Ethics: Rep Shaving and Ubering the Competition

January 19, 2015
TLDR;

“If you hang out with chickens, you’re going to cluck and if you hang out with eagles, you’re going to fly.“
– Steve Marabol

We all have that client at the gym. He’s so worried about results, he’s cheating reps. She’s so worried about beating the “other chick” in class, she’s cutting the corner off of each 200m run. As coaches we face this often, and in the end, there’s one real answer to the situation - they’re only cheating themselves. And - we ALL know who the unscrupulous athletes are in the gym, and we basically disregard their whiteboard anyhow. Our legit athletes will choose not to associate with those rep-shavers - cause you know we’re all guilty by association.

In contrast, the true leaders of the gym are genuinely cheering on the competition. They are working together with the others to help make the whole community better. They are willing to work alongside others to learn and to share.

The same paradigm resonates in every walk of life - even business.

In August 2014, Uber got caught. They booked and cancelled over 5,500 fake rides with their competitor, Lyft. Not only did this cost Lyft in revenue, it inconvenienced the REAL riders who just wanted a ride from one place to another. As someone who loves the concept of Uber, the fact that the customer, any customer, can be sacrificed as collateral damage without a second thought, is disturbing and damages Uber’s brand in my eyes.

In recent past, Arthur Anderson decided to take a "win business at all costs” approach. The result - the demise of Anderson as a company. Every business that was reliant on them not only suffered directly but indirectly from that association.

Who you choose to align yourself with matters.

When a company starts looking at a competitor as a threat, it’s only natural to want to do better, be better, make your product and service better. It should not be natural to go after your competitor in an unethical way.

Recently, this has been allegedly occurring in our industry. Two CrossFit business management software companies are currently going at each other. The details of what’s going on would vary widely depending on who you speak to, but it’s been alleged that one company has filled their clients’ class schedules with bogus members and prevented their real members from registering into their classes.

Regardless of who did what in this situation - we want to make one thing clear. We play fair in all aspects of our lives. That’s the DNA of our company. Be it in a WOD at our gym, or on the competitive landscape known as business - we play fair and we expect every company and person we partner with to share those ideologies.

Laws of attraction state that those who feel similarly will find themselves attracted to us - and those that feel opposed will find them attracted away from us. That’s just how it should be.

Monetizing in the CrossFit space is coming from all angles…. large shoe and apparel companies, supplement companies, affiliate t-shirt screening businesses, you name it. CrossFit is the dream demographic. Not only are CrossFitters the fans of its elite athletes, but unlike football and other professional sports, they are their sport. And the base grows exponentially every year.

Sadly, with this comes greed. It’s up to us within the community, who are passionate not just about our PRs and our boxes, but our worldwide family of CrossFit, to protect each other, and not go after each other in unethical ways.

At PushPress, we are old school. We are trained that each of us is our own biggest competition, not the guy or girl WOD’n next to us. We believe in helping the little guy as much as the big ones. We look internally, not externally, at what we do and why we do what we do. We think of every client as family and every potential client as the new guy stepping into our box for the first time. We welcome all. We believe there is a place and space for everyone. We don’t look at the company who may be bigger than we are and gun for them. We focus on being the best we can be. We are PushPress.

Visit us to find out more: http://pushpress.wpengine.com

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