From the Top: How Strava was built

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Strava has become ubiquitous in the lives of over 50 million athletes, and is arguably the most relevant social network to anyone who loves to sweat.

The co-founders of Strava, Michael Horvath and Mark Gainey, have been lifelong friends and have quite literally changed how we interact with our cycling in both real life and with each other online.

The reason I was so interested in hearing Michael and Mark’s story was not only because they’ve created an amazing brand and product that most of us use, but because they went about it in a very different way than most of the companies you’ll hear about in this podcast.

Creating Strava wasn’t their first trip to the rodeo. They were experienced, successful, and knowledgeable entrepreneurs that made some very deliberate decisions early on about the foundations of the company. Those decisions have taken Strava to where it is today, and should help take it into the next 20 years.

But there are many similarities with other companies too. Strava started from nothing but a single idea with only passion fuelling the fire, and as you’ll discover, creating Strava hasn’t been the straightforward journey that you might think about when you log on every day.

Thank you to Ashley de Neef (yes, brother of Managing Editor Matt de Neef) for composing the music for the show, as well as our producer Mal Bloedel.

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