Emerging Tech

Burton Snowboards: Origins And Spectacular Growth

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Executive Summary

Jake Burton Carpenter first rode a toy snowboard at age 14 and dreamed it could become a major sport. By age 23, he became focused like so many entrepreneurs, and toiled in his garage, visited hardware stores, and tinkered with bindings. He gave away boards to ski instructors and lobbied local resorts to allow banned snowboards on ski lifts. Finally, the sport took off and Burton sales reached $1million in 1984. He then visited ski manufacturers in Europe, and soon opened a high-technology facility in Austria. Jake's early strategy relied on this technology and "Scarcity marketing" to differentiate Burton from growing competition.

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