BTE: How did you start Skimble?

Maria: We started Skimble as a tool to help us train for the sports we love. We developed our first app to track our rock climbing, mountaineering, yoga and gym fitness. Soon after, many people wanted more guidance, not just tracking tools. Some people would say, ‘I am trying to get back into shape…what should I do?” We knew we were on to something with our next app, Workout Trainer.

BTE: How are you coping with life as an entrepreneur?

Maria: I’m happy to report I’m living my dream. Working out and working on Skimble is so complimentary. When I need a break, what better thing to do than practice yoga or enjoy a rock climbing session?

BTE: One element of the app I found impressive was that you seem to have effectively monetized every user, can you tell me more about the business model you envision for Skimble?

Maria: We wanted to build a business we could bootstrap to profitability. People value their health. By building a great product and becoming profitable, we are able to pay the health professionals and personal trainers to create all of our workouts and programs. We value their expertise!  Since we don’t need money, we can make key decisions without compromising what’s right for our members.

BTE: I was curious to know more about how you find your trainers, do you recruit them or are you open to trainers bringing workouts to you to put out to your users?

Maria: It’s a bit of both. Sometimes we go and approach specific trainers, other times they come to us. We have an awesome group of diverse trainers who create all of our content. On the consumer side, I think people would love to have a personal trainer to keep them on their toes but generally find them too costly to integrate into their daily lives.

BTE: So I have been playing around with your applications the last few days and I am curious why you decided to go with two separate apps instead of one fully integrated app?

Maria: We found that their are two types of people out there in this space; (1) those that already have activities they want to track and monitor to stay healthy, and (2) those who are interested in getting fit and working out but lack guidance and motivation.  There are different use-cases for these personas, and environments in which they do active things.  We leveraged different technology for each app, namely location-based GPS-tracking in our Sports Tracker app and multimedia coaching in our Workout Trainer app.

BTE: Are you looking to integrate with other devices, such as wearable sensors to track user stress levels while working out?

Maria: One of our most recent iOS app updates integrates with Apple TV, which wirelessly beams our workouts on to your big screen TV!  We really believe that devices around us become connected and users have Apple TVs or similar products, they can enjoy a new kind of fitness DVD experience with Workout Trainer. This is one small step we are taking into the “connected experience”.  As we expand and grow, there will definitely be more opportunities to connect with other devices.

BTE: What is on the horizon for you? What is the next stage in your business development and growth?

Maria: Our next big feature is the launch of workout programs, which are 3-6 week action plans designed by trainers to help you achieve a specific goal. These programs are customizable, based on when you can work out, what time of the day you prefer to work out and how often you want to be notified. We just launched Programs in our Workout Trainer app at the start of 2012 on Android, iPhone & iPad!