The best businesses are those that solve a problem that affects the largest amount of people and the young entrepreneurs that started this company found a market that includes just about everybody.
All Americans know that part of staying healthy is daily exercise. Experts differ on how much is enough but most agree that at least 30 minutes each day is necessary to sustain a healthy lifestyle. The problem is that America is full of very busy people and when those busy people return home, they’re tired from their day although they know that finding time to exercise is a necessity. In the end, lack of motivation often wins.
Harvard students Yifan Zhang and Geoff Oberhofer were researching how financial incentives can influence behavior when they came up with an idea. What if people were paid to go to the gym but penalized if they didn’t? Their idea later turned in to Gympact, an app that provides negative and positive incentives to help people get to the gym for their daily exercise.
Once a person signs up, they commit to how many days they will go to the gym and how much their willing to pay in penalties if they fail to meet their commitment. If a person commits to three days but only goes twice, they may pay the penalty fee they agreed to when they signed up.
Those fines are then paid as rewards to the people who do meet their obligation. Using their smartphones, users check in at the gym or workout facility of their choice so Gympact knows that they were there. To pay for the service, Gympact keeps a percentage of the payments before passing the funds on to other users.
According to their website, the system has seen a 90% success rate among users and many report upping their gym time as a result of the program.
In their first month of operation, they surpassed the goals they set for one year later. The company became profitable almost instantly signing up more than 20,000 users in the first month and have continued to grow ever since.
What’s Your Idea?
Gympact is an example of a simple idea that appeals to a large majority Americans. If you have an idea for a business startup that solves a well known problem, there’s no better time to further develop that idea and start a business of your own.