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2022 Review
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2022 Review

December 29, 2022

A note from the Founders

As we approach the end of the year it is a perfect time to look back at what we’ve accomplished, what we’ve learned, and — more broadly — what we’re planning for the new year ahead.
 
But first of all, it’s important to us to mention and thank the team that have helped us to get to this point.
When we started working on this project two and a half years ago, we were forced to work & hire remotely. This actually became an advantage, by prompting us to recruit a highly skilled remote team, without the restraints of our own location.
We’re building a product that connects coaches and athletes from opposite ends of the world. The fact that we have built the entire pod1um platform with a team based on 5 continents, is proof of whats possible with the right tools and approach.
 
Our development team, UI/UX designer, data analyst, marketing and growth specialists are currently spread across the world and numerous time zones, but we manage to come face to face on an almost daily basis, and communicate seamlessly throughout the week. So much so that we’ve sent a combined 75,000+ messages across all channels, completed over 8,500 tasks, and held over 1,300 Video meets between our team alone.
 
Our mission is to connect all athletes with elite coaching, regardless of sport, level or location.
With this in mind we built for scale from the start, with language translation, currency conversions, tax management and timezone adjustments just some of the many hidden features of the pod1um platform. Its even possible for a coach in one country to send a message to an athlete in another with both sending & receiving in their native/preferred language!
 
We owe a lot of gratitude to the many advisors that have helped us to navigate the many challenges of building a software product and a business around it. Jonathon Larby in particular – CEO at T-Pro, Alan Clarke – founder at Statsports, Gregory Bradley – founder at Blkboxfitness, and Ken Moulton – founder at Teamer have all been instrumental in this regard.
We’ve also been fortunate to have been backed at various stages by our Local Enterprise office, the New Frontiers programme, and Enterprise Ireland. In addition to backing received from our early stage investors which has helped us to fund the latter stages of product development.
 
A public note of appreciation wouldn’t be complete without a sincere ‘thank you’ dedicated to all the early adapters who have tried our product, purchased content, and provided invaluable feedback – which is helping to shape & improve the product a bit more each week.
Our business model requires us to recruit & acquire users on both “sides” of the platform, coaches & athletes. Thankfully, we’ve seen highly encouraging uptake from each, with >60 coaches now at various stages of our onboarding process, and with over 1,000 new athlete sign-ups within a week after launch.
 
In 2022, we sought to bring to market the product we’ve been working on since the summer of 2020, Here we’ll share some info about how the journey has gone so far, and what lies ahead for 2023.


Branding

We arrived at the name pod1um after quite a prolonged process, but when we did, the meaning & fit for us was clear. Athletes on our platform aspire to be first, first across the line, first to the ball, first on the podium. The inclusion of the number 1 in the name, replacing the “i”, was decided on for this reason. We then managed to acquire the domain pod1um.com from its former owner in Australia, and the instagram & facebook handles “@pod1um” from a previously active sporting events business in Brazil.
 

Our logo, which was designed for us by a Ukrainian graphic designer back in 2021, includes the three steps of a podium platform, angled forward, and shaped into the letter P.

 
 


Customer Base

In late 2021, we released our private Beta App to a limited user base. This proved hugely beneficial in improving the user experience and features within the app. It prompted us to recruit an experienced UI/UX designer, who now works with us remotely from Portugal, and to complete an end-to-end redesign of the athlete app, coach app, web-app and website.
Our excellent engineering/development team, working primarily from Brazil, were able to bring each of these interfaces to life over the following months.
 
We made our Beta App public in early 2022, and the feedback was extremely promising. The complexity of the platform, particularly the coach software features, made development time longer than we hoped, but the end result was showing immediately to have been worth the time & effort.

Because our coaches are typically employed full time, at professional organisations or teams, we needed to provide a complete turn key solution for them to be able to offer their services and content online in a truly efficient and scalable way. The functionality we have developed has helped us in recruiting many of the worlds leading performance specialists, and we’re really excited for them to offer their content & services on pod1um in 2023.

 
In November 2022, we officially exited Beta and launched our website pod1um.com. The first month went far better than we had projected with our first sale coming within hours, a Rugby player in Texas, purchasing a plan from a coach in the UK. By the end of week one, we had over 1,000 signups and had exceeded month 1-3 revenue projections combined.
This was made all the more satisfying when we discovered that a minor bug in our app payment system had in fact prevented many others from upgrading to a paid membership – which meant that almost all sales had come from the website alone.
 
At the end of November, multiple attempts at releasing an updated App version were met with rejections by Apple. This update included a fix for the checkout issue and some other bugs that had come to light with the increased user base. After making some adjustments to our offerings to comply with the latest app store terms, we had the update accepted at last, on Christmas eve!
 

We’re extremely satisfied to be finishing the year with high quality technology, high quality content, and 5 star ratings on both Android & iOS.

Roadmap for 2023

We’ve been listening to our customers and have already began work on some really exciting content, features and integrations planned for next year.

As a pod1um App user, you can expect;

  • A significant increase in offerings, both free & paid, across a wide variety of sports.
  • The introduction of performance specialists in fields such as nutrition, psychology and rehabilitation.
  • Integrations with leading performance tracking/monitoring devices & technologies.
  • Team offerings, including group consultations and training plans.
  • Improvements to current features such as our free workout builder, progress tracking functionality and our blog module – which will soon include free articles, podcasts & videos from coaches on the platform.

Elite Support

One of the POD1UM pillars is our dedication to providing incredible athlete support. When a customer asks for help, we’ll do everything we can to make sure there’s someone available to assist as quickly as possible. In 2022 we had a 100% response rate and a 100% satisfaction rating from surveyed users, these are numbers we will strive to keep exactly the same in 2023.

 


Team Expansion

We began the year with just 5 individuals working on the project, and throughout the year we have expanded to 13 talented team members spread around the world. Roles include software development, design, analysis, management, athlete support & marketing/growth.
We plan to make more hires in 2023 so if you’re interested in joining us, please drop us a line!


After a lot of preparation, we’re out of the blocks.. now its time to accelerate!
Here’s to a healthy & successful new year!

 
Conor & Barry
– Founders, Podium Technologies Limited

#BEF1RST


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