John Foley, the founder, and CEO of Peloton, a fitness company, worked so hard to get his company off the ground that at one time, his son asked him if he loved the business more than his own son. Foley’s determination has since paid off, and now Peloton is expected to have over 100 million subscribers someday. The company has continued making great strides by launching different innovative products, so attracting a large market share is not a farfetched dream. Let’s take you back to how Foley came up with the idea of the fitness company and the Peloton logo as well.
Fitness Has Always Been in His Blood
Foley did not grow up in a wealthy family; his father was in the military and fought in the Vietnam War before becoming a Delta pilot. On the other hand, his mother was a housewife, and he was raised in Texas before the family moved to Florida. Foley, however, worked hard in school, perhaps determined to give the family a different future. He did not need to study hard because he was a bright student, but sports were a different story.
As he told Evening Standard, Foley was not good at basketball. Still, that did not stop him from staying fit, and racing was his alternative. Therefore, at 13, he started racing competitively against his friends whom he always beat. That drive to stay fit and remain healthy never stopped even in his adulthood. When he started dating Jill, who would become his wife, their dates revolved around fitness. If they were not cycling, they probably were surfing, doing yoga, running, or in a boot camp. The lovebirds even attended boutique fitness classes, enjoying the feeling of being exhausted after an intense instructor-led training class.
Even when they had kids, Foley and Jill still wanted to incorporate their fitness routine into their everyday lives. Therefore, despite the demanding schedules, Foley disclosed to Well+Good that they would try and reserve the right instructor, location, and class. Since they had to leave the kids at home, hiring a babysitter and paying for the fitness classes also became a financial burden because they wanted to continue with the sessions. While a personal trainer would have been another alternative, Foley revealed that paying $75 for someone to demonstrate how to work out was not good value for his money. Group fitness classes were much cheaper, and Foley liked that he could feed off the energy of the others, but it was also eating into their finances.
The Birth of Peloton
They say necessity is the mother of invention. Foley and Jill could no longer afford to take several classes a week, but staying fit was still not going to be a compromise. So the better way had to be working out in their own home. Foley has an engineering background and decided to bring high-energy effective workouts in homes; hence the idea of a Peloton bike came to be.
However, at first, Foley only wanted it to be a software company. As he worked to create a challenge to Amazon, it dawned on him that as much as hardware was important, the content being delivered was much more important, and it is what people always remembered. He recalled that even in his classes, while in the locker room, people talked of how energetic the instructor was or how much they liked the music, they never complimented the bike. Therefore, according to FitTech Global, the CEO and his team looked at other hardware options and considered bringing in their innovation to someone else’s bike. Unfortunately, they did not have the requisite innovation and capital to go through; hence building a bike from scratch became the best alternative. At first, the focus was on getting the product right, and they began with a Kickstarter campaign for the bike. Before long, they were thinking of delivering the bike to customers; hence logistics became their next agenda. The team started recruiting instructors after ensuring that even women could use the bikes. Now Peloton boasts of offering 11 classes per day in their New York City studio. It is most proud of being able to provide live and on-demand classes. Those who feel they need motivation will be glad to know that instructors can read out their names and encourage them to work harder, so no slacking when using a Peloton bike.
Peloton is derived from the French word “platoon” it means a group of riders usually in a race, and they save energy by riding closely together. Foley must have had this concept; with his love for group training sessions, he knew the importance of cycling together. Therefore, his bike’s concept is for riders to be in class together though remotely to encourage them to keep going. According to Forbes, the logo fuses a “p” with a wheel. There is not much information regarding how the logo has changed, if it has, over the years. The only changes could be in the colors, which are mainly black on a white background or white on a black background. Suffice to say that the wheel going through the “p” cements that it is a fitness company.
A Bright Future for Peloton
While many people are crying over the adverse effects that COVID-19 has had on their business, John Foley is smiling all the way to the bank. Peloton bikes are designed for the customers to work out from home. With gyms closed and people staying at home more, staying fit is still a priority, and what better way than to use the bikes. Peloton stock is listed among the “stay-at-home” stocks that have made Foley the latest billionaire in town. In September 2020, the company reported the first-ever profits after experiencing a 172% increase in its monthly subscriptions. Jill disclosed they had a backlog of bike delivery, perhaps due to the reduction in prices; no wonder Foley is projecting membership to increase 100 million.
Written by Lily Wordsmith
Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith