goes the Distance - and more Interactive Marketing Leaders
March 15, 1999
BY MICHAEL KRAUSS
This is one of an ongoing series of articles on interactive marketing
leaders who are doing things other marketers could learn from.
They are not yet household names. The executives we profile are
laboring in the trenches today and will be in the headlines tomorrow.
They're the emerging leaders of an emerging marketing discipline.
rank and serial number: Douglas Spink, 27, entrepreneur,
vice president of marketing, G.I. Joe's Inc., Wilsonville, Ore.
Accomplishment: In September, sold his start-up, Timberline
Direct of Hillsboro, Ore., to sports retailer G.I. Joe's, Inc.
B.A. in cultural anthropology, Reed College; M.B.A., University
of Chicago. Stints at Boston Consulting Group and direct marketing
consultancies Tessera Enterprise Systems and Ideon Group. Started
Timberline in 1996 with endurance sports nutrition Web site, Athletica.com.
Added specialty catalogs for snowboarders (Gravitygames) and duck
hunters (Tidewater Specialties). Sold out with an ROI 28 times
the initial investment in less than two years.
he sold: Wants to focus on brands and marketing. Didn't
want to focus on raising capital and taking the company public.
"God is in the details."
academic theory into practice: Disagrees with "rational
man" theory of economic behavior. Understands Porter's five
forces but builds businesses based on social scientists like Durkheim
and Weber. "We contextualize our world through a system of
meanings and relationships, systems of social reciprocity, (and)
that's what branding is all about."
advice: "Throw a lot of passion at the wall and
see what sticks. In the early days there's more passion than revenue.
Over time the revenue starts to backfill the passion."
you be an entrepreneur?: "Don't play the game, unless
you're willing to pay the price. You burn the candle at both ends,
and there are a couple of flames at various points in the middle.
If it were easy, everyone would do it."Don't think of it
as glamorous. I spend my days arguing with vendors about payment
terms trying to clear up bad invoices. (But) in corporate life,
passion is a disincentive. As an entrepreneur, if you don't have
passion, you shouldn't be doing it.
not about the latest email technology. It's not about servers.
It's not about bits and bytes at all. It's about the practicalities
of running the business."
his spare time: Ultra-marathon running (distances over
26.2 miles), rock climbing, kick boxing, Jiu Jitsu and horseback
riding. Breeds champion golden retrievers. Starting his J.D. degree
in the fall. Thinking about finishing his Ph.D. in cultural anthropology.
"There are only 24 hours in a day and you have to sleep at
least six of them."
is a partner with Diamond Technology Partners in Chicago.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.