20VC: The On Running Memo: From Swiss Mountains to NASDAQ IPO: The Story of Three Friends Who Built a Sports Giant with David Allemann, Co-Founder @ On Running
Posted on 31st May 2023 by Harry
David Allemann is the Co-Founder and Co-Chairman @ On one of the fastest-growing global sports brands with over 17 million products sold in 60+ countries. In 2021, On went public on the NASDAQ and today has a market cap of $8.7BN. However, it all started with three friends in the mountains experimenting with making shoes with pieces of garden hose to create a running shoe with a totally different feel.
In Today’s Episode with David Allemann We Discuss:
1. From the Swiss Mountains to NASDAQ IPO:
What was the initial a-ha moment for David and his co-founders with On?
How did they make the first shoes?
What are some of the biggest lessons for David in V1 product build?
What does David know now that he wishes he had known at the start? Is naivete always good?
2. The Launch: First Customers:
How did On get their first customers?
What can products and companies do to instill true customer love in those first customers?
What was the hardest element of launching On to their first customers?
How does David analyze and use customer feedback? What does he listen to vs not?
3. Retail: Expanding into Own Store vs Partnerships:
What are some of David’s biggest lessons in how to make retail partnerships successful?
How can brands create amazing experiences for customers in retailers that are not their own?
Why did On decide to also have their own stores? How did this change the business?
What have been David’s biggest learnings on what it takes to do retail well with own stores?
4. Roger Federer: Working with a Legend:
How did the relationship with Roger begin? Where was the first meeting? What was it like?
How did Roger come to invest in On? Why did On not want to do the traditional athlete endorsement deal?
What role does Roger play in the company today? How does he impact product development?
What have been some of the biggest lessons for David from working with Roger?
How much of an impact has Roger had on On as a business?
5. Financing, IPOs, and Brand:
Does David wish they had raised venture capital sooner?
If they had more money sooner in their journey, what would David have invested in earlier?
Why did they decide to go public when they did? How has the journey been post being a public company? What changes? What is the same?
What brand does Davist most respect and admire? Why? What brand decisions does David most regret? What would he have done differently?