- Bob Parsons is the billionaire founder of GoDaddy.
- The entrepreneur has recently launched “Parsons Xtreme Golf’.
PXG had the audacity to sign some golfers to their label yesterday. The reaction from the golf world was one of shock and outrage; how dare a new brand join the already congested golf equipment market, they murmured, I mean how do they expect to compete selling golf clubs for $5,000 a set?
If you think this bothers the frank-talking CEO, Bob Parsons, think again.
This is the man who talks candidly about getting high on Nitrous Oxide – something which ‘felt great’ in his words – before returning to the office to radically shake up the culture at GoDaddy.
Bob is golf obsessed, just not in the same way you or I might be. We undo a belt buckle after lunch to play another round, he expresses his passion by spending $350,000 a year trying clubs.
“People say, how is that possible? Well, if you buy every club and you buy all sorts of different shafts and have the clubs re-shafted in every combination … it adds up. I can tell you what’s good, what isn’t, what is not a gimmick,” he told Golfweek.
The interview provides a fascinating look at the psychology of a successful entrepreneur. If you can ignore the tedium of sound bites such as, “what if it doesn’t work? I always think, what if it works?” you see a man that will drastically alter the golfing landscape.
His optimism for PXG is undeniably infectious. “You could talk to Ryan Moore. We shipped him a set with no expectations. We knew at the time they were pretty good. He called us two days later and he said, ‘I just put them in my bag, and they’re not coming out,” he bragged cooly.“Callaways and Mizunos and TaylorMades and Pings, they’re all really good companies, and they have their market share. For us to go head to head with them would be suicide.”
Bob’s pragmatism adds to the awe that has enveloped his company. They’re golf’s renegades, asked about the price Bob shrugged, “unless you expect to be spending some long green, these clubs aren’t for you.”
They have no time for conventional costing and when you look at their impressive growth figures, you can’t help but feel their marketing strategy is working. “We just got our inventory in June and started selling, and our sales have been growing by 50 to 60 percent a month.”
Even the pros have taken notice, you know, the guys who tend to whore around if you dangle the right carrot. Bob insists they come to PXG first and he negotiates from a position of strength.
“They came to us. Everyone I signed came to me. And everybody I signed I would say I’m paying them less than they would have gotten if they’d stayed with who they were with,” a sentiment he shared with this poetic analogy:
“I’ll tell you something my dad used to tell me and I repeat it all the time because it’s true. When I started dating, he told me the number one thing to look for in a girlfriend is to find one who likes you.”
PXG may look like a businessman’s play thing, but entering the market at the top gives you plenty of scope to improve unit cost in the long run and Parsons is fully aware of this.