The story of SportID training diary. What? Why? The future?

Several times I have heard a question why we want to implement a training diary to our system at all? From our own team, from investors, from users.

Training diary is most probably the weirdest feature of all in SportID when we look at it. We adopted it in 2014 and it has not changed much since. Just a very simple web form. It does not generate any revenue for SportID. It is seldom used. In fact mostly only when we have campaigns some more people use the training diary. In the last Funderbeam report, one of the investors asked why the KPI is falling and I gave him a response that we have to chances, to actually improve the product or cancel measuring the KPI.

Since a lot of the team was not around when we created the diary, I will tell a bit about the background why this was made.

First of all, we have not very clearly agreed what is the main purpose of SportID. Maybe someone from the outside could say that the purpose of our organisation is that owners/investors would get more return from their investment or our employees could get payed for the job. Hopefully maybe the situation is not that bad but most probably the average person would talk something about companies paying sports compensations conveniently to their employees.

Intermission – Ando’s mention on Tuesday’s meeting about how all of our employees described the service differently. I would add that maybe that is not a disaster, since most probably all interested people were also asking from a different angle. For instance, one would answer differently when a person asks about what is SportID or another if the question is how SportID can be beneficial to our company.

Anyway, back to the purpose of the company, which is not written out on the wall. In several cases discussed, one of the most spread opinions is that SportID helps to make the users (therefore also our customers’ employees) more active. So paying a nice bonus for people to go to gym is a nice way of doing that but most probably we all agree that this is not and will never be the only way of getting people to be more active.

The reason for the diray

The aim of the diary, when created, was to have company-wide challenges so that colleagues would motivate each other. Peer pressure is definitely one of the good ways of getting people moving. To show the leaderboard of the company is a nifty feature but maybe could be more promoted and emphasized on the platform to start working like we intended. Of course we have to keep in mind that maybe it never will, despite our hardest efforts.

We have created some challenges on the diary throughout the history to get it going. Walk2Work on September’s is a good example (the current #hashtag solution unfortunately sucks). At some point, we pushed e-mail notifications to the users to advance the use of diary, but for some weird reason this stopped. Maybe the reason is that the whole transactional e-mail and newsletter system was a bit clumsy and under severe development process (we are not yet out of this). But I considered this as a good practice and in my heart I am sorry that we did not find any resources in pushing this further and correct the mistakes in those letters but instead pulled the plug.

The sample letter to all members of SportID group (Eesti Firmaspordi Liit MTÜ back then) on the 1st of March 2016.

Does the diary make us more active?

At this point we have seen that for our own employees the diary works if there is some sense put to this. Let’s say a small or not so small (Apple Watch) reward is tempting us to mark down what we have done. Does that work for other companies as well? What could be that reward in that case so would not have to buy it ourselves?

I see several possible ways of moving further with the diary and most surely they are not the only ways. One of those would be to continue with showing the top of the employees activity and push on with the rewards strategy.

TOP activity and rewards

Let’s imagine that there is a feature that allows our customers to set the challenge and reward. For example 1 month training points challenge. Whoever collects more training points within company group will get a reward. Let’s say a sports watch or a parking place in front of the front door for a whole month or whatever the customer-compnay is willing to hand out. The idea in implementing the activity and rewards strategy is that the SportID sports benefit is handed only to those who are active enough. A company can set a target, let’s say 8 pieces of training in a month and you will be in a compensation plan that gets 50€/month. Less than that and you will get only 25€. Could very well be a premium feature for SportID.

The TOP of SportID employees physical activity on 31st of January 2019

Company dashboard and general activity levels

This is quite a fierce filed of competition already where we see a lot of activity. Perfect example being Omron together with Japanese biggest telecom Docomo offering their healthcare platofrm

Also Withings corporate solutions or Fitbit corporate solution. If we would want to go there then for sure we are in a heavy competition situation with all trackers producers, but we might have a better solution – different manufacturers integrated. Why not? Or even tracking without tracker, which is a much cheaper option to start for companies, not that precise as a tool for measurement of course.

Fit100 app

We have made a training app together with Estonian Olympic Committee and Coop called Fit100. This is maybe not the best app ever and has brought lot of contradictory moods inside our company as well. What is it for? How does that app benefit our company or our software?

In my mind, when we agreed to develop this, was the idea that it’s fully integrated to our backend and we will develop all the features that we need for our own app in the future as well. Now it already contains several features that we planned at some point for our own app like following your friends and seeing their training feed and commenting it etc

But the reality is that the app does not fit well onto our platform and we need to keep in mind and do more development not to break it. These features used in Fit100 are not usable for our own future setup or at least this is said by Ando that there were so many compromises made by the previous developers for the sake of the speed of development that we lost all the point of why we even started with it.

The starting view of Fit100 app

The near future

In sTARTUp Day I met several companies who are interested in co-operation with this diary especially due to our corporate customer base. One of those is a startup company currently developing their MVP. The solution is planned to be a company dashboard of activity. The would want to get companies to give sports credits as a reward. The other one I met was a huge telecon corporation in Estonia. They have more B2C view to collect the training data of an individual into one place and they have an idea that people are willing to trust SportID as the service provider more than just a telecom company.

Then again Coop wants to meet and talk about the future of Fit 100 in next week. So really lots activities ahead and I am quite sure that I cannot be the only one in these discussions making the decisions. On Monday I discussed with Kestutis that most probably we would need some team that would “own” the training diary and Fit100 as products and would drive their future and development. So soon I will call for a #team_diary so that everyone who is interested in giving the input, drive this car and direct where things could go, can jump on board.

What is the benefit for SportID?

Yes, we like to be on a mission. Who does not? But where is the revenue in this? In some cases like Fit100 or possible co-operation with other companies it is still hard to say where the resources come from. So generally, there needs to be some revenue driver for us so we could be able to work on these issues.

When we started the project, the idea was that this driver is the fact that we will get a free marketing tool to companies that they can use to enhance employees’ activities and we would get them to onboard then start the upsell cycle. I am quite sure that marketing division would love this kind of tool if this is nicely made and actually interests people.

So let us continue the journey. I believe we need to set a good example to other companies with our own behaviour. So we will continue with internal training challenges on a regular basis. Reminder, today is the last day of January’s challenge. And we will gather together a group who will start to actually drive this diary as a product inside SportID. Come and join us.

Leave a Reply