have Pelotons at work and it’s complementary. We have bikes, we have treads. John says it’s the best cardio machine on the planet. Tonal is the best strength training machine on the planet. It’s full-body workout in something the size of your TV and it’s the most advanced piece of strength equipment ever created. We wholeheartedly believe that it’s the best strength training machine on the planet, just as John believes that the Peloton is the best cardio machine on the planet.
Speaking of Peloton, why does Tonal not have live classes? I think I know the answer to this, but I’m curious if I’m right.
It’s the personalization. Peloton is a group fitness experience and group fitness instruction is, by definition, one instructor speaking to 30 people or 3,000 people. With Tonal, it’s all very highly personalized. That video you’re watching, we didn’t point a camera at someone for 40 minutes, record a 40-minute video and then play that back to you. The way that video is playing back to you is highly personalized. We have software AI getting in under the hood and mucking with the video and we’re switching the audio around to make you hear the things that are personalized to you. We’re stretching the video so it gets shorter and longer to accommodate your pace. Once you’re doing all that mucking around under the hood with AI, like a game engine, you can’t go live. For a lot of our more personalized content, it’s not live. It’s on-demand. For a lot of the other stuff we have around the conditioning, high-intensity interval content, the yoga content, we do intend to eventually go live with that stuff when the time is right.
That’ll be interesting for people to have different options so you can have multiple different levels of doing your strength training, but then doing yoga live. I think that’ll be a good mix for people.
We spent a lot of time grappling with this question in the early days and we interviewed people and we’re like, “Why are you so excited about live?” It turned out that as we pushed on it, they were more excited about fresh. What’s important is not the fact that it’s truly live. We find that I think only about 12% of riders are alive in Peloton rides, if you’re looking at it as an example, the vast majority of people aren’t live. Why do you care about so much live? What they cared about is the fact that they always knew that every time they were going to step into a workout, it’s going to be a fresh new experience. It’s not like a DVD where you just keep playing the same DVD over and over again. That’s what we prioritize. That’s why we film every day. That’s why we spun up a second studio. It’s about creating as much fresh content as we can for folks. One day we will go live but the freshness is what we live and die by.
I thought it was cool that you guys added a bunch of new moves to the move library. It didn’t even occur to me that you could. One day, I was on Facebook and I was like, “We added all these new moves.” I was like, “That’s amazing. I had no idea.” I didn’t know I was missing any, but this is cool.
That was coming from our community. They were telling us, “We’re like cables, functional trainers, cable trainers like what Tonal is, except the other ones are analog and run on big metal plates. Ours is digital and runs on electromagnetics. Functional trainers can be used to do a very wide variety of things. They’re the most versatile strength training machines, which is why they’re used by a lot of pro athletes and Olympic coaches and things like that. It’s called functional training. First of all, members of our community, we’re starting to do things that we didn’t have in our library. They started sending us emails saying, “Can you add this? Can you add that?” At some point, we aggregated everything that folks had requested and added them to our library, which also meant we had to teach our AI how to select weights for all of these movements because that’s an important part of it.
We added them all in. The other thing that we released is a workout builder. If someone wants to create their own workout and not necessarily follow one of our videos, then they could just pull out our mobile app, create the workout on the mobile app where you select the movements you want and set how many reps do you want it to and how many times and all that stuff. Walk up to a Tonal and you can literally run through your own workout and we’ll run you through it and automatically select the weights for you and decide when it’s time for you to lift more weight or less weight all automatically. That’s been well received. It was like a party in our community the day we released that.
I am still intimidated to try anything like that. Plus, I’m doing a program, but I thought that was cool that you could put anything you want in there and then it shows up on the machine whenever you got. That’s awesome. Kudos. I like that a lot.
At the moment, you guys only ship to the US. Is it difficult to get into other countries? Are you planning to branch out or are you focused on the States for now?A good leader board promotes good behavior. Click To Tweet
International is something that every company aspires to, obviously including Tonal, but right now, we have so much work to do in the United States. We had our first huge holiday season getting through Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which was on fire. We have to do that again and get ready for that next level of expansion. We’re now up to six retail locations. There’s a lot of work to do right here at home. We’re definitely prioritizing that.
I know that’s not an easy process to move into other countries. It’s a lot of logistics. I can’t even imagine.
With the machine going 100 pounds per arm or 200 pounds total, what percentage of people need more?
Like a bodybuilder or somebody who lifts heavy, are they still able to use?
Would a pro athlete need something that was weightier or could they utilize this?
Tonal goes up to up to 200 pounds or 100 pounds per arm. The resistance that comes out of Tonal, it’s a pure resistance. A 100-pound dumbbell or a 50-pound dumbbell, any dumbbell for them, the faster you move, the lighter it gets. This is why on a bicep curl, you could pick it up, swing it. When it’s down by your knee and by the time it’s up to your chest, it’s super light. Tonal isn’t like that. It’s 50 pounds of resistance the entire time through your entire range of motion, no matter how fast you’re moving. You pick up a 50-pound dumbbell and you can do bicep curls relatively easy compared to a Tonal. You set it to 50 pounds and do way harder. It’s because of that no momentum, no inertia aspect to the way that our system works.
Our 200 pounds is way heavier than a regular 200 pounds. What we engage in is mostly functional training, which is a multi-joint movement, full body. For most people, getting up to 200 pounds is hard and it takes a long time. It took me two years of training on Tonal before I maxed it out on one movement, which is the dead lift. Even at that point, you have other levers to pull. You can do more sets, you can do a slower tempo. You do 200 pounds and you’re going up, down. That’s not as good as four seconds up, four seconds down. There are a lot of levers that you can pull to stretch that weight.
It’s generally on 1 or 2 movements. Pro athletes use functional trainers for a lot of his functional training, multi-movement and velocity-based training. When you’re doing that type of training, you’re generally not doing heavy weights. You’re generally in the 30 to 70 range and not pushing it. Olympic lifting, which is the stuff you see the big guys at the gym doing, you’re manipulating momentum more than pure resistance. It’s a different style but it’s also way more injury prone and it’s not something we would be pushing for people to do in their homes alone without having a workout buddy there. It’s a much more appropriate form of training for the home. It’s super versatile. You can drive a lot of outcomes with it.
That’s what we want, is versatility in a small and safe footprint. You’ve seen on the Tonal. The arms are all the way up overhead all the way down to the ground. You can do everything from dead lifts, squats and bench presses. You can turn the weight on and off, which allows you to do movements. Most people wouldn’t do on a cable train or you wouldn’t normally use a cable trainer to do a bench press with a bar. Getting underneath the bar with the load on it is hard. For us, you can turn the load off, get into position and hit a button.
It turns it on. You do your bench press. When you’re done, you hit the button, it turns it off. If you want a buddy there to spot you, Tonal will spot you. When you start struggling, it will begin to reduce the weight like a spotter who’s there to help you out get those last few reps. It was designed to be a system that’s versatile, that would allow you to do a lot of things in the comfort and convenience of your home. There may be people who go to the gym and do 600-pound squats and they’re happy doing that. That’s fine. For the rest of us, there’s Tonal.
Tell us about the Tonal community. Are you growing the community? Do you think that the Tonal community is as involved as the Peloton community? As you mentioned, there’s a lot of overlap.
There are three communities now that have formed and they’re all super vibrant. One of the things that I like about the community is people are going deeper on what they’re talking about. There’s a lot more education. Strength training is a meatier topic. Every day, there’s something new and people are asking interesting questions. It’s vibrant because of that. I enjoy that and I follow all the communities and I read as many posts as I can. That’s been great for us. People are being supportive of each other. People are trading phone numbers and texting each other for accountability and all that stuff. It’s exciting. For people who are thinking about even buying a Tonal but haven’t yet, a lot of times, they’re going into the community to ask questions about the product. People who’ve had the product and can share real-life stories, not information off our website, which is pretty standard. What is it like to have this product in your home? They’re going to the communities and real people are sharing real stories and it’s helping people make decisions about whether or not this is the right thing for them.
Personally, what’s your favorite feature on Tonal?
I’ll pick two. My favorite two features are number one, turning the weight on and off. It’s magical the first time you feel it. I love that feature and it allows you to do things that you would never dream of doing. We have Paralympians training on Tonal. I got an email from one of them and he said, “This feature allows me to do things I could never imagine doing otherwise.” It makes the system twice as versatile and it’s powerful. I love that feature. The other feature I love is the AI that chooses how much weight you should lift. Here’s a real story. We spent probably about a year developing and training this AI.
For the first year, we had Tonals and everyone in the office was working out on Tonals and following the programs, but we all had to manually choose our own weights. It would remember how much you lifted and pull up the same weight the next time, but you had to decide how much you wanted to start with and when it was time to increase the weight. We turned this AI on and the first time I walk up to it, it basically brings up a number for my squat, which is double what I had been squatting for the year prior. I was in the middle of the workout and I hit pause. I ran over to the engineer or one of our physiologists. I’m like, “You’ve got to come and check it out. This is a bug. It’s having me lift twice as much weight as I’ve ever lifted.”
They looked at me and they’re like, “How’d you know it’s wrong? Do it and see what happens.” I totally did it and I had no idea I had been lifting half as much. I’m the CEO of a fitness company and I had no idea I was squatting half as much weight as I should have been for a whole year. It’s such a powerful feature. Even in our communities, there’s this love-hate relationship where every time your weight gets upgraded, where we’ve decided next time you’re going to lift more weight, you get this chime. Some people are like, “I hate that sound.” It’s so awesome. It’s so powerful.
You should have a ringtone where people can pick their sound where they could make it something really mean.
There are those GPS on the market where you could reprogram them to have like Samuel L. Jackson’s voice.
If the weight, instead of going up, if it decides you needed to go down in your weight, it could do like a sad trombone or the losing sound from The Price is Right.
Do you have any fun stuff that you can tell us about that’s coming out for tips for the future?
I already spilled the beans on yoga. What we spend a lot of our time working on is intelligence. A lot of what we’re doing is trying to make the products smarter, more intelligent so that weight recommendations are better. The cueing that the feedback that you’re getting is more relevant to you. We have better insights and personalization. That’s where we spend a lot of our energy and that’s about making our workouts as effective as possible. I did spill the beans in one of our communities that we’re working on leaderboards. I’ll go ahead and spill the beans a little bit more publicly here. The leaderboards are going to be a fun thing. We’ve been running leaderboards internally at Tonal. A lot of that is about learning what the right type of leaderboard is. A good leaderboard promotes good behavior while a bad leaderboard can encourage people to do bad things or root against each other. We’re trying to make sure that we nail it before we roll it out to the community so everyone’s a big, happy family.
That’s got to be a rough leaderboard to calculate. You probably can’t go as simple as like, “Who’s lifted the most,” because that’s not fair or even equitable.
Another example of the leaderboard that we killed. Do we have streaks in our system where it’s like, “How long have you gone without missing a workout?” Every week your streak gets longer. If you’re going to miss out, you get that doomsday push notification on your phone, which says you’re about to lose your streak. People come back and work out, which is great. That’s what we want for them. We had a leaderboard where streak length was how you ranked on the leaderboard. The longest streak was further up. The only way to advance on that leaderboard is if you knock someone else off and you’re rooting against people. We’re killing that and we can’t have that. We’ve got to be rooting for each other here, not against each other.
You’d have people go into each other’s houses and taking them out so they can’t do their workout.
Turn off their notifications.
“I’ll buy you a two-week vacation to an island where there are no Tonals.”
Do you think that this is the only product that you guys are envisioning selling or do you have thoughts of other things?
When we think about adding new products to our product line or expanding our offering, it’s about the content. Right now, the Tonal piece of hardware we built is probably the most versatile piece of equipment ever created. It can do so much, way more than even any functional trainer because of the advanced weight modes we have and the fact that you can turn away on and off, which allows you to get into position for more movements. When we think about expanding our offering, it’s about more intelligence and having more content. The way we added yoga, the way we added these high-intensity conditioning types of workouts, that’s where we’ll be adding more stuff. Take the platform that we have and make it deliver more stuff. That’s how we think about that.
If somebody just got their Tonal. It’s day one, what’s your biggest piece of advice for them?
Download the mobile app and take the strength test because that’s how we figure out. When you create your account, we ask you for your goals. We ask you for some basics, the same thing as a personal trainer would ask you. We make you take a strength test. When you take that strength test, that’s what feeds that initial data into our weight recommendation engine. We can choose weights for you when you do all of your movements and then get into a program. Don’t be shy if two weeks later, you’re like, “I’m not digging their programs.” That’s totally cool.
We find that people who have the mobile app and are in a program, they’re the ones who work out most consistently. When you click that join program button, you’re making a commitment. This is a four-day a week program and it helps people stay on track. Get in the community. The communities are awesome. They’re filled with wonderful people. Those are all the things that I would say. Invite a friend over for a partner workout too. We were surprised at the uptake of that feature. We thought some people would dig it and it’s something people love, way more than we anticipated, which has been fun to watch.
I could see why because it allows you to workout together. Most people are not going to have two Tonals hanging on their wall, so that’s great to be able to do that workout together. I wouldn’t know what that’s like with my partner.
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your schedule to join us. This has been a lot of fun and very educational.
Thank you so much for having me. It’s always fun to tune in and I’m happy to be a guest.
Is there anywhere people should go and look for you on social media that you would like to be seen, followed, liked or whatever they do on the internet machine there?
They can find me on Twitter. I’m @AOrady. I’m on Instagram @AOrady. I’m also on Facebook. People know that I’m in the communities and they often tag me in posts, so they can find me on social media. I’m not that active. I’m not the person tweeting twelve times a day. People can follow me in case one day I start tweeting or spill the beans on an upcoming Black Friday sale or something. I don’t know how other CEOs do it where they’re tweet storming all day long. I have customers to take care of and employees to care for. It’s a full-time job.
What do you have in store for people next time?
We’re going to talk to Janet Barr. We get to hear all about her amazing cookies. She is still selling them. It’s @SweetTooth out on Instagram. You should check it out. There’s even a code on the JSS Tribe right now if you’re in the JSS Tribe.
Here’s what you need to know. We all know how poorly I eat. When I tell you a cookie is good, it’s good. That’s all you need to know. That’s what people have to look forward to. Until then, where can they find you?
You can find me on Twitter @RogerQBert or on Facebook at Facebook.com/tomokeefe. You can find the show online at Facebook.com/theclipout. While you’re there, like the page and join the group. While you’re in front of your internet delivery device, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter at TheClipOut.com. Thanks for tuning in and until next time, keep pedaling.
- Apple Podcasts – The Clip Out Podcast
- Spotify – The Clip Out Podcast
- Google Play – The Clip Out Podcast
- How the Peloton Ad Radically Changes the Conversation About Mental Health and Being the Boss of Your Own Life – Forbes Article
- Peloton Data Junkies
- Nicole Meline
- @AOrady – Twitter
- @AOrady – Instagram
- Facebook – Aly Orady
- Twitter – Crystal O’Keefe
- @ClipOutCrystal – Crystal O’Keefe’s Instagram
- @RogerQBert – Twitter
About Aly Orady
Based in San Francisco, Aly Orady is a 20-year silicon valley veteran, engineer and serial entrepreneur. Aly started his career at Hewlett-Packard’s Computer Systems Laboratory designing super-computers, followed by technical leadership roles at a series of startups, including Kealia, Inc. (now Sun/Oracle).
Armed with an M.S.E.E. from Stanford, and a B.Eng. from McMaster University, Aly founded Pano Logic where he served as the company’s Chief Technology Officer and oversaw core technology development, architecture, and patents.
As Pano Logic’s founder, Aly also served on the board of directors and has filled a broad array of functional roles including product management, go-to-market planning, business development, and manufacturing operations. Aly’s technical expertise includes cloud, virtualization, enterprise management, networking, and computer architecture. In 2015, Aly went on to found Tonal, a stealth startup with an innovative approach the fitness. Stay tuned.