Where Did Vea Come from?

 In Company, Vea Story

Who are We?
My name is Jonathan. I’m a marketer and graphic designer from San Diego State University (GO AZTECS). I’m the creator of Vea - the app that rewards your fitness activities.

SDSU: Where Beautiful People Go to Be Successful

The Journey

Our app, and the whole company for that matter, are hardly corporate. Inherently, the blog is not some glossy, politically-correct series of promotional marketing articles disguised as “blogging”. The Vea blog is a candid and honest account of my journey toward optimal physical, mental and psychological health as well as a place for you to engage and interact with us. It includes tips on wellness, working out, running, lifting and diet, as well as provides a perspective on fitness matters. It’s written by me and my friends for you and your friends. We’re the people who love running, working out and creating professional successes - so we can colorful lives, filled with adventure, craziness and openness. This includes a degree of risk and uncertainty, and I get that. But it’s the life we choose.

My Take on Fitness Today

There are a lot of fitness apps out that help support our lifestyle. Runkeeper - a favorite of mine, helps keep me on track with reminders and activity tracking. 7 Minute Workout has awesome little workouts I can do at work. But none of the apps I’ve used seem to REALLY elevate me beyond what I was already doing. Like, they tell you what you already know “You just ran really freakin’ far” “You burned a bunch of calories” - “yeah, we get it Siri. I’m about to collapse.” I mean, sure it’s nice knowing the numbers, but it’s kind of a lagging indicator - it only tells you what’s happened in the past. No apps seem to be able to directly influence the future in a substantial way. Do these apps truly motivate us? Is there some way to create carrot for ourselves that keeps us coming back?

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Motivation

The way Vea became a thing is because I was skinny (130lb as a freshman in college - 40 long pounds ago) and curious (careful Jonathan, that killed the cat). After getting exposed to the all the wonder and glory of the gym, and the world of fitness, I found myself asking all these questions around the reasons we go to the gym and work out, like

  • Is distance running healthy?
  • How do I get rid of that last layer of fat around the abs? Seems impossible
  • What do squats really mean for me? Why are they the most important workout?
  • Why is pizza the best food? And where is the intersection of bacon and pizza and what does it mean to me?
  • Why does Planet Fitness seem to have solved the above for us all?
  • Why doesn’t running just burn off all the bad fat?
  • How do sprints play into the overall fitness plan?
  • What is it that prompts people to go to the gym and / or stay healthy? Is it vanity, or is it genuinely to improve quality of life? How and why do we do one or the other?
  • Are slow, lighter reps going to increase my strength and or size more than powerlifting?

All these looming questions had motivation threaded into them somehow. Like squats - you don’t do those unless you’re really damn driven. Same with sprints - they’re pretty miserable while you’re doing them, so you better want it pretty bad. Being a somewhat introspective guy, I read into the underlying stimuli for imposing such tough and sometimes painful activities on ourselves. I dug deep and miraculously - found jack sh**. The answer lie right there on the surface. We want the reward. We want the glory - the recognition. We want the six pack. We want that irreplaceable feeling of tearing the ribbon at the end of a marathon. Whatever it is - the reward at the end is the most basic stimuli.

And So a (Super Motivated) Child is Born

You can probably see where I’m going with this. Fitness - running, biking lifting and swimming are all rewarding in their own way. But with every type, the physical reward (and often biggest end goal) lags. The reward doesn’t set in for days, weeks or even months for some. How can we get rewarded right away for our fitness AND get the physical rewards later on?

The solution? Vea. Let companies that want to be associated with a healthy lifestyle pay us exercisers in the form of gift cards or discounts for exercising. It’s really a win-win, and pretty surprising no one has already come up with it.

Vea is currently in beta. If you’d like to try it for yourself, shoot us an email at support.

Hope you stick around and share the journey with me and the Vea team!

Jonathan Maxim
Jonathan Maxim is an app designer, digital marketer and thought leader in the fitness and technology realms. After leaving his job at a Fortune 50 company, he merged his management experience with his passion for technology and innovation to create Apps that encourage fitness and wellness. Educated at San Diego State University first in Graphic Design and User Interface, he went on to gain his Masters of Business from SDSU as well. Currently he serves as founder and CEO of Vea Fitness, an app that rewards you for working out with monetary incentives.
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