Honestly I struggled with writing the copy for this page. I wanted to convey a sense of personality and some humor, lightly sprinkled with seriousness. I just like to have fun with life. I guess you have to be a bit laid back for that. After all, we do work and travel full-time in an RV, and really aren’t keen on large groups of people. Slow and easy. Running on our own time means no stress. No hustle and bustle. Plenty of time to explore, and be inspired.
This laid back nature reflects the startup I'm building. The business name really is registered as Great Freakin Software Co. I didn’t name it that because we make great freakin software (even though we do). I named it that way to make a statement. Too often business’ get caught up in taking things so serious, that they lack personality. It’s personality that sells. It’s the trust gained from a potential client. It’s the connection that’s formed.
Who are we am I?
Every time I hear that I think of the Petey Pablo song. 😂 Anyway, it’s just me. I'm a solopreneur. But sometimes I say we because saying me sounds weird in certain contexts. I mean does it really even matter? I probably say we because, even though I’m technically the only one running the company and writing the code, there are others. There’s my beautiful wife. I can’t even describe how patient this woman is, putting up with me again as I create another startup.
There’s my kids. As of this update they’re 12 and 8. One of them was barely old enough to remember when I sold my last startup a few years ago. So is it just me? No. It’s me, and my family. Dog included.
What is SportKeeper?
It’s a software platform to manage your business. It takes care of onboarding your members, charging them for memberships on a recurring basics, and communicating when issues arise. It’s like full time employee who won’t ever quit. It was designed specifically for places like climbing gyms, skate parks, trampoline parks, and yoga studios that require digitally signed waivers.
But really it's more than that; it's the secret to being a better business owner by offering valuable insight into who your members are, and what makes them tick. Our reports leverage mathematical algorithms to detect anomalies, and forecast data based on your history. Our planned A.I. tools will offer advice like, when to eliminate membership signup dues for a certain month because the system knows it's historically a low performing time of year.
It's the missing link between you, and your members.
Why did I build it?
Honestly I saw a big need for management software for climbing gyms that was not only time saving, but aesthetically beautiful, modern, and insightful. The current solution is 10 years old, and the UI reflects this. It's a PC based program. The owner or accountant for the gym running the software manually collects the membership dues. That's crazy talk.
IDK, maybe there’s something fulfilling about sitting there on the 1st of every month billing customers. I’ve personally sat and watched it happen, and it certainly doesn't look fulfilling. There’s so much room for error, and placing that burden on someone isn’t fair. Especially when it doesn’t have to be that way.
Aesthitics aside, I think it was past time for the climbing gym industry to get a truly modern solution, built with modern billing principles, backed by a solid REST API that allows you to extend the platform beyond it's out-of-the-box capabilities.
Why makes SportKeeper different?
Hopefully you’ll have the answer to that question after you finish reading this manifesto. I’m not blind, I know full well there are plenty of other options out there. I mean hell, Mindbody software is a public company traded on the stock market. I may not be able to compete with that right now, but we sure do have an added advantage of being smaller, more transparent, more nimble, and hungrier than ever. I could never even imagine being that large of a company anwyay. I don’t want to be that large of a company. And besides, our software just looks better. 😉
All candor aside, I'm used to building software that's shaped around customer feedback. I believe it to be an important part of the process of building quality software. While I may have grandious ideas for cray features involving A.I., that may not jive with what you as a gym owner want, or expect out of the software. Our future is very much in your hands.
Small is the new big
We’re a small company. A brand-new startup. We can move exceptionally fast. It doesn’t take weeks to approve features or fix bugs. I'm just not interested in having a super large company. The bigger you are, the slower you go. I want to remain fast and nimble so we can respond quickly. I believe this platform has a very distinct value. It's something that a climbing gym, skate park, or yoga studio would find really beneficial and time saving.
Staying small means attracting the right clients. I'm interested in appealing to business owners who have actually read this manifesto, and owners who see the unique value that our business management platform can provide.
A low-volume business means we have the additional time to spend where it counts the most; helping you as a business owner achieve your goals quicker, cheaper, and more efficiently than you ever thought possible.
The power of simplicity
I strongly believe in the positive impacts of simplicity. Often times solutions to problems are so over-engineered that they become complicated. Simplicity means easier maintainabilty, and less potential for error.
Years of real world experience
This isn’t our first rodeo. As the lead software engineer for several different applications ranging from ecommerce to LMS systems, I'm responsible for the execution of work from concept to build out. I've built and managed recurring membership systems for several years, making lots of mistakes and learning a great deal along the way. I’ve migrated millions of records from legacy systems into modern software. The software that I manage on a daily basis runs hundreds of requests a minute.
Applying this to SportKeeper simply presents a new challenge; merging into the physical world. The biggest difference is that the margin for error I consider to be much smaller vs an internet based client. This transition goes from dealing with email address as people, to dealing with actual real people.
That's a challenge I'm ready to own, and face head on.
Importance of reliability and security
Redundancy within software systems can't be undervalued. The software systems I manage have more than a 99% up time, running 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. We’ve withstood cyber attacks. We're backed by Cloudflare, the world leader in internet security systems. All applications utilize secure, encrypted connections, and are continuously backed up. System logins are tracked and monitored. Accounts are locked after too many failed attempts.
This isn't to say there won't ever be bugs or security issues. What's important is how fast we react.
I'm not setting out to be rich
Sure, there's a certain level of motivation in regard to money*, but that's not why I'm doing this. I'm a creator. I just love building and tinkering. This gig, for me, makes me happy. It scratches that itch. I'm not doing this to be rich, because I already am! Maybe not in the financial sense, but I have a beautiful family, and a good paying job doing exactly what I'm doing here. My employer has embraced my goals as a creator, and has even offered their support. We have a decent roof over our heads, and we live in a place most people dream of.
All of this to say, we won't be disappearing anytime soon. We don't have money to run out of, or investors to please. I'm not even interested in VC funding, because I'm a big believer in growing organically. We rely on people just like you to spread the word.
* I'm motivated by money in the sense that we can make an impact on the world by giving away 10% of our revenue.
The rest is up to you.
That's my pitch. I've laid it all out there, and if you're still reading by this point, then I commend you! Maybe you're interested in joining our beta?
If you're just curious for now, that's cool too. Add your email to our newsletter, and and we'll hit you up with important news. You can also explore the demo to get a feel for what the platform can do for you.