In order to know if fitwow can be an actual useful product, we have to figure out ways to get it in front of users. This process of doing is execution. Sometime, an idea for good execution could come by accident.
Take this past weekend as an example. I walked into a gym out of curiosity but ended up talking to the assistant general manager for more than 1 hour. Gyms are hungry to sign up new members and keep the existing ones. I get it. But the conversation went beyond him selling me the membership. There is undeniable value that gyms provide and I sense potential partnership between fitwow’s in video feedback tool and gyms. For example, we could setup a weekly “free video form check corner” inside a gym, accepting those members who would like to have their videos shot, writing down their email, notifying them when we first publish their workout on fitwow. We can then get a few solid trainers to provide valuable feedback to their exercise videos. Doing this will get our name in front of gym members. It could be a good execution plan.
Meanwhile, I started reading reddit/r/fitness community guide since it’s considered the “best resource” for learning fitness. One thing led to another, I ended up glancing through a book by Clint Cornelius “Brainoverbrawn.com”: a smart solution to regain and maintain strength, health and youth. It advocates the self-learning and throws significant doubts on the legitimacy of “fitness pros”. But the sites that I built are based on the assumption that a good trainer is valuable, I seem to forget one should NOT rely entirely on other’s being their resource. Trainer can only show you so much. The correct thing for an entrepreneur to do is to create a platform lowering the bar of learning fitness (or whatever fields people choose).
It’s been a journey filled with ups and downs. I do start to question more: what a great inventor would do? S/he would create solution to solve problems that worth solving, which then could lead to successful products, not the other way around.
At this point, I should stop doing whats superficial: such as creating a platform helping trainers find more clients. Instead, I should go deeper, look for answer for root problems: how an individual can gain health and fitness. This may cast more doubts on trainerPlz model, but it gives me motivation to really understand what fitness is about, how exercises and nutrition shape one’s overall fitness. I think that knowledge will give me more clarity on the direction fitwow should go.
Two initiatives to grow our user base and expert base:
I called upon my friend Aaron and cold called a local fitness center to discuss a cross promotional opportunity, offering our future users base discounted gym membership. We will see how it goes.
I emailed a training expert/social media manager Mike Simon at Mens health to propose our new cross training tool fitwow and trainerPlz.com, will see how he responses. I think it’s a win win situation where we can offer Mens Health community timed exercise assessment.
On top of that, approached an ex coworker at TRX who is big racer, got a tip on where are the popular racing events, since I think we can add value for the training community.
There are lots of things to do and I am pumped up, nervous, tired. Time management is key. I have not done any coding fo 3 days, I miss that!
After revisiting Andrew Warner’s web interview with Airbnb founders, I signed up on Airbnb.com a few days ago to “admire” its renowned user experiences. I didn’t really plan to rent out my apartment in San Francisco, since I am a die hard “no roommate” kind of guy.
I did manage to write a paragraph about apartment, activated the listing along with a few old photos I took for the apartment. Within 10 hours, I got an inquiry from a guy, a few rounds of on site message back and forth, he paid $62 for the night he plan to stay through the site, less than 24 hours after I activated the apartment list, the guy showed up.
Guess who he is? A full time employee working for Airbnb.com, the twin brother of the ubiquitous girl in airbnb’s “how it works” video!
So, I asked if airbnb requires employee to strictly use the site for travel lodging services. The answer is no, but encouraged.
Then I asked if airbnb always assigns employee to visit and stay with new users as much as possible. The answer is also no, rather it worked out great for him since he was traveling from Chicago and need a place to stay for a night or two while he is in town, yes, he has been traveling for almost a year nonstop, working remotely for airbnb from exotic destinations alike.
If this is a 100% real “customer” or “inquiry”, I would be really surprised about the scale airbnb has reached: almost any given seconds, apparently, someone is scouting the site for a place to stay, that is a billion dollor business right there! Just do the math.
But I am not convinced.
Well, before he “checked out” the next morning, I got another inquiry from a guy visiting from Dubai, who wanted to stay for 6 nights! That is a handy $361 revenue for me without me doing much work. Why not? At this moment, I am no longer that “die hard” no rommie kind of guy.
Well, The dubai guy showed up 10 hours after the airbnb guy left. Still, less than 72 hours after I signed up, I made $421.
Dubai guy is an IBM consultant with interesting stories as well. He is still staying at my apt and he is very respectful.
Before Airbnb guy left, he even requested on Airbnb site to dispatch a professional photographer to photograph my apartment so it looks more professional and inviting, all for free!
At the mean time, A 26 year old Italian guy is currently inquiring a 3 weeks stay at my place in August.
All these above happened less than 3 days after I signed up with Airbnb.
If Andrew Warner told the world that Airbnb does things that don’t scale, and succeed with a big scale (have you heard of their $1billion valuation?), I, just one individual airbnb user, had a full taste of how they actually execute on that idea (don’t scale) and make the process look so easy.
Who said it: it’s all in the execution.
If you have a spare space, click banner below to try Airbnb out, you will have fun making some extra cash and meeting a few new people.