Kicking Your Bad Lockdown Habits: An Interview with Commit Club’s Edward Sturm

Edward Sturm Commit Club

Edward Sturm of Commit Club tells us how people can stake ETH on their own habits and make ETH when others fail.

Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Commit Club.

Edward Sturm: I’ve had a pretty fun career, initially starting as a viral video producer. My friends and I made videos totaling hundreds of millions of views after getting out of college. It was a crazy time, and we were making our rounds on some of the biggest shows in the United States as well as international news shows.

I wanted to get deeper into tech, so I taught myself SEO and then went to one of the top agencies in the world. I did SEO for blue-chip companies before starting my own agency with enterprise clients.

In 2017 some mentors asked me to get into blockchain with them. We organized what went on to be the biggest blockchain meetup in the world, then made the first play-to-earn game in crypto, heralded as the top blockchain game in 2018 and 2019.

I left NYC, my home, and started traveling after this.

My current company, Commit Club, was founded by some very talented people I met while living in Kyiv, Ukraine, for a few years. Shoutout to Leon Grapenthin and Alexander Vilinskyy, my cofounders.

During the global lockdowns, many around the world adopted habits that are negative to their emotional and physical health. With Commit Club, we hope to break these habits and incentivize new positive habits in their place.

Commit Club operates at the intersection of Web3 and self-improvement: fitness, sports, mental health, education, and even productivity.

In the app, which is live, you stake Ether on yourself doing a daily challenge. Every day you check-in, you get a portion of your stake back. If you miss a check-in, the Ether you haven’t earned back gets distributed to everybody successful.

You stake ETH on yourself and make ETH when others fail.

You can also share your challenges publicly with a link.

Additionally, Commit Club can be done for free with only email signup. With zero knowledge of Web3, anybody in the world can start a challenge in Commit Club and share the challenge for accountability.

Finally, long term, we aim for the Commit Club DAO to be the Guinness World Records of the Web3 era. We’re accomplishing this with the anti-cheating technology we call “Proof of Trusted Witness” and our overall OPOS protocol, which stands for “Open Proof of Success.”

Do you have small habits that made a meaningful impact on your life and business?

Edward Sturm: I love this question because it’s hyper-relevant to Commit Club.

Since discovering meditation in college, I took up habits that benefited my life and businesses.

I meditate daily and have been doing so for over a decade. Currently, I do Wim Hof breathing meditation, but I did a simple, quiet open-eyes meditation for a long time.

I exercise. I love daily stretching.

I read industry news and listen to audiobooks daily. I love autobiographies, especially when narrated by the author.

During lockdowns, I also started cold baths and cold showers. This has been one of the most intense habits I’ve developed but had a tremendous effect on my well-being. 

How does Commit Club market its product? 

Edward Sturm: Marketing has just started, but our immediate go-to-market is fitness and productivity communities, as well as the growing number of Web3 users.

With free Web2 signups and shareable challenges, a variety of users doing hard commitments can share their progress for support, thereby sharing our product and mission.

We’re in the process of implementing group challenges for influencers and brands who want more of a Web3 presence. I know from my agency connections that there are a lot of brands like this out there.

I wouldn’t call Commit Club a metaverse company, but if there’s a brand that wants to give customers branded NFTs for doing custom activations, we’re the way to go.

We’ve already received some press, so I’ll reach out to journalists covering similar beats.

Finally, we’re committed to daily posting on Twitter (@Commit_Club) and frequent posting on LinkedIn.

What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?

Edward Sturm: Oh, it’s a lot.

Aside from social media platforms, we use Moz for SEO, Screaming Frog for making sure our site metadata is accurate, Lusha for journalist and influencer outreach, Yesware for emails, Zapier for marketing integrations, Mention for live mentions of Commit Club, Adobe Premiere Pro for videos, and a ton of spreadsheets.

In terms of management, I operate by putting people in areas they truly love and giving them full control. Even though I look at everything, I actively try not to micromanage.

What is your hiring process, and how do you retain your employees?

Edward Sturm: We look for people in love with their work, people who are obsessed with what they do.

Then we offer work-from-anywhere and a lot of trust in them performing. We’re a culture of passionate people with different skill sets. Our CTO is one of the best in the world and is in the top 5% of Stack Overflow. Our designer is a senior designer for several unicorns. With humility, I would say I’m one of the best digital marketers I know.

More about our team can be seen on the Commit Club team page.

How are you funding your growth?

Edward Sturm: We’re self-funded with savings from previous endeavors, and we also monetize. We take 30% of failed challenge stakes, with the remaining 70% distributed among our successful committers.

Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?

Edward Sturm: There are a few new projects with similar Web3 functionality as ours, though most are immature with little-to-no features to offer.

We really respect Stickk and Beeminder, which are successful Web2 commitment devices. There are also several successful platforms for getting paid to lose weight that has earned national attention.

In terms of pioneering Web3 health and wellness projects, it’s impossible to ignore Stepn and Sweatcoin’s amazing work.

Tell us a user success story of yours.

Edward Sturm: One of my favorite ones is a user in the UK who used Commit Club to commit to daily burpees.

He reached out, and I was able to ask about the challenge. He said at first he found burpees intimidating. “They’re some of the most intense exercises.” He committed to a 30-day challenge and, on day 1, did 10 burpees. Each day he increased by 10 until making it to 100. After that, he did a sliding scale of sets and reps.

This person did over 1,700 burpees in the month, averaging 57 a day. He said he saw rapid physical progress in endurance and appearance.

We’ve also seen Commit Club successfully used for mood tracking and practicing gratitude through our journal feature.

Your final thoughts?

Edward Sturm: In true Commit Club spirits, I am personally committed to this company for the next 5 years of my life.

I think this is the only way to do a startup – full commitment – and I’m excited to see where this project takes our team.

Where can we learn more?

Kokou Adzo


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