The essence of great product management can be boiled down to understanding a customer’s unique business needs and then translating those needs into business requirements that a development team can turn into something amazing.
Understanding the distinctive business needs of a multi-location boutique fitness studio or health club becomes a lot easier when you’ve worked as a gym manager and personal trainer within them. Rick Jones has, which gives him a truly unique insight into what the successful fitness business of tomorrow needs from its CMS to succeed. As SVP of Product at Hapana, Rick Jones applies these insights in every facet of his role.
Rick’s experience in the CMS product management field runs deep. He cut his teeth at Club Solutions from Fiserv, then moved with the company to Jonas Software in the 2013 acquisition. Before he was ever a candidate for a product management position at any level, Rick took it upon himself to get his own product management certifications. Preparation meeting opportunity is a mantra Rick lives by, and doing so has served as a pillar on which he’s built his career.
Rick Jones takes inspiration from Focus 3’s “R Factor” idea, which states:
“E + R = O. The Event plus your Reaction equals your Outcome. Controlling your Reaction gives you the ability to apply just a moment of forethought, and the insight generated in this moment gives you a greater probability of having the outcome that you actually need.”
On invitation from Gold’s CIO, Rick Jones would go on to take an elevated role within the iconic organization, where he was tasked with the development of Gold’s AMP coaching app, creating a unique technology experience to support a new boutique concept, as well as oversight into the entire tech stack used to run the corporate locations and connectivity to the franchising locations. During this time, Rick gained tremendous insight into what a fitness enterprise like Golds truly needs to run efficiently.
“It took 13 different software applications to run a single location. When you have that level of complexity, engagement is invariably going to suffer.”
Rick Jones was keen to develop one single platform that would serve both the business and the end user better. Once he met Hapana Founder and CEO Jarron Aizen, he realized he was not alone in that desire.
“It’s been a joy to share in Jarron’s vision for building a single platform that truly serves at an exceptional level. The industry deserves better, and what we plan to launch in 2022 will be truly differentiated. While we are a B to B to C company, we like to flip the focus to be C to B to B. When our customers’ customers are happy with the technology and experience, so too is our customer. Then they can focus on what they do best — fitness.”
Outside of work, Rick’s curious nature and human history knowledge know no bounds. When he’s not building software, he’s a student of the profound, studying ancient civilizations and trying to comprehend how great monolithic structures of the world, such as the ancient pyramids, were constructed, given the multitude of limiting technological factors of the times.
When the season is right, Rick takes to the roads and tracks as a Lexus sports car enthusiast. The Lexus F Performance group is 3,300 members strong worldwide, many of whom head down the Smokey Mountains in the summer to Deal’s Gap and run the Tail of the Dragon, where an adrenaline rush awaits.
When it comes to relaxation and camaraderie, you can find Rick surrounded by his friends, kids, or grandkids engaged in a competitive board game. “Nothing beats sitting around one of my 90 variations of Monopoly or 20 versions of RISK for fun with a side of strategery.”