Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Talking Too Much?

It's official, now.

June, 2011 is my bloggingest month ever, and 2011 is now my bloggingest year ever.

Am I getting too talkative? Will I ever shut up again?

These and other burning questions shall be answered in July. Tune in again next month for more Reflections, on the Sarge and other topics.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Sergeant, Fitness Report, Second Four Weeks

Still going slowly? Yes. More single digit weeks? Absolutely. I may or may not keep publishing these reports, but here's a recap of my second month selling Sgt Fitness on the app store.

Weekly sales numbers for weeks 5 through 8: 1, 3, 1, 2
Monthly sales, June 2011: 7
Funds earmarked for charitable donation: $8.75
Votes for favorite charity: 1
Top (only!) voted charity: Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Running totals: 18 units, $22.50 raised for charity

Friday, June 17, 2011

Like the Sgt Fitness Facebook Page

Can you do me a favor? Please? Like the Sgt Fitness page on Facebook. Help me get to 25 "likes" so I can get a URL without the crazy bazillion digit number in it...

Right now it looks like this:


An Open Letter to Deborah Roberts of ABC News

An Open Letter to Deborah Roberts of ABC News
June 17, 2011

Dear Deborah,

Thanks for your video report shown on ABC World News last night regarding the health risks of sitting all day long:

This may be a cliché already, but I'll say it anyway. Believe it or not, there's an app for that.

In early May, I released Sgt Fitness, an exercise reminder app, exclusively for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It's a workout coach for the Twitter generation, if you will, an app that displays reminder notices several times a day for you to do some sort of exercise. The sergeant will drill you with pushups, sit-ups, squats, stretching, balance, laps and stairs.

It's a great app for people who have those office jobs where they are typically sitting all day long. Sgt Fitness turns your iPhone into the dose of self-discipline you need to get up and move a little during the day.

You can find Sgt Fitness and more information about it:
- in the app store
- on my web site
- in my blog entries from May and June, 2011

I encourage you to check it out. It just might be a part of the solution to the problem of "people stuck at their desk" jobs.


David Cole
Creator of Sgt Fitness

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Who Uses Sgt Fitness?

So who uses Sgt Fitness anyway?

Well, it's a useful app. A remarkably simple exercise reminder app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Really, anybody who is interested in getting or staying fit could use it.

But I imagine there is a certain sort of person who will be the ideal candidate for being an avid, every day, do or die Sgt Fitness drillee. (A "drillee" (you) does the drills that the driller (the sergeant) tells him to...)

This certain sort of person has the following characteristics:
  • busy, possibly over-scheduled
  • lacks discipline to exercise regularly without being badgered
  • works in a sedentary job, frequently sitting for hours and hours and hours on end
  • wants to be physically fit, but can't find the time
  • can't / won't pay for a gym membership
  • already has an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch that is with them all day at work anyway

Perhaps you recognize one or more of these traits in yourself. If all of them apply to you, then you are the perfect candidate for using Sgt Fitness. You've got nothing to lose by giving it a try. Except maybe a little flab.

I'm sure this entire list of characteristics, each and every one of them, applies to millions around the globe... Now, I've just got to let them know the Sgt is here now, ready to drill them. Help me get the word out, and point some of them to my blog today.

Stay fit, my friends.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

iPad Only, Bring It!

I'm ready for the future. I'm ready for the day when an iPad will be my only computer. The only thing that I cannot do on the iPad *today* that I still need to do on a "real computer" is... write programs for the iPad. And for the other pesky computers that remain on my desks at work and at home. Unfortunately, that writing sort of pays for the rest of my life right now, so I'll have to keep at it for a bit.

This is absolutely amazing to me. I know I predicted when they first announced the iPad a year and a half ago that it would be a death knell for the personal computer as we've known it. But I didn't really think it could actually happen quite so fast. Now that I've been using an iPad for about two months since getting one at work, I'm quite convinced: it is definitely the way of the future.

There is no reason whatsoever that regular people should buy anything but iPads or their progeny from now on. There's no turning back. It's a brave new world: I'm embracing it; you should too.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Give It Away Now

I think I'm going to adopt "Give It Away" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers as the official theme song for Sgt Fitness.

"Give it away, give it away, give it away now..."

One of the things that inspired me to give away a significant fraction of the revenue from Sgt Fitness was a twitter campaign for, believe it or not, a museum of computing history in the UK. They were trying to raise £1.5 million to build the museum, and their tactic was to appeal to the "twitter-verse" to see if they could get 1.5 million people from all over the world to donate £1 each. Their logic went something like: if certain unnamed (in)famous Hollywood personalities can garner twitter followings of a million or more fans in days with their drivel, then a worthy cause should surely be able to raise some money. A little viral fundraising action.

"I realize I don't want to be a miser"

The thought then occurred to me as I was putting the finishing touches on the first release of Sgt Fitness. What if I donate a dollar, or a little more, for each copy of Sgt Fitness I sell on the app store? And then, what if I spread the news far and wide that it's my goal to sell a million copies of the app, thereby donating a million dollars or more to charity? I know, let's make it even more interesting: let's let the folks who actually buy a copy vote on what charities to donate the money to, and put a deadline of the end of the year on it. Could we do it? Is this idea good enough to take off? Will the Sgt go viral?

"Come on everybody, time to deliver
Give it away, give it away, give it away now..."

Saturday, June 04, 2011

So How Is This Sgt Fitness Charity Thing Gonna Work Anyway?

I haven't gotten much direct reaction yet (in front of my eyes) to my "Help me give one million dollars to charity!" tag line. I'm curious to know what people think: do they think I have a million dollars in the bank already, ready to give away now? (Hint: I don't...) Or that I'm delusional to think I could sell so many copies in such a short amount of time?

My wife's told a few people over the last month, handing out some of my Sgt Fitness promo cards, and she tells me some have asked "How are you going to give away a million dollars?"

The answer is really simple, actually. It's just a matter of a little discipline, some arithmetic, mixed in with a little publicity, a bit of luck and some dogged persistence.

Here's my pledge at its most basic: I will donate $1.25 to charity for each copy of Sgt Fitness that sells on the app store from now until the end of 2011.

To get from that pledge to $1M to charity is simply a matter of selling 800,000 copies of Sgt Fitness on the app store. Ambitious, perhaps, but certainly within the realm of the possible...

Now, Sgt Fitness only costs $4.99+tax for each person who buys a copy. A one time cost. There are literally now millions of iPhone users out there, each paying something like $30 a month each and every month just for their data plan. I really don't think it's a stretch to say that a very small fraction of them would: (a) be financially able to purchase a copy of Sgt Fitness, (b) actually find it useful in helping to stay fit, and (c) have that warm, fuzzy feeling of knowing they're helping to fund a worthy cause or three.

Everybody who buys a copy also gets a say in how the money will be donated. I have set up a voting capability on my web site so that people who visit the voting booth from inside the app may cast a vote (once per day, per device) for their favorite charity. I'll tally up the votes at the end of the year, and use those votes to decide how to divvy up the million dollars (or however much we're up to at that point...)

Obviously, I'm going to have to exercise some discretion and judgment with respect to tallying and evaluating the votes. For one thing, the charities will have to be real, recognized charitable organizations, and not just "Joe the Plumber's Belt Fund." For another, depending on the numbers, I'll probably end up splitting the vast majority of the money proportionally among the top three vote getters, with "substantial" donations going to the runners up. Perhaps even up to 10 to 20 or more organizations, if there are that many organizations receiving votes.

So: regardless of how many copies I actually sell this year, whatever funds are available based on $1.25 per copy, will be donated to charities in December 2011. I, for one, am hoping to meet and even exceed the million dollar goal.

Hope with me, won't you?

Stay fit and be generous!

(And spread the word to help me reach this goal!)

Thursday, June 02, 2011

First Four Weeks, Made Public

A slow start? Maybe. Single digit weeks? Yup. I'm not sure I'll do this every month, but here's a recap of my first month selling Sgt Fitness on the app store.

Weekly sales numbers for the first four weeks: 5, 2, 1, 3
Monthly sales, May 2011: 11
Funds earmarked for charitable donation: $13.75
Votes for favorite charity: 2
Top voted charities: Hannah's Hope (1) and 3 Day for the Cure (1)

I am still confident that the future is bright for Sgt Fitness. Once this catches on, it's gonna take off. You'll have to wear shades. Stay tuned.