Disclaimer: These days I am looking for a ‘workout & sleep monitoring band’ and today I stumbled upon GOQii bands. No, I haven’t bought it yet. Hence I am not recommending it as a product, yet. However, their business model amazed me. This post is ONLY about their business model. This post is NOT a recommendation to buy GOQii fitness band, at least not yet.
Since last one year, wearable computing is a part of news almost everyday, courtesy wearable devices like Smart Watches, and then Health & Fitness Bands. If you do a simple search on popular e-commerce websites for health & fitness bands, you will see nothing less than 50 brands each trying to get your attention. Really, the time has arrived for these health & fitness bands to go mainstream.
So, today I got a chance to peep into the GOQii website and find what they are doing and how they are different from other fitness bands, and to my surprise they have left an impression on me. I suddenly got a feeling that someone is selling me an iPod like stuff. My experience with iPod was terrific not because it was cool to use one in year 2005, but because the raw power it had because of iTunes.
If you really believe iPod became successful because of its music technology or really awesome technology in those few grams, you could just appreciate half their success mantra. The platform along with the technology was their real power, and which made Apple the most successful music company ever.
And right now while evaluating which fitness band to own, I am finding that each and every fitness band has similar technology in their band which captures data while your move, sleep, run, take stairs, etc and at then at some point during the day the data syncs with the mobile App. I believe that these App+Hardware combination is something which is a minimal expectation of every user. But what is that EXTRA in all these fitness bands? No one had the answer yet, which GOQii seems to have discovered and already implemented. (Although, some questions remain in my mind about GOQii’s platform offerings, which I will ask if only someone really wants to know.)
GOQii is offering a full fitness platform which records what you do, syncs with the smartphone. And then the real business begins – The Data Analysis! The data which you earn and record in the device while sweating makes GOQii learn amazing things about you and your health. And in most cases not even a doctor would know what this device would know in a matter of days. Actually any device will learn so many things about your health as and when you start using it regularly, but then why is no one exploring that data? What good does it do to just record the data and then do nothing about it? Thankfully, GOQii chose to do something with that data, and that too for your good – they talk back to you! They recommend, they guide, and they prevent you. They plan to become your personal health monitors in real sense.
But why did I get so excited? After all this is not rocket science. Exactly! that’s my point – This is nothing rocket science, and yet no one else could built it. No fitness band could create a platform to sell you things which are good for you. Everyone got content after selling you a piece of hardware and a complementary smartphone App. No one could believe that a subscription model can be built which earns a regular income for the company (and hence the hardware price can be subsidized, unlike others fitness bands which are extremely costly). All this, my friends, make this an awesome business model to roll out.
GOQii, if nothing else, has learnt some good lessons from iPod. And much like iTunes, which accelerated the profit margins of Apple, GOQii’s profitability is hidden inside the platform they have built – Doctors, Coaches, Data based recommendations, all coming to you at a monthly payment. Indeed, this business model is worthy of getting funded by someone like Mr Ratan Tata.
[Before you quit this page, I have a request to make – If you have ever used a fitness band, do share your experience with the hardware. I am really curious to know the quality of these devices and understand how accurate is their data recording ability. And if you have ever used GOQii bands, I welcome you to share your feedback of the device and the platform on my email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org]