certain VICTORY

Mr. David Fleck

David FleckIt is not too surprising that we find a lot of tech guys wearing Hydrogen-1. That's partly because we started our business in the Bay Area. But more fundamentally, perhaps, because tech has led some broader changes to the world of work that match up with the Hydrogen-1 lifestyle: smart yet casual, modern, flexible, easy-to-use and yet with form perfectly following function. We feature today Mr. David Fleck, a true tech entrepreneur. One thing tech guys have in common is they are not swayed by the constant changes in fashion, when they find something that works for them, whether expensive or not, they will stick with it. Here's what David has to say about design. 


Give us a quick overview about yourself, where you work, and what you do.

    I'm a father of two young kids - daughter Lulu (2 years) and son Leo (five months) in addition to my first son Robert (the dog, 7 years).  They are so much fun (and so much work).  When not chasing them around, I love being active - mountain and road biking, yoga, surfing, snowboarding, hiking.   

    I started my career working at big companies like PWC, Bain and Google, but determined I wanted more dynamism in my career so I started working with startups 10 years ago and haven't looked back.  Startups provide dynamism in spades.


    David's relationship with Hydrogen-1 started out just as a customer. But he loved the shoes so much that he reached out to Hydrogen-1's founder Hero Nakatani, to see how he might be able to help the company. From those early conversations, David went on to become a Hydrogen-1 adviser and board member, bringing his tech industry insights to topics from marketing to customer engagement to fundraising.


    Describe your personal style

      Casual.  Most days I'm in a t-shirt, jeans and hoodie with three days of scruff.  But I can dress it up with the best of them, too (just prefer not to).   

      What clothes are you wearing today? Why do you like them? 

        Today I'm wearing Diesel jeans (I only wear Diesel as they fit me well), a Black Crowes concert t-shirt (circa 1999), a Cotton Citizen hoodie (easily most comfy hoodie I've ever bought) and, of course, my new grey H-1 mid-tops.   

        How does your look change from work to leisure wear (if at all)? 

          It doesn't.  I am who I am and work in an industry that encourages that individualism.  Plus I'm just old enough to not give a shit what others think.   

          Can you name someone whose sense of style has influenced yours? How? 

            My father.  But not in the sense one might imagine.  My father and I dressed quite differently, but my dad always stressed to me the importance of buying quality things, particularly shoes.   

            Like my father, I suffer from a form of rheumatoid arthritis.  When first diagnosed, I could barely walk for months.  This is when I first found Hydrogen-1 shoes.  I was looking for very comfortable, yet very stylish shoes that I could wear with my fairly casual style (but that could also be dressed up).  I now own quite a few pairs because they've been the perfect shoes for my style and comfort needs.    

            How does design affect your daily life? 

              I appreciate beautiful things.  I try to see them in everyday life, not just the obvious spots.  I learned this when I lived in Paris.  You have to open your eyes in everyday life to see beauty everywhere.    

              What are you currently reading? 

                A Brief History of Seven Killings.  It just won the Man Booker prize.  Sensational book about Jamaica and Bob Marley.  I'm a huge reggae fan (Marley, of course, but also Midnite, Israel Vibration, Big Youth, etc.) so when I saw this book I had to read it.  It has not disappointed.  I'm even learning some patois.  

                What is your favorite holiday destination?  What is it that takes you there? 

                  My favorite destination is our home, Northern California.  It's insanely beautiful.  We travel all over the world, even with our kids, but always come back home remarking upon how special it is where we live.  Wine country.  Dramatic beaches.  The bay.  So much to do within an hour's drive of our home.   

                  Can you name a website or online community where you have discovered new design ideas or inspirations. 

                    I love TED talks.  I find the talks provocative as they combat conventional wisdom (our biggest enemy).