From 0 to 20,000,000 Users and a $150,000,000 Exit to Under Armour


In Episode #261 Nathan interviews Robin Thurston, the founder of Map My Fitness and senior VP at Under Armour. Robin built  a conversation with cycling buddies into a multi-million dollar app. Listen as Nathan and Robin talk about turning a website into an iPhone app, Map My Fitness’ user base, and the process of exiting a company you’ve founded.

Famous 5

  • Favorite Book? – Career Warfare
  • What CEO do you follow? — None
  • What is your favorite online tool? — I travel so much – it’s a car-sharing service
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? —You never actually know what’s going to happen

Time Stamped Show Notes:

      • 01:25 – Nathan’s introduction
      • 01:45 – Welcoming Robin to the show
      • 02:10 – The process of founding Map My Fitness
      • 02:40 – Came out of a dinner conversation where someone wanted to map their cycle route
      • 03:10 – Robin wasn’t a developer but had a product background
      • 03:30 – Worked with developers who were also cyclists
      • 04:20 – Bought the ‘Map My Run’ website for $5k
      • 04:50 – Moved to Denver and launched Map My Fitness
      • 05:15 – Had 1 million web users before the iPhone launch
      • 05:40 – 2006-2013, became one of the USA’s top 100 apps
      • 06:00 – Made money from ads and subscriptions early on; added a SaaS business
      • 06:45 – Around $17 million in revenue when they exited in 2013
      • 07:30 – Under Armour was interested in the community and user base
      • 07:40 – Revenue of about $4 per month per user in the US
      • 08:20 – Spent almost nothing on acquisition
      • 09:00 – Early 2013 were advised to ‘go big or go home’ by potential investors
      • 09:40 – Had a call from Kevin Plank in the middle of the raising process – and sold
      • 11:30 – Underarmour were keen to acquire a team experienced in e-commerce
      • 12:40 – Time from call to public announcement was less than 3 months
      • 13:00 – Had 103 employees at time of sale
      • 13:30 – Contact Robin on Twitter
      • 16:10 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Know when it’s the right time to sell or exit your business. Even if it’s not what you’d planned, opportunity may come knocking.
  2. Dominate your niche. Robin and his partner bought the ‘Map My Run’ site – a potential competitor – and used it to propel their own site forward.
  3. You don’t know where you’ll be in twenty years. Keep an eye out for opportunity and let yourself be surprised.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • lee

    player keeps crashing at about 7 minutes!!!