The Experience
Teach at Jolt

This company failed twice, it's now worth over $470 million

Nina Gordon
October 22, 2019

In 2013, at age 31, Payal Kadakia founded ClassPass.

The mission: Make working out interesting and affordable.

The solution: A monthly subscription to allow students to cherry-pick a variety of classes at a range of gyms.

Before she succeeded she failed twice. Attempt number one was Classivity which received funding form Techstars New York City incubator in 2012. It didn't work. The app rebranded to Passport and offered a month of free classes. BUT, less than 15% of users became paying members.

In June 2013 Kadakia partnered with Mary Biggins who'd run marketing campaigns for Disney and NFL to launch ClassPass.

They first launched in NYC, then Boston, then LA and have now expanded globally into 20 different countries with over 22,000 studies for its 250,000 subscribers to take advantage of and over 500 employees.

The company has grown in tandem with its subscribers. By adapting what the app has to offer based on qualitative data, they have been successful in capitalizing on human patterns that emerge. Before Payal Kadakia succeeded, she failed fast. This is the startup mindset. She believed that by removing the commitment element from exercise, people would follow. In March of 2018, the company reported valuation of $470 million.

Businesses must go through iterations in today's business world to remain relevant. There's no space left for legacy systems. Expectations are moving at the same pace as tech and companies need to keep up.

Jolt. Teaching startup business.

So why do so few of us have creative breaks?

Because almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including you.

Charles Darwin took long walks around London. Kurt Vonnegut made listening to jazz a daily priority. Fiona Apple disappeared for 6 years after the release of her third album.

So why do so few of us have creative breaks?

I ask because I can often be found agonising over the "more". If only I posted on Instagram more, I'll think in the bath. I'd have more followers if I pitched to more publications. I need to post 2 more times a week, minimum. I could go on...

Between you and me, I've got frustrated with myself for browsing Facebook or watching too much TV more times than I can remember.

And I'm not alone. So many of us are terrified of taking a break, creatively speaking. We won't let a moment pass without listening to a podcast, consuming an article or sharing something.

The cognitive load is real, y'all.

But like Vitamin D, sleep and good food, it's not only ok to take a break, it's essential.

Living a successful life is also about knowing when not to work. For your best output, you need to focus on your input, too.

The world won't end if you disappear from the internet for a week or so. Your creativity won't suddenly stop. Your time is now, but your time was also then and it will be again.

Your dreams don't have an expiration date.

Many of us confuse being "busy" with being constructive. But you can only do your best work by taking breaks.

And science backs it up, too. The brain requires substantial downtime to do its most innovative thinking. The ideas you have while driving or in the shower aren't coincidental. They're a result of you taking a step back, whether you're aware of it or not.

Here's a challenge for you

Let yourself take a wonderful and indulgent break. Several breaks. Hell, get downright bored.

Put airplane mode on for a while. Sit down. Lie down. Be still. Do nothing. Observe. Listen to your mind. Let it do what it does without judging it.

Wallow in it. Don't be afraid of it. Push it as far as you can.

When you leave your laptop behind, something always happens. A new idea or a fresh perspective appears.


"A spark of inspiration needs an empty cave."

Take proper breaks, often. Completely clear your mind. Your next best idea depends on it.

Taken by over 18,500 people; Calibrated by 100s of tech employees

By taking this 10-min test I can set myself up for success

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