This thought is probably more appropriate for Twitter, but – really quickly – how many outdoor businesses are multi-generational?
We work for a lot of founders – it’s pretty much our thing here at Pemba – so by definition these companies are mostly in their first generation. (Petzl is a notable exception, as it’s strongly in its second generation and perhaps working into its third.) There are a few outdoor manufacturers that have gone beyond one generation, but not many. We work with a few retail stores that are in their second generation or beyond: Fontana, Backcountry Outfitters, Fin & Feather, Hoigaard’s, Champaign Surplus, Scheel’s, and Laacke & Joys come to mind (sorry if I missed anybody…) Some liveries and guide services have made it into the second and third generation. There are a handful of second-generation reps around, too. Beyond this, who’s out there?
By comparison, there seem to be a lot of multi-generation ski shops, shoe stores, and bike shops. (For the moment, let’s not talk about jewelry stores, auto manufacturers, and breweries…) Maybe we should count them to know for sure, but it seems that there are more of these than there are multi-generation outdoor stores.
This brings up some questions: Is it just that we’re a young industry? Or is it that we’re not handing our businesses and culture down to our kids? If we’re not handing these things down to our own kids, how do we expect to get other people’s kids involved in the outdoors, tomorrow?