Creativity 50

Creativity 50 2014: Greg Glassman

Founder, Crossfit

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Greg Glassman
Greg Glassman

One would be hard-pressed to find a group of fitness zealots more rabid than those devoted to CrossFit. But the spread of the fitness craze was, according to founder Greg Glassman, accidental and against the odds. Mr. Glassman grew the company from a one-gym operation into a $100 million brand that has 10,000 locations globally and more than 100,000 trainers.

But it's not because he studied marketing and fancies himself an advertising guru. In fact, Mr. Glassman is a self-proclaimed failed academic with little business sense who founded a company with a vomiting clown for a mascot.

So what was the key to his success? Making the quality of his product the focus rather than making money, and making efficiency, simplicity and sticking to the brand mission the central tenets to make it happen.

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