Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and an online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs.
Spiffy here with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Jose Martin Quesada, the CEO of Krew. Let’s learn what’s happening at Krew and how Jose is making a positive impact in the world.
Spiffy: Hi Jose, thanks a million for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through Krew?
Jose: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! A lot of people are suffering from poor physical health, poor mental health, and the intersection of both (eg. not liking your own body). Exercise might not sound as sexy as a cure for cancer, and yet it can help with some of the biggest health issues of our time. We wanted to create a product which made exercise highly motivating, so it doesn't feel like a chore. We do that by taking the best things about social fitness, aka, working out with friends, and a sense of healthy competition, to get people to work out not just once, but over and over. We do it by measuring how well and how hard you work out, providing you with real-time feedback and video highlights showing you at your best, without the need for any hardware.
Spiffy: That sounds great! What would you say motivates you to do it?
Jose: I went through a coma from a car crash, my lungs have collapsed six times (for unrelated reasons, mostly because I grew up too fast!), and I have IBS (my tummy is quite temperamental). Despite all that, I managed to go from really poor health to competing in CrossFit, and running/gymming every day. When I thought of what motivated me in this journey, it came down to community and healthy competition, which scientific research shows us are actually some of the most powerful motivators for most people. Thanks to my co-founder's PhD, we built a product which uses those motivators to help you work out more often, without making you buy super expensive hardware first. You can use it anywhere, so it adapts to you.
Spiffy: To use a cliche term, that is a really inspiring journey! Can you elaborate on the impact of your work?
Jose: Young adults who want to get in better shape but don't want to hate every minute of it. That's why the product can be used anywhere, with friends, and doesn't require more than your phone or laptop.
Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organization milestone or initiative. What impact does it have on your community?
Jose: The app managed to convince 80% of the people who started using the product at the beginning of a month to continue using it after a whole month. That's huge in fitness, as that first month is when most people will give up trying.
Spiffy: Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?
Jose: I used to be embarrassed to post the occasional gym selfie but the positive encouragement from my friends turned out to be a huge motivator (it's part of the reason we offer video highlights after a workout on Krew). Ask your friends explicitly to build you up, we should be telling each other nice things more often!
Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Jose—it’s been an honor!
Jose Martin Quesada is the CEO and co-founder of Krew, a product using AI feedback to improve form and effort using just your device's camera. Prior to Krew, Jose helped launch consumer products at Google, helped companies grow while at McKinsey, and went from a coma to competing in CrossFit. (Nominated by Gaingels. First published on the Ladderworks website on August 2, 2023.)
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.
© 2023 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.