On episode 21 we're spotlighting a few exceptional conversations with some of the top influencers at the crossroads of fitness and technology, live after the FIT-C roundtable meeting during IHRSA 2017 in Los Angeles.
With the options and choices of club software systems on the rise, how do APIs and the ability for cross communication between platforms benefit the health club?
In this first segment, were talking with fitness technology expert, Karl Etzel, about APIs (application program interfaces) and how they can help in both monetization and in serving the customer. For health club executives and owners, API functionality is an important topic to consider when purchasing technology systems.
Karl Etzel is a Transformation Catalyst, Strategic Decision-Maker, and Technical Expert in fitness technology known for his entrepreneurial drive in developing vision and setting strategic direction in the face of fast-changing technology and market dynamics through effectively aligning products/channels/end-users. With a deep background in health and fitness, cloud services / PaaS, online marketing, and SMB enablement, Karl brings a strong professional expertise to the industry space around program management and product management roles.
Karl is talking with us on the show about API's, or application program interfaces. Simply put, an application programming interface allows software systems to talk to one another. When you as a human being sit down to use a piece of software you use a user interface (UI), and when one piece of software wants to use another piece of software, they use an (API).
"For the club operator, the question you want to ask is, does your solution vendor have an API that makes it easier for me to integrate my system with other solutions? If you are a technology company executive, you should be thinking about how APIs plug into your business at the strategy level. APIs are not just a technical detail that you can leave to engineering." - Karl Etzel on the Fitness + Technology Podcast
"APIs make it really easy to innovate and build things quickly. The old-school engineering model of software development is gone and agile development, two week release cycles, live beta testing and rapid iteration are now the norm. For the club owner, you don't necessarily want to share your data outward, but you do want to share it among your own systems until you get to a certain scale where population data could make things interesting. The real key with API integrations is to understand your segment in entirety and have a clear picture of what problem you're trying to solve." - Karl Etzel on the Fitness + Technology Podcast
In this featured segment we're talking with the Owner of GIVE Fitness in Atascadero, CA Josh Donovan about technology focused member sales and engagement approaches that are changing the way for-profit and nonprofit businesses interact in health and fitness.
Josh is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and 13-year fitness industry professional who years ago was looking for a way to use his experience and understanding of the fitness industry to “create a different type of fitness product” with a focus on using technology. After meeting Matt Holguin, the founder of Working to Give (WTG), a for-profit company with a singular purpose-driven business model, together, Donovan and Holguin created WTG’s Fitness Division and in 2013, launched GIVE Fitness.
With Working To Give, 50% of its profits are reinvested in the firm to sustain growth, and the other 50% is contributed to the local community. Since its opening, the GIVE Fitness club has acquired over 3,000 members and donated more than $50,000 to Atascadero-area initiatives. A member of the Fitness Industry Technology Council, Josh Donovan believes it’s important for the industry to integrate technology into the prospect and member experience to truly connect with consumers to understand them at their deepest needs and desires.
"The heart of our business at GIVE Fitness is giving. We give 50% of our profits back to the community where we do business, so in order for that to happen we have to be a profitable fitness center first. Hitting member expectations and exceeding them becomes paramount because that has to happen before we have any funds to give. The obesity epidemic is real and it's something that I'm really passionate about. This is why I want to provide an accessible fitness center for people to better their lives, add years to their lives, and truly participate." - Josh Donovan on the Fitness + Technology Podcast
"In using new technologies, we had the unique opportunity in starting from the ground up to be intentional around creating our culture and to have it be something very specific. We all live in a world that's real time, so if I post something on Facebook about the gym and then post something about my personal life, our members don't see any differentiation around that." - Josh Donovan on the Fitness + Technology Podcast
Bryan O’Rourke and his family of companies including Vedere Ventures, Integerus Advisors, and many more. If you are looking for unmatched guidance, capital, insights or a great speaker or facilitator, Bryan and his partners are the go to resource for your organization. To learn more visit bryankorourke.com
The Fitness Industry Technology Council, your non-profit resource for reliable technology information supported by forward looking brands who are seeking to drive increased technology adoption in the fitness industry. Make a difference and join FIT-C at fittechcouncil.org today
Check out Bryan and his partner Robert Dyer's recent book "9 Partnership Principles: A Story of Life Lessons" which is available now on Amazon.com
021 #IHRSA2017 LIVE: The Importance of APIs, Using Fitness Technology To Give