Pando

“Do you fight dirty? Yeah, Fuck yeah.” Why CrossFit is so litigious

By Sarah Lacy , written on November 13, 2015

From The PandoMonthly Desk

Greg Glassman counts many a Silicon Valley billionaire as a CrossFit addict, cult member, evangelist, and even a friend.

But he draws a sharper line than most people in our community between investor and entrepreneur. Of VCs he said: “We’ve had scant interaction with them at near devastating levels, and I would have nothing to do with that community at every possible cost.”

The root of his disdain goes back to the time of his divorce when his ex-wife sought to sell half of CrossFit to a firm called Anthos Capital. (A well-covered story at the time.) Regardless of your feelings about VCs, the idea of going from 100 percent ownership to losing half your company overnight through no choice of your own is enough to give any entrepreneur nightmares. Glassman recounted it in our recent PandoMonthly sit-down.

In the short clip below, he describes how they fought back, the contingency plan if Anthos had won, and his general view on legal battles. CrossFit is an incredibly litigious company that Glassman admits can fight dirty if it has to. He says he has thirty to forty open cases at any time and while CrossFit has settled, it’s never lost a battle in court.

Elsewhere in the full interview, he compares part of CrossFit’s legal strategy to a guy in the Western movie who ties someone to a horse and drags them around. “It’s not the journey that matters, it’s the dragging,” he says. “Circles work just as well. Fuck these guys.”

(Warning: This interview makes the swearing in the Ben Horowitz PandoMonthly look tame.)