Have you ever felt very unmotivated to work out? Of course, you have. We all have had those days when every random thing could become an excuse not to work out. Stready has created a solution that combines motivating incentives to exercise: social challenges, money at stake, and the chance to win prizes. We have talked to Lars Andreassen, the CEO of Stready, and found out more details about the train-and-gain system.
6AM: Tell us about your team?
LA: Our team consists of Otto Lote, our CTO, he’s a backend wizard and particularly skilled within infosec, his two technical co-wizards Ruben Sevaldson and Mats Sæter are taking care of our stack. Then we have Trym Nordgaard, product developer and former professional snowboarder. Didrik Tønseth, Olympic gold medal winner in skiing and the market guy, is also on the team. Marin Abernethy has been a part of Stready since it was a baby and now moonlights as a PR-reviewer. She consults our dev team whenever necessary in addition to working full-time as a developer out of New York. And finally, there is me, Lars Erik Andreassen, the CEO. While some of my co-founders are athletes, my approach to working out has been from a completely different perspective. I used to weigh a lot more than I do now, but at some point, around five years ago, I managed to change my eating and workout habits for the better. In Norway a person dies every 42 minutes of causes connected to inactivity. My mission is to find a scalable way to share what I know works to help people find the motivation to maintain an active lifestyle.
6AM: Tell us about your product. How does the whole train-gain/lose money work?
LA: At Stready we believe workouts should pay off immediately. Everyone knows it has amazing long term health benefits. Sadly, most humans are not wired to become motivated by long term health effects. In fact, almost 60% of us regularly skip workouts because we lack the motivation to get moving. That’s why at Stready, we use the most powerful tools we know of to nudge people to lace those running shoes: monetary rewards and loss aversion. In our current product, we host workout challenges where we encourage people to place monetary bets on reaching a workout goal. Let’s say a three-week challenge with 300 NOKs on the line and 3 weekly workouts. Stready checks if participants track the required amount of workouts during the challenge.
6AM: I’m sure I’m not the only one who is curious about what happens to the money that people lose. Can you tell us about it?
LA: Sure! The entire pot is redistributed evenly amongst the winners of the challenge. Stready does not take any cut. We earn money from partnering up with brands that are interested in building strong customer relationships based on encouraging people to have great workout habits.
6AM: Do you remember how you got the idea about your product?
LA: It would be awesome if I had one moment where the light bulb lit up and I knew exactly what Stready would become. Frankly, I believe ideas in themselves are a bit overrated. Many of my past experiences – a failed startup I was a part of, my weight loss process, my interest in tracking and utilizing tech and data – all played a role in shaping Stready. I started by delivering the product to my friends and tracking thousands of workouts in a large challenge spreadsheet manually. From there, building, learning and testing, again and again, has gotten us closer to our goal of finding an economically sustainable way of providing people with strong short term incentives to work out.
6AM: It is amazing that athletes such as Didrik Tønseth are motivating people to train through your platform. Tell us about this partnership. Did you begin the Stready journey together?
LA: I met Didrik through Kristine Fredriksen, a mutual friend who knew that both Didrik and I were working on similar projects. Didrik challenged me to join him for a run, and somehow I managed to make some sort of good impression despite gasping for air most of the time. We continued talking and soon were co-founders of what has become Stready.
6AM: What is the best thing about being an entrepreneur? And what’s the most challenging one?
LA: In the past I worked in a few large organizations, and I remember being really surprised with how slowly things were moving. The best part of being an entrepreneur is to be able to execute super quickly and to work together in a small and highly motivated team towards a set goal. The most challenging part is that the goal is a moving target and that everything we build and test teaches us something new about both the market and our customers. It can be really challenging sometimes to adapt and take in new input slightly adjusting our aim without losing track of where we are heading. But I think we are managing nicely.
6AM: Do you and the team members use Stready to work out?
LA: All the time! Most of us are constantly in a challenge. In fact, I still struggle to work out if I am not in a challenge.
6AM: What is the most difficult about the situation now?
LA: One of the activities we had planned this spring was to partner up with sports events, and when everything got cancelled, we had to find a new strategy to form partnerships and grow our user base. That being said, with gyms closed and football matches cancelled, people need an extra nudge to work out more than ever. We are happy to see that we have managed to deliver our product to a continuously growing number of people. The most difficult part of the situation is that some of our potential future partners are forced to focus on internal matters instead of innovating and exploring new ways of reaching customers.
From left to right: Ruben Sevaldson, Trym Nordgaard, Steffi Anne Barreto, Otto Lote and Lars Andreassen
Photo credit: Stready