Stormproof: How Projects Weather Bear Markets
Bear markets come and go, but a solid business can last for many lifetimes — and that means that they are able to weather the ups and downs that naturally occur in the market. Doing this isn’t easy. Countless projects go down during tough times like these, and you need a solid blueprint and strategy to stay afloat.
There are three key defences for a strong project : a) Product, b) Business Model and c) Team.
Today we want to share how we think about our strategy especially with a magnifying lens on product — how we aim to not just stay afloat but thrive.
A strong team — that a smart, dedicated and talented group of people is worth its weight in gold.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world,” said American cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead, “In fact, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
The qualities of a team that are absolutely crucial for long-term success: a culture of integrity, passion, and resilience. Integrity to ensure a united ethos of serving our users, passion that drives our desire to impact the lives of millions, and resilience to stay committed and trust in the process, even when it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.
Then comes the strength of our business model — taking on traditional fit-tech model to create positive habit loops while being a viable business. We’ve also diversified our revenue model away from just our token economy, building a brand new multi-chain decentralized exchange called DOOAR.
Today, we’ll be diving deep covering the strength of our product. Let’s get straight to it.
How do you define a strong product? There are countless metrics and frameworks that people try to apply when determining whether a product will be successful or not. Within our team, we’re experienced builders, with a portfolio of long-lasting products and services that have proven to be compelling.
So what works? When it boils down to it, a few important questions are key to answer when constructing a strong product. And we thought long and hard about these questions as we were building STEPN from scratch.
Is it unique?
This is one of the most important qualities that a product must have. In order to stand out from the crowd, you must have a unique selling proposition (USP) to differentiate. A USP, as defined by entrepreneur.com, is the following:
“The factor or consideration presented by a seller as the reason that one product or service is different from and better than that of the competition.”
At STEPN, we took a question that people have tried to answer before (Working out and going to the gym every day is hard and not super fun. How do you add incentives and gamification to hack human behavior), and we created a unique approach (What if you could get paid to go out and walk or run every day?)
Does it appeal to a large audience?
This second question is another crucial one to be answered when building your product. Who is your audience? And is there enough of a population to support your business and continue buying your product or engaging with your service every day?
When we were brainstorming what kind of product to create, we knew that play-to-earn video games was already a very popular market, and we knew that it had caught on especially in Southeast Asia, with Axie Infinity. But we thought to ourselves — what if we think bigger? What kind of activity can we get people to engage with that’s even bigger than the population who games?
With that, we landed on walking and running — which is virtually the entire population of able-bodied people in the world. If that’s not a massive TAM, we don’t know what is!
Does it solve a problem?
Another key question is what problem your product is solving. Is it a pressing issue, that will be a problem no matter the state of the market? With STEPN, we are looking to improve the health of millions of people around the world. More importantly, your health and wellness is important to you regardless of whether there’s a recession or not. It’s still important to take care of your body by eating healthily and walking outside.
That’s why STEPN as a product is more recession-proof than many other projects. NFTs may come and go, and collectible items are likely to take a hit when inflation is rising and cost-of-living is skyrocketing. Even video gaming is taking a minor hit this year, with analysts at Ampere Analysis projecting the first-ever market decline for the industry since 2015. Meanwhile, the fitness industry is one of the more nuanced industries during a recession — it’s still quite possible to thrive during an economic downturn if you play your cards right.
Are there proven results?
Finally, once your product is out there, a good check of how successful your product is is to see whether you’re actually making a difference in your customers’ lives.
We’ve been blessed to have an incredible and engaged community that shares their wins and fitness transformations with us. We’ve been overjoyed to see thousands of positive user testimonials of how they’re improving their wellness and building better habits. Here are just a few examples:
“I believe STEPN is better at habit forming for continued exercise…STEPN keeps me jogging everyday whether I like it or not.”
“I’m already a certified personal trainer… and everybody is asking me how I’m getting leaner these few weeks … cause I am one month into STEPN 😂
From our incredible team to our robust business model to our powerful product, we are busy building, building, and building to widen our impact and help change millions of people's lives for the better.