Going through archives I came across an article ArcticStartup wrote about us in 2012, back when Kisko Labs had just started developing WODconnect. I wasn’t in the picture yet, but it made me think about where WODconnect started, and where it has come since then.
A gripping side project
WODconnect started as an undertaking that Kisko Labs’ developers started as a side project during downtime between client work. The idea rose from their hobby; they had been doing CrossFit for a while already and the CEO, Antti Akonniemi, was interested in it also as a growing business.
It was clear that there was a need for such service, and creating one felt natural when already being part of both software industry and the CrossFit community. At the time there was 17 CrossFit affiliates in Finland and Antti bought shares in one of them, CrossFit Espoo, to understand how CrossFit gyms actually work businesswise.
CrossFit entrepreneurs are often newcomers to the business world and the importance of understanding finances, let alone the workload related to managing sales might come as a surprise. WODconnect’s goal was to let gym owners focus their passion, the sport and coaching.
Programming for athletes, gyms and coaches
Helping gym owners and coaches was just part of WODconnect’s greatest mission: making better athletes. From the beginning, WODconnect has been an efficient result tracking tool for individual athletes, helping them getting to know themselves as athletes and improve; strengthening gym communities at the same time.
Serving three user groups – gyms, coaches and athletes – means answering to different and partly overlapping needs. So far athlete and gym features have been emphasized, but we look forward to develop more features that provide extra value for coaching purposes. It’s a significant part of our mission of making better athletes.
What has made prioritizing and balacing between different requests relatively easy, is that Antti has been more and more involved in the growing CrossFit community himself, as the owner of CrossFit Herttoniemi. As a result, WODconnect is today a complete tool that helps gyms and their athletes to become better – and enjoy the process. Its development is far from slowing down.
World Wide WODconnect
In user growth, we are constantly hitting PRs. During its first year, WODconnect reached 1600 active users. Since then, in two years, the amount of users has grown by almost 30 000 users, out of which 20 000 signed up during last year (2014). Today, we are serving over 30 000 athletes in 137 countries. The picture below represents the user browser sessions from 2015; people in countries highlighted in blue have used our service.
While our homeland is still the most active, the international WODconnect family is growing fast! In spring 2014 our happy family got bigger, when we adopted another service named WODstack. More about the acquisition here.
Best gym buddy for athletes
As most of the athlete features are free, developing festures for paying gym clients has been very important. In 2014 we started thinking more about how to make WODconnect really valuable for individual athletes. During winter 2014 we have worked a lot on our athlete features, for instance released an improved dashboard and added new pro features.
Another big change has been the iOS app we released recently. So far, WODconnect has functioned well in the browser also on mobile, but the app makes tracking results on-the-go super easy. The popularity of the iOS app made us develop one for Android too.
Becoming better together
In the end of last year (2014) we did our first user satisfaction survey with more than a thousand entries. Almost 80% of respondents gave us a rating of 4 or 5 on a scale from 1 to 5. More than 60% of respondents would very likely recommend the system for others. Even though the results were satisfying, there’s still a lot of work to do, and we aim for even better results next year.
Our customer service was given a rating of 5 (scale 1-5) by more than half of the respondents. We tend to answer to all messages within a few hours (or minutes) and like to help clients by phone and Skype. Even though the amount of users has multiplied by much more than our resources, we have been able to keep our customer service the same, or even better. We aim to keep it that way.
Joy of progress
In addition to the mobile app, there’s more coming for our athlete users. At the moment we are working on new athlete profiles, which is part of our plan to promote the social aspect of the sport. The profile is still under development, but below you can see one version of it.
For gym owners and coaches we are developing a new coaching view, as well as better financial reports for gyms.
Also our competition platform, WODcompete, has been going forward on the side. It was first created in 2012 for the largest Finnish CrossFit competition, and has been used in more than 10 competitions since then. It recently received a facelift, and new things coming there also.
In terms of performance, our goals for this year include making the workout search better and faster. WODconnect has an enormous amount of workouts saved, and with a small makeover it can function as an even greater source for everyone who wants to become, be and stay fit.
We want to thank all our users for using WODconnect and that way valuing our work. The Finnish CrossFit community has been a major factor in terms of spreading the word, we are grateful for that and look forward to learning and achieving more in cooperation with the growing community; in Finland and globally. May our future bring us and our users more PRs and more importantly, joy of doing and moving!