On vacation last summer I snuck out of my hotel room, before the kids started stirring, to grab a run along the beach. There was nothing exceptional in my performance during the run, but it was a fantastic experience. The waves were crashing, the crowds hadn’t hit the sand yet and there were moments when I was nearly alone. I snapped this picture to remember it. That summer marked an important turning point for me.
At the beginning of that year I was 50lbs heavier and tired of the track I was on. I decided to do something about it. I created a toolbag of habits and applications to help me achieve the change I wanted. One of the tools I used was an iPhone app called RunKeeper (you can see the RunKeeper log of my beach run last summer here).You can’t improve what you don’t measure and RunKeeper opened up a world of measurement and analytics unlike any I’d experienced before. I used the app on my phone for months before I even knew they had a website. Every time I mentioned the app on Twitter the CEO would reply- answering questions, explaining features and getting me plugged into the broader RunKeeper community.
A few months back that same CEO pinged me to get some advice about a funding round he was putting together. I knew the power of the application, but when he unfolded the whole vision for where the company was headed, I knew OATV had to be involved.
You see, what appears to be a pretty straight forward running app is actually just the wedge to a much bigger opportunity. By leveraging many of the trends we’ve been tracking under the theme of the quantified self we see a huge opportunity in data being collected from a whole new wave of sensors such as phones, watches, shoes, video games and many that aren’t even on the market yet. FitnessKeeper has the opportunity to layer social dynamics, expert advice, community and game mechanics to create value from this data and we think that’s exciting.
So, today the company is announcing a round of funding led by OATV. We’re thrilled to be working with Jason, Michael and the entire team to deliver on the vision they have for the kind of company FitnessKeeper can become.