Adam Riggs-Zeigen – Co-founder of Rock My World

Share your vision. Tell it to everyone you can and watch their reactions. It will help you refine your story for different audiences and help you communicate clearly what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

Adam is mobile industry veteran, software developer and former touring DJ who has combined his personal passions and expertise in product management, marketing and business development to launch and lead innovative businesses.

Adam is currently the co-founder and current Chief Rocker at Rock My World, Inc. a San Diego based fitness technology company. Rock My World is the company behind RockMyRun, a top 20 fitness app for IOS and Android that takes data from smartphones and fitness tracking devices and dynamically adjusts music tempo in real time to improve exercise motivation and outcomes. Initially launched in 2013 RockMyRun, has become the premier fitness smartphone application with over half-a-million downloads and featured in the New York Time, Boston Globe and on the Today Show.

Before founding Rock My World, Adam spent 7 years at Qualcomm, a Fortune 500 mobile technology company, in senior business development and product management roles. He worked with application developers, mobile operators, and marquis accounts including Universal Music Group, Verizon, Major League Baseball and Fox television networks to help them better monetize their content in a mobile context.

Prior to Qualcomm, Adam founded two other companies and toured as a club DJ playing both nationally and internationally. He holds a BS in Economics from UC Santa Barbara and an MBA with emphasis in Entrepreneurship from SDSU. Ultimately, it was Adam’s dedication to his own health and fitness and his desire to enable people to better experience exercise that led him to start Rock My World. By creating an disruptive product that blends high energy motivational music with step, heart rate, GPS and other readily available workout statistics, Adam and his team are changing the way that music can be used to motivate a healthy, active lifestyle. He feels incredibly fortunate to live and work his passion each day and gets his daily motivation from countless inspirational stories submitted by RockMyRun users.

Adam lives in his hometown of San Diego with his wife Ashley, is a fan of all things sports and never misses a Miami Dolphins game, no matter how awful they are.

Where did the idea for RockMyRun come from?

The idea for RockMyRun first came to me while training for my first 10k. I did what most people do: I put together a playlist. However I found that while I selected the songs, some where better played at certain times (warming up, fatiguing, towards the finish etc.) than others. So instead, tapping into my decade of club DJ experience, I put together a seamless, continuous mix of music where the songs built on each other and ensured that the right songs came on at the right time.

The experience was so much better than a playlist that I felt compared to share it with family and friends. Their response was overwhelming and I knew if it I could scale this across all exercise, or in fact any situation in which we can measure the impact of music on an activity, it would help a lot of people.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Typically I’m up at 6:30 to get the day started. That has been hard as I am traditionally a night owl! Depending on the day I’ll get a weights and interval workout in, shower and get into work around 8:30. If it’s not a workout day, then I like to get into the office by 7:30.

From there the morning usually involves checking in with my development team: identifying roadblocks, clarifying requirements, updating timelines etc.

After that I usually have time to work on my specific to-do list. I generally have 3 key things I expect to get done in any given day. I grab something to eat around 12/12:30 and use that 30 minutes to catch up on news in our space. The afternoon is typically meetings related to business development, marketing or features brainstorms. The late afternoon is another quiet time in which I can focus on my 3 things.

I usually make it home by 8pm where my wife and I enjoy dinner together before she turns in around 11. I usually work another 1-2 hours from there in the quiet of the night before turning in and doing it again the next day!

How do you bring ideas to life?

One step at a time :). This is a tough question but generally speaking, it involves breaking down the idea into specific pieces, thinking through them with people, identifying the necessary steps and then executing against those steps. All this, though, starts with the faith that the idea is in fact a good one and worth pursuing. Sometimes that’s the hardest part.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

Quantified self. I love the self-discovery that sensor collected data provides us. It removes the mysteries we as humans have long struggled with: knowledge about what is going on in our bodies and clarity about what impact our behaviors can have.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Positive, calm thinking. Too often the negativity you face and experience in this journey can bring you down. You have to have a habit of cultivating a positive inner voice and staying calm through the ups and downs, otherwise negative thoughts can kill productivity.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

In high-school I worked fast food – at a Wienerschnitzel – with folks who were much older than me. That taught me the importance of higher education as well as having a goal to work towards.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

When we started, we didn’t have nearly as big of a vision. While there is something to be said for for building, testing, iterating & repeating, next time I would be more aggressive with our vision and about what we could accomplish. It took us a while to get there.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Share your vision. Tell it to everyone you can and watch their reactions. It will help you refine your story for different audiences and help you communicate clearly what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

Charging consumers. In consumer internet it can be viewed as taboo to charge people early on, but in our case, charging consumers allowed us to turn around to potential partners and offer them something of value that they could offer for free to their audiences and they saw value in it.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

A business I started in 2006 raised some investor money and burned through it. The company had to shut down. I overcame that by learning more about the process and ensuring that the next business I started had a viable means of generating revenue.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

A platform for easily managing subscription payments from mobile apps & app stores. Services like Recurly are great if you’re collecting CC information but don’t work well with receipts from app stores. With more subscription apps, new tools are needed to alleviate the pain of managing subscriptions.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

A little over $100 but Great insights into how people are using our app.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

Seems like we use a lot! In no particular order: New Relic, Mixpanel, Google Analytics, Flurry, Wrike, Hootsuite, Optimizely, Github, Grasshopper, Depositphotos, Google apps, Skype, Slack… Seems like a ton. Honestly, love is strong term. They all have short comings so it’s hard to use the word love.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Purple Cow by Seth Godin

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

Most of the people who have influenced my thinking are our advisers. I generally don’t follow people online. One site that has been helpful lately: It’s awesome.


RockMyRun on Facebook:
RockMyRun on Google Play Store:
RockMyRun on iTunes: