Eric Min Interview on Cycology.fm Podcast

Eric Min Interview on Cycology.fm Podcast

Editor’s note: Zwift CEO and Co-Founder Eric Min was recently interviewed on the Cycology.fm podcast, and we’re sharing it here because Eric’s interviews are always an interesting listen as he discusses Zwift’s roots, current challenges, and future goals.

If you really want to understand where Zwift is going, this is an interview worth listening to. Host Rob Reed is a longtime Zwifter, but one whose Zwift experience has been quite narrow (no group rides, for example). His questions will resonate with many Zwifters, both veterans and newbies alike.

Interesting stats from Eric:

  • Over 3 million Zwift accounts have been created
  • 0.7% of Zwifters are at level 50
  • 25% of Zwifters are participating in group events
  • 75% of Zwifters are doing workouts

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The story of how Eric left the tech finance world and founded Zwift with his partners.
  • The landscape of the indoor cycling world at the time of Zwift’s conception.
  • Zwift’s service of combining fitness, gaming, and community.
  • Opportunities as far as appealing to a cycling industry beyond road cycling.
  • Some of the main challenges to adopting Zwift and how it differs from Peloton.
  • Features and elements of gamification in Zwift and how it differs from a simulator.
  • The capital Zwift has raised and the resources that go into building new ‘worlds’.
  • The line between building new worlds and keeping them filled with participants.
  • Moments when it is better to ride maps in the game with fewer people.
  • Ways to optimize Zwift by adding additional controls and hardware.
  • How Zwift is integrating into and influencing brands like Peloton, Rapha, and Strava.
  • The evolution of the indoor cycling world and how the industry is catering to it.
  • How regulations are enforced for Zwift races through the Zwift Power platform.
  • Eric’s philosophy toward outdoor cycling and what types of routes he’ll still ride.
  • Metrics for Zwift’s growth in users and the limitations hardware poses to further expansion.
  • Leveling up in Zwift and the users who are using the platform competitively.

Tweetables:

“This is really early days in terms of connected fitness devices in every home.” — @werkdodger [0:11:00]

“If you want to combine fitness and gaming, where you can exercise with a community, which is global, that’s what Zwift is.”— @werkdodger [0:11:32]

“We certainly have the resources to have a team large enough to do a map every month, but I’m not sure that would serve the community well.” — @werkdodger [0:23:56]

I think the indoor cycling community has a pretty big voice going forward, for sure.” — @werkdodger [0:36:46]

About The Author

Eric Schlange

Eric runs Zwift Insider in his spare time when he isn't on the bike or managing various business interests. He lives in Northern California with his beautiful wife, two kids and dog. Follow on Strava

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Aristos
Aristos
1 month ago

Why does Eric think we don’t want new maps? Does he really think that riding the same route in a line of others is exciting?

Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago
Reply to  Aristos

Yeah, just like with anything good use of resources is needed for a company. Obviously a brand new Zwift map every month would not be a good use of resources, but their current speed and interconnectivity (or lack thereof) of new routes or maps/worlds is neither good for the community nor seemingly a good non-use of resources if they have the dapability of doing a new map every month – For instance we still have disconnected routes in the UK and France maps, and Italy as one of the most famous countries for cycling still has only a single 8km… Read more »

Rob Reed
1 month ago

Thanks for sharing this! I hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast. The episode with Kate Courtney hits in a couple weeks. She shares her Zwifting experience…and agrees we need a Zwift Malibu World! So it will be a pretty consistent theme.

BikePower
Super Member
BikePower (@bikepower)
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob Reed

Enjoying your Cycology.fm podcast, which I discovered from the Eric Min episode. I’m now on to listening to the episode with Amy Charity. Next it will be Greg LeMond. Looking forward to future episodes!

Rob Reed
1 month ago
Reply to  BikePower

Thanks! Have some great episodes coming up, as well. This is my life’s work!

Jörg
Jörg
1 month ago

One map every month may be too much, but one map every year is too few. One map (or major extension to a map) every three months would be cool.

Andy Linquist
Andy Linquist
1 month ago

I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I want more worlds and roads to be created than have been in the last 18 months.

I also tire of riding in endless lines of people in overcrowded worlds. Zwift is not at risk of too few people in any world the way things are currently set up.

Hubcap Diamondstar
Hubcap Diamondstar
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy Linquist

Amen. I am very dissatisfied with current state of Zwift during most times that I use it. To avoid massive crowds and the constant ka-ching like a Vegas casino from all the stupid kudoing I have few options of courses, mostly reverse. I like the racing but I’m ready to explore other options.

Tim
Tim
1 month ago

Just use the world hack to ride on a course that no one else is on.

Hubcap Diamondstar
Hubcap Diamondstar
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim

I do occasionally. With Apple TV I have to set up fake meetups. Still though, the fact that I have that restriction and have to pick based on density of other users rather than a user selected throttle on the number of strangers one sees in a world is odd to me.

Tim
Tim
1 month ago

I mean you are riding in a social online game. It’s kind of the point of zwift. So you are kind of cutting against the grain of the purpose of this whole thing.

Hubcap Diamondstar
Hubcap Diamondstar
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim

Have you ridden with 40k users? On many courses you can’t even see your own avatar in the blob. You can’t see the road! Is this the social aspect you enjoy? Is more always better for you? There is a point of rapidly diminishing returns and a point where it gets ridiculous. And no, the social aspect of the game is the not the purpose of the whole thing for everyone. Maybe you need 50 strangers saying ride on every ride to motivate you. It’s a training tool for some that isn’t as engaging when you’re packed like sardines on… Read more »

Tim
Tim
1 month ago

To answer your question, yes! More is always better for me! More people, more draft, more fun! I love it! I’ve ridden in huge tour de zwift events, I love it, I’ve never found an event that is too big. Bring on the ridiculous! Talking down to people because they need motivation isn’t going to be a winning strategy for you (heck if you didn’t need motivation you wouldn’t be on zwift, you’d be staring at a bar graph of power), so I’d advise you to skip that part when you engage about this in the future. But no, ride… Read more »

Hubcap Diamondstar
Hubcap Diamondstar
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim

Haha, okay man. Are you just looking for a reason to climb upon your pedestal? Almost every opportunity for feedback about zwift has someone mention the overcrowding, it’s a an issue for many. Somehow you extrapolate my mention of it to a disdain for the social aspect of zwift. I never said I dislike the social aspect, just the clogged roads which have become common place at times I happen to have to ride. It’s a separate issue all together that zwift feels the need to incentivize some people kudoing everyone all the time.

Tim
Tim
1 month ago

I never talked down to you or treated you in a disrespectful manner at any point and I’d ask you to keep your language in the same vein. I don’t doubt it’s an issue for many, in fact I explicitly acknowledged that in my post. I never said anything about you disdaining the social aspect of zwift. The roads aren’t clogged, clogged implies you can’t get through, but unlike real life roads you can just ride straight through people on zwift, it has zero effect on you.

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

Are 0.7% of active accounts at level 50 or is it 0.7% of the 3 million total accounts that have been created? If there are >20k riders at level 50, that be significantly more than I had expected. I also wonder why nobody in the PR department asks him to stop saying stuff like “we have the resources to create a map every month”. That’s just a very passive-aggressive way of dismissing people’s valid complaints about the lack of development over the last year. By now he should have gotten the message that paying customers are upset about that. Belittling… Read more »

cstaubyn
cstaubyn
1 month ago

Interesting but v disappointed that there was not a single comment about sorting out the basic User Interface. Just acknowledgement that there is ‘friction’ in getting set up, so the answer is new all in one hardware. Just rewrite the UI for heaven’s sake.

Tim
Tim
1 month ago

Can anyone else not stand to listen to Eric Min anymore? It’s pretty clear his number 1 priority is increasing the billions that zwift is worth. That’s fine, but I don’t want to listen to an hour of someone whose goal is more billions, I have better things to do. His over-optimistic statements are clearly calibrated to hit the right notes with investors and he doesn’t have a mode where he can talk to people who are users and not investors. And there’s not much to be gained from learning about the future of zwift because he is so often… Read more »

Rich Burton
Rich Burton
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim

Absolutely. He has a lot to say, a lot of nothing to say and people tuned out to the lies and missteps a while back.

He can’t help himself for whatever reason, perhaps pathologically incapable of being truthful. But why are hosts perpetually complicit in this by not challenging him on all the blunders he has made as a CEO and promises unfulfilled. Imo we have no reason to assume he doesn’t have more blunders in store. Perhaps one large enough for the Board and investors to revaluate whether Eric is suitable as the CEO.

naan
naan
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim

Yeah, not going to bother. Would like to hear from the new Chief Product Officer about what the reality-based part of the company is planning, though.

Jamie Harris
Jamie Harris
1 month ago

Really enjoyed listening to the podcast! Zwift has been sucks game-changer for me!! Feel very fortunate to have this “tool” in my cycling bag! Thanks Eric and company!🤜🏼💥🤛🏼

Jamie Harris
Jamie Harris
1 month ago
Reply to  Jamie Harris

Correction: such a game changer…dang autocorrect!

Nigel Moore
Nigel Moore
1 month ago

Really good to hear from Eric and so far I have enjoyed my Zwift races this winter. However, I have some friends who, as wheelchair users and hand-cyclists, would really like to share this fantastic fitness and gaming experience. Any chance of Zwift developing some avatars for wheelchair users and hand-cyclists to make it a more inclusive experience – they, amongst many thousands in The UK alone, would love to share the experience?

Ben
Ben
1 month ago

Everyone wants their home roads to be the next world (“you should put my area in zwift – it’s a mecca! There are even pros riding there!”) There and a hundred other areas around the globe.

BikePower
Super Member
BikePower (@bikepower)
1 month ago

It’s interesting that Eric Min thinks that you can access Bologna or Crit City by creating a meetup.

Tomas
Tomas
1 month ago
Reply to  BikePower

:)))

Jelantik
Jelantik
1 month ago

I would say the “Titan Groove” course is the most beautiful experience of all. It’s just this forest feeling and the dinosaurs definitely make the course feels unique. I always have this feeling of “cool breeze”… when I ride there..lol. Watopia in general to me is more appealing than a real-world city like London, Richmond, Innsbruck even NY isn’t that interesting. I don’t know maybe the waterfalls, snow, dinosaurs, trees, or maybe because nature is more refreshing.

Darth Vader
Darth Vader
1 month ago

My take away from Eric Min’s comments: If you do not like Zwift and what we are offering then leave, otherwise stop complaining. We like the churn rate, the rate of user acquisition is faster than the rate of departure so why change what we have. We can make new maps, but we won’t.. stop complaining Level 50 people won’t leave, so why make more levels..stop complaining Bug fixes, we would rather focus on esport… stop complaining New UI? it doesn’t stop new users.. stop complaining this whole interview comes off as “if you do not have bread, then eat… Read more »

naan
naan
1 month ago
Reply to  Darth Vader

If this is them focusing on esport, I wonder what neglect would look like. It seems that esport is only relevant as a customer acquisition tool (and possibly ego boost) and the non-marketing (like, sporting) aspects are pretty much ignored.

Oh well, two weeks each of Rouvy and Fulgaz coming up next. Probably won’t make me quit Zwift though, so I guess the strategy still works.

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