The Power of Zoning In on Your Customers and Front Lines Advice
Jeff Platt is the CEO of SkyZone, a trampoline fun park that helped create the active fun category. Under his guidance, the business has scaled quickly and is now a global powerhouse. Jeff chats with me on Inside LaunchStreet about how to grow your business into a global powerhouse, the major hurdles he faced when growing a business, the power of innovation and listening to your customers and why knowing what you do well is key to success.
Listen now to this episode on Inside LaunchStreet:
[1:30] Jeff shares his inspiration for SkyZone and his dream for creating a new category in the entertainment space by creating play through active entertainment.
[2:22] SkyZone grew to be a global powerhouse due to the publicity of childhood obesity and the need for people to be active.
[4:59] Jeff shares some of the hurdles he faced while paving the way into a new marketplace. It was challenging because it required a lot of education. You had to create a message to resonate with the consumer. Everything had to be created organically.
[5:55] The most important place you can look for inspiration is your guests. Jeff gives an experience about how kids bringing a ball into the park helped to create and organize the dodgeball courts.
[7:15] Tamara believes that the customers have all the answers. Jeff shares some ideas for getting useful customer feedback. First, email shortly after the visit asking for recommendations. Second, research done by in-depth focus groups. Third, do a lot of listening. This provides actions as the company moves forward.
[9:47] Jeff shares that the best way to solve today’s problems and move into the future is by empowering an amazing team of people. You must also be willing to evolve.
[11:45] Listen in as Jeff discusses innovation versus inventing. Jeff and Tamara discuss failure in innovation and why knowing your core make you innovative.
[13:39] How do you translate innovation into company culture? Inspiration for innovation should come from those working the front lines.
[16:43] Tamara thinks that often when one fails at innovation, they are not treated well from that point forward. Find out how Jeff handles failure and then determines what’s next.
[18:10] Jeff shares the importance of the front line feeling safe and recognizing the value of the people behind the front line.
[20:01] Consumers want convenience in all aspects of their lives. Jeff believes that Amazon has changed our culture into everything being about ease, and no friction.
[21:42] What can you accomplish by removing friction?
[24:16] Jeff offers advice to Launch Streeters on how to grow your business First, find a mentor. Someone who’s willing to guide you through the challenging and rocky days. Second, trust your gut.
[26:14] Jeff and Tamara discuss the importance of failing fast and why it’s essential to test ideas live. It doesn’t matter what’s on paper.
[28:19] Jeff thinks that there is no magic bullet in how to grow your business. He is a firm believer that it takes passion, hard work and a level of ‘crazy.’
[30:13] Find out how Jeff stays passionate during the crazy times.
[31:40] If you’ve never experienced Sky Zone, come play their way! You will experience coming alive through different types of play. You will engage in the here and now and experience play, thrill, and social interaction.
Mentioned in This Episode:
LaunchStreet’s Innovation On Demand
LaunchStreet’s Innovation Quotient Edge Assessment