March 20, 2023
Laboni, our co-founder, reflects back on how our fitness application, Gwaan, came to be.
How was the business born?
During lockdown, Pearce and I were struggling to see results, or stay motivated ,with our at-home workouts. The fitness tracker wasn't accurately capturing our progress, and - despite the movements feeling easier - we were unsure if we were performing the exercises with good form.
In a moment of playful frustration, I jokingly suggested using our dog's petcam to detect our movements and create a virtual personal trainer (you could argue that Peppe, our toy poodle, is somewhat our muse). Pearce, a machine learning engineer, saw potential in the idea and began working on developing the technology. I roll my eyes, because this is his idea of 'fun'.
Three years, many late nights, a handful of awards, and a wedding later, Gwaan is now a reality. The app uses computer vision to track workout form and repetitions, all from just your phone. While we are working on smoothing out the app design, we're thrilled to offer a low-fuss and efficient tool to help people achieve their fitness goals. All from the comfort (and squeeze) of our Brixton flat.
What lessons have you learned along the way?
The future looks bright, but let me assure you that this was not an overnight success. The start-up and tech community need to echo that driving traction is tough and innovating is high-risk.
As someone who is naturally risk-adverse, taking an idea from the living room to a stage is a 'muscle' that has required strengthening. However, I have grown with Gwaan. I have learned how to captialise on my strengths as a co-founder, and how to work on my weaknesses. Ironically this applies to a variety of contexts - be it work or fitness - and that is what really counts.