Fly(wheel) By Night

From conversations you’ve had with us, conversations you’ve had about us, and the messaging you’ve been exposed to (particularly in our blog posts), you’ve likely gotten the gist of our corporate culture. We aren’t a huge operation, but we consider that a strength. We aren’t a small operation, but we’ve managed our growth judiciously. As our workload increases, we’re able to scale our staff-counts to accommodate that growth. We’re not a start-up. We’ve been consistently providing a sound product for almost 20 years.

When we first heard about the recent lawsuit involving Peloton and Flywheel, we thought Peloton was using its size to crush a smaller competitor. We’re familiar with the feeling of having competitors much larger than we are. But we’ve been lucky that they’ve played fairly. There are plenty of big fish out there to which we might have been easy prey to unscrupulous competitive practices, especially in our early days. We sympathized with Flywheel. It seemed as if the big fish ate the little fish.

But as time went on, we learned the facts of the case. As the details began to emerge, we read this article. In particular, this quote from an internal Flywheel message that Peloton obtained during the case:

Discovery has now revealed that Flywheel engaged in an organized and illicit scheme, involving a significant number of Flywheel executives and employees, to obtain ‘as MUCH secret intel on Peloton as we can’ during the time it was designing and preparing to launch its infringing Fly Anywhere Bike.

The Morals of the Story

The little fish tried to steal intellectual property and market share from the big fish. That’s a different story. Stealing is one way to get ahead, but it’s not a way we’d ever respect or espouse. Peloton is fortunate to have had the size and the legal team required to stand up for itself.

The facts of this story also reminded us we may not always have correct first impressions. Open minds preclude rushes to judgment. And more facts yield better opinions.

We may not be the biggest, the smallest, or the newest fish in the policy administration sea. But, we’re happy to be swimming in it, with fair competitors, with conscientious customers, and with partners that honor our relationships.

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