Thursday, June 23, 2005

CEO Snapshot - a day of the fun stuff

Some days there's a clear advantage to being CEO of a company operating under the name of "Beachbody" where the job includes brainstorming ways we can inspire and engage people in fitness and weight loss. The prospect of spending time on creative production, promotion, and invention are what get me out of bed earlier.

Yes, I focus a lot of my attention on balance sheets, cash forecasts and income statements. And clearly we are dealing with a mountain of logistical and processing issues as we grow and the business model evolves. Those issues get attention every day.

But Thursday of this week in particular seemed to include an uncommon variety of creative projects.

My first meeting of the day was to discuss the status of Kathy Smith's Project: YOU! between Kathy Smith's team and our development and marketing VP's. After over a year of development, production, testing, tweaking and re-testing, we got to announce that the marketplace has spoken, and Kathy Smith's Project: YOU! will be rolled out across the country as aggressively as possible over the next year or so. And with that commitment we got to brainstorm other distribution concepts like making the product available through corporate benefit plans, doctor's and chiropractors' offices, etc. We also discussed additional web support concepts as Kathy's customers are very active in the MyBeachbody diet and support club.

One of those concepts includes web streaming of tips and actual live workouts, another innovation we're announcing soon. On Saturday July 23rd, at 10AM ET/7AM PT we're going to stream our first live workout over the internet exclusively for members of MyBeachbody. Tony Horton, the trainer behind Power 90, the extreme P90X, and my daughter's favorite, Tony & The Kids, will lead a couple of customers through a live Power 90 Sculpt routine for around 45 minutes. (We had considered the brand "Down & Dirty" for these online workouts, but once we starting to think through the implications of future workouts like "Yoga Booty Ballet, Down & Dirty", we thought better of that name. So for this first one it will be titled simply "Power 90 Live!". Because of the rapport Tony and I can have, I will be behind the camera, so I can be "the viewer" during the routines, and ask questions about form and objective of some of the moves. This webcast is a real innovation, a live workout for hundreds of MyBeachbody members to join in and participate. That's exciting stuff.

Then I spent a half hour with the web design team to discuss the look and feel of the TurboJam website. The design is very bright and colorful, but doesn't exactly jive with the feel of the workouts which, in addition to a lot of color, music and high energy, have an "underground night club" kind of vibe. We replaced some white space with deep gray, and the page settled down. I love it when a simple change works and saves hours of redesign.

Midday Thursday I stopped into the editing room to find our production team and Chalene Johnson set-up with her "TurboJam" baseball cap and a couple of cameras in her face. They were shooting the last pieces to go on her DVD's as a special feature. Throughout the production of TurboJam, we've been pulling practical jokes on cast and crew. What Ashton Kutcher would call getting "Punk'd" Chalene calls "getting jam'd", and it is absolutely hysterical.
Those pranks will be a special feature on each of the DVD's. And while it sounds a bit like a gimmick, the point is to give the customer a stronger relationship with Chalene and everyone involved in the workouts, beyond the workout itself. When you go to the gym to take a kick boxing class you get to know the trainer and others in the class. This is an attempt to make you feel more connected to the TurboJam cast, and to further position TurboJam as, "the fun one".

The last meeting of the day was to finalize plans for the annual Hawaii trip which we've been doing to celebrate Power 90 success since 2001.
The team is in the groove on this one now, as this will be our fifth trip to Hawaii, to be hosted on the garden isle of Kauai by Pure Kauai. Looks like the cast of Power 90 and P90X customer success stories will be chosen in September for a mid-October week, with an extra emphasis this year on asking customers to submit video along with the letters and photos they normally send in. The timeline doesn't leave a lot of room to promote customer submissions, set up locations for our shoots, and to lock-down all the events that happen on the trip during that popular month in Hawaii. But the team is so on it, they even stayed behind after hours to nail down as much as possible.

Not a bad day. Of course, I haven't listed the three hours I spent reviewing our latest financial projections and CIM (I swear it Jim, I really spent three hours on it!), plus time signing bank documents, approving invoices, revising the Slim in 6 booklet, and working with our media department to expand our Lifetime Network media package.

But all in all, that's a day of the good stuff.


Mary Cecy said...

Carl, I LOVE the dedication you give this company. I also love how you share all this "little" stuff with us. There has been tons of questions about the Hawaii trip, if there will be one or not, who will be qualified. I don't know I just live in chat and the message boards... But of course you always come thru with the answers. Thanks for the updates and KPP for the rest of your life. Keep this company going, cause we are growing and massive proportions!!

mermandrea said...

Hi Carl...

I was one of the BBer's who went to Universal to TurboJam w/Chalene.


I didn't find any other BBer's, so maybe I was the only one!!!

It was SO fun.... despite the wicked sunburn I got HEE HEE

I'm chomping at the bit here waiting for a release date.... I'll order the moment I can...

Or maybe HINT HINT you can comp me one for being the only one from BB to actually show up.... Oh... AND the sunburn thing!!!! LOL

I LOVE TONY.... he's an important part of both my personal life (P90) and as you know, has become a vital aspect of my professional life as a special ed teacher... (Tony and the Kids)

I'm going to Santa Monica camp and can't wait. This is the first time for me....

I've "met" so many wonderful people here in chat (especially MaryCecy) and feel like I have added to my family exponentially... These people keep me honest, laughing and when I need it....

Brian Laswell is a gem.... He did a great job coordinating Tony's visit to my classroom on the 15th.... took great care of the kids with goodies too...

OOPS... this comment has turned into a long winded love fest.... But really wanted to let you know all of this "stuff" rolling around in my head.

As I've said before... BB ROCKS!!!!!!!

Leah:) said...

Carl thanks for all the hard work you put into everything. Beachbody is a great company.
Is there anyway you can give us an idea when P90 Master Series and TurboJam are going to be out? I know a lot of us can't wait to get these programs. Are there any sneak peaks of them? Can you tell I'm excited about them?

Thanks again

Carl Daikeler said...

Thanks for liking what we do. If you could only be in on some of themeetings to hear how intense everyone works to make it better - everyday. It's inspiring.

We are expecting the first two titles of the Power 90 Masters Series to be available in mid-August, TurboJam will be end of July!

Leah:) said...

Carl thanks for such a quick response. Now I can plan for ordering those.:D


Eblu said...

Ok, I am looking at the TurboJam Advertisement for the 2nd time today. A friend even came over to view the end of the one I watched earlier. Looks like it could be addictive. That's a good thing where exercise is concerned. Great job~

Anonymous said...

Hi Carl,
I just purchased the basic program and was very excited...about two weeks went by and it still had not arrived. I called customer service and of course they werent much help...I really just wanted to let you know your customer service is horrible. Get got so bad I found the number to the main office in Beverly Hills and your receptionist there was not much help either. This may have been a good product but I cant seem to get any resolution. I have called 3- 800 numbers to just get no where. I have one more to call but it is a shame for someone to have to call some many different numbers to get some help.