Home Riders Invasion

55: HRI Wrap-Up And An Interview With John Foley

TCO 55 | HRI Wrap-Up


Keeping yourself fit at home is not anymore as solitary as it was. Thanks to Peloton, you can have great social experiences with others while doing your best to keep in shape. However, in this episode, we move out of our remote space and into the live experience with the HRI (Home Rider Invasion, now the Peloton Homecoming). Whether you couldn’t make it to the HRI or just want to relive the experience, hosts Tom and Crystal O’Keefe have got you covered with the HRI Recap. What is more, this episode offers the long-awaited and much talked about interview with CEO of Peloton, John Foley. Together, they walk you through the classes, the parties, and the new features and breaking news. John then answers questions the most curious fans are asking about—from launching the idea that started it all and his advice to budding entrepreneurs, to the technical aspects about Peloton, the rides, and more. Don’t miss out on this great wrap-up episode!

Listen to the podcast here:

HRI Wrap-Up And An Interview With John Foley

There is a whole host of things to talk about.

A lot of stuff happened during HRI and since HRI. They announced that John Foley will go into detail during the episode are the actual features and they’ve been released. You can wave at each other. You can find out who’s on the Bike. Even when you’re riding on-demand, you can immediately see who’s there.

If you liked one of the features, if you weren’t in the room, I have a suggestion that gets mentioned during the interview that I feel pretty good that they’re going to incorporate.

The Here Now, you can see who is on the leaderboard. Even when you’re on-demand, you can see them and see how far in the ride they are. You can wave at them and they can wave back. It’s cool, interactive and a lot of fun. Also, they announced that Power Zones on the tablet are going to be coming out soon.

You got to wonder, what are the people in the Power Zone Tribe going to talk about now that they have Power Zones on the tablet?

Every Friday, they would do Feature Friday and it was like, “Power Zones on the tablet,” but it worked. All Peloton has taught us is that the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

It’s like when Richard Kimball caught the one-armed man on the last episode of the Fugitive. It’s like, “Now, what do we do?”

How cool is that that Peloton listens to the people who are riding the Bike and they’re like, “We should do that.”

For all the people who felt like they weren’t being listened to, it sounds like that they were waiting because they wanted to make sure that they were doing it right.

They’re rolling out a beta program and they rolled it out to the Power Zone pack. You’re not supposed to talk about it on social media. All I will say is that’s happening. It should be done shortly. I took an on-demand ride. I went back and revisited the epic sing-along because our flight was before the Sunday ride that I wanted to take. I went and rode on it and it was great because there were some other people in Missouri that were riding it and I gave her a high five.

That’s a general overview of what happened, but there’s a lot more discussed in infinitely more detail when we get to the interview portion with John Foley. Besides that, there are all sorts of stuff. What’s coming up in this episode?

We’re going to talk about another huge announcement that came out from Peloton. We’re going to talk about an announcement from Jennifer Jacobs. We’re going to get an update from Mary Cain and also talk about a couple of articles that have been released.

Before we do that, don’t forget we’re available on iTunes. You can go there to rate, review and subscribe. We have a review. This is from APB NYC. The title of this one is, “I love this show almost as much as I love my Peloton.” They say, “I stumbled on this while searching for more info on this Bike I’m so obsessed with. I’m living abroad and this show is a great way to the community for a way to get updates on what’s happening with the company. Moreover, it makes me laugh hysterically and sometimes I want to high five them. Tom’s hilarious. Crystal has the best laugh ever and their chemistry together is great. Highly recommended, Hong Kong Hustler.”

I wonder if he lives in Hong Kong.

It says that they’re living abroad.

Hong Kong hustler, if you’re out there, you should contact me because I think maybe you should be on for an interview.

How would the time-zones work?

We’d figure it out. That’s what we do.

That sounds like a lot. Thank you for the nice review. If you’d like to leave a review, please do. You can hop on over to iTunes while you’re there. You can also subscribe and it will show up like magic in your music rectangle box. Don’t forget if you want to keep up with us, you can do so at TheClipOut.com or on Facebook.com/TheClipOut.

An HRI recap. It was a lot of fun.

Amazing sums it up pretty simply. I wish we lived closer to New York. It’s so much fun all wrapped up in one weekend.

It’s fun because it’s a trip for us and we live there.

I think I can make it work. It was so cool. Thursday night was the big Jenn Sherman Tribe party, which the admins did a fabulous job on. It was crowded, but it’s so much fun, including karaoke. Who doesn’t want karaoke with Jenn Sherman? I know she does her epic sing-along, but it’s nothing compared to you karaoke in person.

Do what you are passionate about and what you like. Click To Tweet

She needed a Bike. I think she was having trouble not pedaling while she was singing.

Kristy Carruba even got me to do a karaoke song.

Luckily, no one had a microphone that worked other than the guy that looks like Kato Kaelin. He was rocking that microphone. He’s the only one that had one that works, so nobody could hear me. It was the perfect way to do karaoke for the first time if you’re shy because nobody can hear me.

When we got there, before the party, I already did three rides. I rode with Jess King, with Denis and with Jenn Sherman. I got to ride with Jenn Sherman and I got to go to a party with her. She totally said that she played a monkey song even though you didn’t show up for your first ride. She called you out. She gave you a shout-out. How is it you get a shout-out and you’re not even on the Bike? People would pay for those things. I had a ride Friday morning with Jennifer Jacobs. What a sweetheart. That was my first time meeting her and she knew who I was. I got a shout-out at the very end of class. It was nice to meet her and I got my picture taken with her. I was starstruck.

John Foley was kind enough to give us a personal tour of HQ, which was amazing.

He could not be a nicer guy. If you’ve never had the chance to meet him and you’re like, “Is he approachable?” yes, he is approachable.

We spent an hour with him at HQ for our tour and then we spent an hour with him on stage. I’m thinking if he was a jerk, he would have cracked. It would have snuck out.

You would have gotten through at some point.

That’s a lot of time to spend with me and not end up being a jerk. I think that we can safely say he’s legitimately a nice guy.

What’s cool is that we also got to have a time with Brad Olson and Jessica Kleiman. They were such a delight and we got to meet Hisao, one of the actual founders of Peloton. Everybody could not have been nicer. Peloton is gorgeous. If you’re ever thinking like, “Should I get a job there?” you can move to New York unlike me, or you live in New York, you should do it because it’s awesome.

It’s like a rec hall up there. They got a pool table, shuffleboard, ping pong. There are all sorts of crazy stuff.

We won’t ruin it for anybody, but it was amazing.

We had our Q&A and you came down.

What a relief to have that done. I was shaking when we walked up on the stage. The crowd could not have been nicer.

It was a receptive crowd and they pretended to find 80% of what I said humorous. It was a high ratio, higher than I probably deserved.

They even indicated they knew what The Clip Out was, which was cool.

I had a whole joke about it when I said, “Who’s heard of The Clip Out?” Nobody clapped. I couldn’t say it because nobody did the clapping. I was like, “Nevermind.”

John did an excellent job. He brought life to all of the questions. He didn’t answer with a canned response. What a fabulous time. Then it was time for the cocktail party, which was also amazing. Peloton spent a lot of resources making sure that people were comfortable and had a good time. It was also a gorgeous venue.

You got way more than your $50 worth, that’s for sure. Saturday, you did your first Tread class.

It’s totally worth it. I know everybody’s seen all the reviews, so I’m just adding to it. I don’t feel like I’ve ever done a whole lot of running on a regular basis. I know I’ve started running, but prior to that I had never been a runner. I can’t tell you that it’s this treadmill compared to that treadmill. I don’t have that knowledge, but I can tell you that it was incredibly comfortable, smooth and easy to use. The space is gorgeous. The studio makes you feel welcome and everyone who works there also makes you feel welcome. All the Tread instructors are excited to meet everybody. They want you to come in and they’ll give you hugs. We got to meet Maddie’s mom and dad. They were in for the day. I haven’t met anybody at Peloton and I was like, “Why do they work here?” These people were nice.

My concern is that you have the Bike people in one studio and you have the Tread people in another studio. This is all happening in New York. I’m getting a Westside Story, Sharks and Jets vibe. I hope that there isn’t a gang war between the Tread instructors and the Bike instructors. Based on the West Side Story, it would be entertaining. There’d be lots of pirouettes and snapping.

We’ve got a lot of great dancers and singers. I think we could pull together some kind of musical, but I don’t know that anyone would fight each other because we all love each other so much.

I was picturing Jayvee as Officer Krupke. We then went to Tom LaBelle’s party, which was much fun. I remember 30% of it.

TCO 55 | HRI Wrap-Up

HRI Wrap-Up: A professional cyclist would create 1% of the energy that one household would use in a day.


I know we ended up at Big Daddy’s at 4:00 AM having Oreo pancakes.

With Rodrigo and his lovely wife. They were wonderful.

We got to meet many people over the whole weekend.

I should also say we had to meet many people and I still feel like there were lots of people that we wanted to talk to that we didn’t get to talk to.

Three of those parties were packed.

If we didn’t talk to you, please don’t think that we’re jerk bags. It was a whirlwind of a weekend. I would hate for people to think that we didn’t make an effort. I always tell you, it’s like your wedding reception where you’re bouncing around and then you’re like, “It’s over?”

It went fast. Every one of those parties was a blink of an eye, even Tom LaBelle’s was definitely longer than a blink of an eye.

When we were waiting for our Uber, we were the only people standing on the street corner waiting in New York City.

That’s true and we stayed long that the college crowd came in.

They’re like, “What are the old people doing here?”

How cool is it that it gets cold and they start handing out robes? That place was awesome. If you’ve ever wondered, “Should I go to HRI?” people will tell you, “It’s super crowded.” You have some of those people, “I don’t feel like I’m a super-talkative person. I don’t feel like I’m an outgoing person.” If you go and you try to start a conversation with somebody, you’re going to succeed and you’re going to have a great time. Find some people and go. You will not regret it.

There have been tons of news since HRI.

The biggest piece is that Peloton is expanding internationally.

They’re worldwide.

They technically are because they’ve already opened their international headquarters in London according to one of the articles I read. They’re going to be opening up a bunch of showrooms, so I guess their American headquarters is New York and London will be their international. I was fascinated that the UK is the world’s second-largest fitness market. I had no idea. I would not have guessed that. They’re going to be charging the same thing. It’s only the Bike so far. They haven’t said anything about the Tread. I’m sure the Tread will make it over there, but they’re only talking about the Bike. They’re also going to be opening a studio in London where they will be broadcasting classes. I hope that helps out the West Coast people because there’ll be more options in a different time zone. I have heard speculation that it will give them more options and it will be exciting.

We know when John Foley was saying about the opening in the UK that one of the biggest things they had to work on was figuring out how to get the Peloton to work on the left instead of on the right.

They struggled with that.

It took a while. They got the top software engineers there to reconfigure all that. That was fortuitous.

The international division is being headed by Kevin Cornils. I thought this was interesting. He took Match.com into the UK and Europe. He was the one that led to that growth and Glasses Direct. He also did that, both of which are gigantor in both Europe and the UK. It said that additional expansions are coming. Also, my favorite part about what I read is that according to what John Foley told Fast Company, they will have a third product. They are already working on that. I know lots of people are thinking it’s going to be a rower, but time will tell.

While you were talking to Jessica, he told me that they’re working on a thing because many people are like, “Do I ride the Bike? Do I run on the Tread? What do I do? Will I have time enough for both?” You can set the Bike on the Tread and pedal away, do both at the same time.

How does that work for your badges? Do you get both at the same time?

They’re trying to figure out how to stop your Fitbit from melting because it’s so much exercise.

I noticed that you can’t upload your data yet on the Tread. My Tread class doesn’t count in the Strava or Fitbit world because I can’t upload it. I know it’s there and I’m trying to be okay with that. I’m trying to rest easy.

In order to move so fast and do so much, you have to give people crazy autonomy. Click To Tweet

I wish they had something like that for pizza. Strava doesn’t know about it so it doesn’t count. There’s a Peloton-related book in the not too distant future.

Jennifer Jacobs was doing a Facebook Live and she explained that she’s working on a book. That will be cool to read and find out because during that Facebook Live, she was giving all kinds of training tips. People ask questions about nutrition and about workouts and she answered all of them. She focused on five questions. She answered them in-depth and she was saying that some of the things covered in the Facebook Live were going to be in the book. That’s the basis for the book that she was going for. It’s going to be great to have, like Robin Arzon has that Shut Up and Run. I think this will be a great addition to the Peloton library.

You should shut up while you were on because how are you going to talk? You’re winded, which is good advice. It’s right there in the title. A lot of people would bury that advice later in the book, get their money. Right up front, here’s a good piece of advice.

That’s Robin, she’s direct.

Special correspondent Mary Kane was on the show. She led the charge. First person to ever check-in for a Tread class and she gave us a wonderful report about the Tread. She had a little special moment.

She did. It was at HRI. I was speaking to her about this because a little birdie told me about it. I reached out to her to find out the details. Apparently, Mary Kane has worked for the same person since 1995. Her boss and she have become family. That’s family to her. Her boss also rides the Peloton. They swap stories. In fact, sometimes they go and do a two-hour lunch together to ride the Peloton. They’ll go catch live ride in the middle of the day. He surprised her at HRI for her 50th birthday with a Tread.

If you’d like some more information about HRI, there was a nice little write-up in Well+Good. They were even kind enough to mention us.

I heard other media was there too, so I think we’ll be seeing some feature articles as well.

We are thrilled to have 1,000 of our most passionate members here with us. Please join me in welcoming fellow Peloton members and The Clip Out host Crystal and Tom O’Keefe.

In case you don’t know who we are, we host The Clip Out. We talk about all things Peloton. Sometimes we say we read the OPP so you don’t have to. I’m used to talking in front of people because I’m an attention-seeker, but Crystal is not. I’m going to give you a tip that I learned from a knowledgeable source. It was The Brady Bunch and I believe they told Jan that when you’re speaking in front of an audience, to minimize tension, you should picture them in their underwear. If you’re going to do that, a fitness conference is a way to go. Places not to do it are Wizard World, career day at your kid’s school. That’s enough about us because we know you came for John Foley.

Thank you for having me. I do want to thank everyone for being here. This is special. A lot of people at Peloton worked hard. It’s all about you guys. You came from 43 states, which is wild. Jayvee said there are over 1,000 people here to celebrate this community. Interestingly, over 2.5 million rides were taken from people like you on the Peloton platform. It’s becoming a movement. It’s certainly led by all of you, the leaders, people like Crystal and Tom.

Here’s our first question. It’s from Gina Mitchell, otherwise known as Jean Machine, “Was there ever a time before launch when you almost quit on the idea?”

Some of you might have followed. It was hard to raise money. The reason why we kept going was you guys saw it. Several of you have come up to me and said, “Thank you, John.” I’m thinking to myself, “Thank 900 people at Peloton.” I’m one person. You guys have been engaged in this. In the early days when we couldn’t raise money, I said, “I think there’s something here.” The investor said, “There’s nothing here. I think you’re wrong.” There were probably a couple of years where I’d come back, dejected meeting after meeting. The team believed and you guys believed. We’re here, thanks to you.

The next question is from Ellen Beck. Her leaderboard name is Biking Beck. She says, “Are there any ideas that you initially had for the Bike that didn’t work out for one reason or another?”

There was one interesting idea. In the early days of Peloton, we didn’t know whether we were going to build hardware. We talked about having a Bike that plugged into an iPad because why would you build a tablet computer? I kept a picture that I sent around to the team to commemorate a conversation we had, which was when you check into a hotel and you go to the clock radio and it has that iPhone 4 dongle. That piece of hardware doesn’t work anymore. It doesn’t do what it was made to do because it’s been antiquated based on the hardware cycles of another company. We ended up making it, but in those early days, we didn’t know what we were doing. We were trying to figure it all out. One of the ideas we came up with was you feel like you work hard on the Bike. When you’re in it, you’re creating a lot of energy. We said, “What if we created so much energy? We create a bike that would put that back into the grid and would power your house?” Luckily, there are some smart mathematicians grandstanding. Some of my co-founders ran the math and found out that as hard as you work, even if you’re a professional cyclist, a professional cyclist would create 1% of the energy that one household would use in a day.

Did they know Laura Pugh?

She might have changed it, that’s true. We thought about it powering and having a little generator in there to at least power the screen, but even that didn’t work.

The next question is from Megan Yarnell. She says, “What would be the one most important piece of advice you would give a person wanting to be an entrepreneur?”

I would expand the question from not just an entrepreneur, but your career. This is the advice you give to your children. Do what you are passionate about and what you like. We are blessed at Peloton. The people who work at Peloton love what we do. Fitness is a fun category. Most of you are passionate about your fitness program, Peloton being one of the things. Technology is a super cool category. Technology is generally apolitical. If you like being political, you go to Washington. If you don’t like being political, go to tech. It’s an idea meritocracy. It’s a good culture. The media is fun. We’re building celebrities. You guys are going to meet and hang out with these guys.

I know many of you know these people already, but these are personalities that were fitness tech and media. I often pinch myself saying, “Peloton is such a fun thing that we get to do.” It’s shared broadly within the Peloton ecosystem. People love all these different vectors. For your children or whatever, if somebody is trying to think about becoming an entrepreneur, it’s the same thing as joining a company. What are you passionate about? What do you like to do? What gets you happy? Having that inform what you wake up in the morning and go to work to do.

Our next question is from Brian and Olivia Albright. Their leaderboard name is Brian A and Lily A. “Can we get a small insight into the search/interview process for the instructors? First of all, they’re all amazing. Whatever the process is, it’s working. Besides being amazing athletes, they are incredible people. Is there a Peloton Wonderlic Test like the NFL?”

It’s morphed as you know. Jenn Sherman and Robin Arzon, the early instructors that came to Peloton took a real bet on Peloton. Yony, Graham, Tom, Hisao and I were in what effectively was a garage on 29th Street. We’d recruit these big people in there and try to say, “Quit your job and come join us.” It was wild. The beautiful thing about entrepreneurship is self-selecting and the type of people, the risk-takers that believe in themselves and want to bet on themselves, we’ve quickly found those people. Both Jenn and Robin said, “Sign me up. I get it, I see it.” They shared the vision, which was fun. There was a risk and we had to convince them. At this point, it’s different. We have tons of inbound interest from the best instructors in the world.

You are going to meet some people, Chase Tucker who came from Nashville. We’re recruiting people nationally. I think Fred Klein and Robin who run this and Kristin do a fantastic job of finding good people through you guys, wherever you live. You might say in St. Louis there’s some hotshot, fantastic tread instructors or indoor cycling instructor. We’ll go check them out. We are committed to giving you guys the best instructors in the world. You guys invested in your Bike. Hopefully, you invest in a treadmill and the commitment to you guys is the best. It’s become easier. We’re the only game in town. Years from now, we might not be the only game in town. We are trying to make sure that these people have equity, that we treat them well, we care about their brand and let them spread their wings. We’re trying to create something special.

TCO 55 | HRI Wrap-Up

HRI Wrap-Up: The beautiful thing about entrepreneurship is very self-selecting in the type of people that are risk-takers and people that believe in themselves and want to bet on themselves.


It seems that with the instructors, they’re real people and they have their own unique way of showing us all that they care. How do you make sure that they are genuine? What do you do? Do you talk to them? Do all of you interview them? Do they have to go through twelve interviews?

This is Fred’s world. I don’t know exactly. I would say 90% to 95% of these people are wildly fantastic human beings. They are inspiring. We watch it and you guys watch it most of the time where there’s so much to an instructor. Your fitness coach, in some ways, is their life coach. In some ways, you’ve heard me say it’s a religious experience. There’s self-help, motivation and encouragement. There’s so much that they do in that 45 minutes while screaming at you and not annoying you. It’s such a delicate balance. I say it’s 90% to 95% because it is them. The broader content team, Fred, Kristin, Amanda and the entire studio team have done on the margin are starting to do a good job of working with them. Giving them feedback and coaching them on what worked and what didn’t work. It’s becoming a team effort, but you can’t recreate the personalities of most of these people.

Our next question is from Brenda Kramer, also known as Canada Brenda, “The growing population of riders means more milestones and birthdays, which puts added pressure on instructors for shout-outs taking away time from coaching and some people get upset if they don’t get a shout-out. Have you considered the following to ease this pressure? Number one, remove birthday shout-outs. Most of us stopped counting after 29. Number two, decrease the milestone shout-outs that celebrate only 1, 100 200, do not highlight the 50s. A simple communication update to all of your riders if such changes were to occur would also help set expectations with your riders.”

It is an ongoing process. I’ve read this and I was nodding my head most of the time. It is an opportunity. When there were fifteen people in the class several years ago, these guys would give everyone a shout-out and it was the perfect world. When there are 1,000 people in the live leaderboard, we are trying to get smart. When you get a birthday shout-out and it’s your birthday, you’re excited. If you’re on your 250th ride and you don’t get a shout-out, you’re bummed. We’re trying to track this. You guys are trying to track it. We are always open to ideas. These are great ideas.

The team that manages this, the studio team with the tech team are obsess about this. You know that there’s a software platform that the instructor sees that’s different than what you see. The studio team and the coaches work with the technology team and the product team to get smart stuff up there so that we make sure that the opportunity cost of their time looking down at the screen is going to give the most impact to the most important people. I can’t commit that we’re going to shut down happy birthday shout-outs because it may continue to be on the margin important. You’re absolutely right that these things are going to have to evolve. There’s no question. We apologize if you’ve done a milestone and you didn’t get a shout-out. I do think in general the instructors do a good job of trying to make sure that you’re acknowledged.

The next question is from Diane Carlton-Keselowski. Her leaderboard name is Mother of Bulldogs. She asks, “What is your favorite ride?” We’re talking about the Bike.

There are three that came to mind when I saw this. The first ride I ever did and I would say my wife Jill probably did this prior to me doing it because she was always our muse and Yony, Graham and Tom would trick up something and throw it on the Bike. We’d get Jill onto it and get her feedback and say, “What’d you think?” Finally, when she liked it, I got on one time and experienced it. It was a tricked-up class and the software was still MacGyver, the hardware. I put the headphones on and I lost track of the fact that I was on this prototype experience. I got into for fifteen minutes, lost myself in the class and I said, “This thing has legs.”

Because a lot of times in the early days, people say, “You can’t recreate that studio experience. You can’t recreate the magic of being there in the studio. Whatever you guys create is going to be flat because you’re not there.” There is a difference between being at home and being there. In many ways, it was better. The camera angles were changing, the Bike was great, the instructor was great, the music sounded great and I felt like I was 100% there. That was a special ride. You make the dog food and you want to make sure the dog food tastes good. My second favorite ride was testing some software we’re about to announce. It wasn’t the Power Zones. That’s a different product announcement. My third favorite ride, the content team is working on a special ride and it’s going to be awesome.

Our next question is from Tom LaBelle regarding heart rate training or structured training, “The schedule appears to be dwindling. What can we do to assure 3 to 4 classes per week between JJ and Christine D’Ercole? Do we need to interview Fred Klein?”

It turns out you like Power Zone training. We listened to you. You are our true north. We want to talk to you about something that’s releasing to many of you who are the bleeding edge leaders of the movement of Power Zones. This on-screen Power Zone tracking that’s going to be awesome. You’re going to know what zone you’re in. You put your FTP information into your profile, this thing appears, and it’s going to help you through what we believe is what you want in the Power Zone world. We’re going to roll this out in a beta form. As always, we’re going to hope to get your feedback. If we didn’t deliver what you guys want, we will change it. We think this is based on talking to a lot of you and a lot of you will be testing it. It will be out to everybody, but we’re excited about it. We do think this is going to be a special thing.

Along with this to your question, our commitment is to make sure that the classes are there to the extent that you guys use this and want this. We are somewhat numbers-driven. If five of you love this and 500,000 of you don’t, then we’re not going to be able to have as many classes as we would otherwise. We can still have some classes, but it will be based on how popular this becomes. We’re going to push this and we’re going to try and promote it. Those of you who do this could be on to something or you could be the only group of people that do this. You could be the bleeding edge that introduces this to the masses and it becomes and it takes off. That would be a win for everybody. We’ll see how it goes, but we are committed to making even the people happy.

Our next question is from Laurie Poll, “As Peloton grows, how do you keep the quality of people in products consistent and high, especially when you are integrated vertically? Grow sometimes means companies lose focus and become impersonal. How can you keep Peloton feeling like a family?”

This is probably the most important thing that my partner William and I, my co-founders, and the whole senior team are concerned about. We can raise money, hire people, launch new products, open new stores. We can do all the operational rollout of growing a company. The magic that we have at Peloton and the people who work here would agree is about this culture and the specialness and this family. When it was twelve people in a garage, it was easy to feel like a family. We’re 900 people. We expect to double the size of the company every year, which would be our goal. It’s an interesting question.

To answer it, I will say something about my leadership style that you might be interested in. Mark Zuckerberg interviewed the first 4,000 people at Facebook. I am distinctly the opposite. I don’t know when the last time I’ve interviewed anybody coming into Peloton, which sounds terrible. It’s mostly due to the strength of the broader leadership that we have at Peloton. In order to move fast and do much, you have to give people crazy autonomy. Often, I say to the senior leadership, “If there’s some hotshot, some big recruit you’re trying to get, let me know if you need help, I can come in. I’m a good sales guy. I’m a sales tool. Use me if you need me.” Nineteen times out of twenty they don’t need me because they’re good recruiters themselves. It’s working. We’ve got this great team. It is scaling. It’s fun to watch. It might have worked at 900 and might fail at 1,000 to 2,000. It might be a breaking point that we need to readjust our approach. It’s certainly something we are deeply concerned about because I do think the magic and the specialness of the Peloton team and the culture is what is allowing us to deliver on the lofty ambitions and the experiences that you guys expect from us.

Our next question is from Judy Whims. Her leaderboard name is Spin For Carbs. “The community is amazing. However, the OPP is over 80,000 members, many with a lot of opinions on every move that Peloton makes. How does Peloton plan to manage the feedback from this incredibly passionate community in a way that does not have a negative impact on the brand or company?”

Thus is going to sound seemingly cavalier answer. You guys to the largest degree manage the community. You know it and see it. Some of you have been within the community for a couple of years. A couple of years ago, we had a month or two periods where it became negative and nasty. A lot of you OG people were like, “This is terrible. This has become bad and I don’t want to be a part of it.” Instead of abandoning us and saying, “Peloton has lost its way,” you guys leaned into it and changed it, and gave feedback to these people that were nasty and said, “That’s not who we are.” It was leadership from you guys that put that fire out. I’d want to take away the broader social team and the people at Peloton who obsess about it. We do care, we do try, we do interject, we do pull posts, we do get involved. We try to on the margin impact as much as we can. This thing has a life of its own. You guys know it. This is a powerful movement and you guys are the leaders much more than we are.

We’ll see when we go to 800,000 people in the community, it still could have this vibe or it could end up being factions of Peloton Minneapolis moms. Those things are taking a life and they feel good. There’s going to be those things and they’re fantastic as well. We’re going to watch it and we’re going to see where it goes. We’re rooting for it. We believe in you guys. We believe in the positivity of the community. We think this fitness thing is bringing people together. One thing on politics, I think that this Peloton community can be a beacon of unity in America.

We sell a Peloton Bike to every state every day. This is left and right, blue and red, gay and straight, male and female, and north and south. Every type of variety of people that you can think of is well-represented in the Peloton community to the extent that this is bringing those people together. I think it’s special and as you guys can tell, it feels to be transcending fitness. It is something special and we’re proud of it. I hope you’re proud of it because you’re a major part of it. That’s another vector that we’re anxious about. We’re making sure that we’re on the right side of the line. Back to unity, love, support, encouragement, all the things that you bring to it are something that is going to keep it flourishing.

You would support then that the rest of us, as we’re on the OPP and we see things, to keep encouraging them, keep giving that feedback when we see negative things.

For sure. On the margin, I don’t know what it means, but whatever you guys are doing is working.

The next question is from Shirley Patome. She says, “I’ve heard you say before that when you launched Peloton, you didn’t anticipate the community that would evolve and how proud you are of the community. Now that this community is an integral part of the Peloton culture and experience, how do you plan to keep it intact with the company’s explosive growth? I believe that one of the biggest challenges of a growing company faces is communicating its founding vision/principles to all levels of its organization near and far. Is this something that is on your radar as you grow?”

The internal culture, the community culture, events like this, you’ll see when we go next door our commitment to this. We’re investing heavily into a bunch of different things that are going to make this even more special in the coming years. In and around who we are, the Peloton small team and the Peloton team more broadly, the global team, we are infinitely concerned about scaling it because we see this as special. I don’t think we’ve lost much in several years. In fact, I feel better about all of this than I ever have. However, it’s working. I think it’s a commitment from everyone that if we commit to each other back to the support and the encouragement, I think we can do it.

I’m curious why you feel better about it than you ever have.

At Peloton, everyone who touches you in some way in the experience including instructors cares deeply about you. Click To Tweet

It feels like it’s more real. In the early days, we were like, “Is this a cult where there are bleeding-edge people found this thing and they’re crazy. They found it and it’s going to go away?” One thing I will tell you in a cool way as if you think about what we’re building, the early days’ people rode the Peloton Bikes 7 or 8 times a month. You guys are riding Peloton Bikes thirteen times a month on average. It’s gaining movement. This event is bigger. The brand is bigger, the awareness and it doesn’t feel like we’ve lost much in the intimacy. You are creating little side vectors, the JSS event. There’s going to be different things that evolve, but it feels special and you’ll see it when you meet and talk to some of the instructors and reconnect with each other. It’s going to feel good.

Our next question is from Kathy Calcagni, also known as Kathy Cal. She’d like to know when will the content for the Tread be released. Will it be before the Tread?

Yes is the answer. We are excited. For some of you who have experienced the Tread content, it’s a little bit like the rich get richer in the context of our brand and back to the recruiting. These Tread instructors are some of the best in the world. The Peloton treadmill is the best in the world. The studio from my perspective is nicer, newer, better and more spacious. It’s a great facility and great instructors. Our production team has learned from our original indoor cycling studio. There’s better lighting, better audio, better speakers, better streaming. It’s going to be special. We are excited to get it to you. Interestingly, we hope you buy a Peloton Tread. We think you will over time. To this question, if you have a treadmill in your house, take the classes with your iPad or your iPhone. Throw much up to your 60-inch television in your home gym or your basement and you’re going to be taking some of the best circuit training classes in the world in 30 days potentially. It’s imminent.

This from Laura Connelly-Kwitic. Her leaderboard name is Running on Coffee. “How many instructors will there be for the Tread?”

I believe we have twelve for indoor cycling. We’ve announced six. I would guess we’re going to announce another six. It could be 10 or 12. It’s all about the studio making sure that everyone gets to teach enough, but I think it’s going to be directionally twelve. You are going to see all twelve of your favorite indoor cycling instructors. You can talk to them, take a picture with them and be intimidated by them like I am. You’re also going to be able to meet the six Tread instructors. You won’t look at them and think they’re a celebrity like you will in a couple of years. They are fantastic personalities, beautiful human beings and special. You’re going to enjoy connecting with them. Please reach out and welcome them to the community as well.

The next question is from Lisa Torp, “Will there be an opportunity to demo the Tread before the purchase besides HRI, which many were unable to attend?”

You can get over to the studio. They’re on display. Not only in the studio, but there’s one on display for you to check out. The plan is to have the Treads in the retail stores. We’re hearing that from a lot of you, not just you and the Peloton community already, but people that want to enter the Peloton community that you hear from some of your friends. I’m not a cyclist, I’m a runner and they’re waiting for this thing. It’s $4,000. You might want to try it in your local store before you place your order. We’re super excited. We are incredibly proud of this thing. I’ll give you some sound bites you might know. The screen is 2.5 times bigger than the Peloton Bike screen.

There’s a fantastic front-facing soundbar that the sound is better than just about any soundbar you buy from a high-end audio store. It’s the most comfortable ride or run. You’re stepping on this super-soft softness. I liken it to if you ever run around a track with padding. It’s as soft on your body. If you’re going to put in hundreds or thousands of miles running, it’s so much better on your body and in your joints to be running on a machine like this. We’re super proud of it. The software, content and hardware are great. We are as excited to get into the retail stores as you are. We know that when you try it and see it, you’re going to say, “This is absolutely worth the money.” We’re going to do some aggressive things with financing. It hopefully helps you think about the affordability.

The next question is from Ann Englewoods, “My question is about privacy and user data since this has been in the news a lot with regards to Facebook and Tim Cook’s comments. Will there be privacy protections added to Peloton in terms of following? Will Peloton make public the use of all of our data and how is it being sold?”

We will never sell your data. That’s absolutely not who we are. We are riders like you. We want to treat this community like gold. You’ll hear sometimes people at Peloton talk about Net Promoter Score, which is a business metric for how happy you guys are and whether you’d recommend us to your friends. We want to have the first 100 Net Promoter Score. When you think about what Brad Olson and Brad G’s team do. Our member experiences team, Jayvee and the community team, our retail team and logistics, everyone who touches you in some way in the experience including instructors care deeply about you. They want this thing to be only goodness and selling that far down the path, we would never do that. When we launched the business, we wanted this community to develop. We wanted you guys to share the experience with the Peloton Bikes. We erred on the side of openness.

Several months ago, it became clear based on your feedback that we’d gone a little too far. People did want the right or the option to hide their profile, not be followed and not be found, which we reacted to right away. Luckily, we announced that all of that is fixed. We feel like we’re on the right side of the line. Please give us your feedback. Interestingly, we prioritized it as a senior leadership team. When Facebook was getting into trouble, I was excited to be able to look at the product and tech team and they would say it’s 30 days away. I’m glad we anticipated the right move and made sure that we’re going to get you the privacy settings that make you feel good so that there’s no awkwardness or uncomfortableness. Because even a couple of you don’t feel good about the Peloton platform because somebody that you don’t want is looking at your data, we had to solve that.

The next question is from Fred Wachter, “Several software updates ago, we lost the ability to ride together and see each other live on the leaderboard when riding on demand. This is a great loss to the many of us that ride together on-demand. If three of us start a ride together at the same time, only the last person to sign in can see the other two riders on the leaderboard with the correct metric showing. For the two riders that signed in earlier, it’s a hodgepodge of not seeing the others or having outputs of the others behind or jumping around. Will there be a future update to bring this critical feature back?”

Yes, and I’m excited. I feel guilty presenting this to you because many talented product and tech people worked on this. We are excited to announce that we are dramatically changing the experience in the on-demand library where we are bringing the live leaderboard in a sexy, better way than it was launched when we took it away. It’s going to be something cool where you’re in your all-time leaderboard in an on-demand class and there are 20,000 people riding. That’s the experience you know. We are launching it and I’ve been riding it. My favorite ride that I did was with this, which is you do an on-demand ride and you’re going to go here and you’re going to see two things.

You’re going to see the other riders that are in the class. I did a class and there were 60 people sharing this on-demand class with me. They didn’t see me because we haven’t rolled out the software yet. I was in the beta version. It’s super fun. Once they see you and you’re sharing that live experience, somebody started five minutes ahead of you and you’re trying to catch them or you see your friend ahead of you it’s super cool. This particular screen grab is then filtered by your friends. Of the 60 people that your riding live, in this case, four of them are your friends and you can then filter the leaderboard and only see people that are live with you.

I’m going to get this other feature in so that we can move on because this is a part of what’s going to make 90% of you ride on-demand. You want your instructor. You want a 20 or 30-minute ride. You want to start at 6:22 not 7:00. On-demand is popular. This is going to change the way you interact with the on-demand. What about when you’re riding with your friends and somebody PR or somebody does something great or you just want to say good morning because you jumped into the class with them? Introducing the High Five. Mary Meeker called this Peloton Interactive Media. For the most part, it hasn’t been interactive enough until now. This is something we’re super excited about. When you think about the early days of Facebook, the poke and the like were 97% of the engagement, micro-interactions. To be able to give your friend a high five when they hop in a class or they do something good is something super special. Back to the best ride I’ve ever done doing this with some other people in the company. It was engaging and fun and allows you as the community to engage with each other in a way that’s never before available. We’re excited to release this.

If someone joins late and passes you, can you give them the finger?

This is foundational stuff. We brought this back because we listened to you. We wanted that fun engagement that you guys had discovered on the leaderboard. I think this is even better and then the high fives take it to another level. This is the beginning of the interaction. Maybe not the finger but you’ve seen how Facebook has evolved. You can smile, you can love, you can do all kinds of different things. Tom and I were once competitive cyclists, now washed up business guys, but we used to say, “On your left.” If you’re a competitive cyclist, you’d tell somebody that. It’s an aggressive thing because it’s like, “I’m going to pass you.” That didn’t feel on-brand for us. The High Five felt more supportive, but we are going to listen to you as you explore this feature. We’re excited to find out how you guys use it, how you engage with it, what you would want as we evolve. We want this platform to get better every quarter. As you can see, we’re committed to that.

The next item up for bid is from Rachel Booton, “What can we expect from the boutique? What’s your vision for that? Can you lock my wife’s IP?”

I cannot comment on my vision for the boutique. Back to autonomy. Jill Foley and her 4 or 5 partners in the boutique run this incredibly autonomously, but I will share their vision. They are doing some cool stuff because you guys love this part of our business. They have been rolling out eight releases seasonally. They’re committed to going to fourteen, so six more releases. Fresher clothes, they’re working incredibly hard. You’re going to see their handiwork and meet them. They’ve got a small but strong team and do fantastic stuff. They’re also innovating on collaborations. They’re doing all kinds of bringing new boutique brands to bear that you can discover through their work. It’s going to be fun.

One of which they’ve worked hard on brand is Lululemon, which is special. Lululemon doesn’t collaborate with very many people at all. These guys worked hard and it’s a testament to our brand, the community, and their hard work. We are deeply committed to the apparel and boutique business because it is an opportunity for you guys to engage with our brand further and draft off of their vision of cool studio to street athleisure apparel that is some of the best in the world.

The next question is from Mindy Steckmest. She would like to know what is your spirit animal?

I grew up in the Florida Keys. I think porpoise is awesome. I was going to jokingly say manatee, but it didn’t feel fit right for a fitness entrepreneur. I had to go with the porpoise dolphin.

This is from Nora Fitzgerald-Meldrum, “HRI sold out within an hour, clearly showing a demand for in-person sponsored gatherings. Many riders who are not local or have not been before were unable to attend. Are there future plans to hold HRI more often, open it up to more people or balance admission to reserve spots to out-of-towners or people who have never attended?”

TCO 55 | HRI Wrap-Up

HRI Wrap-Up: The magic and the specialness of the Peloton team and the culture is what is allowing them to deliver on the lofty ambitions and the experiences that people guys expect.


We want this to be special to the extent that it’s sometimes frustrating in different ways. We are obsessed with it. I think this is going to be the best one you’ve ever experienced. When we go, you’re going to see it’s a special moment. All the programming you guys are going to engage with is going to be special and the best ever. We are doing some things. We’re investing in some things so that in the coming years we can accept a lot more people so that we could give a lot more classes. We do have a vision that’s going to take a little time to roll out that we will announce. Certainly, I have to remind everyone that HRI like OPP came from you.

This is your brainchild, not ours, and we’re happy to be a part of it. To the question of how often these things happen, we see in micro ways these things are happening every weekend. If you come to the studio on any given weekend, there are little micro meetups of different people that want to meet their favorite instructor or meet each other, go to nice dinners, stay at nice hotels, go to see Hamilton on Saturday. We do want to build support and speaking for the studio team, the retail team, we love to host you guys. It’s a special thing for us to see you and meet you. You like meeting us, the people and the instructors, they like meeting you. You make it worthwhile. Every weekend that we have these things in any little way, we’re going to be supportive.

We try to do things organize tours of HQ, backstage, downstairs access to the control room and little things that make it special when you guys organize your own events and trips to New York. We encourage you to do that. We will try to push the envelope on our own programmatic efforts. It’s a collaborative effort and we do love it. I’m glad you’re asking the question because we want more like you want more. You’re going to be impressed with next door. We look forward to sharing you cocktail, toasting your achievements, toasting your efforts to be here with us. You get to meet all the instructors. You can meet William Lynch, a tall, handsome guy and President of Peloton, and all kinds of celebrities here. Thank you for being here and made it special.

John Foley said that his recipe was that I should go to Pizza Hut.

That doesn’t strike me as true to him.

He said, “You tell Crystal that John Foley said that my recipe’s Pizza Hut.”

Everybody, go get some pizza because we did not get a recipe. I didn’t even ask for one. We focused on getting through the actual interview.

They’d already been kind, but to ask for something more seemed greedy.

I feel like we need to give a shout-out to Peloton in general. Many people worked hard to make HRI go off without a hitch and that team knows what they are doing. They did a fabulous job.

It was weird for me to be on the other side of the equation. Normally with my day job doing concerts, to be on stage and they’re like, “Do you need anything?” I was like, “Is it possible to get one of those waters?” They have water for me. I’m like, “I feel I’m Mariah Carey. Was I a jerk?” I was like, “Is there any way we could get a little table between our chairs to set the water on during the show?” I didn’t want to be a douche, but I can’t hold the water the whole time. Maybe get me one of those party hats where it has little can holders on each side with the straw.

They were going for something a little more upscale. They were happy to get the table.

They were like, “Yes, that’s probably something.” They ran and got something and I was like, “I’m trying to be.” I want rose petals on my black leather couch.

Everybody at Peloton was amazing and there was so much hard work that went into that event. It could not have gone more smoothly and have been more beautiful. Congrats to the entire team. You guys did a great job.

Who’s the poor person that has to follow John Foley? What do you get in store for people next?

We have a great interview coming up. It’s going to be Claire Shorenstein coming back. Lots of fun topics that we focused on. We’re going to talk about marathon training, nutrition specifically for that. How do you get ready for it? How do you make sure that you’re prepared on race day? All kinds of great questions. Not to mention, what do you do if you get injured and you can’t get on the Bike or you can’t run? That and a couple of other great topics that we are going to cover. She’s fantastic. Everybody we met was fantastic.

I didn’t meet one jerk the whole time. One time I saw somebody that I was like, “Look at that jerk.” It turns out I was shaving.

You’re looking at the mirror.

Where can they find you?

They can find me at Facebook.com/CrystalDOKeefe. They can find me on Instagram and Twitter at @ClipOutCrystal. On the Bike, it’s @ClipOutCrystal.

You can find me on Twitter at @RogerQBert or on Facebook at Facebook.com/TomOKeefe. If you want to find the show online, you can do so at Facebook.com/TheClipOut or on our website. Thanks for reading. Until next time, keep pedaling.

Important Links:

Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Join The Clip Out community today:
Scroll to top