Non Elites: Start Small and Enjoy the Ride

What do the goals of a growing startup company look like

While massive companies like Airbnb boast over 80,000 bookings per day, our small but nimble 5 person company is celebrating the little “wins” — one pickup soccer game at a time!

We high five over our quintessentially cluttered desks when you, yes you Santiago from Toronto, posts a pickup game on the OpenSports App and invite 40 local players to it. Even more cheers come from our office when 10 people joined your game 😊!

Sowing Goals from the (Grass)Roots Up

June 16, 2016, Christie Pits Park, Toronto: The first OpenSports pickup soccer game. I can still remember the sheer sense of relief when people showed up to play ✨

Since we hosted our first pickup soccer match in Toronto in June 2016, the local soccer community has taken charge of hosting their own pickup games through the app. We’ve seen over 540 games hosted across the GTA and want to see more, more, more 💃🏼!

We’re pumped to support more games this spring/summer, with an audacious goal: Reach 1000 games by the end of 2017. To let you know how we plan on getting there, here’s a glimpse into some of our goals for the month of May.

Goal Setting = Making Some Cuts 🙅🏼‍♂️

Tough decisions sometimes require ice cream.
  1. Superserve the sports communities that make most sense, and only focus on those: Soccer and Tennis.

The truth is, when a hockey player signs up for OpenSports right now, there is not much value for them, because we do not focus our product development and marketing activations on the hockey community. However, our soccer community is thriving, and our tennis community is billowing. Hockey and softball, we still love you. But we need to superserve those smaller communities.

Media and Sponsorship Goals

Hanging with Alex from the Under the Cosh Soccer Podcast. We’re recording a commercial here. This is what I think having Minute Maid as a product sponsor would look like.

2. Identify and contact 10 potential sponsors. Secure one new product partner/sponsor.

May 1 Update: Clear out your energy bar cupboards. We are excited to announce Clif Bar & Company as an official product sponsor for OpenSports!! We will distribute scrumptious Clif bars to hundreds of recreational athletes in Toronto, after they play sports.

3. Be featured in a news story from one external news outlet.

We’re excited to share the press release from our recent Interac-a-Thon win!

User Acquisition Goals

Trinity Bellwoods Park, you get a 3 star rating for field quality and play-ability!

4. Take photos at 50 soccer fields and 50 tennis courts in Toronto (+ upload 3 photos & several reviews of each field).

5. Have 2 new organizations linking to OpenSports on their website using the OpenSports Widget.

App Store Optimization Goals

6. Receive 10 new ratings on the Android and iOS app store every time we push a new build (~40 new ratings per month).

7. Get featured on the iOS App store & listed in relevant categories such as “make new friends”.

Engagement/Retention Goals

8. Every week there’s 2 weekday & 2 weekend Pickup soccer games posted in Toronto.

9. Activate 6 new local soccer/tennis organizers in May, who regularly create a game.

10. Ensure 30% of new users join a game right away.

Community Engagement Goals 🌴🍰🥂

11. OpenSports “beach” PARTAY in May, for our friends, users and supporters.

We want to throw something special for all of our friends, the people who have been with us since day 1 both as users, mentors, coaches, and supporters. Plus we all need to celebrate and have a good time!

Continued Learning Goals

12. Contact two people per month that were there at the forefront of a new app (i.e., founders and/or staff that were involved in year 1).

We should start a new blog called calls with founders, because, every time we have a call with another founder, we are energized and incredibly inspired by their ideas. We have to keep committed to learning from others.

Speaking of learning from others…What do YOU want?

An issue often faced by companies like ours, is we think we know everything and this creates counterproductive decision making around, “What do we want users to do?” where the proper lens should be, “What does the user want?

Vote in the comments section on what you’d like us to focus on for the month of June, and we’ll include that in our planning and goal setting!

  1. Better way to search for subs🕵🏾
  2. Better way to find available fields 🛣
  3. More ratings of players/organizers ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  4. Receive badges/rewards when you join more games🎖
  5. Support to make sure more people join your games 🆘
  6. More soccer games to attend ⚽️!
  7. Larger variety of sports 🏀🏈⚾️🎾🏐
  8. Other. Please be specific 🤷🏻‍♀️

We will eventually seep into boundless territories that stretch far beyond our playground of Toronto. But for now, we are adapting our platform slowly and gently, according to the needs of our users, including ourselves. It’s not always easy to transfer our lofty whiteboard dreams to a reality for our users, but we are sure that through our efforts, we will bring everyone closer to the dream of being able to play sports whenever, and wherever.

A very special thank you to everyone who’s hosted games through the OpenSports App.

Your friends,

Alicia & the OpenSports Team ❤