Gear's Thoughts: It's Grow Time

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 | By Gear Fisher
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I've got a few announcements to make, and yes, I thought I was pretty clever with my play on words in that title. We are about to take on some sizable growth. If you want the details and enjoy "behind the scenes" info, read on. Or, here's the 140-characters-or-less Twitter version: We're growing fast and looking to hire 10 people; also, WKO+ 4 development is under way (for Mac too!).

We have been in a strategic planning phase for the past several months as we set our plans for the future, and now we're ready to go, er, grow. Traditionally, we've always balanced growth with profitability to ensure a long-term sustainable business. That's still our over-arching philosophy, but now we're going to stretch ourselves so that we can serve you better. As always, we're focused on building awesome products that bring value to endurance athletes and coaches, but every once in a while when the time is right, you take a chance to seize an opportunity. 

New Job Positions

Just like in cycling when you attack with 50k to go instead of waiting for the final sprint, or you up the pace at mile 20 of the marathon knowing you're still a long way from home, we're feeling good and going for it. Today we are entering a major growth phase for our company, and we have 10 new open positions that we're looking to hire starting right now. If you share our values and want to align your passion with your profession, we need to talk. We need people in marketing, product development and support as we take TrainingPeaks to a whole new level.

New Focus on Design and User Experience

Now understand, this isn't our first rodeo. Long-time users know we faced a similar, huge challenge in 2008 when we re-engineered our entire platform. Since then, the business has grown considerably, but it's time to do it again - we have no interest in being "good enough". The best time to re-invest and double-down is when everything is going well, not when your back is against the wall and revenues are shrinking. What's going to be different this time? Design. Scale and experience.

Unannounced until now, we've been building a world-class Creative Services team. This summer, we hired a Chief Creative Officer. Mike Bonenberger has a background in supreme UX/UI design, and has since grown his team to 3 people, with plans to add another. Maybe this is no shocker, but we've never had a dedicated designer on staff. With our migration over to HTML5, we see this as our chance to re-build our platform with beautiful, elegant and intuitive design. Our user-centric design approach will be to delight our new customers, but simultaneously keep our existing loyal customers happy. That's not easy, but I am confident that we can do it. We simply have to.

We also have the ability to use the latest in technology to scale our infrastructure. Retooling legacy systems and moving to the cloud means you'll have faster and more reliable performance than ever before. Speed is the #1 feature, and we're going to make sure we can deliver. As I mentioned, we've been through this before, and we've learned from our mistakes in the last transition. It's going to be a long while yet before you see the fruits of our labor, but know that we are committed to doing this right, and we'll be open and careful along the way.

"The Band is Back": WKO+ 4

Next, I'd like to announce that the band is back together - development of WKO+ version 4 is under way! Exercise physiologist Dr. Andy Coggan, Coach Hunter Allen and the original software engineer of CyclingPeaks, Kevin Williams are once again teamed up and working full steam ahead to build the next generation of our cutting-edge data-analysis desktop software. The goal is to develop a series of WKO+ innovations over the coming years that ensures TrainingPeaks continues to be the leader in endurance training analytics. And before I get hundreds of questions, yes, there will be a native Mac version. As for timing, we've got a long way to go, so don't hold your breath. You also won't need to ask "is it ready yet?", because trust me, we will shout from every rooftop when it is. We are fully committed to the WKO+ product as we always have been, we've just recently been focused on the web until now. The additional hires mean that we can work on our products in parallel: mobile, web and desktop.

With the commitment from Hunter and the Gang (that's their band name by the way), you can expect an innovation revolution, not just a simple point version upgrade. We have new ideas in science and dramatic improvements to the software already in the pipeline. If you haven't taken a moment to fill out our WKO+ survey yet, here's your chance to weigh in on what you'd like to see in the product.

The time really is now. We've been laying the foundation for this moment for over a year by adding management resources, financial resources and critical strategic planning. Our business is more profitable and growing faster than ever before, but we're out to re-invent ourself again in order to stay ahead of the curve and drive innovation to an all-new level. If you've got what it takes to make a contribution to a high performance team, we need to hear from you. Yes, it's grow time, and I've never been more excited. Come join our team if you want to contribute to our journey. Thanks for reading.

 - Gear

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