Behind the Business
In our Behind the Business series, we interview all kinds of different entrepreneurs, from freelancers to the new Apples of the world!
In this week’s article, we are interviewing Lee Haines who is the founder of Year of 1000km. Check out how Lee turned his passion into an ever-growing community!
Story of Year of 1000km
Who are you?
Hello! My name is Lee Haines. I currently live in Utrecht, The Netherlands but I grew up in the Rocky Mountains in rural British Columbia, Canada. I am now a dual citizen (Canadian / Dutch) and married to a lovely Dutch girl and have a couple of awesome kids.
I have been working in the corporate world doing B2B SaaS software sales for the last 12 years, and am now productising my hobby and passion for fitness for the last few years and building a brand called Year of 1000km.
That sounds great! While we are on it, how did you start your business?
A few years back, I was training for a half marathon with some friends. These friends were spread across multiple continents, so I created a remote challenge to run 1000km in 12 months as motivation. To make tracking our progress easier, I put together a simple Google Sheets document for us to use.
Just a couple of months into the challenge, I suffered an injury that forced me to stop running. The doctor recommended cycling instead. However, I didn’t want to fold the group as it was a great way to keep in touch with my remote friends. Plus, we were all finding positive motivation from each other. So instead of calling it quits, I modified the challenge to include cycling. I simply needed to cycle 2.5km to equal 1km for the challenge.
As time went on, I added more activities and more users joined. I ended up creating 2 different challenges: Healthy Lifestyle and Distance. Due to popular demand, I have created a third challenge for 2021 called, Healthy Mind, which has a focus on more cognitive activities, such as meditation, playing an instrument and even reading books!
So when I say “any activity that contributes to a healthy lifestyle”, I really do mean it! 🙂 And that’s pretty much the story behind how I turned my passion into a product!
Bussines Model of Year of 1000km
Quite a story Lee! So, tell us more about your business. What is something that makes Year of 1000km unique?
Year of 1000km is an application that converts progress in any activity that contributes to a healthy lifestyle into a single metric for benchmarking against others. It is possible to join any of the challenges I just mentioned, take part in custom challenges made by other members of the community, or even create your own.
The application is currently completely free but we will start offering a subscription model in the coming months which will include both free and paid plans.
Year of 1000km is unique because we have built a community of people who are passionate about a healthy lifestyle and are willing to help new members. A community like ours keeps you motivated and helps you achieve the goals you have set for yourself!
That does sound like a unique community! What is your target audience for Year of 1000km?
Our target audience is anyone who wishes to stay competitive within a given community (friends, colleagues, etc.) while performing a range of healthy lifestyle activities.
For example, if I’m a runner but my friends are swimmers and weightlifters, it’s currently not possible for me to benchmark progress against them. We cannot compete in a fun way. This is where the Year of 1000km application comes in!
We have many other types of users, For instance, tose that wish to join a community to meet new people from around the world while staying healthy. Personal trainers that want to use an application to motivate their clients, charity event organisers that need a way to track their participants’ progress, or even Facebook Group (or similar) administrators that manage running groups and would like to create challenges their members can join.
Another cool thing about Year of 1000km is that users can also make money in the process by taking advantage of our Referral Program, which we will launch later this year.
Super, thanks for sharing Lee! For the last question, is there any way our interested followers can get in touch with you?
Yeah definitely. I would be happy to get in touch with anyone interested in my endeavours. You can check out our website here and reach out to us on our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook handle. You can also mail me at: email@example.com.
If you want to read more articles like these, check out our blog!
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