Prairie Portrait: David Snodgrass of Locker Partner
Name: David Snodgrass
Bio: Husband. Son. Entrepreneur. Web/API/Data model architect/developer/engineer. F1, Scotch, Beer, Pizza, and Kansas City Sports geek.
Residence: Independence, Mo.
Intro music: "Bolt Cutter" by Doomtree
Silicon Prairie News: Without giving away the secret sauce behind Locker Partner, how are you able to ensure the sort of "truly organic" interaction you seek to foster between brands/bands and their fans?
David Snodgrass: Truly organic is just that. It's not a campaign. It's a relationship. Relationships take time, and you should talk to your fans like they're your friends or people you'd like to be friends with. When you screw up, you apologize. If there's a relationship there they'll be with you through the ups and downs for the life of your brand, just as a true friend would be.
Otherwise, you're just another megaphone barking marketing blah blahs like the teacher in Charlie Brown, and in this day and age megaphones aren't as loud and far easier to silence, ignore and turn your back on.
SPN: As a self-described "KC sports geek," what was your reaction to the opportunity to work with the Chiefs on various social and tech initiatives?
DS: The Chiefs were founded by a true visionary and innovator of sport, Lamar Hunt. The Chiefs still embody the spirit of being a visionary, innovative and striving to be champions on and off the field. Growing up as a fan, I never imagined that I would get this opportunity to collaborate with them to find new unique ways to engage and connect with fans. Through the persistence of my business partner, Shannon Schlappi, and the open mindedness of the Chiefs' digital team and executives, they gave us an opportunity three seasons ago to do some web work. The day the first check came was very surreal. We continue to work with them today on a variety of initiatives, and I experience that same feeling at least weekly.
SPN: From SXSW to Big Omaha to Bar Camps, you're not afraid to log major miles to attend entrepreneurship and tech events. When attending those events, what are three or four of the items that are highest on your to-do list?
DS: 1) Learn from those with experience different than my own.
2) Put myself in the right place to be inspired to innovate.
3) Catch up with friends that I have not seen and find out what's up with their life and projects and how I can help.
4) Establish new friendships with those who I can: learn from, collaborate with or assist in any way.
Being an introvert, #4 is definitely the hardest for me.
SPN: As a tenant at bizperc, what's one unforeseen benefit you've found about officing in a coworking space?
DS: The random collisions with other people doing cool stuff and how that lead to other opportunities. I've been reading "Imagine: How Creativity Works" by Jonah Lehrer, which I highly recommend, and it dives into why the densest populated areas have the most patents per capita. Those collisions with people more often in your community due to being located in the same physical space is one of those reasons.
SPN: You're a fan of Formula 1, which has a big global following but doesn't enjoy the same popularity in the U.S. Why would you say it has yet to catch on, and what's your pitch to people that aren't familiar with F1 as to why they should give it a chance?
DS: I love Formula 1. However, there's not a single driver from the United States racing in the series. It's hard to relate. In NASCAR, it's very easy for people to relate to the drivers as they come from all over the United States and race in your own backyard. For instance, there's Clint Bowyer from Kansas and Carl Edwards from Missouri to name a couple. They race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. There's local racetracks that I can go watch drivers at as they come up the ranks. It's a truly organic process, and NASCAR and the racetracks understand how to cater to fans by connecting to drivers' personalities. Formula 1 is also difficult to start. You either have to be really just a racing or technology geek or have had a parent or friend that got you in on it early that could show you the ropes. For me, that was my dad. He would watch the races early on Sunday mornings as they mostly occur across the pond in Europe or Asia or "tape" them, and we'd watch the replays in the afternoon. Though I don't get the opportunity to watch races with him as much, it's still something we discuss on a regular basis on the phone. "Did you see the race?" is a common question with my Dad and even my father-in-law who is amazingly into Formula 1 racing as well.
As to why you should watch, check out Wired's piece from last year that does a much better job that I can explaining why you should be watching: http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/07/10-geeky-reasons-you-should-be-watching-formula-one/. Oh yeah, and F1 is back in the U.S. starting this November with a race in Austin, Texas! The CMO of the new track, Geoff Moore, actually spoke at SXSW. He did a great job explaining how amazing this track will be and what to expect. Definitely looking forward to it.
Credits: Photo courtesy of Snodgrass.
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