Instabeat’s family is growing by the day, and we work all the time with athletes, either swimmers or runners, professional or recreational, in order to get their insights and make sure our product responds to their needs.

I was recently chatting with a 15 year old swimmer, training 10 hours/week with the dream of making it to the Junior Olympics. I was so impressed by her determination and motivation, that I asked her to become Instabeat’s “Black Swimmer” and to share her trainings and tips so that everyone could learn from her. I was so surprised when she told me that she does not share her training.¬†She said it was both her decision and the coach’s. She then agreed to share the general format of her training without going into too much details.

This thought kept me up all night and I consulted another one of our Lebanese Olympic heroes, Wael Kobrosly, to get his opinion. “Of course!”, he said. “The coach spends days and nights preparing for the trainings, and you want us to share it with people? It is our secret¬†recipe…”. But what does a training on paper mean, if it’s not practiced by the person who its designed for, and if it’s not the coach who prepared it that is supervising it. I mean if I were to train exactly like Michael Phelps today, it doesn’t mean that I am likely to be as strong as him.

I found this debate very similar to never ending patent/trade secret vs. open source war. Should we prevent other people from building on an existing innovation and push them to create their own, or do we allow the usage of our knowledge, increase competition and raise faster the bar of innovation?

If we were to open source swimming workouts, more swimmers would have access to more training techniques and will somehow be able to improve their level beyond their actual resources. This would make it more challenging to star swimmers, competition would be tougher. But wouldn’t this also get us to push our limits further and explore new areas where no one has ever been before?

Maybe I am an idealist. But I would definitely love to train like Missy Franklin!

What are your thoughts?

 

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