Manghani on how STEPN is a web3 lifestyle app that rewards users for movement (Episode 337)
Manghani joins us to discuss on how STEPN is a web3 lifestyle app that rewards users for movement.
Shiti Rastogi Manghani is an award-winning business leader with 14 years of experience across 11 countries managing multi-million-dollar projects. Presently, Manghani serves Find Satoshi Lab as its Chief Operating Officer where she oversees all marketing and communications growth initiates for Find Satoshi Lab as well as the brands it oversees.
Manghani, based in the UK, is an Electronics Engineer and holds an MBA in Marketing. She founded her own computer vision-based AI start-up, which is among the Top 50 well-being start-ups in the UK (At no. 14) and in the Top 100 health companies in the UK. Previously, she has worked towards launching Wall Street Journal’s digital arm in India and building power brands at PepsiCo US.
Manghani won UK govt’s Exceptional Talent 2021, was nominated in the WomenTech Network Global Awards in the category “Women-Led Tech-Startup of the Year 2020”, finalist in the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year 2021’ category’ by Microsoft’s Diversity in Tech awards, served as a panelist at the prestigious LSX World-Congress for Longevity and published across major technology, healthcare, and startup-focussed media.
She is an active member of female founders and technology forums in the UK and worldwide, and has been profiled on WomenOfWearable, SheCanCode, and other industry-leading platforms. She has been named as a “Woman to Watch” in HealthTech, a “Trailblazer” in the Digital Longevity space, and a “Fem Foundry Leader” in digital technology.
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The following transcript was created using artificial intelligence. There will be some grammatical errors below.
00:00:16:13 – 00:00:45:00
Richard Carthon: Hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of Crypto Currant, your host here, Richard Carthon. And today we’ve got a very special one for you. You’ve probably heard of this app, you’ve probably played this app, and I know I personally have done both. It’s really cool. It took the world by storm and there’s a lot of really cool things along the way. Today we have a city who is the CEO of FCL, FCL, and is also the CEO of Step In. How’s everyone? How are you doing today?
00:00:46:25 – 00:01:00:01
Shiti Manghani: Hi, Richard. Thanks for having me. I’m really excited to be here. FSL is fine. Satoshi Labs, that is the parent company of step in more door and all of the products that we churn out from this amazing lab.
00:01:00:26 – 00:01:07:16
Richard Carthon: Well, I’m excited to learn more about all of those. But before we do, let’s learn a little bit more about you. Can you give us a little bit of background on yourself?
00:01:08:25 – 00:01:40:11
Shiti Manghani: Of course. So. Yeah. My name is Shafi. I started my career after doing engineering and B in the marketing world. So started from India, then moved on to us, worked with the likes of PepsiCo, came to Europe, headed to Europe and UK for some leading manufacturing on 3D printing of food. And so it always on the confluence of sort of engineering, technology and business.
00:01:41:22 – 00:01:42:24
Shiti Manghani: Then move to
00:01:44:21 – 00:01:59:00
Shiti Manghani: Portugal, Spain, France, Italy. I looked through length and breadth and about a few years ago came to the UK. Here. I started my own startup based in A.I. and Fitness, which would track movements.
00:02:00:27 – 00:02:38:04
Shiti Manghani: And from there on the progression to fitness space and looking for better driver technologies that handle consumer data well led me on to blockchain. And long story short, I discovered Step In and loved everything about the vision about its founders when I talked to them. We were very early on rectangular. Not even an apple were in test flight, so just left their vision. Join them not knowing that this would then go on to become one of the biggest apps and web3 would shake volumes on exchanges would sometimes be seen.
00:02:38:10 – 00:02:40:02
Shiti Manghani: People generally say he’ll here.
00:02:41:06 – 00:03:04:10
Richard Carthon: That is an amazing journey. So, world traveler, I have done a lot in the world of marketing. So you found your way into fitness, found stepping in, now working with them. But what was that first introduction into blockchain and crypto? Like when did you first learn about it and when did you start to get a little bit interested in trying to potentially find a way into that industry?
00:03:06:12 – 00:03:37:26
Shiti Manghani: Yeah, great question. So actually, when I was working on my startup, we had a government funded project, so we were funded by government for a quarter million for this project with older adults basically tracking their movements, helping their recovery, using A.I. in remote circumstances. It was COVID, right? So helping them would give in in all of that. There were there were two big challenges. One was onboarding 50 plus year olds onto the technology, onto the platform.
00:03:37:28 – 00:04:20:15
Shiti Manghani: That was like a tech literacy challenge. The second biggest one was around data privacy, right? So not only these people had challenges with technology, they also had challenges with data safeguarding. And that led me on to discovering better technology, better platform, better services that could help this seamlessly. A First, I started looking into the segment itself, and then I as you know, I think by now everybody I’ve spoken to has in some way travel down this rabbit hole of blockchain, ride Bitcoin where there has been price action, whether it has been utility, whether it’s is NFT.
00:04:21:00 – 00:04:42:08
Shiti Manghani: So it was my turn. I was on this rabbit hole for like a weekend, first and week and then within weeks and then a month. So I was like really drawn into the several use cases, potential political, social, all kind of ramifications, financial. I think we all know we have very, very early, but.
00:04:43:29 – 00:05:18:01
Shiti Manghani: I see this as something which will eventually fade away into the background of something inevitable. What I mean by that is the best technologies are the ones that are invisible. So electricity, right? Everything in our world today runs on electricity, medical, government, education, all kind of infrastructure. But we don’t sit and marvel. Oh, my God, what a wonderful technology. That is great. Then came the Internet. Then came the smartphones. I think blockchain has that potential to be the operating layer for everything from here on.
00:05:18:24 – 00:05:50:28
Richard Carthon: And I think that’s a really great reminder of when you build something or have a technology too so ingrained that you don’t even realize you’re using it, that’s when you’ve really hit critical mass and we are far away from that. But something that is really cool that we can look at with step in for a lot of people who are already used to apps and fitness and everything else. They were used to applications that if you did like fitness things, then it would track you and do other things.
00:05:51:00 – 00:06:12:23
Richard Carthon: But Step In was one of the first ones to then blend a gamification around. Well, how about you do this fitness thing? Get paid. So walk us down the journey of you just doing step in there in test flight and it doesn’t necessarily need to be in Web3. It didn’t have to be, but you all decided to go in that direction. So kind of walk us through that.
00:06:14:24 – 00:06:46:07
Shiti Manghani: Yeah, very, very good question. So, in fact, initially I used to get asked this a lot that why? Why, why are we building a fitness app on blockchain? Right. Here’s why. For big users, it’s for big four big reasons. I think. One is that there are more incentives to stay fit. There are reports of community. There are rewards in app. Second is ownership and selling in-game assets, which is an offense in real life with no friction.
00:06:47:07 – 00:07:28:17
Shiti Manghani: I mean, I think all of us are waking up to the fact that you can play Fortnite for hours and actually spend hundreds and thousands of dollars, if not more, in buying those game assets. But they have very little value in real world, except if you went on dark web and a best or worst case happened to sell them on on Darknet. The third is ensuring supply and demand via a sustainable tokenomics. And last but not the least, and I think one of the most important ones is network effects, right? So startups have this big problem of it is called the school start problem of how to build that first community, how to build that initial momentum.
00:07:29:03 – 00:07:41:12
Shiti Manghani: And I think network effects are heavily solved by using crypto and tokenomics like we did, ensuring bringing millions of users onto web3 generally.
00:07:42:27 – 00:08:13:15
Richard Carthon: So let’s break those down. So I really appreciate you breaking down those those those four distinct reasons why I went in this direction when you were building this out. And just looking at apps that have gone on to have massive, massive success. I want to first start with community and network effect, because that’s what really gets you to critical mass very, very quickly. What initial, I guess, marketing and things that you do that really took on that ability to have that network effect.
00:08:13:17 – 00:08:36:17
Richard Carthon: And I’m going to guess here. Was it the ability that the only way that you could get in was that someone had to invite you? Because like I remember back when people were first hearing about this in the friction of like, oh, this is exclusive. You can’t get in unless you have like a friend or someone recommend. And then there’s a code also, that kind of stuff. So then it like gave people that extra like they’re going to get in. I’m assuming that was some of that network effect, but I’ll let you take it.
00:08:38:19 – 00:09:15:15
Shiti Manghani: Yes, indeed. I mean, our community is one of our most pressured, precious and treasured assets, to be honest. We keep a close zero to the ground in terms of the fact we also have a community’s customer service team which made few web3 companies have. So we constantly process feedback complaints, feature requests, demands from the community. Not to mention, of course, Twitter and Discord, which help us stay close in touch with them. In fact, tomorrow we have a founder Discord, and we constantly had these emails with funders in the beginning.
00:09:17:15 – 00:09:49:29
Shiti Manghani: I think one big layer that also happens in our case is is real life meetups, right? Because of this being an app where you can actually run jog with people in fitness. This is one of the biggest things you are accountable to your gym instructors, your community, your buddies. And that accountability really drives retention. So in our case, that really helps. I mean, there were at a point there were meetups that were happening at in in in every part of the world, right.
00:09:50:01 – 00:10:01:13
Shiti Manghani: So L.A., Miami, Philippines, Singapore and Australia in Melbourne, Sydney, London, Birmingham.
00:10:03:04 – 00:10:23:20
Shiti Manghani: So from east to west, north to south, every part of the world there were meetups happening and then you would go to these markets. These would not just be crypto bros. These would be people with their spouses, people with babies and push prams, people with their dogs. It’s a wholesome, wholesome community which sort of drives belongingness and further reduction.
00:10:25:03 – 00:10:39:20
Richard Carthon: And it was cool to be able to see these different communities really come together. Now, for some reason, if someone has heard of in but has never used the app and is curious about it, what’s the quick description that you would give to describe step in?
00:10:41:28 – 00:11:06:08
Shiti Manghani: So it’s you download this app from your app store on iOS or Android. Once you downloaded the app and gotten an NFT sneaker, you can then jog or run in order to get our GMT or GSD, which are two game in in-game currency or tokens, and then you can swap them for usdc or other cryptocurrencies.
00:11:07:15 – 00:11:35:24
Richard Carthon: So literally you get on this app. You do movement. You get a native token and then you can then use that native token to get into a stablecoin and offer it that way. And I think it’s really cool. When I knew Stepan was going to be massive was when you found a way to get on major exchanges as quickly as you did. Can you walk us through that journey? Because I thought that was remarkable how quickly you are able to get on some pretty established exchanges. Yeah.
00:11:36:11 – 00:12:09:17
Shiti Manghani: Yeah. I wish there was something that we did. To be honest, all we did and we still do is focus on product and community. Like, it’s. It’s. It’s not funny how focused we are on building the right product and building the right community. And this is this is a good segue way for us to talk a little bit about FSL and not just step in. So the parent company, which is fine Satoshi Labs, we launched Step in about a year ago, and since then we have actually launched three very big products in this space.
00:12:09:29 – 00:12:41:25
Shiti Manghani: So we have a front end and we have a back end. We building both consumer side and demand side applications, meaning infrastructure as well as consumer apps get on board users from web to onto web three to step in is a big one. I wish I could say more, but there are there are more coming. There are more coming, Yes. From the same people who have built effort. So there is a consumer side app that is launching very soon. So that’s as much as I can shop. So that’s the consumer side of applications.
00:12:41:27 – 00:13:23:01
Shiti Manghani: That’s what’s the users are onboarded onto these apps, what are they? And their needs are liquidity swaps. Their needs are trading nifty, their needs are maybe launching their own NFT projects as creative as crypto spaces. And for that we have the infrastructure side of our ecosystem. So we’ve got our own decks, which is called door data. We are it’s number one on the already, it’s on Bacterium’s Multichain. We have launched our own NFT launchpad as well as Marketplace that’s called more and we are and that’s also multi-chain onto the hearing and the win win for community is that all of the value, capture and value accrual comes back to DMD.
00:13:23:03 – 00:13:38:06
Shiti Manghani: So imagine that being the center of the solar system and the sun that powers the solar system. So that’s how we’re building this robust and absolutely fantastic product suite ecosystem, which is at its core.
00:13:39:21 – 00:14:19:28
Richard Carthon: Thank you for dropping the alpha of the community here. Definitely always love some alpha and I think it’s really awesome to see how you were able to get your ecosystem to revolve around your sun. What you said is GMT and you are constantly innovating. You’re adding more. You’re trying to again have a pulse on your community to see what innovations you can continue to make to make your ecosystem that much greater. So again, it’s wild to think that step ins only been around for about a year and the success it’s already had and you already have a game plan for way to take it into the future and some other things that you’re going to be building.
00:14:21:02 – 00:14:50:15
Richard Carthon: How do you see not just the ecosystem around Stepan evolving in 2023? Because you launched during pretty much a bear market and still crested, still found a way to do have a lot of success. I can’t even imagine how much more success you would have had in a in a different crypto ecosystem and in an environment. How do you see. This ecosystem continuing to evolve as we head into 2023.
00:14:52:26 – 00:15:00:15
Shiti Manghani: Well, yeah, we’re very much into 2023. It’s almost two months are over. A quarter is over. Right. And.
00:15:03:01 – 00:15:34:26
Shiti Manghani: You see with us. The thing is that we keep our heads down and we built the market that we are in right now allows us to do that even more. Right? So all the noise destruction hype is gone. True, true. Followers of the space are left. Or if I’m a dare I say, some of the bad actors in that gap get stretched out. So again, to followers of the space, true believers of the space remain. And in these times it’s not only more productive to build, but you also get true signals.
00:15:35:08 – 00:15:52:15
Shiti Manghani: And if you build, if what you’re building is right, because if it hits a chord with these people. That means there is value. That means there is true genuine value. So I wish there was more complicated science that I could tell you about it. But
00:15:54:01 – 00:15:56:08
Shiti Manghani: we’re we’re a team of, like genuine builders,
00:15:57:23 – 00:16:09:03
Shiti Manghani: people who have either led or built their own startups or people who are familiar with gaming crypto blockchains. It’s a nice mix of people and talents who have come together to build stuff that adds value to the world.
00:16:10:12 – 00:16:50:05
Richard Carthon: And I love the focus on product and building something that, you know, you’re in the audience once, and I know we’ve spent a good amount of time on community, and I know that’s something that you’re really passionate about, but I think that everyone in the Web3 world is all about building these incredible communities, but they don’t know where to start or they’re able to build some initial momentum and then they can’t sustain it. They can’t keep it. Just from your experience through step in and just throughout your career, what do you think are some impactful ways that people can really start to generate and retain really good community?
00:16:52:07 – 00:17:21:01
Shiti Manghani: Great question. So when we started again, people gave us like UPS two months, three months, even when we were at the peak, like this project is going to die. This project is going on even now when markets like under deep capitulation, we’re not only going strong, we we mean even giving back. I think if I could boil down everything to one strategy that is giving back, we have not done any fancy sponsorships, any fancy promotions, any splashy marketing.
00:17:23:01 – 00:17:54:14
Shiti Manghani: We just did a massive, massive airdrop. We concluded it this weekend to our Genesis sneaker holders, Genesis NFT holders. It was one of, I think, the biggest ever. Which means like there was over 4000 GMV airdropped to our common sneaker holders, 8000 GMT airdrop to uncommon sneaker holders, 16,000 GMV attracted rare and 32,000 GMT airdrop to epic sneaker holder.
00:17:54:21 – 00:18:28:26
Shiti Manghani: This is I’m talking pro NFT and we have got millions and millions of users. So you can imagine. So this is this is what we do. We build the product the right way, the way people want to use it. And then once people use it and stick with us, we reward them. As simple as that. This is the best and the most sustainable way to build communities and to ensure that the business is run in an ethical, sustainable manner. We do our best to add externalities, do not add external revenue streams.
00:18:28:28 – 00:19:01:09
Shiti Manghani: We partner with big brands as we have done in case of Atlético, Madrid, Essex and Lion and several of the partnerships that are going to happen. We believe in building and partnering with healthy communities even within web3 space and just outside. And last but not least, since you were talking about people don’t know where to start when they’re building communities here. I know it’s a self blog, but I want to mention about more.
00:19:01:29 – 00:19:03:26
Shiti Manghani: So more is our NFT Launchpad.
00:19:05:18 – 00:19:38:25
Shiti Manghani: Once again as a team. We believe in the idea of utility behind entities. That’s what we’ve done with Stepan. And in some say that our digital sneaker is even better than a real sneaker in getting people out and about. That’s how much useful that is. And similar way we encourage projects with utility behind our NFT to apply for our launchpad. So season two is going on right now. We concluded season one and the season one’s winner hype scenes actually went more than 20 and full price.
00:19:38:27 – 00:20:07:05
Shiti Manghani: So do your own research is not investment advice, but this is just an example of the kind of ammunition that we are able to provide as a team through our marketing supporter, ambassador communities to a network to to build these startups. And I call them startups, not just NFT projects because they are building real value in the world. So yes, if you’re one of those startups, do please check out more dot com and see if that is something you’d like to try out.
00:20:08:16 – 00:20:11:07
Richard Carthon: Think that’s an. Excuse me. I think that’s incredible.
00:20:12:25 – 00:20:45:21
Richard Carthon: So adding value back to your community, one way that you did that was through a recent airdrop when the largest of all time, which I think is really cool. And we’ve seen some different companies do it different ways, but it looks like the way they step in has been able to implement it. There’s been a lot of great feedback and your community is very happy about how you went about it. And then for all of those who are looking to build community more, it could be a really cool launchpad to get some things going. So thank you for plugging that into giving us more information on that.
00:20:46:27 – 00:21:03:06
Richard Carthon: You’ve been able to drop a significant amount of really great information for us and how and what. Everything that excuse me FSL is working on as well as in. But I want to kind of wrap it and kind of go in a different direction as we kind of wrap today’s show.
00:21:04:28 – 00:21:15:14
Richard Carthon: You’ve learned a tremendous amount in your years of doing this. If you could go impart one or two pieces of wisdom to yourself when you first got started on your journey, what would you tell yourself?
00:21:18:07 – 00:21:30:15
Shiti Manghani: It’s a great question. Often I don’t get asked in the crypto podcast this, but this is sort of like a life advice. I was lucky to have good role models throughout my journey.
00:21:34:02 – 00:21:52:21
Shiti Manghani: And I’ve learned a lot from them in both people and businesses. So I see or at FSL, my role in deals in growing fast food was to step in and now grow the entire company, which is ethical, right? And that growth essentially comes in people and in business. So
00:21:54:07 – 00:21:59:06
Shiti Manghani: people are a big part of that. And what I’ve learned through my years is.
00:22:02:02 – 00:22:03:00
Shiti Manghani: Ethical behavior.
00:22:05:07 – 00:22:37:21
Shiti Manghani: Result orientation. Strong character and insane discipline. Right. I have repeatedly seen. The best and the most successful people have. Some degree of mix of these character like characteristics, like some would speak on business ethics, some would be on result oriented and some would be on the strength of their character and resilience and some on discipline. But it’s essentially a mix, a potent mix of that.
00:22:39:21 – 00:23:12:26
Shiti Manghani: And a hygiene that I would say is that of a growth mindset, like whether you call it hustle hunger, you call it the will and ambition. You call it grit resilience. I think it all boils down to the fact that you want to improve no matter what. You take feedback and you improve. You take feedback and you improve. And once that is non-negotiable. Positive feedback loop driven towards results.
00:23:13:04 – 00:23:15:02
Shiti Manghani: Nothing can stop you. It’s unstoppable.
00:23:16:12 – 00:23:26:13
Richard Carthon: I think that is excellent. Everyone listening? Go back. Run that back a couple of times. I think that is really, really amazing advice and just a great way to.
00:23:28:13 – 00:23:56:13
Richard Carthon: Build towards success. I definitely want to co-sign the growth mindset. It’s amazing how just having the right kind of mindset can help improve not just your life, but all the things that you’re aspiring towards and even building it, aligning you more in the direction of where you’re ultimately trying to go, whether it be in your everyday life, in your business life or minutes of life, etc.. So I think that is awesome. Thank you for sharing that.
00:23:58:04 – 00:24:04:21
Richard Carthon: Also, just because you are unique in a and heavy marketing mindset.
00:24:06:21 – 00:24:40:09
Richard Carthon: I think it would be incredible to hear from you. For companies who are really trying to get to a place where they are building tremendous products right now. They’ve been heads down during these various times. And eventually they’re going to do it on the other side of this. And they’re like, all right. Now’s our time. Now, here’s how we get after this. What do you think are some of those first steps that they can be taking right now before that wave comes? And I know, again, a lot of it would center around community.
00:24:40:18 – 00:24:46:13
Richard Carthon: But what are some of those other things that, you know, necessarily people aren’t necessarily thinking about but maybe they should be thinking about?
00:24:50:20 – 00:25:23:13
Shiti Manghani: I think we are all early. And therefore what it means is that adoption is going to be a primary focus of whoever. Whatever does in this space. And the way we will succeed is when adoption happens. So anything that build towards streamlining that web to do Web three bridge is going to win in long term. It could be something as simple. Well, it’s it’s not simple or neither easy, but it could be a streamlining wallet service.
00:25:23:26 – 00:25:54:12
Shiti Manghani: It could be simplifying onboarding process next step. And it it could be really build utility to your an if things like we did in in in our case, it was also fueled by the fact that we. Converted the actions that you would anyway do in bed to. And we found a way to build community and accountability in Web three through that.
00:25:55:00 – 00:25:55:15
Shiti Manghani: Right.
00:25:57:06 – 00:26:27:08
Shiti Manghani: So it could be the technology solutions that simplify the onboarding process. It could be the solution itself, like addressing a wallet. Like at some point in my vision, there will be a wallet address that becomes your identity. What I mean by that is that today you have Facebook login or email login. As as your identity to design entered into with products. Right? Any app that you download you have to say.
00:26:28:12 – 00:26:44:03
Shiti Manghani: At some point, if blockchain is inevitability, that universal sign will become your wallet. And we’re far, far, far, far off from that. So can you think between now and towards that goal that helps simplify that process? Well.
00:26:45:04 – 00:27:21:03
Richard Carthon: I think that is golden. And I agree with you. I think that is probably the clearest way that it can really people can click for like think about Facebook came out and Facebook got so big that other apps basically said like, oh, you have a Facebook account, you can now log in and use our account just based on the fact that you own this. And that took years to get to and I agree that we’re probably years away before a wallet address then becomes that way, that people log in to do that. But in the in-betweens, you laid out some really great ways that people can be innovating and going towards that path to more critical mass adoption.
00:27:21:05 – 00:27:29:10
Richard Carthon: So you’ve given us a ton of gems. Thank you so much for all the amazing information as we wrap up here. What is the final thought that you want to leave with all the listeners?
00:27:32:04 – 00:27:50:02
Shiti Manghani: If you are listening to this, please know that you are a very early adopter of very early technology. So please believe in your build with a growth mindset and there’s a lot of success to be had.
00:27:51:09 – 00:28:09:01
Richard Carthon: Definitely. Well, City, thank you so much for spending some time with us. For everyone listening. You can go to step incom for more information. They have a ton of other ways that they can connect. And I will let you say some of the different ways that people can best either reach out to you or learn more about stepping.
00:28:10:14 – 00:28:27:07
Shiti Manghani: Of course, you can go on to our Twitter. Check out step in dot com more dot com. Try out our launch pad. If you are a builder and if you want to reach out to me personally, I’m on Twitter, actually. See the.
00:28:28:09 – 00:28:33:17
Richard Carthon: Perfect. Well, again, thank you so much for your time. And as always, for everyone listening, stay Cryptoquant.
00:28:34:11 – 00:28:54:20
Richard Carthon: Thank you for joining us for another episode of cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies, a cryptocurrency and blockchain education platform. Bridging the gap between curious newcomers for just discovering the space and the thought leaders for shaping its future. All opinions expressed by Richard Carleton, the crypto current team and their guests on this show are exclusively their own opinions on this show and any other crypto.
00:28:54:22 – 00:28:57:28
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