I’m Joe the CEO & Co-Founder of Kaizen. As the first post on our new blog, I thought it would be really cool to share with you the story of how Kaizen became Kaizen. I should mention not all posts going forward will be like this, we’ve got some exciting plans on how we aim to utilise the blog and we hope it will be an useful educational tool to help you on your fitness journey.
What does it mean?
Kaizen means ‘continuous improvement‘ in Japanese and although it’s been used in business for many years, it’s also a mindset and a way of life.
Prior to starting Kaizen, I co-founded another health and fitness startup called Healthy Selfie. It did really well, got some good traction and good press (Daily Mail and Forbes). But within our community the number one thing that kept cropping up was that people were discussing how each other were training? Who’s guide they were using? What would you recommend etc. etc.
We carried out some market research on our users and found out that 87% of people admitted to not knowing how to train effectively! And it got me thinking about the first time I stepped foot in the gym. I had NO IDEA what I was doing! I wanted to get bigger for rugby but didn’t have a clue where to start or what pieces of equipment did what? And so it turns out I wasn’t the only one.
So the idea of Kaizen was born 👶.
It’s a mobile app designed to help people get access to quality interactive workouts from industry professionals. Unlike the other fitness apps on the market, we wanted our content to be created by people who actually knew what they were talking about, people with a wealth of knowledge that you’d typically pay up £100/hour for a personal training session. Not only was the idea of who’s training you important, the idea of being able to switch your training to suit your current goals, location or whatever you wanted was also a key component that wasn’t being filled. I typically train in the gym, but I know that when I go on holiday or don’t have access to my gym, I still want to be able train effectively. So we decided on the idea of a subscription based model, that would effectively allow us to become the ‘Netflix for workouts and classes’ and give you the flexibility to train how you want to.
In truth, fitness is multi-faceted and our circumstances/goals are constantly evolving……..Wanna cut instead of bulk as your summer holiday’s coming up? Feel like a spin class after your gym session? Can’t be arsed to trek it to the gym but still wanna train? Wanna give yoga a try? Now with Kaizen, all of this is (will be) possible and we take great pride in giving power back to YOU, the user, and ultimately helping you achieve your fitness goal whatever that may be.
We only launched in April (2016) and we’ve had some amazing early traction, with people loving the product and the problem we’re trying to solve. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some incredible people along the way, and have managed to build, what I would consider the ‘Dream Team’.
Finding a technical co-founder that’s interested in health and fitness is nothing short of impossible, it’s like trying to find a Mormon to run your S&M shop. Thankfully, the stars aligned and, I found Danil. Who bizarrely enough, did some fitness modelling in Guangzhou China 😳 but also happens to be the smartest, most talented developer I’ve ever met. After a few milkshakes (the guy loves milk 🐮) he was pumped up and joined the team. The quality of the app is a true credit to how awesome this guy is…..we average 100% crash free users every month, which is quite good…………. and has never once said ‘Oh I can’t do that’ or ‘Oh, I think that’s too tricky’ he has a ‘can do’ mentality, where anything is possible.
We’re still early on in our journey and getting something as ambitious as this off the ground takes some time, but I’m excited about the future of Kaizen and where we’re going. We’re currently in the process of raising our seed round, so hopefully my next post will be some good news on this and how we’re going to use the money to conquer the health and fitness market 💪🏽.
Joe – CEO & Designer
Danil – CTO
Lots of Love,