How Cryptocurrency Can Motivate More People To Workout
And Create Value For Your Users
Disclaimer: This post is a fairly high level with regards to crypto, tokens, and blockchain. If you want to learn more detailed information, then I suggest searching in Medium.
Working out and losing weight are two of the most well-known aspirations people have, especially for the new year, but those good intentions aren’t nearly enough. Advocates for desired health outcomes like startups are struggling to help people stick to their resolutions. Since 2005, the sports & wellness market has almost doubled to $90 billion. Yet, a majority of fitness startups are still having a hard time solving how to truly incentivize people to workout.
This week a fitness and motivation startup, MakeMe®, decided to remove their app from the App Stores. Launched four years ago, MakeMe began with a simple idea — people are more likely to achieve goals when they feel like they are in it together with people they care about. Unfortunately, user acquisition slowed and never organically grew to a size that would enable in-app purchasing to support the startups’ profitability. Ultimately, the app shut down.
The MakeMe mobile app enabled users to create a group in which different people could support one another as they worked to achieve their individual goals. MakeMe’s users logged over 100,000 individual moments of achievement in walking more, losing weight and meditating. However, MakeMe didn’t charge a download fee and users were merely rewarded through a points system without a trigger to entice the users to come back. Manually uploading stats and sharing images of you achieving your goal to friends wasn’t motivating enough for users to continue using the app or for MakeMe’s case, dreadfully hard to scale. Samir Singh, MakeMe Co-Founder, states, “We simply could not attract a large enough user base to make this model work.”
MakeMe tried to motivate users with discounts through retail and other partners, but it wasn’t increasing activity. Paying users might be a temporary answer to increase participation, but money alone won’t increase retention nor change habits in the long-term. According to a recent study, not even free money can make people workout. The National Bureau of Economic Research, offered 836 new gym members at a private gym a range of incentives — some received $30 as a one-off gift with no strings attached, while others received $30, $60 or an item equal $30, if they visited the gym nine times in the first six weeks of their membership. However, even these generous incentives didn’t do much for the new gym members’ visits during those six weeks, and had no effect on visits thereafter. The participants were overly optimistic in attending gym sessions. I’m fairly sure the results of this study would apply to gyms bridging the offline to online, connecting people to live training instructions while in the comfort of their own home.
In order to develop a winning model to encourage more people to workout and continue pushing themselves, value must outpace demand. Criteria for creating value is though the combination of:
- Transactional behavior
- Built in competition
- Tangible rewards
Cryptocurrency, an alternative form of payment to cash and credit cards, encompasses all of these components on top of blockchain. Cryptocurrency has captured the attention of a generation and even companies within sports industry’s sectors like eSports have already incorporated cryptocurrencies into their services like DreamTeam.
A few fitness startups are beginning to reward sweat with cryptocurrency, too. One example is Lympo, a blockchain app aiming to monetize fitness & wellness data by offering token rewards to be spent in a healthy lifestyle ecosystem.
Lympo will track workout data via smartphones and wearables, and reward users with Lympo tokens for hitting fitness & mindfulness targets — these can then be used to pay for health products and services.
“Tangible rewards like crypto tokens are a huge game changer.” — Jordan Travers, Holistic health coach
In contrast to MakeMe’s strategy, Lympo’s use of cryptocurrency could increase the potential for user growth and incentivization while enveloping it all into a blockchain-based community. The transactional nature of cryptocurrencies, along with the powerful capabilities of the blockchain, make it an ideal tool for driving innovation in fitness and other sports-related activities.
Imagine MakeMe and other startups utilizing a platform that uses blockchain to recruit and manage groups to compete against each other. It’s not such a stretch to envision a future of communities with a shared interest in health where they earn and exchange currency. Startups can still help increase wellness among their communities, but only when the value is present and incentives not only exist but also appreciate over time. High-quality participation is also vital to the quality and security of the network. In result, the earning potential with cryptocurrency may very well lead to more people working out.
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