#137: Michael Horvath, CEO & Co-founder of Strava

On today’s episode, I’m joined by Strava CEO & co-founder Michael Horvath.

Strava is a social network for athletes and exercisers. Syncing with a phone, GPS watch, heart rate monitor, or power meter, the app records just about any performance metric you can imagine, plus a few exclusive to Strava. Building a community around performance, exercisers can engage with friends, journal their training, and plan future routes.

In this episode, we discuss the evolution of the company’s paid subscription and Strava’s plan to push further into connected wellness, including sleep and recovery. Michael also discusses opportunities in brand storytelling and trail sports, plus commentary around a potential public offering.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How to expand your customer base without alienating core users
  • Tips for transitioning free users to paid subscriptions
  • Strava’s strategies for keeping users engaged
  • Things to consider before taking your company public

Links & Resources

Michael Horvath’s Links

Episode Transcript

This is a machine-generated transcript. Please excuse any errors.

[00:00:00] Michael:
We build things that athletes love to use, are willing to pay for, and are willing to tell their friends about. They use it to the point where this is what’s top of mind when they’re out for a hike with their friends. They want to talk about this app they use called Strava.

That’s how we grow. We grow by word of mouth, one active person telling another.

[00:00:29] Joe:
Welcome back to the Fitt Insider podcast. I’m your host, Joe Vennare.

Today I’m joined by Strava CEO & Co-Founder, Michael Horvath. In this episode, we discuss the evolution of the company’s paid subscription, Strava’s plan to push further into connected wellness, including sleep and recovery, as well as opportunities in storytelling and trail sports. Michael also discusses the potential for and motivation behind a public offering.

Let’s get into it.

Hi, Michael, welcome to Fitt Insider. Thanks for joining us.

[00:00:52] Michael:
It’s great to be here, Joe. Thanks for having me.

[00:00:54] Joe:
I’m very much looking forward to the conversation. I think maybe two years ago now, I’m losing track of time from all the lockdowns, but I talked to Mark on the podcast, and he gave us the rundown on how the business has evolved.

So today, talking about Strava with you, maybe look back at the last couple years, but also look ahead to what you’re planning for the platform. Can you give us a quick introduction about yourself and the state of the union, if you will, at Strava?

[00:01:31] Michael:
Sure. I’m Michael Horvath, Co-Founder & CEO of Strava. Strava is a community of active people around the world. We have a website and apps for tracking workouts. We integrate with all sorts of different devices that track workouts.

We are a community where you can build a community of people that you follow and follow you around your active life. People keep people active. It’ll help you be more active if you join the community. It’s free to join, and we have a subscription service that gives you the best of what Strava has to offer. That’s how we make our business. We have close to 99 million people around the world who are part of the community, and we’re growing all the time.

[00:02:19] Joe:
Yeah, I was going to say for folks who aren’t familiar, but, but with a hundred going on a hundred million users and the community continuing to grow, I feel like certainly top of mind with a lot of folks, when you think about, I mean, maybe even a couple of years ago, 80 million, maybe a little bit lower.

We’ve seen the upswing in users and activity, obviously the pandemic, impacting that. what has the last couple of years been like in terms of the, the shifting dynamics, the users coming to the platform and just that growth overall.

[00:02:54] Michael:
Yeah, so actually pre pandemic in end of 2019, we were at, 50 million registered athletes. And today we’re at, as you point out close to a hundred million we’re at 99 something million, Double the size in the course of the last, say two and a half years, and pandemic definitely, was a big push for us.

It drove a lot of people to look for two things, community, because you didn’t have it in your daily life and motivation to be active. Strava, it provides those. That’s exactly how our, our experience is built is when you follow other people and they follow you, they give you kudos on your activities that you upload to Strava, you interact around being active.

You’re more likely to be active. It increases your frequency of being active, and that makes people feel better. And they like to do it more. So what the business has, what that’s done for our business, the growth is fueling our ability to serve athletes more broadly. We’ve had. over a hundred new features to the experience, for both free and paid users.

We’ve expanded our partnerships. We’re going to be sponsoring the tour de France this year to engage our core cyclists, but we’re also doing a lot to invest in a new sport categories are especially around trails, sports, hiking. Mountain biking trail running. So a lot of that growth of the, of in our community has led to growth of our business that we reinvest to build more for athletes.

And that’s an equation that, that, that we’re the whole team. I’ve got a team of close to 400 people who are really excited about that, that flywheel of, of, athlete awesome leads to business. Awesome. That leads to more athlete. Awesome. so, the, the last two years have been the story of, growth.

I think. Easily a billion people in the world who wake up every day wanting to be active and, where we want to meet them all we want to give everybody a chance to experience what that keeping people active can do for you.

[00:04:52] Joe:
Sure. And when, you know, you think about the elements that have enabled you to get to this point and certainly continue to fuel growth it’s, you know, initially it was like the idea of even having GPS tracking the ability to do that. Right. And unlocking that. Cool. And then building the community around that.

And now adding these different features, such that you’re able to kind of expand beyond this core endurance athlete or cyclist or runner. And doing that. And you talk about a billion people who potentially want to be active or aspire to live a more active lifestyle. Is there a risk or maybe how do you avoid trying to be all things to all people?

Right. It’s like getting caught up in this, like, oh, we want to serve everybody, but we don’t want to leave the people that brought us here behind. How do you think about that?

[00:05:37] Michael:
Yeah, it’s great question. We talk about this. we have people who that’s their job is to find the, find the path to get us there. we want to continue to reinvest for our core, our core customer or the person who’s been with Strava now for, you know, maybe five years or 10 years or even longer. Who started perhaps with cycling as which was our go to market.

Sport is where we started and expanded to run and expanded from there. As I said, we’re now getting into all, all trail sports, and in particular, but you can upload up to 40 different sport types to Strava today. And that’s, I think where, where we Excel is the person who does more than one sport to be active.

We, we put this all together in ways that you can track your progress over time. Across multiple sports. we give you a view into your fitness. We also make it more fun across all these sports is like you, you being able to tell a story all in one place allows you to build that community with others.

So getting to that growth, how, how that has to happen is really focusing on doing it in an authentic way. We’re not doing it for growth sake. We’re doing it because we are serving these people. Well, what are they looking for? We have a research team that asks that. Quite often talking to talking to the athletes in our community.

We do, we do this well. When, when we link back to many of the community features that are in there are universal to how people are active, regardless of the sport typer or how often they’re active. They’re looking for community sports is inherently social. It’s been social since the beginning. When you think about the, the ancient Olympic games, what was that?

But a celebration of movement and sport that drew people together in. Well you fast forward to today, Strava is that community Strava is the community of active people. So I think it’s, it’s by staying authentic to what’s made Strava successful to this point forward and, and, and growing thoughtful. Yeah.

Not, not trying to be everything to everybody, but understanding for whom that equation of you bring. Their ability to build community with their desire to be active and you can help them progress. You can help them feel better, make progress about their, their fitness. And that’s where I think people stay and, and really appreciate what Strava is meant metaphor for them in their lives.

[00:07:54] Joe:
Yeah, that that community element has been there from the beginning, like you said, in sport, but also from Strava, like it’s, it was talked about as like the locker room and in your case, like the boat house, right. Being inspired by rowing and for a time, it was. And maybe it’s still defined this way, but like the social network for athletes, right.

It was kind of like Strava was talked about that way. And then for a little bit, I saw maybe in some of the marketing materials, it was like the subscription platform at the center of connected fitness or some wording around that, like kind of like broadening it out. So as you think about evolving beyond just like the social network aspect, and then. How all devices are now potentially connecting right to what health means and how we think about wellness. How do you see that kind of impacting the business going forward?

[00:08:45] Michael:
Yeah. So I think community is the common thread through it all. We’ll always have that at the. not just, you know, that that’s the way that, that, people are active is they’re active with, with friends, they’re active with a group. they may be on a team. And so sports for most people is something that is inherently social.

So you have to build that in as a core, foundational element of the experience for Strava. And I think for any, any group, any, experience to be successful. The future does look like more and more different, ways of tracking different parts of your health And fitness. So GPS was, kind of, broke the ground for when you are able to bring data to bear on the question of how should I be active, How should I lead, a life of more adventure and fun and, and health. GPS did that. And that was decades ago. Right? So we’ve had, now multiple goes at sort of what devices are mattered to. to continue that flywheel of, of helping people lead a more healthy and active life. And I’d say that, you know, from, from 2010 to 2020, you saw a lot of attempts at what, what will make a difference?

What will matter? What are we getting to now? I think we’re really clarifying in on a couple of key other pieces of information that can help us something that gets at at your non-activity phase. Like sleep stress. Those are key pieces of incoming. Period tracking is it’s an, it’s going to be an essential for how someone wants to make sense of how they’re feeling, what they’re ready for in terms of fitness, and put it in context of their own biology, physiology, whatever, you know, they’re themselves.

Right. So I think we need to think about that future. It’s going to be a richer set of data than just where did I go be active and how fast did I go? Or that’s the GPS part it’s got to be, be that not non-activity part. And I think that’s really where our approach to being an open platform, that device manufacturers, other apps, can build into so that the data that they’re collecting can go into can go a lot of places, but can go to Strava and we can help the athlete in our community, see a full picture of themselves, their active part.

They may be using multiple devices to track. And they’re not active for it. They may be using multiple devices to track those different things. Sleep stress, period, maybe glucose monitoring is a good example to a single device is unlikely to do everything perfectly. And there’s also multiple form factors.

Do you want a ring? Do you want a wristband? Do you want a heart rate strap all the different ways that people will be choosing based on what works for them? If we have an open platform, our strategy, our hope is that we can be the place that can help other companies, other experiences grow because we take that large community we’ve built. we give a lot of opportunity for device manufacturers, other experiences to grow inside that community by, by integrating in, to get their data, to help, the athlete make sense of their health.

[00:11:54] Joe:
Yeah, it’s an expansive right opportunity. And thinking about potentially maintaining that open platform beyond even the devices and the integrations that we know of today, right? There could be new ones like glucose monitoring and period tracking. Like those are fairly new as it relates to the overall picture of health.

As you’re describing it, I’m kind of like thinking in my head, right? There’s something like Apple Health Kit, which is doing this from like a health slash health care perspective. There’s almost like this opportunity to say, well, Strava or another open platform could do this for, from an athlete kit perspective, right.

Where it has this, this ecosystem, taking it that next. Do you, do you envision getting to a place where it’s like, okay, now we’re collecting all this. We have the integrations and we can give you some type of personalized feedback. Maybe you should rest or recover. Maybe you should try this different workout modality, or do you just envision kind of capturing it and then the users are doing with it, what they will.

[00:12:56] Michael:
Yeah, absolutely. The personalization is a really important unlock when you have all this data coming in and you can the combination of massive amounts of data, because we have a large. you can apply a lot of, you know, modern approaches to how you, how you can make those recommendations, but personalizing it, and then making sure that that matches what, each individual is actually experiencing. So the feedback loops that are coming from each individual, I think that’s really a huge unlock. I liked what you said about calling it, you know, the athlete kit, we have a specific audience in mind and Strava isn’t for everybody. It is for a person who wants to integrate. Have activity fitness in their life.

And so w that’s that differentiates us from something like HealthKit, we’re not your medical record, that those are, there are plenty of other opportunities there for other companies. We really love this space of helping the athlete. We define anyone who sweats as the, is an athlete. You’re if you’re trying to be intentionally.

You want to you believe that that helps you lead a, not just a healthier life, but a better life. Like you, you’re a better person when you are, you get 20 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour of physical activity a day. That’s what we want to enable and help and yeah. Make better choices. you’re in charge of your own body.

Like you get to be the manager of your own time and body. And so we want to make sure that you have the right insights and you want the right motivation. And, and that sense of like, it matters more when you can put an activity. Or your sleep data or your, you know, your nutrition data someday into Strava.

It, it actually makes it matter more and you learn more from it and you get, you feel that sense of progress more in like Strava has got your back. we, we provide you with something that’s really actually. And also just a lot of fun. I mean, that’s what you want me to get away from the fun when Mark and I started this, we were, we were motivated by that experience.

We had rowing, in college and it was, yeah, it was, we were at the peak of our physical fitness, but it was fun. Right. It was like, we did it because we enjoyed it. we want to bring that out as well. And I think that’s what this, all this can do is by giving you that visibility into how you’re doing, what’s your progress.

You can actually make better choices and have more fun as a result.

[00:15:09] Joe:
Yeah, absolutely. I think. Thinking about the fun aspect of it, the social aspect of it, not just social, like social online, social media, but social meeting up riding with your friends, going for a run, going, doing a race, at least sharing those things. If you’re not doing it in person. yeah, sometimes it gets lost in all the other conversations about the tech. for sure. but community has been central. To the company, to this conversation. I feel like we’ve said it a dozen times already, but thinking about now how even that word is continuing to evolve. I think the now from like the high fives and kudos and leaderboards and sharing, to what does that look like?

It buzzword, right, right now, web three and the metaverse. And when you think about, Rewards that you get in badges and gamification, and potentially even like NFTs, right? That are incentivizing people to participate. admittedly I’m, very much learning about it as everybody else is, as these things continue to happen and try to stay up on it.

But there are some novel approaches that are emerging related to like move to earn. And, certainly like memberships.

Do you think this is going to play a central role or any role in Strava? Or how has the team even talking about it now?

[00:16:37] Michael:
Yeah, sure. It’s definitely, it still feels like we’re even just learning and understanding, how these technologies can be an accelerant or, you know, is it the core at the base of the experience or is it an accelerant to something else? The word community I think is worth just pulling apart, which is to say you gotta be mindful of.

Your, what is your community about you know, Strava’s case it’s about being active. And that, that really separates us, differentiates us, from social networks in general, where it’s really difficult to pull it out, except that you’re connected to a lot of people and it’s not clear exactly what it is you’re supposed to be building community about.

We’re really intentional about you’re building community about being active. we feel that, the concept here is that each individual. feels a S a greater sense of motivation when they’re connected to other people. That’s the ultimate source. And I would say that any of these web three ideas should be an accelerant on that. it should be a magnifier on that.

As opposed to replace community on keeping people active, replacing that with something else that is know, kind of doing the job. And I say that because. at the end of the day, if what’s motivating you to be active as someone who’s paying you, is it really you, are you like, is that really going to lead to the end result that you’re looking for, which is you want to have a lifestyle where you’re saying, actually this is fun.

I’m doing it because I choose to not because I’m getting paid to. Payment comes because you’re sacrificing something they’re compensating you for something you’re giving up. I would actually pay to be more active. I would be willing to, take resources that I have and use them to have a better experience being active.

So it’s not that they don’t have a place. I just think it’s, it’s not the primary part. Of the equation for the majority of people who live a life of activity, they live a life activity because they enjoy it. They love it. And so it’s, We, want to look for ways to make it mean more to them. I definitely think that there’s a role for these technologies.

We’re excited to learn more. We’re exploring the space ourselves. Definitely, you know, see this as like you you got to stay current. We, 10 years ago, you weren’t, we weren’t talking about sleep and nutrition and stress in the same way we are today. So you have to stay current with, with the new technologies and not get left behind.

[00:18:53] Joe:
Sure. And I think, I think also like that piece, I’ve tried to figure it out in a whole host of different ways and have done it as a trainer and coach, like working with athletes and I’ve done it for myself and I’ve done it in the context of like looking across the industry, like how do you get somebody to have that intrinsic drive, right.

To want to do it. So like for whatever reason, fortunately, like I have that, I want, I can’t wait to get done today and go outside and get my workout in.

But for people who don’t have that figuring out the. Certainly for some of them, it is the community and social element. Maybe for some of them it will be getting paid. I think maybe at some point that you have to figure out how you attract or maintain or appeal to those different audiences.

So, yeah, it’ll be interesting to see.

[00:19:42] Michael:
Yep. It, and this is, this is the, what’s so fun about this, this whole space and has been for the length of time that we’ve been, building Strava is that it’s, in constant evolution. this is kind of like the oldest problem in the world is, how to stay motivated to stay active. you know, we know it’s, good for. we do have, we go through periods in our life where we’re like, maybe we had a really good run of it when we were younger and now things have gotten more complicated in our life when we get on and got away from it we want it back. So it’s just, but, but this space is just ever evolving and it’s, part of the fun, I guess, in the challenge is just continuing to evolve with it.

And Strava is not the same, even though the core principle is still the same, as when we started. the way we do it and what we think is important, how we deliver it. we have been evolving that and, alongside, all the changes in the, the landscape.

[00:20:36] Joe:
Yeah, I think another piece of that puzzle and certainly one that’s evolved and will continue to evolve as the business model and monetization around all of this. obviously. User growth, doubling right over the last handful of years, it’s also figuring out what is the kind of core value proposition that folks are willing to pay for that you’re delivering what that looks like.

How are you thinking now about that that kind of paid membership subscription and what people get for that, you know, kind of subject.

[00:21:10] Michael:
Right. Yeah. So we’ve, we’ve had a subscription at the core of our business model since the very beginning and, you know, over the last several years. Refocus the whole company around that, I’d say in 2019, we were spread across many different initiatives that might be able to generate revenue. and we, we put a stop to everything, for the most part, except for what, what really is our customer is, is the athlete.

It’s the person who wants to be active and we believe a Strava subscription will help. Be more active and get more out of it and have more fun. and so, we put the whole company and that’s a growing team. It was back in 2019. It was about 200 people. It’s double the size team today as well. and so we have even more people working on that equation. We call it athlete awesome equals business. Awesome. It’s we build things that athletes love to use are willing to pay for and are willing to tell their friends about that They, they use it to the point where they’re like, this is what’s on the top of mind when they out. hike with their, with their friends is they want to talk about this app.

They use called Strava, and that’s how we grow. we grow by, by word of mouth, one active person telling another. so when we put more into. that subscription offering that increases the value more like you’re more likely to say, actually I do need that in my life. We will grow that business. And that’s that, that flywheel, we can keep then reinvesting what we make in the business into building more for athletes.

And that’s that we love doing that. That’s like we have a team of 400 dedicated people. Excited every day to be able to do, to do just that. and, it’s a dream job. If, if you think about it, as you’re helping people live a more joyful, active life, it’s something really positive. so we, plan to keep doing that the value in the subscription, we want it to be so clearly.

And this is where like we’re working on this every day. It’s not clear for everybody, you know, we don’t have a hundred percent conversion to subscription yet. Don’t, don’t, I’m not ruling it out. But what we, what we need to do is not only build more value there, but make it more clear at the right time for the person who is looking for something to help them.

And our free offering is really good. We want that to effectively be something that you onboard into and say, this is great. I want to use this for the rest of. And as you used the free, it leads you to say actually there’s something in the paid offering and the subscription that’s really valuable too.

And for it’s, it’s a 60 bucks a year, $5 a month, less than a cup of coffee for crying out loud these days, it was like for $5 a month, I’m investing in myself. I’m getting more out of the time I’m being active. This seems like, kind of just like an amazingly valuable service to me that I can get from. That’s what we want it to feel like. So, in that, in that way of building the business, we’ve always focused on engagement and getting people to stay with it, stay with Strava, stay active in Strava, because if they do that more than they’re more likely to see the value in the subscription. And that’s what grows our business and allows us then to reinvest in, in building more for athletes.

[00:24:12] Joe:
Yeah. And kind of in doubling down on the subscription, you mentioned it was always there. And then kind of like, there were a bunch of other different opportunities and paths maybe to pursue, and then coming back to it, focusing on the athlete. It was what maybe like fall of 20, 20, you raised funding round. it was like north of a hundred million dollars.

Was that a combination of saying like, we have somehow crack the code, so to speak around that subscription? Or we have a new lens to focus on that people can understand the economics of like, oh, this is how it grows. Or did that not impact maybe the funding. It was more so their user growth. How did that all come together?

[00:24:50] Michael:
Well there’s many factors. I think you just hit on. A lot of them is like we, by that point had learned a lot more about, by focusing on the subscription, how good can we be? How good can we get? and I, I don’t know, it’s kind of silly way of putting it, so we want to get a PhD in subscript. You know, by, in some way, we’re probably in kindergarten back then, and maybe we’re in the second grade today. I don’t think we’re that much further, but we’re learning all the time about how to be more successful with our subscription business as a business and in furtherance of building a sports brand for the 21st century, we want to Strava to be the number one sports brand, not with shirts and shoes and physical.

But with a, an experience. And so it supports all the things, the reason why you want to go and, decide to run maybe a 10 K and buy a new pair of, running shoes, because that’s going to help you achieve that goal is because something inside you is. I feel better when I set goals and I feel really great when I accomplish them.

And I, I have more fun when I live my life that way. And that is coming from being part of the Strava community. That sense of this matters to me more than I thought it ever did. So whether you start there in your teens and twenties, or you starting in your forties, or maybe you’re starting in your seventies, you’re coming into the Strava community.

You’re realizing that I don’t want to leave. I don’t want ever not be it here. I want to be here for the rest of my activity. And we hope everyone can live a longer life as a result, but that, that, that, that is what I think is possible. So when you think about the funding that we did, the raise that we did at the end of, 2020, it was really in furtherance of that.

Long-lasting. Hundred-year brand that we’re trying to build the company that’s going to be here for and withstand the test of time to be able to serve someone throughout their generations of being an active, person. We want to dedicate, this company’s longevity to the millions of people who have said Strava is my home for my active life.

And I want to be here for the rest of the time. I’m active. We want to be here for.

[00:26:48] Joe:
Yeah. And in continuing to build out that, you know, subscription offering, kind of down that path and even towards like the personalization aspect of it more recently, acquired Recover athletics, which is basically a. Pre Hab slash recovery for, primarily runners and during that endurance athletes, but certainly has kind of an application for anybody who’s active.

Can you just talk about how that came together and how you’re thinking about potentially like integrating that into the offering?

[00:27:18] Michael:
Yeah, that’s right. recover athletics, really dedicated, focused team, that was, had built a great experience to help with some they call prehab, which is before you get in. Invest in your strength and mobility so that you don’t get injured. It’s a beautiful equation. and so what they have is a really rich, wonderful content created to help people with strength and, mobility routines.

You do that. Before and, after you run. and so we, we saw this team and we said, this should be part of Strava. This is just a, a clear value, for our community. We can expand from, run into other sports, like cycling And this concept that you invest in your body, ability to be active with, with this, approach of prehab.

So we really liked the approach. We believe it can be of high value to millions of our, people in our community. And so we, we brought the team on we’ll have, you know, a lot more to, share about like, exactly how it’s gonna, how it’s gonna work, in just a few months, but we’re excited.

Mid may, this should be kind of live and operating where we’re if you are a subscriber on Strava, you have access to the, to all that rich content and the recover experience. and it also teaches us a lot about sort of what the potential for Strava to, to pull together, whether it’s through partnership through our API or through acquisition pulled together. great stuff. That’s being built by other companies and other teams out there. There’s, there’s a lot going on. That’s exciting to look at and say like how could that fit in with, with how we see the future where we think there’s a lot of room in that space for other companies to be very successful.

We’ve always believed that Strava can be a kind of a platform where other companies can build success. and, we want to see that happen and, and recover in the case of recover. We just felt like this was such a clear use case for our core customer, that it should be part of the team so far. It’s so good.

It’s a really dedicated group, really love, how much we’re learning also about. being the kind of company that can do this well, that can, that can bring other teams in and make them feel super productive and a sense of belonging from day one that they’ve joined the right place. found a great, a great group of people who support what their vision is.

And, and we’re excited for, proving that out with a recovery team.

[00:29:31] Joe:
Yeah, down that. path. And maybe even you kind of touched on it, they’re learning what, how to effectively bring on other teams.

Do you anticipate being active on the acquisition front as you expand the platform at all?

[00:29:45] Michael:
Yeah, definitely. it’s, it’s, there’s a, you know, not that we have a long list or anything of, of companies, but it’s that sense of that. Be open to both partnership as well as, merger and acquisition as a means to build for the athlete. And so it has to be done really thoughtfully it’s like the transaction itself is.

The thing that makes it successful at what’s it’s what happens afterwards. And that’s where we’re, we really want to develop a competency in and understanding which of the opportunities are the ones we should be really contemplating because we can do a great job. Either the integration or at, at, at building the bridges between, the experiences.

So with that mind, it’s like we have, a team that’s there to first of all, just to, help our API partners be successful with plugging their technology into Strava technology. That’s an open API that’s available to developers. Over 70,000 API developers are millions and millions of athletes in the Strava community have connected their Strava count to something else. to get more out of both that other experience, as well as Strava that’s like. So we want to further that. Broad group of people who are trying to develop something that can fit into the world of Strava. Many of those are, you know, very small at this point, but out of that can come some greatness and that’s where recover came Zwift definitely grew in that way.

There’s like a lot of examples where you’ve seen, other teams use that open structure for Strava to be able to do more and move faster and grow faster, grow their. Now on the other side of that is like, it can’t just be all disparate. we have a role to play in trying to unify and bring in.

So not just in a viewing as like help others. And now you have, instead of having one or two or three. Experiences. You’re looking at as an athlete, you’re looking at 20 a day. That would be really hard. Right? So we, we want to understand how do we start to pull these into a common view so that you’re not having to go to all those different places to get the information you need.

We want to make it easier for the athlete to get what they need so they can spend less time scrolling through a screen and more time getting. out to do what they love to do, whether it’s outdoors or indoors in the gym or in the studio. that’s what the ultimate objective is, is to give people their time back.

So that they’re that amount of time they spend, looking at, screens is lower.

[00:32:06] Joe:
Yeah, it’s kind of the obvious, get them moving, keep them moving, support them in doing that. and it goes very much back to that. The flywheel that you mentioned, as we get towards the end of the conversation and, and starting to wrap it up here, I guess the obvious question then is like with that funding, You know, continuing to improve the, business model and convert more people to the paid subscription. Is it next kind of milestone looking to go public and positioning the company? Or are you just kind of keeping it open-ended as you continue to make progress?

[00:32:38] Michael:
Great question. You know, we’ve always viewed mark and I’ve looked through this as like, you know, taking a company public is a means to an end, not an end in itself. It’s you, you do that when. It’s the right thing for the business. It, when it’s, that’s what the business needs, we don’t have any timeline, on taking the company public.

We do see it as something that will ensure that we will be here for, you know, for the next century. You know, th th that is a step that we will contemplate when the time is right, right now, we’re really focused on before. for the athlete, but building the fundamentals that will make our business successful, whether we’re private or public.

And so, that’s both like hard work and especially, right. You know, when, when you look at all the changes going on in, in the fitness, connected fitness industry as a whole, you, you have to focus in on what are the winning strategies that we’re putting in place now that will.

Make our, our company, our business, and what we can offer to athletes. Better two or three or four years from now when we are not actually entirely sure what that landscape is going to look like, but that’s what that’s that level of, this is a really growth opportunity for, for us as an, and I said, think for, for, when I look ahead at the, at where the space is going we’re not fighting competent.

What we’re trying to get is more people to understand the place that, that being, looking at S at some information about themselves can unlock for them. It’s the adoption curve. We’re still at the very bottom, like the steep bottom part of that adoption curve for the most people in the world that visibility into their own health and fitness can come through simple things they can do.

To measure with devices they probably already have in their pocket. that is, I think what the, where the, where the, I think the real excitement comes in for me and the company is just like what that can unlock over the next, say two or three years as opposed to right now. So we’re not focused on any, any short term. Moves like, you know, just to capitalize on what we built. We’re excited about what we’re building, what’s going to be there, you know, in two or three years from now. And that’s, that’s I think, highly motivating for me and the team.

[00:34:44] Joe:
Yeah. And with that, and, and we’ll get you outta here on this, you know, thinking about in the near term, maybe the second half of the year, what should people kind of be on the lookout for? What are you excited about? I know you mentioned the recover stuff going live. Also the partnership with the Tour de France, potentially some other things just that we should keep an eye on.

[00:35:05] Michael:
Well, I got two words. One is storytelling and the other one is trail. So storytelling. What’s that? Well, it’s all about when you, when you’re uploading an activity to Strava. Yeah. There’s data and there’s a map. But it’s your story and what did you do? Did you go to the, gym and, and that was, you know, it was just, it was a fun day. Or did you get out, into the woods and, and you had a wonderful hike your friends or family, like that’s a story people are telling, so we’re, we’re adding a lot more tools to help you tell that story. the headline feature there is adding video to the upload experience.

You can add a short video that’s coming soon. The other one is trail itself is such a, such a rich place where we’ve historically have not invested as much on enabling people to be really have a lot of both discovery tools, as well as, thinking about those as primary sports. It’s like, so going into trail has gotten us into.

The maps and what information we can provide as well as routes and route planning. I think it’s going to be a rich set of, offerings coming out here. And it’s an area where we’re going to continue to build. We already have millions of people who upload hikes and walks on Strava. And, we, we want to invest in making that a better and better experience for them.

I think that’s going to be really exciting over the next several years. In fact, it’s like a whole category. that we think it’s going to be on par trail, should be, feel like a first-class just experienced on Strava, something that we really saw through and we’re going to get there, by investing in it, and starts here, here in just a few months, we’ll be launching some exciting things.

[00:36:40] Joe:
Yeah, a lot to look forward to. I’m super excited that we got a chance to chat today. I’m looking forward to sharing this conversation. As folks get started, go to strava.com and check it out.

Is that the best place for folks to get a glimpse of what’s going on?

[00:36:57] Michael:
Yeah, you can download our apps in the app stores. You can check out the website, and when you do join, follow a friend. Find someone that is probably on the app. If they’re active they’re probably already on Strava, and that’s where you start to see how it works.

I get to see their activities and give them kudos. When I upload something to Strava, they give me a kudo, and that feels really good. I want to get back out there and do it again. That’s it.

[00:37:24] Joe:
Awesome. I hope folks check it out.

Again, thanks for joining us. Excited to share the chat.

[00:37:29] Michael:
Thanks, Joe. It was great to be here.

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