Building in Public 6: Steppen’s Ambition
Welcome to 2022, it’s going to be elite 🚀 I am back with a building in public post. This month’s post is all about Steppen’s ambition. Namely detailing TLDR:
- Why Steppen, the reason we exist: To make fitness accessible 💪
- The problem we are solving: people have no idea what to do when working out
- Why this is my life’s work: Because the status quo for working out is shit, everyone should feel empowered to be healthier 🗑️
- Where we are going: To the moon 🌝
- The early signs of impact: Some users are loving us 💖
- What’s next: PMF bby 🚀
This post was prompted by the start of Startmate! Specifically two awesome sessions, the first by Mason Yates on ambition and then an AMA with Niki Scevak . TLDR of those talks — half the ambition, half the chance of success. (So double the ambition, double the chance of success… 🤔)
So let’s delve into the HUGE ambition of Steppen (and why we are the ones to pull this off) 👀
Why Steppen? The Reason We Exist.
Steppen’s mission is to democratise fitness. We exist to help young people achieve their fitness goals, so we can live healthier and happier lives.
Everyone has no idea what to do when they go to workout — that’s why people pay a personal trainer or download a fitness app (preferably Steppen). This is a feeling you have experienced. If you’re lucky it was just a minor itch and you were able to pay to make the problem go away, or you have muddled through and taught yourself wtf you’re meant to do to achieve your fitness goals.
However, a lot of young people don’t have this luxury. I mean when I started going to the gym I would walk in and straight away be filled with a sense of dread and embarrassment. I had no idea how to use any of the equipment, I had no idea where to start.
Recently I was reminded why we’ve created Steppen when I went to the gym with my 15 year old brother, Josh (it was his first time at the gym). After our warm up, Josh sat down to do his first bench press. I was nearby doing my lat pulldowns and Josh comes up to me (interrupting my blaring kpop music). He looked petrified.
“What’s up?” I said.
“I need to leave. Right now,” he replied.
“Why?” I respond agitated, “Josh, we legit just got here, I need to do my workout” (yes I do say legit in a normal conversation).
“No I need to leave right now. This is really scary. Everyone knows what they are doing. I don’t want to be here. I need to go home right now.” Indeed he looks very scared. You’d think we’d just been robbed or something from the look on his face.
I pause. This anxiety is the exact reason Steppen exists. There are so many kids out there like Josh, with NFI what to do when working out — so they just don’t and they don’t get healthier, they just stay anxious, scared and embarrassed. Happy ending to the story Josh and I now go to gym together and do our workouts together (he uses Steppen ofc 💗).
We see these feelings all the time from users on Steppen. These are some direct user comments on why they downloaded Steppen:
- “So when I look in the mirror I can be happier with what I see”
- “Because I feel like I’m not very healthy”
- “I’m broke and needed an app to guide me to have a better health style.”
- “I use to work out a ton but then when i realized i don’t what i’m doing i stopped going, then i saw an add for this to help me stay motivated and it’ll teach me how to do things.”
- “I downloaded Steppen so I can start working out daily and make it an everyday routine. Also to achieve my goals.”
- “I struggle to know what to do when I go to the gym & how to track my progress”
- “all I see is a girl who deserves something better …I said why not end 2021 better…”
This is a real problem for so many young people. We don’t have good options
- I mean no teen is going to fork out $50+ to pay a PT,
- Only about 10% of our users have ever subscribed to a paid fitness app (which is rn basically every fitness app out there), so they are not accessible.
- The most used app to workout for our users is Spotify, followed by YT, TT and IG (all of which really are not fitness apps…).
Why This Is My LIfe’s Work.
And that is why I started, Steppen because that simply is not good enough. I don’t accept this shitty status quo. Young people deserve to feel confident, excited and motivated when working out. Working out should be accessible to everybody and everyone.
This problem of young people having no idea what to when working out is my life’s work. This is what I spend nearly every waking hour thinking and obsessing about and lose sleep over. How can we help more young people feel empowered to reach their fitness goal? I’ve never felt so passionate about anything before in my life.
My brother and all those users who come onto Steppen feeling scared and confused — that is who we are making Steppen for. When we had 400 people complete a workout the other day — that is 400 people who we helped on their path to being healthier. 400 people who felt more confident, stronger and happier because of Steppen. That’s pretty fucking awesome. And it’s a feeling we don’t bask in often enough.
Where We Are Going.
I mean we are only getting started, we have only started providing value to the Gen Z community. We are building a platform that makes people’s lives better. And we are talking about millions of people using Steppen every single day and getting value. Millions of people feeling stronger, healthier and more confident because of Steppen. That’s amazing.
When we think long term about Steppen we think #1 fitness app globally. We think empowered healthier people. Just like people think Netflix when they think streaming, they think Google when they think searching, they think Afterpay when they think BNPL, they are going to think Steppen when they think fitness. And eventually they will think Steppen when they think of health or wellbeing. That simple.
With becoming the #1 fitness app globally, Steppen will evolve into the fitness ecosystem where every transaction related to fitness and wellbeing comes through Steppen. Every way you spend money in fitness will be possible (and you will do so) through Steppen. We will also create the next Charli D’Amelio — but the fitness version. Forging a platform which helps content creators create community and a career out of their content.
For sure, we have a long way to go to get there. Sometimes when we talk to potential investors, advisors and people in the start-up space they get scared by the fact we are a consumer app and think we are just another fitness app. They think — this is not possible or too hard because x, y and z. But this is going to work because we are solving a real problem, faced by millions of young people around the globe that are not currently being served.
The Early Signs Of Impact.
We have not yet solved the problem for our users (we are near but not yet at PMF). We are making progress and seeing good signs.
There is still a shit tonne of work to be done and in all honesty we as a team look at the product and think it’s pretty shitty. Regardless, we have people who love Steppen. Here are some comments we have heard:
- “it’s been amazing helping me keep my shape … and keep going”
- “I love Steppen. It’s helped me get into fitness and complete my fitness goals”
- “I love the app it’s amazing and motivational!”
- “very accommodating app and allows people of all ages and abilities to stay/get fit and healthy”
It’s also awesome to see we have a handful of users who have completed over 100 workouts on Steppen, some who have done more than 50.
The amount of users returning to Steppen every week and completing workouts is growing! So the value we are providing to people is growing. We are helping people. These numbers will only grow as we continue iterating the product to provide value.
Cool so we have a platform which is able to bring in thousands of users every week. We have idea market fit. It’s time to hone the product to product market fit.
We are now armed with the information & data required to understand the mechanics of how to iterate to PMF. Specifically our now honed (but ever improving) information streams have highlighted 3 key themes we need to be nailing — content, motivation and progress. Once we nail those three themes we achieve PMF (and perhaps another building in public is on how we reached those themes and our steps to PMF).
For us PMF looks like — MORE and MORE people completing workouts on Steppen — getting real value from our app. That looks like a higher proportion of users staying motivated to workout and use Steppen. And it looks like wayyy more obsessed users. This is what the next 18 months of our company is all about.
This is going to be hard. But we are going to pull it off because we understand (and are always improving our understanding of) our users. We know where and how we can provide value and we know what problems are blocking people from achieving their fitness goals (elite accessible content, motivation, seeing progress). And we have an elite team of hungry people obsessed with solving this problem (shoutout to the entire Steppen team of today and future 🥰).
We obviously have something special — it’s now time to pour fuel on the fire and turn our seed into a HUGE blossoming beautiful flower. So watch this space 👀
Well that’s all for this month !
Until next time,