TrainerRoad CEO Communication

I wanted to ask the community how you’d like me to communicate TR plans with you.

My goal is to be open and honest with what we’re doing and where we are going. As far as I know, I share more detail about company internals and roadmap than any other CEO. There’s probably someone who shares more, but I’m not aware of them.

I read a lot of feedback on the forum that takes me sharing the roadmap as being dishonest and “teasing” upcoming features. We get a lot of questions asking for specific launch dates for features.

In all honestly, I don’t know the launch dates myself. This is the hard thing about software. At TrainerRoad, we operate on a list of priorities and work through that list with the resources we have.

Thing #1 was AT and Thing #2 was Group Workouts. Group Workouts was supposed to launch after AT but covid pushed that forward. As of now, there are no “secret” features on the roadmap. I’m willing to share just about everything.

So here’s my question to the community.

How would you like me to communicate the roadmap?
  • Continue to share the roadmap in terms of priority (same as today)
  • Only share the roadmap if you have hard/firm dates for feature releases
  • Don’t share anything unless it’s released to 100% of TR users

0 voters

69 Likes

I hope you continue to run the business as you have done in the past. It’s authentic, it’s honest, and pretty much straight forward.

You guys changing because some snowflakes took offense because their theories didn’t fulfill themselves as expected would be quite sad. It would be the equivalent to Elon without Twitter.

119 Likes

Same as today is perfect in terms of the CEO communication.

My feedback on the AT roll-out is more about the marketing side - all the instagram story hype and emails went a bit too hard too soon. It’s wonderful to communicate about the roadmap and planned features so we know what’s coming - and we have no right to expect hard timelines on those - but don’t go full steam on the marketing side until something is readily available.

53 Likes

I think how you do it already is about as good as anyone can ask for. You are as open and honest as you can reasonably be about how your product is evolving and new features in the pipeline.

10 Likes

As anyone who works with roadmaps knows, they not worth the white board they’re written on :grinning:

I would prefer to here about what is coming once it is in beta and really the public beta, private or not. If you had mentioned AT when it was planning stage the road map would have said a year out. No one remember the caveat on the roadmap - *subject to change!

I like the way you say, we hear you and we have plans for that, but can’t say much now. For me being heard is enough.

6 Likes

I dont think there is anything wrong with how you’re doing it…but things can be more clear without setting a hard date for when and how things are released. The grand total of the information given this last go around amounted to, essentially, “we had an idea! It will happen, probably, at some point.” That level of vagueness puts some people off (myself included).

I think some specific things that could be answered would be:

#1) what is a beta test? The entire universe doesnt work in IT. How is a beta different from gamma release, epsilon release, or delta release?

#2) Who is getting access?

#3) When? I dont think anyone is expecting an answer of say, June 3rd at 11am. But, are we talking 3 days, 3 months, or 3 years?

7 Likes

Send all updates directly to my Neural Link, thanks.

5 Likes
  1. Beta test is used to find confusion, bugs, and performance issues. Once the current round of beta tests don’t have any of those, we add more people.

There’s no point in adding a bunch more people if we have confusion, bugs, and performance issues.

As of now, the next batch should be added tomorrow or early next week.

  1. Anyone who signed up in early access is getting access.

  2. See #1 for when.

20 Likes

Keep your approach as is. Unfortunately you won’t be able to keep everyone happy, though.

I’d much prefer to wait a couple of months for a quality product than deal with a buggy product interfering with my training. There’s nothing worse than hoping up on the bike and the workout not being there. Literally throws my whole training week into chaos :joy:.

Looking at Cyberpunk 2077 - the reputational damage done by releasing an unready product is hard to recover, from regardless of your reputation up to that point.

I really don’t have any problem with announcing new products before release, gives us something to get excited about. I’m all about delayed gratification, I’ve a nice shiny new set of Fast Forwards that I’ve refused to take out of the box for two months because the winter is still in. It’ll make the summer all the sweeter :smile:.

10 Likes

Please keep doing what you’ve been doing. We know that you are deliberately honest with us and are dedicated to making TR the beat training tool available, and dedicated to making us faster. Ignore the tiny minority of complainers.

5 Likes

Yes… Stay the course Nate. You guys are doing well and it’s apparent watching the podcads on YouTube that you’re excited and sharing more than some of the TR staff expected you to share based on their impressions. That excitement carries over to us users as well. I think most folks realize problems come up and delays happen. It’s life… Just drop a mention in the weekly podcast updating everyone if you’ve previously mentioned /“teased” and idea that you ran into a snag. Most reasonable people understand this and the unreasonable ones will always find something to complain about.

4 Likes

To be fair to us, we are releasing it to some people. Big things like these will always need to be closed beta tested.

11 Likes

I love the transparency and keeping us in the loop of where you plan to go! It can sometimes be frustrating to know that something exciting on the horizon and just out of reach, but it’s better that than having no idea where the company is going or what they’re doing with their money.

2 Likes

Keep up the good work @Nate_Pearson and doing what you are doing. I am sure you will see that the majority are happy (I am) with the communication but some have voiced their displeasure as they are not in the beta yet. If I had to guess it is because the beta seems awesome and people are excited.

1 Like

I think probably the path you have been taking is the smart one. People will complain no matter what.

I personally would love more info on your under-development efforts and plans, but I think strategically that would lead to a lot of people expecting “promised” features with a particular timeline when that’s just not how software development efforts work.

2 Likes

I like the upcoming product announcements even if in beta, it shows you’re a growth company and striving to improve the product. It’s refreshing to see a company whose CEO is open about goals and plans.

2 Likes

Stay the course Nate, you’re doing your best in a no-win scenario. People will complain if you don’t give glimpses into the future, people will complain that features aren’t being rolled out fast enough and people will complain that the feature sucks when it’s fully out there. There’s a weird entitlement among a subset of folks here, as if TR development and rollout has to cater to their specific wants, and I’m not sure that entirely exists among your competitors (one of which appears to almost completely ignore longstanding complaints in favor of whatever weird roadmap they’re on).

Anyhow count me as one who appreciates the occasional coy remarks on future features. I know it’s hard to give people a glimpse of what is in the works without giving away the farm too soon. I know you won’t agree with this because you care about customers, but personally I think customers aren’t always right!

10 Likes

A vote for staying exactly as you are. It’s the insight and passion to both TrainerRoad and training that makes everything feel very relatable.

As you’ve previously mentioned, some will complain regardless of how you communicate, or don’t, develop, or don’t. I think there’s a quiet majority that’s here and happy.

5 Likes

I think you’re doing a great job (and the whole TR team too). Stay as you are - people will still moan and grumble no matter what but then I think that often says more about them than you and they need to get a grip. Life’s too short…

You can add me to the mostly quiet and happy mentioned by @liam_mail - good one :+1:

3 Likes

I’ve recently come over from a competitor because I finally had enough of them promising features that then weren’t delivered for years, so can understand the frustration with features being promised prematurely. However I don’t think that’s the case here at all! From my short experience with TR I get the impression you do a great job communicating with the community about new features, and then actively implementing them.

As someone who’s day job involves “AI” (well ML) I also think you’re right to open up some of the new AT features slowly. Any new models in there are bound to need a little tuning and it makes sense to iron out any issues on a smaller cohort before opening it up to all of us. Excited to get that email adding me to the beta though! :smiley:

8 Likes