There is a saying, that "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade." It's real and we believe in it but sometimes the lemons are so... lemony and big and sour and completely unexpected. And it's really, really hard to make lemonade. Not impossible, just really hard.
We've been a bit silent for the past 8 or so months, and it's because we found ourselves in one of those situations. One of our co-founders and my best friend, was diagnosed with a life threatening condition. One of those that makes you stop and think about everything in life, everything that we take for granted and don't even realize it.
When this condition was discovered in early August of last year, it was a shock and essentially the brakes were hit on everything. The top priority was for him to get what he needed. The other, much less important but still important implication was that our technical leadership and 60%+ of our production (ability to actually build products) disappeared. Imagine being on a basketball team, competing in a game and you had to play 5 (them) versus 2 (you). That was our situation.
Down but not out
While the hit was devastating, we never gave up and spent most of the 'off-season' looking for alternate resources and directions. It took some time but we found both.
Over the past few years developing Track Attack and experimenting with different experiences, we learned several things and one that always kept coming was this: Drivers, coaches and teams at all levels had driving data (and sometimes video) from years and years of driving but it was not being leveraged, in some cases, not at all. They had data from systems they'd spent thousand of dollars on and it had served a purpose but left much to be desired:
- Lap time overkill: The software needed to actually analyze the data was incredibly difficult to use, so many would use the data acquisition system to see lap times and that was pretty much it. They didn't really know how to use the software, let alone make sense of what the squiggly lines meant.
- Sharing their experience: Another set of these drivers also would run a GoPro or some other kind of video camera to capture the action. Some would actually have time to download the video from the camera, find a video editing program and cut it down to put on YouTube. A fewer percentage had an AIM Smarty Cam or similar, so they always had a video automatically, with a data overlay. The majority though ended up watching the video once or twice to try and find some speed secrets but never could justify the time and effort needed to make what they actually wanted; a super awesome video that truly showed the thrill and feeling of driving on the track.
- Connecting with others on more than just internet jibber-jabber: Near universally, what we found was that drivers, coaches and teams wanted to connect with other drivers, coaches and teams. They wanted to see how others were doing at their local race tracks, they wanted to follow certain drivers, series, cars, teams and tracks. They wanted leader boards an easy way to find people to share and compare data. They wanted to learn about the cars that other people had. They wanted to connect and bench-race, but not just on the typical 2nd and 3rd hand stories from the track, but on actual racing footage and data. They wanted a place to go to based on substance, based on their and everyone else's real data and video.
The New Track Attack
This is exactly what the new Track Attack is pivoting towards We will continue to have a recording application, that anyone will be able to use to record lap times, figure out how to be a better driver and record awesome video, with just your smartphone, GoPro cameras and low cost accessories. We will keep improving them but where that data and video goes, will now also accept data and video from the all the major data acquisition systems such as AIM, MoTec, Bosch, RaceLogic, TraqMate, Alfano, Unipro, Harry's Lap Timer and more.
The new Track Attack will be a place and a service where you, as a first-time track day goer to a professional racing team leader can:
- Securely store all of your data and video so you can have it all in one place and available to you on any device, any time and any where in the world.
- Can clearly see a detailed history of the time on track for you, your car and your team.
- Actually make sense of the data to help you get faster. We've worked with some of the leading driver coaches in the world to create an analytic experience around the top views of data that all drivers should focus on. The fundamentals that will give you the edge in a club or a professional race or simply to push yourself on your own. We'll leverage the video to help you understand the data and take actionable steps to get better then and there.
- Create awesome videos, with data overlays, that are customizable and don't require special software or video editing skills.
- Easily share, view, compare and find awesome racing content from all over the world. Profiles, leaderboards, challenges and chatting - all using the social networks you already use.
We're incredibly excited to be on this journey and while we're just going public with this new direction, we've been on it for several months now. We are 100% focused on this new direction, so you will only see maintenance updates to our current application for the next several months but you will see regular updates as we make progress, request for alpha testers, feedback and sneak peeks of the new product as it is prepared.
We have several exciting announcements as we make our way through the next several months and thank you for your patience as we got off the mat and reloaded. We promise it will be worth it!
Let's make this happen!