Business Idea: Track your runs online no matter what equipment you use. Suunto or someone build an online interface and community.
I’ve been running since 2007 and what kept me motivated and going was the fact that I could track my heart rate and the distance of every run. This made it a game I could play against myself as well as something I could measure. I started with a Suunto T4 watch and later upgraded to a Suunto T6d watch. With these watches plus a chest strap and foot pod you can track all your runs easily.
Suunto makes fantastic watches and equipment, but you know what they can’t do? Build usable software. Using the software they provide to pull logs off the watch is painful and slow. Plus they make it nearly impossible to import or export logs, and viewing the data you have so far is confusing and badly displayed. Mac version? Nope, I have to run VMWare Fusion just so I can load their terrible Windows application to pull the data off my watch. Nike is starting to grasp this but I don’t want Nike equipment and I don’t want to be locked into their platform.
The Solution / Possible Business
I want a small app that runs on Windows or Mac and can connect to my watch (or any watch that provides stats) and uploads that information to a website. And then that website would make the information available for me to see, organize it, allow me to insert into my blog, etc. I would pay up to $10 dollars a month just for that. And then the chances of building a community out of that group are pretty good. You can do meetup group for runners, map trail runs out of the data you are collecting, integrate facebook and twitter to post your run data, race each other, get advice, etc. Think Daily Burn but only for runners and keep it elite and a small community that pays to be a member.
In all fairness Suunto is not a software company. But they could put up some startup money to get this going and keep a % share of the new company. The company would have a huge boon with the promise Suunto watches will be compatible and hopefully if they can get some critical mass other companies will come on board as well.
P.S. I highly recommend running, it keeps you in great shape, burns stress, and provides you with a quiet time to think and digest everything. You just have to give some time to get into the groove of running for long periods. I started running in January 2007 and ran 6.1 miles, the next month I ran 12 miles, then 28, then 41, etc… I haven’t run a Marathon yet but I will one day.