Former Olympians Build Swimming App

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Go Swim is a joint venture between Glenn Mills and Barbara Hummel.  Glenn was a member of the 1980 Olympic Swim Team and is a Masters world record holder.  Barbara is a veteran of two Olympic Trials and is currently a coach and world Masters Top-Ten Swimmer. Between them they have over 50 years of high-level competition and coaching experience, and are both learn-to-swim instructors. I had the privilege of chatting with Glenn on the phone recently to talk about his business and Mobile Roadie app.

Why did you build the app?

Coaches, swimmers … everyone uses technique material, but it’s always away from the pool. We want to get people the information that they can use when and where they actually use it. We wanted to test the waters, so to speak, to see if a mobile app is a viable way of doing this.

Are you using it the way you envisioned?

We try to take advantage of the Mobile Roadie app as much as possible. We serve our own videos, upgraded with Mobile Roadie’s help. We needed more bandwidth than YouTube was able to offer, so they helped us with that. We use the Fan Wall as well as Pictures, which are updated each week.  We also have our Twitter feed and RSS news from popular swimming websites.  The app reflects our website in a good way. There is tons of content on the app, and we’ve got tons of content on the website as well.  Our business model is to give away some information, but also drive more people back to the website for DVD sales.

What have you discovered or been surprised by the most?

The Fan Wall is probably the thing that surprised me the most. We get a lot of kids on the app – more than on the website. Kids are used to this format more because of things like Twitter and texting.  So the demographics, I would say, are that the app is used by a lot of younger people. Moderation is easy with Mobile Roadie, because it’s all done online. And as these kids grow and become more serious swimmers, we’re there for them. We want to think long-term with our brand and develop our market going forward.

How has your experience been working with the Mobile Roadie platform?

It’s very stable. For someone like myself and our business, we don’t have a ton of time to chase around the tech side of things. We are content creators for a niche market. So, having something that’s been so relatively easy to put together has been important. In creating all this content, we need to be able to focus on creating the content. The stability has been tremendous for us. The upgrades and features, like Ustream, to have something like that just show up – I don’t think we’d be able to develop something like that on our own. It keeps us on the cutting edge, and helps us stay ahead of the competition.  I’ve also been surprised by how responsive the support staff is, all the way up to the top of the company. Makes a small business like ours feel important.

You can download the Go Swim app here:  http://road.ie/go-swim

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