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Saks Snacks #23: Maverick Community, Flow States, Amazon's March into Healthcare, & More
Daylight Savings Time | Direct With Consumer | Stepn
Hey friends from SF 👋
I encourage you to explore what interests you most. Here’s what I want to share this week:
🥑 Quick Health Snacks x 4
💰 Startup of the Week - Maverick Community
🎙️ Pods of the Week (x2): Athletic Greens & Flow States
💥 Spark Moment - will I look back in 10 years and say “this is beautiful”?
#1 🥑 Snacks of the week (x4)
Daylight Savings: Have you been feeling off the last few weeks? Light could be at play. More morning & daytime sun(light) and less light at night is is ideal for our mental & physical health. Permanent daylight savings would delay our circadian clocks more. Here’s Wall Street Journal coverage.
Light is the strongest mechanism that times our circadian biology, aligning us for sleep. Our circadian clocks influence almost every cell in our bodies which have been forced to follow society’s clock rather than the sun. Tech has disrupted our internal clocks and DST is permanent jet lag.
Amazon continues marching into healthcare as telehealth visits are now available through Alexa. Amazon has its own telehealth service, Amazon Care and also launched an elder care service that connects with an emergency hotline, pairing with fall detection hardware.
The service is provided by prominent telemedicine company Teladoc. Customers connect with Teladoc by saying “Alexa, I want to talk to a doctor.” They’ll get a call back on their device from a Teladoc doctor. Currently, the service is only for non-emergency visits (flu symptoms, allergies) and visits are audio-only. Looking forward, Amazon will continue its march, and per Teladoc’s press release, video visits are “coming soon”.
Can an hour of strength training lengthen your lifespan? According to this study, an absence of 30-60 minutes of strength training weekly can increase all-cause mortality by 10-17%. This weekly strength training was linked with a reduced risk of death from cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
There were limitations of the research such as subjective reporting of exercise and US-centric research that might not be widely applicable, but the research lays a good foundation for others in this space. This adds onto our exploration in edition 19 on how movement is medicine.
Web 3 x Movement: In edition 17, we explored fitness and crypto tailwinds and their impact on the move-and-earn space. This recent article analyzes 4 positive feedback loops, explaining the power behind these trends:
Signaling-as-a-service meets Proof-of-workout
Storing financial achievements.
Stepn claims they’ve seen hundreds of success stories and fitness transformations, citing people who hadn’t worked out in over a decade moving outside 7x a week.
Separately, I was happy to see Stepn brand itself as move-and-earn, rather than move-to-earn - this subtlety has large implications.
#2 Startup of the Week - Maverick Community (~4 min read)
I want to highlight a fitness startup, Maverick community. They’re making it easier for fitness & wellness creators to run their own businesses. Think CloudKitchens, SolaSalon, Squire for wellness creators.
They’re building a network of flexible, on-demand studios. Each studio has dynamic multi-camera setups powered by AI live-editing software. They’re creating a platform for wellness professionals & creators to be entrepreneurs.
What They’ve figured out:
Maverick set up professional production studios so that classes can be live-streamed and recorded for on-demand. Its first “proof-of-concept’. location opened in Playa Vista, CA in August 2021, and has generated over $200K of GMV. They signed up 50+ wellness professionals and are hosting 60+ weekly classes.
Supply & Demand Inflection Points
There’s supply and demand inflection points driving Maverick’s model. On the supply side, creators are building owned audiences and distribution faster than ever. On the demand side, the pandemic accelerated the awareness & consumption of fitness & wellness. content.
Maverick’s investment in beautiful spaces enable creators to produce really high-quality content and then proudly share it.
The 100% organic growth of the creator base is notable, and pulling from Jordan Pascasio’s excellent piece on “hybrid enablement via cloud studios”, Maverick is able to acquire customers through its customers (the creators).
“When creators post event notifications or videos of IRL classes on social media, other creators in their network see the tagged content, see the quality of the workout and inquire further about the space”
- Michael Fishman, CEO & Founder of Maverick
Interesting Unit Economics
Maverick’s 7,500 sq. ft Playa Vista location is divided into 5 distinct studios.
They only need a 24% occupancy in order to break-even (13 creators) while charging subscription fees on the AI camera system and fees on space.
This means they only need each of the five studios to be used <3x / day. The average Soul-Cycle, OrangeTheory, F45, Barry's 8-11 daily classes.
While the pandemic accelerated fitness and wellness into the digital age at blistering speeds, consumers are going back to the gym, and will want to work out with their favorite creators IRL or virtually.
The local gym isn’t dead. Like work, the future of fitness is a hybrid model. And Maverick is uniquely positioned to continue serving the creators of the future.
#3 🎙️ Pods of the Week - 2 of this week’s listens
Listen to Athletic Green’s CEO, fresh off their last $115 funding round, valuing the company at $1.2B. I loved Chris’ distinction between DTC (direct to consumer) and his preferred lingo, DWC (direct with consumer). There should be a 2-way relationship between business and customer, and Athletic Greens honors this with impressive customer centricity.
“I challenge you to find a 90 second healthier investment in yourself.”
Listen to Steven Kotler, founder of Flow Research Collective. He discusses flow’s neuroscience, how he “surfed himself back to health” by producing profound altered states of consciousness, and how this led to his life’s work.
2 human truths from studying peak human performance:
#1: We’re all capable of so much more than we know
#2: Human potential is invisible - “ability happens when we use our skills to the utmost push over and over and over again”
#4 💥 Spark Moment of the Week
Our quick spark moment of the week is a throwback to the end of 2019.
12/30/19: Daily Moment Entry: Instead of looking at life decisions as "is this good or bad?" look at it as "is this beautiful or not?"
Will I look back on this in 10 years and say this is beautiful?
I’ve been rereading Essentialism by Greg McKeown, and found this simple reframe of a question to be a great reminder as we head into the second quarter of 2022.
What did you think? Please share any and all feedback - I hope to hear from you!
Have a beautiful week,