When Tony Hawk got his first skateboard at age nine, he had no intention of ever making a living at it--even as he rocketed up the sport's amateur ranks. And of course he had no idea he would become the most famous skateboarder of all time, let alone the head of several successful related businesses. The same focus that drove him to pick himself up off the pavement again and again, that kept him riding through skating's lean times, and that fueled his celebrated ten-year quest to land the elusive 900 (two-and-a-half midair rotations), also helped him build his brand into a worldwide empire.
From skateboards to clothing to sports tours to video games to online media, Tony Hawk has dominated markets with a laid-back style that masks his formidable business sense. Now, in How Did I Get Here?, Tony reveals the convictions that enable him to navigate between the skateboard and the boardroom.
How Did I Get Here? takes you back to Tony's first business, the still-thriving Birdhouse Skateboards, which he and a friend started long before he had mainstream fame. He describes the lessons he learned (some of them hard) building Birdhouse on little more than a home-equity loan and the street cred he'd gained within the tight skating subculture of the '80s. You'll also find out how, by staying true to his passion and his instincts, he's been able to build his businesses into a global juggernaut.
Whether working with tiny skate shops or national chains like Kohl's, Tony found long-term success by insisting on authenticity. You'll see how he very consciously brings skating's homegrown style, DIY ethos, and underground heroes to each of his enterprises--from start-up Web sites to mega-selling video games. True to Tony's twisted sense of humor, How Did I Get Here? also doesn't flinch from what didn't work (pink backpacks, anyone?), recounting his entrepreneurial mishaps in gruesome detail.
Tony Hawk is living proof that you can stay close to your roots while going big in business. Discover the secrets to his success--everything from brand strategy to the real meaning of "Boom Boom HuckJam"--as Tony answers the question How Did I Get Here?show more