05 Jul Episode #278: Dave Hunt, Founder & CEO, Crossrope
Pete Moore: This is Pete Moore on HALO Talks NYC. I need to start this podcast off with a disclaimer. No one has ever used Pete more vertical leap and jumping ability in the same sentence. So with a heavy heart and athletic optimism, I bring to you Dave hunt, the CEO and founder of Crossrope and my business partner, Matt Spielman, executive coach, and top jumper over in Westchester county. Dave, welcome to the show.
Dave Hunt: Thank you so much. And all those comments about jumping. You just don’t know you have it in you yet. So we’re going to unlock that today. Well, that’s
Pete Moore: Why I used that FLETC optimism is like, you know, the, the, the end of that. So Dave, you’ve been a successful entrepreneur taking a passion and putting it into a business. I’m sure at some point when you said, Hey, I’m going to go start a jump rope company. You know, that didn’t bring out every technologist in the world to say, Hey, I want to put money behind you. So talk about your background, Babson, your journey, and you know where we’re at today.
Dave Hunt: Sure. Yeah, so I from when I was a little kid, I always loved jumping and I don’t know why it was something that was very innate. I remember going up to my room in second or third grade and doing endless amounts of air squats as one of the shortest kids to learn how to jump higher. I played basketball in high school. I played volleyball and I was always the shortest middle blocker, but it was so much fun to, to jump and be that kind of surprise out there on the court. I carried that through after I graduated high school, I went to the Naval academy and I was a long jumper and a high jumper there. So I’ve always had kind of this indescribable, innate I think just passion for the, the freeing feeling and the challenge and the enjoyment of, of jumping.
Dave Hunt: And so in, in line with that, I think on the entrepreneurship side you know, when, when I was growing up, I didn’t have a lot of role models on the entrepreneurship side. I didn’t it wasn’t as much of a thing as it is now. And, and yet when I look back and reflect on a lot of my interests, they really much aligned with, I think the typical personality profile that an entrepreneur would have. And so after I graduated from Navy, I went through pilot training. I was you know, I did 12 years of service had a chance to get an interesting perspective and worldview, all wonderful challenges, leadership opportunities, dealing in managing stress, which is great from an entrepreneurship standpoint. And yet I had kind of that, that calling in that spirit to do something of my own. And so, as I had sort of continued on with my fitness journey and my interest, the jump rope was the one form of cardiovascular exercise that was engaging and interesting to me, it was, it was different, especially because anybody that’s done track and field in those jumping sports, you know, the distance guys are working really hard and the high jumpers are just hanging out on the, on the high jump mat.
Dave Hunt: So, you know, I, wasn’t something where I love to do hardcore cardio and you know, so as I got more into jump ropes, it became one of these entrepreneurship seems interesting and appealing. I’d really just like a better jump rope for myself to train with. And you know, when I, it was actually an injury, a bad injury that I got that precipitated the opportunity to carve out some time towards I guess, putting your money where your mouth is, right. Actually taking a stab and going for it and making a little bit of that leap of faith. And so happy to expand more than anything there, but that’s the nuts and the bolts of my background and my journey.
Pete Moore: That’s great. So, you know, as you looked at the jump rope and making it better you know, I would say it’s probably been the most commoditized product since elementary school. So what gave you the conviction or not to say, you know, I can make a better jump rope and I can turn this into a brand or was step one. I just got to make a better jump rope for myself. And after I like this one, I’m pretty sure everyone else who wants to jump rope, that is a better experience. And it’s more fun. I want to focus on a word fun.
Dave Hunt: Yeah. It’s a great question. I’ve, I’ve been sharing this thing recently that I think there’s this interesting glorification of founders and entrepreneurs is the grand visionaries that had it all, figured it out and saw everything that nobody else did. And I laugh and say, that was not me. Right. The humble part is just saying, I wish that I could have envisioned where things have gone and how it had manifested, but to what you had mentioned, it really was just can I make a better mouse trap? I think that I was fortunate with understanding and perceiving some nuances of my personal experience that helped to manifest. And so I’ll, I’ll expand just a little bit on that. I had not discovered weighted jump ropes and I mean, the ropes that had the weight in the rope, not in the handles, which for most people don’t even have a clue, right.
Dave Hunt: You know, weight in the rope, weight, in the handles. What’s the difference. It’s a huge difference just based on that weight, rotating around your body. I hadn’t discovered those until I was 27, 28 years old, deployed overseas at a base gym that had some old, you know, rubber tube jump ropes. And the, the workout challenge and experience was so transformative for me that I thought, how, how is this not more prevalent? Like I’m into jumping and jumping rope, and I’ve never heard of these before. I’ve never seen these before. How, how is this not a thing? And after about two weeks, I figured it out it’s because the design was really bad. I broke all three ropes and just felt like the quality and the effort and thoughtfulness that had been put in to weighted jump ropes as a fitness tool, probably just didn’t make sense in sort of the previous history of jumping rope.