Addaero 2.0 is heading to Beta – Why we chose to Pivot

Addaero Partners

I will apologize in advance for this lengthy blog post and founders picture. There is an excitement at Addaero as we near the Beta release and with this release there is so much to say! In terms of the picture, blogs are more interesting with pictures and this was taken in 2005 on the Kokopelli trail the same year we started Addaero.

January 2012 we made a fundamental change in our product strategy for Addaero, otherwise known as a Pivot.  The simple definition of a pivot is a structured change in a product, business strategy or both. Great video from Fast Company on Pivot

A little history, Addaero was created in 2005 to address a need in the coach based training market. At that time, the coach – athlete interaction was very inefficient and lacked process. A coach used email, MS Word/Excel, paper, or an online training log to provide training plans to their athletes. Online training logs in 2005 were hard to use, poorly designed, and clunky. MS Word/Excel, paper, and email were very inefficient and time-consuming. These forms of delivering training plans did not allow for two-way communication between the coach and the athlete.

Identifying the need, and having a coach to consult on the project made Addaero an easy decision. Our goal was to solve a problem by developing a simple training log that gave a coach the tools to build a workout catalog and a directory of athletes. The coach would build a workout, one time, and assign it to the athlete(s) calendar with a simple drag and drop. Athletes would review their Addaero calendar, do the workout, and record the workouts results. Addaero became the simple to use alternative. Most of our clients were coaches moving from pen and paper and the rest were leaving our competitors. Addaero experienced consistent growth over the years as more coaches signed up and added athletes, but there was a fundamental flaw in our long-term strategy.

The athlete – coach relationship would not always last; at some point the athlete would leave the coach or coaching group.  When the relationship ended, the athlete lost all their training data. There was no process for the athlete to take the training and results data accumulated during their time with the coach. The Addaero model was coached based and the coach owned and paid for the athlete account.  This was a huge frustration for the athlete and Addaero had many requests to change this model.

We knew the coach-based model had a limited market. It also denied the athlete ownership of their data. The data was important, as it grows, it becomes more valuable and provides insight and patterns in to the athlete’s health and fitness.

January 2012 we decided to Pivot and develop Addaero 2.0.  We saw a fundamental shift in the health and fitness market and how users interacted with their data.

Unfortunately, the details of how we plan to address this shift will remain a secret. As we release Addaero 2.0 features our strategy will also be released

Addaero 2.0 is an athlete-focused application.  The athlete owns their account and all of their data; Addaero no longer requires an athlete – coach association. To be clear, this does not change our view of the importance of the coach – athlete relationship. This relationship in Addaero 2.0 still exists and has been improved. The athlete can choose to self-coach, group-coach, or 1-1 coach. The new model allows the athlete to create one or many relationships with one or more coaches or groups in Addaero.  All of the data created from these relationships is saved in Addaero allowing the athlete to own their health and fitness data.

One year later, January 2013 we had the Addaero 2.0 Alpha release. This release was to a small select group of athletes and coaches.

What is an Alpha release? Here is a link to a brief explanation

The Alpha release has been a success. We observed users interacting with Addaero, talked with the users about the application flow and user experience, fixed bugs, and added new features.  Our Alpha users are priceless; they were patient, provided quality feedback and attacked Addaero with unbridled enthusiasm.  Addaero 2.0 took a huge step forward during the Alpha stage.

Present Time – It is a very busy and exciting time at the Addaero office as we prepare for the Beta release. Addaero 2.0 Beta release is planned for early March. There are a few important pieces of functionality that need to be completed in order to deliver a fully functional Beta product. Once the release is complete, our team will continue to address the long list of features and functionality slated for Addaero 2.0. This list seems to grow each day, it is a very exciting list!!!! Beta users will see product changes on a daily/weekly basis, as it is our preference to have small release cycles.

Our intent with this post is to give you a broad understanding of why we chose to Pivot and the direction Addaero is heading. What we have planned is a secret but our objective has not changed since 2005.

“Deliver a product that is easy to use and makes your life easier”

Follow us on Twitter @addaero

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