On Strava, or The Things You Love Should Love You Back

May 19 2020

[this is also on medium because even I can’t stand to read through 5000 words on my god-awful looking blog]

Strava, the since-forever social fitness service, announced yesterday that a number of features previously available for free to any user were being transferred instead into the company’s paid offering. The Internet responded as you might expect, everyone seems to have a hot take, but for the most part, I don’t really have a problem with the revised payment model.

In fact I, Cosmo Catalano, long-time Strava user, former developer partner, for years a paying member, erstwhile foaming brand advocate, and even one-time guest speaker, would be stoked as hell to hand Strava my five-dollars-a-month again. All they’d have to do is convince me my money would be put to good use. Instead, they complained that they weren’t profitable.

It’s a bit rich to hear Strava say that in 2020, after spending years and god knows how many dev hours on a merry-go-round of half-baked features that no one wanted and that even fewer people used. To read that, almost overnight, the company’s only desire is “to make a product so good that you’re happy to pay for it” is similarly confounding because — as you’ll read below — this was exactly what Strava once had, and exactly what it spent the tail end of the last decade burning to the ground.

[You can read the rest, for now, on Medium]


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