Episode 30 – How to turn your idea into a new product with Rob Barden of the Rossland Binding Company

You’ve had an idea, perhaps several ideas, that in your mind are potential million dollar ideas. The best of the best ideas you’ve hung onto for years, always wondering what if, but never making the leap. What is it that is holding you back? Is it a lack of time/resources? a fear of failure? Or maybe you haven’t pursued that idea because it is in a field you’ve never studied, or to build such a product or service would require skills you are not an expert at, or may not possess at all? All of those are good reasons not to pursue your brilliant idea right?

Well, not exactly. The best of the best entrepreneurs out there often find themselves pursuing ideas that may or not be in their perceived wheelhouse. The common bond across the board however among these folks, is a built in sense of curiosity, an inability to let a good idea rest, and the doggedness and business sense to pursue even the wildest ideas. Those who know it know it as the curse of the entrepreneur. Just when you thought you could rest, when you could relax, along comes another great idea and the true entrepreneur really has no choice but to pursue it.

Rob Barden, of the Rossland Binding Company is just such a character. At 14 he had a paper route, by 19 he had started a construction company with three employees, and then sent nearly 30 years setting up businesses within the office equipment sector. Although a prairie kid at heart, Rob is a passionate skier. Having just sold his office equipment company and moving into retirement, it was that love of skiing, in tune with his entrepreneurial spirit that helped launch his next venture. Putting together an international team of talent, he moved with them to Rossland and started a new Research and Development company seeking to build a better ski binding.

I sat down with Rob in their Rossland offices to talk about why Rossland is the best place to be for a ski industry R&D company, how he went from office equipment to developing designing new bindings, and how he’s making that happen without an engineering/design background.


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