With the fitness industry poised to further expand its impact and transformation within the wellness industry space, we're growing smarter today from one of the world's most influential minds in the active healthy lifestyle sector, Lee Embley, to discuss the best-of-the-best takeaways from his 40+ years around technology innovation and digital trends.
With his impressive body of work, he is now leading a mission to connect the role of fitness to an even larger ecosystem of wellness, driven by artificial intelligence and big data sets through his up and coming platform Optimal AI Coach.
We know now more than ever that fitness has been and will always be a powerful and integral piece in what is at the core of all club member's goals, which is to be healthy and well in their body, mind, and spirit, so on this podcast we're excited to unpack the nuances of what Lee believes is the "biggest miss" right now in the fitness industry, how human longevity plugs into our standard fitness models, why the ultimate value proposition for wearable technology is wellness and not just fitness, and how Lee's own health journey has inspired him to radically shift his focus in the coming years.
With fitness industry experiencing the most radical transformation in decades, what are the most powerfully distilled concepts that club owners, operators, and fitness professionals must understand when it comes to fitness and wellness technology?
The answer to that question and much more takeaways for club owners, operators, and fitness pros in this episode with Lee Embley.
About Lee Embley
Over the past three decades Lee Embley has been innovating and influencing the bleeding edge in the Active Healthy Lifestyle Sector, building brands in retail, connected-tech, digital-media, and financial-services, including the following:
ProWoman Sports USA first all women sporting goods retail brand, merchandising functional design, fashion and leisure wear, early footwear product development with ProWoman Strider the first women lasted track and field running shoe, equipment to the fit-active female market. PWS became the first national sales organization to secure a exclusive distribution with hundreds of colleges and universities with female specific sports programs. Acquired, Tennis Lady Group UK.
Lee also developed the First e-Commerce business model "Network Credit Service," providing credit reports to small business via, major information hubs i.e. CompuServ, Dow Jones Newsnet. NCS provided 500,000 businesses via trade associations and national franchises system achieving a $53MM in second year revenue. (Acquired by TRW New Credit Service)
Mr. Embley founded the NCSB, the first sports, performance, data and evaluation platform. An athletic scouting and evaluation system to enable high school athletes who are not recruited a system to evaluate their athletic skills by professional scouts. Acquired, Pro-Serve, as well as "Radiance Rewards," the first AHL credit cards for health fitness conscious women.
His work continued with Leap4Life the first "Wearable Marketplace" designed for the health and fitness consumers to fully experience the motivation of active lifestyle. L4L hacked and mitigated the sustained engagement factor with a unique combination of attributes. The methodology and technology applied data science and social to achieve success.
His latest body of work is the "Optimal AI Coach: O.AI.C" an application to enhance fitness and performance through deep learning and integration of lifestyle data via technology. All the data collections are in place, wearable, mobile, retail to create the next generation highly personalized coaching system.
Listen To Episode 045 As Lee Uncovers
- Why Lee's "S.T.E.E.P. model" is still viable today as the pressures on the human condition are quite profound
- How Lee constructed his business strategies based on this analytical model he adopted while at McKinsey
- How understanding the S.T.E.E.P. analysis will define a way to determine shifts triggered by seminal events in Social, Technological, Economic, Ecological, and Political segments.
- How these five pillars are cornerstones of every civilization and how technology can support
- Unpacking what Lee sees as the "Fatal Flaw" in fitness: A lack of sustained engagement for clubs
- The impact of wearables vs. the impact of active healthy lifestyle data: what happens with the new era of AI and how it will change operators everyday tasks
- Exploring pattern recognition via wearables
- Microdata vs. Macrodata: Understanding the data sets of the human ecosystem
- Exploring the trends in women's fitness "from beauty to strength" transition
- The "Big Miss" and why using relevant data sets in fitness is ripe for disruption
- Challenging the paradigm of seeing technology as a threat to the 4 walls to monetizing member's outside of them
- Plugging in human longevity to the standard fitness model through intrinsic motivation
- The Optimal AI Coach: Lee's bleeding edge technology platform that will use accelerated data sets to help shift fitness into wellness
- Understanding "Game Theory" models when contrasted with Self Determination Theory
- Why the ultimate value proposition for wearables will be wellness from the data not just fitness
- How Lee's battle with Stage 4 Cancer has inspired the emotional, physoical,
Top 3 Takeaways From The Show
- Lee reminds us that the need for speed creates new value. “Things” only have value when they are put in motion. Anything standing still is valueless, be it money, inventory, information, an empty hotel room, data, machinery, technology, people.
- Early warning systems are designed to foretell of impending disaster. Those in any industry who ignore the warnings will eventually fail, as seen with the assault on the retail sector which is not a surprise. Lee’s strategy is to identify weakness or obsolesce within a sector under siege and define alternative strategies. Always focused on the evolution of the consumer of the product or service enables Lee or any savvy professional to spot an early trend before it grows into a recognizable market.
- With a large focus on collecting data, Lee believes that it's the use of pattern recognition via artificial intelligence that will truly guide the transformation in our fitness industry to serve an even larger ecosystem of wellness. When we look at the wearable tech component, this is the area that is most ripe for disruption. Lee believes that the active lifestyle persona must be taken into consideration including their body, mind, and spiritual capacities in order for technology to serve their deepest needs. With the exponential growth in wearable technology's ability to support these three capacities the future of fitness and wellness technology is both inspiring and promising.
Power Quotes From Lee
"When it comes to connecting the dots of success for technology, it's distilled down to one term and that is relevance. If there's not relevance, then at the end of the day then there's no sustainability. The real issue is properly determining where each generational segment is focused on the spectrum of the active healthy lifestyle" - Lee Embley on the Fitness + Technology Podcast
"Anything standing still is valueless. It doesn't matter whether it's people standing still, money standing still, information standing still. The only way it gets value is when you put it in motion. The reason there are thousands of brands in the graveyard is because they could not accept the fact that the change was upon them." - Lee Embley on the Fitness + Technology Podcast
"You have to start with the question 'where am I and my capital at risk?' and then get into some significant valuation. Forecasting the economy does not necessarily mean that your segment of the economy is going to be disrupted." - Lee Embley on the Fitness + Technology Podcast
Resources Mentioned From Lee
- Lee Embley on LinkedIn
- LEAP4LIFE on the web
- TechnoGym + AI Developments
- The Big Miss. Change is soft cultural, hard to define...Really!
- "Wearable Gamification", Where The Big Money Is...The Uber Of Fitness
- One "New" Wearable Feature Will Change Everything...
- Cash In On Your Data!
- Wearable Market Long Term Success, Only As Good As The User Experience
- Zoom Media for clubs
- Self Determination Theory
- 010 Robert Dyer: The One Thing That Hasn't Changed About Fitness
- 044 Dave Wright: Fitness Tech, Data Accuracy, & Machine Learning
- 024 Connected Fitness & Beyond - Dan McDonogh, Under Armour
Thanks To Our Outstanding Sponsors
- Bryan O’Rourke and his family of companies including Vedere Ventures, Integerus Advisors, and many more. If you are looking for unmatched guidance, capital, insights or a great speaker or facilitator, Bryan and his partners are the go to resource for your organization. To learn more visit bryankorourke.com
- The Fitness Industry Technology Council, your non-profit resource for reliable technology information supported by forward looking brands who are seeking to drive increased technology adoption in the fitness industry. Make a difference and join FIT-C at fittechcouncil.org today
- Check out Bryan and his partner Robert Dyer's recent book "9 Partnership Principles: A Story of Life Lessons" which is available now on Amazon.com