Payal Kadakia is the CEO & Co-Founder of ClassPass, a subscription service that aims to fill empty slots in fitness classes. Kadakia has had a passion for dance since the age of 3. Her passion for dance combined with entrepreneurship, and making the world a more active, happy place, led her to create the class subscription service.
In a recent Inc. video, Kadakia tells us how she pivoted three times before she finally came up with the idea for ClassPass.
“It takes guts to pivot,” says Kadakia. “There’s press, there’s investors, there’s people you have to convince. But I didn’t want to sell a month of experiences, I wanted to sell a lifestyle.”
In 2011, Kadakia co-founded Classivity, a search engine for fitness and recreational classes. The site launched in 2012, but it ran into problems.
Overcoming initial obstacles
“Classitivity was a search engine but it didn’t work,” says Kadakia. “People were coming to the site but they weren’t booking classes. And even though on the exterior we were getting press, I knew we had built an idea and a vision but we hadn’t built a product that was working. So we had to pivot, we had to find another product and so we launched a product called The Passport.”
The Passport bundled free, first-time fitness classes into a $49 package and the studios got to introduce new customers to their offerings. Although the new product generated profit, it didn’t generate repeat customers. Kadakia had to pivot yet again. She launched ClassPass in 2013 and it showed great success.
“Three months into ClassPass we started to notice that our growth rate wasn’t just doubling, it was like tripling month-over-month, and we quickly passed even the number of subscribers we had had initially on The Passport.”
From all of her pivoting, Kadakia learned to never get stuck or settle.
“Don’t get stuck and don’t settle. Keep pivoting until you’re happy with the product. That’s the most important thing.”
View the full video here.
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