In a world where obesity is killing thousands of people a day in the world, it's almost joyous to hear that there are startups and app builders out there trying to use any means necessary to create the simplest apps to defeat life-threatening lifestyles and habits.
The folks at Bodeefit,one of the BizSpark teams I met at SXSW, has actually created a solution that is supposed to take away that mental barrier of not wanting to work out, and they are banking on the ease and simplicity of the Windows 8 (and formerly Metro) interface. And they are doing it fully committed to be in bootstrapping mode.
This blog post was written by Douglas Crets, Community Manager, Microsoft BizSpark
Blake Miller, co-founder of Bodeefit, says that in about thirty days the team will come out with a Windows Phone version of their new lifestyle and fitness app, which uses crossfit and paleo diet fundamentals to help people get off their butts during their work week and get in some cross-training.
The main hurdle was just convincing people that they can do it. The Windows UI made it easier for the team.
"The way that the UI worked out and played was easy," says Miller. "We limit [each workout] to two or three movements. There’s not a ton you have to do. And the way the UI displayed it…it doesn’t look that intimidating. It’s very clean, it doesn’t look like there is a lot you have to do."
The cross-fit app will eventually be on the phone, and when it is, aspects of the paleo diet and recipes that you can surf while shopping will be introduced, as well. Miller didn't say how long it will take to the get the Windows Phone app as fully capable as the Windows 8 app, but from talking to him it seemed like the team works very quickly. In fact, they seem to be wedded to the lean startup model, purposefully not seeking out investors because they want to make their money by generating revenue from consumers.
"We are purposefully trying to bootstrap this. We are investors as it is, we invested our resources to get it to market. The capital we put in is just the resources on our bench," says Miller. This is gutsy, or its necessity. It's apparently very hard for startups / app builders to get anything more than angel investing, given this ongoing rumor about a Series A Crunch, which is keeping serious Series A rounds from making it to the market.
This is even more gutsy when you consider what Miller says to investors with whom he just happens to have casual conversations. Their "addressable market" is gigantic.
"We are going after the entire fitness market. It’s a pie in the sky kind of answer, but this is great for entrepreneurs on the road all the time," says Miller. Though, I think that the market for fitness apps on the phone is bigger than just entrepreneurs on the road. That's a hint, though, about how this app was generated. It came from personal experience, and usually the hardest problems find their best solutions because the entrepreneur personally experiences them.
Miller says that in his work with Microsoft BizSpark, he's found it easier to work on the challenges of building a great app.
"You guys sponsored our accelerator program. We [also] understood and saw the vision [of the App Marketplace], and we could own an entire section in a branded store. Business wise, we looked at it that way. We saw it in terms of downloads," says Miller.