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James Quarles // 03 // celebrate effort

How to turn the things that motivate people into an actual business

Member exclusive by Quartz

After a career involving stints at Instagram, Facebook, Dell, and TiVo, James Quarles took over as CEO of the fitness tracking app Strava in 2017. Today, 41 million athletes make up Strava’s community, and a million more join each month.

In the third video of our members-only series on how to start and build a digital community, Quarles explains how understanding why your users value your product is a critical step toward growing it. For starters, it might not always be the main thing you built. At Strava, athletes log their fitness activity, but they also share their good and bad days with other users on the app—and that’s why they keep coming back.

In the first video in this series, Quarles discussed why Strava’s early decision to stay narrowly focused on just cycling was critical to its early success. Even when they expanded to include running, many of those early lessons still applied. And in the second video, Quarles dissects the next step: getting out of users’ way.

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