Lots of relevant experience
- Mitch was the founder of New Zealand’s first Life Coaching association in 2000.
- He co-founded an early iteration of this project in 2002. Aliveware’s mission was to help people succeed with the most important changes they wanted to make in their lives. The project was ahead of its time and mobile technology was not yet ubiquitous. The technology and designs were sold to Chrysallis, a Learning platform that helps companies build “behavioural micro-skills” across the organisation.
- He co-founded the award-winning game SmallWorlds in 2007, raising venture capital from Disney Corporation. SmallWorlds was a 3D virtual world and community with over 50 million players. This was rich playground for developing and testing ideas around behavioural design.
- He was involved in the behavioural design of Melodics, an app that teaches you not only how to play keyboards, pad controllers and digital drums, but also how to turn up to play.
- He is co-founder of EXpotential, the data-science-based B2B SaaS app that provides insights into the behaviour and motivation of employees and the cultural nuances of organisations.
The right person for the job
Mitch has spent his life and his career inquiring into the intersection of human development and psychology to unlock questions around Behavioural intelligence. His experience and passion around digital technology lies in its accessibility, low-cost global scalability and interactivity. Together, science and technology will be absolute game changers for BQ
You can read some of what he has written on subjects related to this project. In “Why I’m starting again” Mitch writes about remembering the first time he realised he wanted to be a better person. Plus some other thoughts on “well-being“, Self authorship and his personal manifesto.
“The one thing you must do” (extract) – Rumi
“There is one thing in this world which you must never forget to do. If you forget everything else and not this, there is nothing to worry about, but if you remember everything else and forget this, then you will have done nothing in your life”
This project is my life’s “one thing I must do”.
I developed the first iteration of the concept of “self authorship” over 20 years ago and raised money to start building a predecessor to Rehabit two years later. I have continued to be actively engaged in the domain ever since. It’s my intention to spend the rest of my life to see the promise of behavioural intelligence realised in products that make a global impact. I can’t imagine a more important or impactful purpose in the world.
Our monetisation model
Rehabit as a Social enterprise is an organisation that invests the majority of our profit and expenditure in making a global difference to people’s BQ. Critical to our success is a business model that enables us to inexpensively acquire customers and provide a valued service in exchange for money.
Our intended business model is “freemium”. Freemium is a combination of the words “free” and “premium” which is a type of business model that provides simple and basic services for free for the customer to try, as well as offering more advanced services or features at a premium. Products such as Spotify and Dropbox are examples of products that successfully use this model.
Freemium has two advantages;
- The free version lowers customer barriers to trial which in turn increases the potential customer base
- This in turn reduces the marketing costs of customer acquisition
Our premium offering will be a subscription-based service priced between $10 to $20 a month.
Our customer segments
We have 4 “macro” customer segments as target markets over the next 5 years.
- Providers and agencies
Our first macro customer segment is adults; that is anyone who has left school. We will launch a range of programs themed around the most common new years resolutions. There is a relatively well established document of these captured on annual basis by the popular press.
This macro segment in turn has a number of sub-segments reflecting different themes; for instance “weight-loss”, “stress reduction” or “financial well-being”. Each of these sub-segments represent “catchment areas” around which our marketing will be oriented.
Organisations are increasingly recognising both their responsibility for nurturing the well-being of their employees as well as the many benefits of doing so. Obviously more engaged, motivated and competent people contribute towards more innovative, productive and profitable organisations. Selling general well-being programs and tailored programs into organisations represents a multi-billion dollar market. Existing solutions in this space have so far provided only limited results; we think we have something new and better to offer.
School children are our third macro customer segment. It’s never too early to learn self-authorship. What is critical here is ensuring that children engage in programs which they choose and for which they have intrinsic motivation. Self authorship rests on the assumption of the authority of the individual to choose their own destination. We haven’t developed any specific plans yet on entering this segment, although imagine it is likely to be in collaboration with partners already engaged in this domain.
4. Healthcare and Well-being providers, communities and agencies
We said before that if you want to help people in changing their behaviour the best place to meet them there is where their motivation is high and present. Chronic issues around physical, financial or mental well-being are places where change is most urgent. But even here we find that prescribed behaviour adherence rates leave much to be desired. We envision working towards developing partnerships in this area in year 2.
Our competitive advantage
In order to be competitive our product needs to demonstrate differences that are valued by prospective customers and investors. There are 4 aspects that contribute to what we consider a meaningful competitive advantage;
1. Behavioural intelligence
We believe that our BQ-based approach is source of competitive advantage. This is a broad and complex area to explain and beyond the scope of this document to do so in detail (we would love to in person) so we’ll just pull out 2 examples.
- Our competition’s approach to their customers typically falls into 2 camps. One is the “behaviour change” camp, and the other is the “habit change” camp. They are both based on a number of philosophical foundations that we argue are the exact opposite of what is desirable in helping people build something new in their life. These include issues such as authority, motivation, learning, and the distinction between habit and practice. For example the habit change camp relies on extrinsic motivation via rewards and punishments. However, extrinsic motivation has been scientifically shown to only work in the short-term, and furthermore to fundamentally undermine intrinsic motivation. We believe that our difference means that we will be much more successful in helping people create the change they seek in their life
- BQ is a “meta” competency meaning that (i) it forms the foundation of all behaviours, and (ii) it covers all of the life stages of creating and robustly embedding new behaviours in one’s life. This means that new BQ developed whilst, say, participating in our “healthier eating habits” program, can be applied in any other life improvement or well-being project – eg. a “Learning to play a musical instrument” program. This creates a leveraging capability for our customers as the power and benefits of their learning is more broadly applied in their life, creating a powerful advantage for us.
2. Delivery strategy
Our second key competitive advantage is the means by which we help people build their BQ. Developing new BQ entails developing a number of different skills simultaneously. The only way they can be taught and developed is by practising in one’s own life. We believe that “deliberate practice” is the only effective means of helping people create robust behavioural change in their life. In order to do this the “BQ delivery mechanism” (ie. “App experience”) needs to play the role of a coach who helps the user practice getting better. None of our competitors operate from this practice orientation.
3. The 5AF
- The 2 advantages above are aspects of our conceptual IP. But ideas are worth nothing without execution, so we needed a delivery mechanism that helped ground BQ and our strategy to deliver it into execution. Thats where our third competitive advantage comes in; the 5 Axis Framework.
- If the the first 2 advantages are in effect the “software” of our product, then the 5AF is the “hardware” that delivers it. Its not enough to have great software without great hardware and vice versa. And they also both need to integrate seamlessly with one another to unleash the full power they each have to bring.
- The role of the 5AF is to deliver the “BQ payload” like a veritable “spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down”. If you imagine engaging in change as a tug-of-war between “pro-change” and “against-change”, then the best hardware is that which bolsters the power of “pro-change” and limits the resistance of “against change”. 5AF is the first framework we are aware of that takes an “360°” engineering-architectural approach to this process.
“I have only one job for the rest of my life. I don’t know many people who can say that.
That is to see the impact of this project make a meaningful change on the behavioural intelligence of the world. And to be the recognised as leaders in the field.
As an investor I don’t believe you are likely to find a founder with as much commitment.”
Our Go-to-market plan
Our launch marketing strategy is based on 5 pillars.
- Content marketing: Content marketing is a form of marketing focused on creating and publishing content for a targeted online audience. We will target adjacent topics to program foci as well as self authorship in general.
- Influencer Affiliate model: The affiliate model is one in which an individual or organisation with an online audience is paid a commission in exchange for sales they have introduced through advertising on their site. There are numerous blogs, websites, online publications and groups which have large follower bases. Their operator’s challenge is to find ways to monetise their audience. An affiliate model provides a win-win opportunity as we only pay for converted customers who are have already monetised.
- Advertising: We will make use of Search Engine marketing (paid google search ads) for targeted terms (with economical click-through costs) around our program subjects.
- 2 for the price of 1: We will offer introductory pricing that encourages people to engage their friends in joining a program. In this way we not only can accelerate our growth but also add another layer of external accountability into participant engagement and retention.
- Social media: Duh, of course but. We believe that individual everyday stories of people meeting and overcoming challenges makes for good viral content. We all want to believe in a world where people “wake up” to find they are more powerful than they realised (witness the cultural resonance of stories like Harry Potter). We believe our brand, it’s values and our brand stories will make for strong and viral social media content.
Traction and Milestones
There are 6 stages and 6 calendar quarters (18 months) from here until the organisation is self-sustaining.
1. Work completed to date (Q0)
As of February 2020 we have:
- Designed the outline of the core curriculum
- Completed system architecture
- Completed 1st level functional design
- Selected the “technical stack” of the platform
- Started development of a functioning prototype
- Developed a specification for the brand
- Built the high-level marketing strategy
Work continues on all of these and will accelerate as soon as additional resources become available.
2. Raising additional capital
Capital needs to be raised in order to accelerate our development pathway to market. We are looking to raise sufficient capital to get a small team to sustainable break-even which we estimate will take 18 months.
3. Completing version 1.0 of the product (Q1+Q2)
In addition to the CEO we require a Full-stack developer and part-time UX designer to complete development of version 1.0.
4. Launching to market (Q3)
Our Marketing support person will commence 3 months prior to launch to execute on the pre-launch, launch, and ongoing marketing activities. This will be complemented by Business Development activities to build a network of influencer affiliates and publish our Content marketing content. Our operational staff will include a Program and Community manager to manage program content and moderate community engagement.
5. Growing customer base and range of programs (Q5)
We estimate it will take a person-month of work to design and develop a new program. These will enable us to expand our value proposition and market potential. In our first 6 months after launch we will be diligently monitoring our cost of customer acquisition (CAC) across our various market channels to determine which offer the best returns and options for scaling. We will also determine whether retention and Lifetime Value (LTV) vary by source as they often do. Using our experience in the first 6 months we will double down on proven customer acquisition channels in the second 6 months. Our goal is to reach self-sustaining income in this time period.
6. Reaching a point of self-sustaining income (Q6)
Once we have reached breakeven, or possibly even before if the board asks for it, we will look to raise capital for a second round to enable us to expand into new customer segments.
Our plan is also to build a number of working partnerships with universities and other research institutes, in order to help measure and validate our behavioural models. We see ourselves as an important player in the domains of behaviour change and well-being who can combine the best of science’s insights, with entrepreneurial innovation and research-based validation to improve our understanding of what it means to be a human being. These will also be critical in establishing credibility in expanding into working with Healthcare and Well-being providers and agencies.
There are numerous risks associated with any new enterprise as the new necessarily incorporates uncertainty as a factor. The best approach to overcoming risk is to recognise its potential and make plans to minimise its impact.
We believe their are 4 primary risks associated with the development and operation of Rehabit. (There are of course other risks but these are the 4 largest ones)
- Developing the product: The first risk is that of completing the development of product within budget so that it is ready for market. Our primary strategy for dealing with this risk is a combination of a well-contained Minimum Effective Product, a competent development team, and strong technical governance.
- Finding a sustainable customer base: The second risk is developing and articulating a value proposition that engages new customers. This is about establishing product-market fit and finding an effective way to communicate to prospective customers. Our strategy for addressing this risk is our monetisation model and marketing plan, together with early engagement of the market with pre-launch content marketing.
- Effectiveness of the product: The third risk is the question “does it work?”. Ultimately our success is dependent on making a positive difference to people’s BQ and relevant life outcomes. Our strategy here is a combination of the 5-axis framework with a diligent approach to ensuring a comprehensive array of short, intermediate and long-term behavioural engagement “mechanics”. We see this as an ongoing journey as the components of our 5-axis framework are tested and evolve.
- Retention: The fourth risk is retaining customers. As a subscription-based product it is essential to retain customers in order to grow revenue. We believe that for most people the stickiest element of their participation in Rehabit will be the community and community engagement tools. Building new behaviours and outcomes in one’s life is best supported with a cohort of people who are trying to do the same. “It takes a village to raise behaviour intelligence”. Our strategy to minimise this risk is to attend to Risk 3 and build community engagement into the roots of our product experience.
A budget to sustainability
This is a draft budget for the first 18 months of the project through to projected self sustaining income.
We are looking to raise NZ$375,000 from either a single investor or consortium.
What questions are coming up for you?
We would love to answer your questions; we have much more to say. If you’re curious to know more about what we’re up to or specific details of our plans we would be pleased to hear from you.
We're looking for support. Can you or anyone you know help?
If you, or anyone you know, can contribute in any way towards helping this project realise its purpose we would be most grateful. Please contact us using one of the methods below.
NZ +64 21-648246
You know the drill