Faction came in and answered Newschoolers' questions, take a look at the highlights! The full thread can be viewed here.
Answering Questions for Faction will be-
Tony, co-founder & Design Director, Australian
Alex, co-founder & CEO, American
Beanie, Global Marketing Manager, Scottish
Josh, European Sales Manager, Canadian
Jesse, North American Marketing & Team Manager, American
Annie, Office Manager, American
Patrik, Product Design, Swedish
Mat, European Marketing & Team Manager, French
On a dream team, who would be your next guy in your firing line to pick up for the best caliber team in a decade? -Turkelton
We have our dream team and we are focused on supporting them and helping them to showcase their talents... but we have a wish list too that we constantly review and if timing and opportunities come together then we are onto it. But we like to keep that list close!
I really like Torin's skiing, smooth and clean. Also I'd love to bring all the Voleurz boys back for some Factiolympics or something.
Ok I know this is a little old school but I love what Glen Plake has brought to the skiing industry and what he represents. In a lot of ways I think he helped create companies like ours.
Where are you filming this season? -veetuzka
We're really enjoying the freedom that the webisode format gives us - we can pick some classic places that everyone wants to ski, and then slot in some randoms to keep life interesting.
We are filming all over this season, we started in Montana (check out #S02E01: http://vimeo.com/117876456), then we went to Northern Europe for an urban trip, to the European Alps and culminating for a team week in Tignes, France.
Are you planning to make any sort of major film or movie? -yunginnes
It is not in our current plans, but never say never.
We like the webisode format and the fact that it is filmed within the season, although it can be very challenging with conditions. But Etienne is very creative and has always achieved amazing results when presented with impossible conditions.
We are developing some more film projects to go alongside We Are The Faction Collective that we hope to release and grow next season.
We thought of it. A full lenght Faction movie would be rad to make for sure, but for now we really enjoy producing our webisodes throughout the season and releasing them right away. As Beanie said, we're also working on others video projects to be released later on.
I can't help but feel like Faction went from a very small brand to a big one overnight. I know this isn't exactly the case, but many companies fail in the face of scaling that quickly. Can you share some insights on surviving this rapid growth period? -Mr.Bishop
I wouldn't call ten years 'rapid' personally... ha ha... but it's been a great journey so far.
We started with the aim of just making a few models of skis, dial in our 'ideal' one quiver ski and then see what happened - that 'one ski' just keeps changing depending on what we're doing.
We've got around 25 staff worldwide now and we all have slightly different types of skis we want to ski on (as well as vastly different nationalities and personalities...) and then add outerwear into the mix and suddenly there are loads of fun things you want to play with.
Our philosophy has always been about solving problems - and we just keep seeing things that we think we can make better. Every day we have something new we want to start making.
Like Tony says it has been quite the journey and I think we are all stoked to see Faction where it is now. I feel it is driven by all the staff, everyone is so passionate about skiing and we want to create products that we want to use to get out there and have fun. But beyond the product we want to work with team riders who inspire us and are awesome to go riding with, having fun and trying new things, or creating content that we want to consume. We feel by doing what we find interesting as skiers, then other skiers will connect with that.
^Amen to that
There's a good saying that most overnight successes are several years in the making... and we've got a long way yet to go.
One of the things that helps keep you on track is having a clear view of what you want to do - we came in with the vision of delivering quality and innovation beyond what we were seeing out there combined with wanting to keep it real about why people love sking in the first place - to be inspired. To be pumped about what they're doing and what they are sharing with their friends and seeing on the screen.
So, how to keep up with scaling? The most important thing is ensuring that our crew scales with the business. That's not only a matter of adding people - although we've added some great new folks with hard core skills. But all of us have to grow with the next phase of what we are doing. It's key especially across a bunch of countries to keep the comms fluid and everyong focusing on getting to the next horizon and growing ourselves as we do it.
Of course, as we reach each summit, there's another one waiting!
Does Adam have any knees left? -Mr.Salty
I believe he has 2 knees left.
No worries, he takes flax seed oil, apparently it helps - I totally made that up - that he takes it, but apparently it really does help.
I hear he's on a gluten free, dairy free, non-gmo, organic, cheap beer diet so he's probably got at least 50+ years on the current knees
Actually after a quick survey, it looks like all our staff and riders still got both of their knees.
Why are your skis so sick? -rainydayinspired
Because they are made with love.
And beer. Lots of beer.
And some Espresso Martinis too...
How did your company start? and who was your fist big name athlete that you partnered with? -kemosabe
Geez it was so long ago it's hard to remember. Basically with a group of friends getting together and thinking the current skis on the market were decidedly average, and then starting to design the types of skis we wanted to ride. I think the first 'big name' rider on board was Ryan Oakden - Freeride World Tour champ in like 2001 - and a phemonal skier. And Lance Armstrong. He was definitely one of our great early riders. Oh hang on, you mean skiers?
Which Faction designer/founder/intern has the hottest girl? -Dobber
Rex's (NA Sales Manager) wife looks like Julia Roberts, just saying.
Hang on, I think that's me!? Although Beanie is engaged to Xavier De Le Rue and he's pretty damn hardcore as well so it's a tight match....
I think Xav might be offended to be called a girl!
Hang on again, my girlfriend is Swedish... Just saying.
I was gunna say Xav too, not sure how he'd look in a dress though... but I'm feeling pretty good about mine these days
Faction has the hottest couples in the ski industry, period.
Do you receive your materials to build your skis from the ski god? -cameronmunro98
What is next for Faction? More Candide POVs? More Collective episodes?
Lots more of both we hope! Candide has got some ideas up his sleeve for what to do next so we'll sit down together sometime in the next few weeks and go through that. We've got two of this winter's Collective webisode series shot and the next will be released in about two weeks so stay tuned.
Ah so much and all my answers have been so long already!! But yes, to Collective episodes, new film projects which will have more of an adventure travel vibe, working with Gear 4 Guides, building more awesome products, helping some of the younger riders come up, Bus trip in Argentina, art projects and adventures with the ladies, and so much more...For Candide - wouldn't want to ruin the surprise!
(insert emoji with zipper-mouth)
What's the back story on the company? Always been a little curious how it all started. -KDot.
Initially it was just a couple of us back in around 2003/4 who thought we could create something new. Skiing was pretty staid and big companies just weren't making the types of skis we wanted to ski on.
We came up with shapes and ideas and for the first few years it was just us with whatever cash we could spare on our credit cards making skis after working all summer. After a few years of really positive support from everyone out there (especially on Newschoolers) our network expanded to be able to get a bit more money behind us and a few more guys and girls to help out and its grown organically from there.
We've done it the hard way by not going through distributors in regions like France, Switzerland, Germany, the US and Canada - we wanted to work directly with the stores and media and end-user as that relationship is really important to us.
It's taken a lot more time and management doing it this way but its much more rewarding!
Was stacking a team part of your Strategic Marketing plan? Did you guys ever expect becoming web video prodigies? -nsfairy
I'd say double no. Our team plan has always been to be supportive to riders we like and we believe in. As far as our web series is concerned, we were not expecting such a good success last year, which definitely got us pumped to try and keep making edits you'll like watching.