Jason Fass, CEO of Zepp Labs, on Being A Born Entrepreneur


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By Max Borges. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

My guest on this episode was truly born an entrepreneur. As an example, when he was a kid he took some nail polish his mother was going to throw away and sold it door to door. He even had specials and deals his neighborhood customers could take advantage of. Entrepreneurial drive was in his blood.

Jason Fass is now Director of Product Marketing at Google and has had a very wide-ranging career. He’s a product guy at heart, starting out at Apple with literally no experience in the tech world but proving himself to be an invaluable asset. He transitioned to a then little-known company now known as Zepp Labs - and the rest is history.

Join me to hear the story of a born entrepreneur and to learn a few lessons along the way. I know I did.

Being an entrepreneur was in Jason’s DNA from the beginning

Jason Fass grew up in the home of an entrepreneur. His mother owned and ran a nail salon. He grew up seeing and hearing the struggles that a small business owner faces. Once when his mother had cases of nail polish she was going to throw out, Jason asked if he could have them.

Naturally, he found a way to sell it. He says he’s always loved sales and loved the challenge of making things happen. The self-limiting gene that so many of us have seems to be completely absent from his entrepreneurial DNA. Listen to hear how Jason has made the most of that rare character trait and how he’s leveraged it to great advantage, on this episode.

A lesson learned at Apple: The product is at the core of everything

Jason loved his Macbook. It was a product he believed in and enjoyed using beyond anything else he owned. When he heard that Apple might be hiring, he looked online immediately and applied for a position as Director of Product for the Macbook. His interview at Apple didn’t get off to a great start. The person interviewing him said outright, “I don’t even know why I’m talking to you…” because of Jason’s lack of experience with tech products.

But Jason’s passion and determination to support the product he believed in won him a place on the team. He knew product, and more than that, he knew how to connect the product to the end user, something Apple has continued to this day. During his days at Apple, Jason learned that the product is the core of everything. It’s what makes or breaks the experience consumers have.

Changing the sporting industry at Zepp Labs

When Jason was first nudged toward a conversation with the Founder of Zepp Labs (not the name of the company at that time), he was intrigued by the technology that was being developed but wasn't very excited about the application. At that time the tech was being developed for golfers and Jason didn’t like or care about golf a bit. But learning how ahead-of-its-time the technology was sold him. After just two days of conversation, he was asked to be CEO of the company.

Fast forward and Zepp Labs is now impacting the performance of athletes across many sports - golf, tennis, baseball, softball, and more. In this conversation, Jason and I chat about what he learned at Zepp in regards to product iterations and adoption, market identification, targeting and marketing, and much more. He has some incredible insights into the things that make a tech product spread to the point it dominates an industry. You’ll enjoy hearing what he has to share.

Putting a finger on the X-factor of customer and market fit

When I look at a Zepp sensor, I have an interesting experience that’s hard to describe. It’s a cool looking, fluorescent yellow/green device that is shaped kind of like a Dove chocolate. I almost intuitively know what it’s supposed to do - or at least I nodded my head in recognition when I first found out. It was like, “Of course that’s what it does.” I call that the X-factor.

But Jason says that phenomenon goes beyond the appearance and feel of the product. It flows out the functionality that goes along with the design. It happens when a very clear felt need coincides with a solution that is mind-blowingly beyond what anyone could have imagined. Then it’s all wrapped up in an exterior form of packaging that ideally represents all of that.

I’m amazed, truly. And I love to hear Jason explain it with such enthusiasm and insight. I know you will too.

If you are with a consumer technology company planning to launch a new product at CES or are even looking ahead to CES 2019, the Max Borges Agency can help you succeed. To learn more, check out: www.maxborgesagency.com.

Topics Featured In This Episode

  • [2:11] Jason’s joint world record in kiteboarding: How it happened
  • [7:50] Becoming an entrepreneur seems to have been in Jason’s DNA
  • [11:51] The experience as a Product Manager at Apple: a pivotal moment for Jason
  • [16:02] Why Jason got involved with Zepp Labs: He wanted to do more
  • [23:27] The X-factor: where design and functionality come together perfectly
  • [28:55] Markets that came to light as the company grew
  • [32:50] Developing partnerships that exponentially grow the company’s potential
  • [36:37] Jason’s bucket list

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Jason Fass

Connect With Max Borges

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