LoseIt, With 10M+ Users, Looks to Turn Weight Loss App Into Big Business
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One is that “there was a material problem people were really concerned about.” Namely, losing weight. Apps that are just cool are hard to sustain, he says. On the other hand, a successful app “starts with blood on the floor, a problem they really need solved.”
Two, the company focused on building a really exceptional product. “This cannot be overstated,” Teague says. “The product breeds more success. If you have a bad product, every marketing dollar you spend just brings dissatisfied customers to you. What will differentiate this product is to make the user have a great experience.”
And three, the app had to work—bottom line. “You have to evaluate the actual outcome,” he says. “People need to lose weight.”
Not that there haven’t been surprises along the way. Teague says he thought the app’s social sharing features would be more popular. But it turns out users generally don’t want to share their weight-loss progress with their Twitter and Facebook followers (there are others they do want to share with though). On the flip side, he says he didn’t expect much from adding a feature for scanning food bar codes in 2011. But it turned out to be immensely popular, he says.
Teague declined to give specifics about how his company plans to ramp up revenues. He did say, “We continue to focus on being a consumer weight-loss company,” and that FitNow would stick with apps, rather than moving into mobile platforms for health, as Boston-based FitnessKeeper (maker of another popular fitness app, RunKeeper) has been doing.
Broadly speaking, he says the keys to the next stage of growth are to “iterate, be responsive, learn, become more efficient, and then roll out the scale.” Interestingly, he says all that can be done without raising another financing round.
And while some are forecasting the decline of mobile apps, Teague remains bullish. “As long as there’s a zero-cost marketing infrastructure, and app stores where you can get to customers directly, that creates a lot of opportunity for independence,” he says. “There will be way more apps than websites.”