Building a social, hyper-personalized two-way livestream fitness app.
Role: Co-founder, CEO
What drew you to this particular problem that wOS is solving?
My previous company was a chain of boutique fitness studios – we had 6 locations across Mexico. In building that company, we recognized a huge gap in the fitness industry; there were high-end boutique studios like ours offering personalized, live instruction and there were big gyms charging a low, flat monthly fee for access to equipment and nothing more.
The majority of the population in Latin America is middle class and they’re not being served well in the current dynamic. So, with the knowledge and experience our team already had in this space, we decided to start a digital fitness company with a focus on social engagement, lots of personalization, and affordability.
wOS offers two-way live streaming to provide motivation and instantaneous, personalized feedback. In other fitness subscription services, it's only a one-way livestream session where you can see the coach and that's it. The coach doesn't know what you’re doing… Maybe you're in bed watching the class! Our tech enables the coach to teach hundreds of people at the same time and correct all of them individually; a built-in assistant tells the coach who needs to be corrected, who needs to be motivated using the user’s camera to assess form.
What’s the best piece of user feedback you’ve gotten so far?
It’s an indirect form of feedback but the level of community engagement. Our users have a really active Facebook group – with over 100 posts everyday! They’ve created really strong bonds between them; they’ve become friends who check in with each other everyday. They’ll upload their picture after the workout, all sweaty. Everyone does that and then everyone comments on their pictures hyping them up. They’ve even started doing Zoom calls and working out at the same time.
So, we're working to actually embed fitness rooms, similar to Clubhouse rooms, right into the app. Users will be able to create and schedule rooms to workout in real-time with their friends. This will bring that motivation, competition, and real social interaction into the experience, which always makes it much more fun and gives an added layer of accountability!
Is there a specific source of inspiration that keeps you pushing through tougher moments?
I think it's the passion that we have for what we're building. I mean, I love startups. Personally, if I don't have problems to solve in my life, I get bored and sad. So, for me to feel alive, it's like getting to the next milestone and having problems that need to be solved and that kind of stuff.
My co-founder Iddar loves machine learning and loves challenges. If you give him the most difficult challenge, he's not gonna sleep for a week until he's solved the thing. He’s excited by technical hurdles right now like what if the user is wearing baggy clothing? Or what if there’s furniture in the back?
My other co-founder, Andrea, has been in the fitness industry for 15 years. It’s practically the only thing she has ever worked in because she loves it so much – especially teaching. She's trained hundreds of fitness instructors over the years.
I guess that's the gist; the 3 of us are doing things that we really love.
What was it like to get into YC and what were some of the biggest takeaways?
So, we got in with an idea. I mean, we didn't have anything. We got accepted mainly because of our team – because we’d worked together in the past and had a ton of experience in the fitness industry. We know our users.
The experience itself was amazing. It was 3 really intense months where we were learning a lot. They pushed us to grow by setting really, really high goals. For example, at first it was “You need to have one paying customer in 1 week.” We didn’t even have the product build yet. asn't The next week it was 10 customers. Then the goal was 50, then 100, then 200.
What’s a song or album that’s gotten you through 2020?
That is a really, really good question. It’s definitely Earth, Wind and Fire. I mean, when you’ve got a ton of problems and deadlines, you put them on and everything is fine haha.