When our CEO Aaron Shapiro was introduced to golf at age 14, he experienced a feeling that many golfers feel at all levels of play:
Let’s face it—golf’s a difficult game. It’s difficult to be good, and at times, difficult to be able to even play at all. But Aaron is a passionate guy. So he continued to play, take lessons, watch videos, and basically do everything in his power to advance his skill level.
But he never felt that he was truly progressing at all aspects of the sport.
Aaron was well aware of the pervasiveness of modern technology at that age and wondered why it wasn’t more integrated into the sport of golf. The training methodologies for golf were expensive and inefficient. And while tech had been integrated into some sports, and wearable tech was starting to become popularized—golf seemed to be years behind.
Let’s take a step back for a moment.
Aaron was introduced to business at a young age. All of his close family members had started and ran their own businesses: his father, both his grandfathers, and his uncles.
Aaron’s first business endeavor was at age 10 when he’d dye Nike socks different colors and sell them for a profit. This eventually turned into stringing and dying lacrosse sticks—and marking up the materials he purchased to turn a profit for the service.
His second venture was at 13. After securing an investment from his grandparents for design in addition to a developer’s license, he published his first app. A year after that, he had published 10 games.
When Aaron was 15, he figured out how to install colored replacement screens for his iPhone. When enough people commented on his red iPhone screen, he realized there was a demand—and that he could charge a fee to order the screens and replace them for other people. So he set up a website and started advertising the service. The business ran great until the iPhone updated, rendering his screen inventory incompatible.
But the business Aaron had been in for the longest span of time was the business of football. Aaron has played football since he was 7 years old. And at 17, he’d been offered the opportunity to play football at Johns Hopkins University—where he would major in Economics as a student-athlete. Aaron accepted, and left Atlanta for Baltimore, Maryland—not yet knowing that he’d meet some key people who he would one day start his next business with.
And that’s where Aaron’s golf ideas from age 14 would start to become a reality.
Next week, Part II: The Team
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