DevReady PodcastDevReady Podcast E44 – Communities, Data, and Change-ActiveXchange with Alex Burrows

On this episode of the DevReady Podcast, Andrew and Anthony talk to Alex Burrows, founder and CEO of ActiveXchange, a community sports organization that helps people with leisure management. He works with national and international sports organizations to help community outreach with fitness and activity programs.

ActiveXchange partners with a swimming program in Australia. Their partnership allows them to show the local governments the social value that these fitness programs actually have, which can in turn further their financing and sponsorship.

Alex discusses his journey toward developing this kind of software and why it matters to him. The most significant impact that Alex would like to see ActiveXchange accomplish is connecting health fitness programs to the 100 million Australians who need it. ActiveXchange gathers user data that partners can then use to tailor programs and access support from their local government and civic organizations. Ultimately, ActiveXchange seeks to make it easier for more people to get and stay healthy by using smart tech. Alex believes this can only be done with the right team: make your critical hires early and keep those people onboard. It will be so much easier to carry out big visions for your company if you’ve got the right people to deliver them.

Topics Covered:

  • Security and operations.
  • Leisure markets.
  • Integrating fitness systems into the community.
  • Focus as a challenge: understand what to do with huge pools of data.
  • The value that AI and machine learning adds to massive data sets.
  • The benefits of creating a “sticky network.”
  • Getting the first hires right is vital.
  • Questioning your thinking is hard to do, but it opens up different opportunities.
  • The obesity problem in Australia.
  • Creating industry partnerships to build healthier, more active communities.
  • Improving data processing for gyms.

Key Quotes:

  • “You are doing a favor to that system provider by giving them fitness usage data.” (12:20)
  • “How can I best support my franchisee?” (15:40)
  • “We are trying to positively influence 10 million people on a rolling basis—how they’re active, how they’re healthy—through offering sporting and leisure opportunities.” (17:45)
  • “It’s important to have a really clear purpose.” (19:00)
  • “It’s about keeping as flexible [as you can] as long as possible.” (22:15)
  • “A lot of the time, organizations just want to be connected around more data.” (25:00)
  • “Hire people that have a passion for the area you’re working—it means they’ll go the extra mile.” (31:30)
  • “Just having a chat with someone outside your box can open up different ideas.” (34:20)
  • “Software can be challenging right out of the box.” (37:10)
  • “A third of leisure centers are at risk in Australia.” (43:30)
  • “We need a good team to deliver any outcome.” (53:05)
  • “Maybe don’t jump at every opportunity—you need a plan.” (57:45)
  • “Sometimes life happens for us.” (59:00)

Contact Alex: