Sometimes a good idea hits you like a splash of cold water.
Fares Ksebati cocreated MySwimPro in 2015 to provide a deep pool of aquatic workout videos for like-minded athletes. The app syncs with Apple Health to keep your swimming and workout data secure. With 2021 being an Olympic year, he and cofounder Adam Oxner are poised to make even bigger waves: “Swimming gets a lot of public notoriety every four years,” says Ksebati.
We spoke to Ksebati, a three-time U.S. Masters swimming champion, about the power of incremental change and what every entrepreneur should know before diving into app development.
How did you start creating apps?
Before launching MySwimPro in 2015, I worked at four different startups and was always coaching swimming on the side. At the time, there was really nothing that addressed swimmers, so that’s when the light-bulb moment happened.
If you work on something you understand intimately, it’s a lot easier because you have that intuition, that unique lens. I’m a swimmer and a coach, but above all I’m a swimming nerd. I not only understand it but I care about it.
How is the MySwimPro team structured these days?
Our HQ is technically in Ann Arbor, but we have team members across the United States and a few countries like Turkey and Ukraine. The app is in nine languages, and we were able to do most of that in-house because we speak almost a dozen languages on our team, which is really unique.
What do you do as a team to stay motivated?
Go to the pool! I literally went for a swim two hours ago. Because we’re a fitness brand, it’s part of our culture to take a break in the middle of the day. I want everybody to feel comfortable doing that, even if they’re not swimming.
What’s been the most challenging time for your team, and how did you get through it?
Back in March, when pools were closing, we thought, “OK, this could be two or three years, but we can’t sit around and do nothing.” So we took action very quickly, creating 200 dryland videos and eight training programs. We went to my brother’s house and rearranged his living room into an at-home fitness facility.
What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you started?
That it’s really important to be consistent, that it takes time to develop, and that if you can just be a little bit better every single day, the compounding impact is absolutely insane. We’ve been at this for five years, which is more than 1,800 days, and we’re trying to be at least 1 percent better each day.
Originally published on the App Store.