March 24, 2020 Wizard.Fit Part I – The Suddenly Unemployed World of Fitness
collaboration and innovation amidst covid-19
Economic uncertainty is part of the new reality we’re all facing with COVID-19. But even with unprecedented disruption worldwide, there’s another side to the crisis. Amidst the anxiety, we’re also seeing stories of ingenuity and inspiration. Creative individuals are coming together to fast-track solutions and rapidly bring things to market that could improve lives.
Entrepreneur Soofi Safavi is one of these innovators. He’s leveraging the Topcoder platform to bring an application to market as we speak. This five part blog series will be a hyper-paced, nearly live look at the design and development process for this new application—Wizard.Fit. Soofi and Topcoder VP Clinton Bonner discuss what’s behind this whirlwind project, why Wizard.Fit is different, and how the greatest ideas often come out of the greatest adversity.
Hang on to your yoga pants, this is going to be a wild ride.
the Wizard.Fit opportunity
Soofi is a hot yoga enthusiast. When coronavirus hit and fitness studios had to shut down, he saw the devastating effect these closures had on the instructors that he admired, who inspired him in classes daily. Many took to Instagram and Facebook Live to teach, but for an instruction-heavy class like yoga where proper form is essential, these platforms failed to deliver a solution that re-created the class dynamic. Beyond that, there was no integrated way for instructors to collect donations. Soofi saw this gap, wanted to help the instructors who motivated him, and the Wizard.Fit concept was born.
a new kind of fitness app
With Wizard.Fit, Soofi is setting out to create an integrated application that allows instructors to virtually teach classes, collect payment, and actually instruct in a way that simulates a live studio environment. As he puts it, “When you’re in a downward dog, you’re not looking at someone else to try and get your form right, you’re just in your pose! The whole point is for the trainer to look at you and correct your form.” As such, Wizard.Fit is being built with two foundational considerations in mind:
- Making sure the platform is safe and secure for financial transactions – for both sides of the marketplace
- Creating a user experience that imitates the live studio experience as much as possible, for both the instructor and student
the need for speed
This is all happening fast. Soofi reached out to Topcoder to help bring his application idea to life in 7-10 days. Here’s the timeline so far:
Monday, 3/16/20 – Soofi comes up with Wizard.Fit concept
Tuesday 3/17/20 – Soofi reaches out to Topcoder
Weds. 3/18/20 – Project team comes together
Thurs. 3/19/20 – Plan set in place and work began
Soofi has worked with Topcoder before and knew that with our community of on-demand talent, he could start immediately and build Wizard.Fit on an accelerated timeline. The ability to make it happen now was essential.
“COVID-19 has put us out of our comfort zone, but instead of being uncomfortable, let’s create and innovate.”Soofi Safavi, Wizard.Fit Founder/CEO
Coming up in Part II of our Making of Wizard.Fit series, we’ll take a more technical dive into the game plan of getting the application made. See how Soofi is leveraging the community, what he is focusing on, what comprises the MVP and how the build has gone thus far.