YOUMOVE

 

YouMove is Fitbit on steroids — allowing you to track specific exercises, the number of repetitions per workout, intensity levels, calories and more. 

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PHOTOS: Jena Cumbo

An excerpt from an interview with Co-founders Ken Kruger and Houtan Fanisalek. 

How did you come across your app idea?

Ken: We used to work together at Lockheed Martin in sensor systems division. We worked on military and commercial applications. Following that, we created an app called Twerk Meter that was pretty successful. You take a phone, put it in your back pocket, and twerk. Teenage girls loved it. We wanted to take that type of sensor technology and make it so that anybody can create an app or device, utilizing that type of technology without years of experience in sensor software. So we came up with an idea for a Sensor Kit, which is our software development kit. YouMove is our app that targets exercise recognition using the Sensor Kit platform.

That’s perfect, but I think you’re selling your app a little short. Because I’ve seen it, and I think it would be good to explain how once you have this app, what kind of things are you able to do?

Ken: Sure, with the YouMove app, someone can go to the gym using a smartwatch and it would automatically recognize all their exercises. Right now you have Fitbit which tracks your steps. But with YouMove, if you go to the gym it will recognize all you exercises: bench press, squat, curl, lunge; reps or sets; track your resting time; detailed calories and intensity.

What’s a mistake you’ve made and how have you learned from it?

Ken: We learned that we’re terrible at sales so we have to get really good at sales really quickly. We went on a sales call with a large potential customer and the whole thing blew up in our faces. So we had to learn about that, talk to mentors, and read about how to best approach those situations. 

So what are 3 rules for selling your product?

Ken: Know exactly what you want out of a meeting, as opposed to just saying, ‘maybe there is an opportunity’…

Houtan: Be confident in what you want.

Ken: Third thing? Really understand what the customer is up to.

How have you been getting customers for your app? 

Ken: Reddit. Engaging people on various subreddits for different smart watches that we support. Getting them excited for our private beta.

Houtan: Ken is the king of Reddit. 

That’s very powerful. I have no Reddit street cred; I’m an evil outsider. So in one word, how would you characterize being an app entrepreneur? 

Houtan: Sexy

(Laughing) That is SO awesome. Why sexy? 

Houtan: Because I’m doing all these workouts, and I look much better now.

Ken: Well, it is culturally, a sexy thing.

Houtan: The girls love it. We talk about twerk meter and now this…

Ken: Being an entrepreneur is the hot thing to do.

So you find this more sexy than working at Lockheed Martin?

Ken: So far, even though there is no money, it is very cool. But with Lockheed you were flying around being an international man of mystery. 

You were an international man of mystery? 

Ken (Pointing at Houtan): He was an international man of mystery. I was more of a local man of mystery.

Houtan: But we’re both men of mysteries.

 

- Interviewed by Z.T., ROKO Labs.