Tony Hawk and Rob Dyrdek pro skaters invested in startups

Tony Hawk and Rob Dyrdek pro skaters invested in startups

I think that once the
video games exploded in terms of popularity, that’s when I realized
that I had become a brand, like my name was a brand and so, for me, I just
realized at the time, oh, I have this voice
and people are listening and I could do something good with it. For both myself and Tony Hawk, it’s more the access that
you get once you get to an elevated cultural level, you know? And for me, I have just
always been an entrepreneur. (uplifting rock music) How did you manage to turn your brand into a video game empire? -Well, it wasn’t the plan. It was more that I was excited
to work on a video game and so when I had the opportunity to work with Activision on our first game, which became Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, I dove right in. I really worked on it, almost
as much as the developers in terms of beta testing and communicating and getting all the resources together. And so, for that it
was just more something that was a passion project. I didn’t really, I didn’t
think it was going to explode as a blockbuster video game. Skateboarding wasn’t popular
enough to warrant that, and so at the time I just thought, oh, I’m just going to make something that skaters would like to play. – Is there anything about skateboarders that makes you good for
investing in start-ups? Well, I think just
inherently being a skateboarder you have to deal with so much failure and being able to navigate
that and accept it, but also to persevere and push through, I feel like that is definitely the key to our successes in other places. We call it the NBD, the never been done, right? And Tony Hawk has invented
hundreds of trick, right? And the whole idea is it’s not really real until somebody does it. And what that gives the skater mentality is ultimately you’re always
looking at what’s next and what’s the progression
and what that is. So I think it gives people like me and him the ability to kind of see
opportunity and white space through a different lens
because we’re always looking at the world in
this sort of progressive, innovative way from being skateboarders. What’s next for the franchise? Do you think we’ll see
any virtual reality games? You know, it’s tricky because, especially with skateboarding, if you get it too first-person, people can’t really deal with that and they get motion sickness . (laughs) – I think it’s still a
little bit too early, right? Where I really love it the
most is in architecture, right? Where you get to live inside
the design that you’re actually going to build, which I think has significant value. – I just explored doing a VR 3D project with some of the skaters on my team. So that’s actually live action and that was interesting to come from that perspective where you’re
going to see all angles and people can look all around and so you don’t have to
necessarily point the camera. So it was interesting for me. That was a learning experience for sure. – What are you doing these days? Why are you investing
in so many start-ups? – For me, I started my first company when I was 18 years old. And I sort of had this unusual experience by starting so many
different types of brands and then becoming a
professional skateboarder then becoming a TV celebrity and ultimately the experience
of fully understanding how to build, operationalize a business and what owned, earned, and paid me, it can actually do to
accelerate that business, is putting all of those
pieces together into a system, is what the Dyrdek machine is. That’s ultimately about creating and accelerating start-ups. – [Katie] So you have a new show coming to NBC called Funded, and what’s that going to be about? – It’s a business show about capitalism, but ultimately since it’s
created around a fund, the television show is built to accelerate the investments of the fund. – [Katie] What are you
looking for in a start-up? – The stuff that really it’s more stuff that interests me more personally, it’s not like I’m just
sitting there looking up investment strategies. It’s more of a gut feeling for me of, oh yeah, that is really interesting, or that feels like something that I would participate in. – Sometimes I’ll invest in
industries that I want to learn. And right now I just am
really into understanding just customer acquisition
and churn of selling direct-to-consumer mattresses. I just still think
there’s a huge opportunity in that space. I’m a venture studio. My passion is building. I like coming up with the
idea of putting the pieces together and launching it and go, but in order to fully
understand opportunities, a lot of times it’s better to invest in a bunch of different businesses to see the trials and
tribulations of them starting up, to learn by the time you go and build one, you have a much clearer path of what it’s going to
take to be successful.

17 thoughts on “Tony Hawk and Rob Dyrdek pro skaters invested in startups

  1. Hi . In the physical world i have a skateboard trick trainer that is a invention that can really excite both beginner and advanced infact it can frustrate purist skaters as I’ve seen intermediate skaters look more advanced within an hour of useing my device ! I tested it in parks with anyone willing to try and it works ! The problem I don’t have funds or exsperience to promote ! Any serious investor interested ? Thnks
    “An old skoolskater “

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *