Strava is begging the world to prove that it can live without Strava
Are its users motivated enough to seek or create substitute e-chambers for whatever reinforcement they're getting? See Betteridge's law of headlines
Strava is a heavily demoralized San Francisco-based tech company that treats both running and the people who pay for its services as garbage. For those unaware, the company offers an Instagram-like mass-platform where most of the images posted are individual users’ walking, running, or cycling routes, with any accompanying text—maybe a sentence, maybe a sociology thesis—augmented by an almost limitless amount of biometric and geolocational data collected by the user’s GPS watch. That is, it’s a modern running log animated by social-media features.
Strava had earned a reputation for snide PR releases and dismissive business ethics well before some of the app’s 95 million users began remarking early last week that the monthly subscription price would soon increase. (Free Strava accounts are available and, for any reasonable exercise-related purpose, sufficient.) Strava had already begun enacting this change for certain U.K.-based users late last year. And it did all of this with no e-mail or other active announcements; users only noticed the price hike when they loaded the app.
Once social-media types started connecting on the matter, it became clear that no one uniform price hike was imminent for everyone. Instead, the amount of the increase—which for some people was zero—appeared to vary across users based on inscrutable logic. Runner’s World reported on this last Friday, and a post by sports-tech reviewer DC Rainmaker the same day helped clarify what Strava seemed to have done, or believed it had done.
All along, Strava was blowing off press and other inquiries. But DC Rainmaker is persistent and seems deeply established in, and committed to, his niche, and was able to initiate e-mail correspondence with Strava representatives.
Although DC Rainmaker didn’t publish his post until January 13, his back-and-forth with Strava had prompted the company to announce on its blog the day before what any remotely ethical company would have clearly announced in advance, rather than do everything within its legal limits to avoid announcing the price hike at all. And as usual for Strava, it was a dogshit post, unctuous and laden with boilerplate corporate condescension from the “But look at all we do for you and the world” bag of psychological tricks.
Strava’s use of the passive voice in the underlined sections is a conscious shedding of responsibility for its actions. It’s not going to “adjust” costs and plans or evaluate pricing “decisions”; those things will just somehow come to be, and Strava will handle the rest. (Edit: Also, Strava did not change your subscription price; your subscription price simply rose, as many naturally things do, and Strava is, a bit belatedly, spreading this news.)
These depraved assholes can afford to laugh at their own users, just like all sizable tech platforms can. According to the RW story, Strava managed to raise 72 percent of the sizable capital it holds in one round of funding—six months into covid-19, at that.
According to Crunchbase, Strava has raised a total of $151.9 million from seven rounds of funding. The company raised $110 million during its most recent round, which took place in November 2020.
So while everyone else was eating shit sandwiches through masks in the fall of 2020 and not being able to run races, Strava raised almost three-fourths of the dough it now has in one-seventh of its funding gambits. How does that work?
Easy. Big companies were getting rich in 2020 thanks to massive outlays from on high essentially mandating compliance with Wokish initiatives, none of them helpful and most of them insane and damaging wherever they penetrated, which is everywhere (this is undeniable now).
If you want to be a highly regarded company—World Economic Forum-stamped and approved—then you absolutely need a high ESG rating. This rating “measures a company’s resilience to long-term environmental, social, and governance risks.” The Dow Jones, NASDAQ, BlackRock, Vanguard, and other overseers of the global economy all maintain ESG rankings of companies. And they all know it’s a massive fraud.
As an example of how asinine this system is, Exxon Mobiland Marathon Petroleum recently wandered into the S&P Dow Jones “ESG top ten” on the same day Tesla was exiled from it. Sustainability is allegedly at the core of the whole scheme, but personalities seem to count for more. And if you poke around just a little, you quickly learn that they do, because ESG is nothing more than a tool concocted by billionaires and governments to ensure compliance through broadly mandated and counterproductive rituals such as diversity training and pronoun management.
This is why global elites embrace, and weaponize, Wokism: The billionaires running this dung-coated whirling rock and the pink-haired, often impecunious lunatics scattered around it and serving as their brownshirts both love speech suppression and narrative perversion. They love it—and they need it, because in both cases the aggressive, control-seeking parties require dishonest means to achieve their unglamorous ends.
And this is why you see so much ridiculous, ugly nonsense everywhere now: Beaming idiots with Ivy League degrees lauded for promoting flat-out racist dissent, course-cutting and non-training grievance-machines touted as legitimately striving fitness icons, and a stream of confused twentysomethings rewarded rather than punished for loudly and repeatedly failing third-grade biology.
The world did not go this crazy on its own in 2020 as a result of organic racial unrest. Obviously, only a coordinated cash stream coupled to absurd mandates—some tacit, some explicit but concealed—could have turned so many people I know into individuals who basically function at the level of the chronically institutionalized and medicated when it comes to some subjects. Latoya Snell is only one of these subjects.
In November, I wrote a couple of posts about a runner being cancelled thanks to whining from Snell. The execution itself was carried out by Brooks Running, another company filthy with garbage-merchants and sniveling pussies. But Strava had enabled the mess by portraying Snell as a longstanding and serious athlete. Strava’s response to this dust-up was to give Snell a “most spirited of 2022” award; this was just waggling a middle finger at Snell’s detractors, as this “award” does nothing for Snell.
So Strava has experience telling people to accept whatever it peddles, however it peddles it, and demanding they be grateful for it. The company has done so in other ways for years, mostly in accordance with trying to achieve higher ESG ratings. High ratings come in handy for fundraising, and were especially valuable in 2020, when the USA was all about the BLM—another Wokish campaign that’s going just great about now, assuming that worsening life for the majority of black Americans was the aim from the start.
To pointlessly underscore the issue here for newly arrived trolls, Snell is not an example of someone facing unusual barriers to running and persisting in the face of those challenges to show that “anyone can run” (a concept already milked dry by the late 1990s, when often-supersized five-plus-hour marathoners were already a thing and being lauded for their ambition). She is part of a morbid new brand of public moron who faces unusual barriers to running and invades running “spaces,” but doesn’t work to surmount them.
She lies and cheats and bullies people and makes excuses, sits on her ass, predictably fails in marathons she hasn’t earned her way into, and pretends she succeeded anyway. She averaged about a half-mile a day of walking (she doesn’t even try to run anymore) for all of 2022.
Everyone gets why this and similar idiocies are being unleashed wherever they turn. People go along with this crap because, in the triumphantly ruined fitness sector and most anywhere in America, you can’t criticize a black person for breaking basic rules of conduct. Not even when she’s such a sociopath that you can’t tell where the purposeful evil chortling ends and the raw, rip-roaring mental deficiencies begin.
I am not buying it, and neither is anyone with a mind and a conscience. A braying poseur is exactly that no matter her skin color or how intentionally self-degraded and obscene her physical presentation may be. Just a plain old poser, nothing to see here but a 300-pound woman depicting herself taking extended dumps. (No link today, sorry.) And too many people are just plain cowards about all of this, and about many related things that have turned everyday life into a maelstrom of vulgarity and uncertainty from millions of uniquely fear-charged perspectives.
Strava is raising its fees knowing that its users all hate whoever is behind this, and that those users can sense its principals laughing while dispatching occasional grammatically challenged tweets. It has a ton of money and just dumped 38 employees last month, about 14 percent of its workforce. (That’s about the same fraction Robin Thurston offloaded from Outside, Inc.—yet another disposable outfit operated by a shithole tech-capitalist—a month earlier; it’s probably the tech-industry standard for the twice-yearly shedding of human mass.)
Strava is counting on one thing: Users being too vain to back up their bitching with action, and just quietly deciding they need what Strava provides—the likes, the ability to follow and comment on pro-athlete profiles, the option of writing windy run reports in the immediate and exulting aftermath. Now, I have a free Strava account, and despite being more tech-minded than I may appear I am pretty sure a paying subscription would not add anything. Maybe cyclists make more use of the granular data. But I can comment on other people’s runs, and if I upload a run I see everything I or any reasonable person needs to. I do not know what most people would really lose by not paying for a subscription.
The people I know who pay for Strava rarely comment on the data of other people’s workouts, though. They comment on what people say or any drama they detect, or people they might enjoy copulating with given reciprocal interest and consent. They are there for the crowd, even if just to observe. And I assume some elements of this are available only for paying subscribers (or will be shortly).
Strava is not just counting on the collective vanity of millions of joggers and nondescript pedalers to survive and grow, but banking on it. It has plenty of data from industrial psychologists telling its executives that enough people will stay on as paying suckers to prove this was a profitable move in six months. Its execs know as surely as I do that most Strava users are addicted to the platform.
Strava hypnotized the fitness world for a while with so much great free stuff, and then kept its subscription price stable for ten years or so. It has everyone hooked through the tender meat, and it is confidently forecasting the unearned fidelity of millions of people who could easily set up groups to enjoy Strava-like experiences on any number of platforms.
I love imaging millions of people just tellng Strava “Ok, bye-bye!” That it can take its fake social activism, shady and incoherent business practices, and sucking up to global Wokelords and fail. I love the idea of this latest brazen move resulting in a lot of investors losing a shitload of money and the running “community” actually showing some collective resilience rather than caving to a commitment to even more fractious nonsense.
Sham social justice isn’t going anywhere, and neither are increasingly predatory business practices, the worsening nature of which the media sometimes reported on during the Trump presidency but began ignoring when the new waterhead arrived and began overseeing the same quiet administrative policy changes.
People can’t stop this, but they can at least not reward it. No one loses anything they can’t get somewhere else by telling Strava, which has just told everyone to fuck off, “No, you fuck off.” Then everyone there will become poor and be forced to wander zombie-like through the septic streets of San Francisco, where fully two-thirds of adult women are now walking around in public with their dongs hanging out and the rest are being abused by male members of city-sanctioned urban drug-use camps.
Will this happen? No. Most people reading this who already pay Strava money will find a bad but satisfactory justification for paying it even more. I mean, people who still use “The Internet got mad”-style terminology can’t be counted on to do anything courageous or necessary. Can they?
Speaking of Exxon Mobil, covid-19 was friendly to that ol’ mom-and-pop, too. In fact, it seems to have rescued the company, whose stock price had been in a years-long slide. After the crash in the spring 2020 that briefly tanked the market, Exxon Mobil has more than tripled its stock price since October 2020 and lately has been trading at a record high.
Is this suggestive of a concerted move toward renewable energy, or is maybe all of that talk from on high complete horseshit?
Ok so Strava is my favorite Social Media. There is no politics in my feed (anyone who gets too political gets removed by me), just good ol'fashioned "hell ya"s and of course lots of "kudos". I have been connected to some people since 2015 who I still haven't met in person, and those who I have met in person along the way were already like old friends.
I stopped paying one year when Strava changed their feed algorithm (in a huff, like we all do) but then a year or two ago decided that since Strava brought me so much pleasure I would pay the $76.99 Canadian dollars for an annual subscription to support them. There are enough features that entertain me that the Subscription cost was worth it (Note: I DO comment on other athletes stats and HRs etc, it's a way of encouraging others when they have done a good workout or race).
Now a couple of days ago I was searching for a comparison between the new Apple Ultra watch and my Fenix 6x Pro. Why? Because my non-athlete friend who had gone cross-country skiing was telling me what garbage the watch is, which was kind of a letdown, because one of my favorite ultra athletes had endorsed it, and up until now I thought his word was Gold. But I digress.
I hit DC Rainmakers Strava post and listened while I did the dishes, in utter horror at what the goons at Strava HR were unleashing upon their loyal paying subscribers. I had already turned a relatively blind eye to the woke gestures and crotch-kicks Strava has perpetrated as outlined in your clear and well written posts referenced above. Once the video was concluded I looked at my renewal rate and yes, next November it will renew at $99, plus tax, so about $115.
Will my Umbridge meter go into the red? Probably. Every couple of months I imagine a Life Without Strava, using just my Garmin Connect with my one or two Garmin Friends (who are also on Strava). But then I dismiss it because there are MANY more important things to ponder and as stated, Strava gives me more pleasure than other Social Media Platforms. Will I ditch my subscription next November? Probably. I really can live without the excess features and I think they need a spanking for this latest round of stupidity.
Exxon went up because your current president made an executive order declaring war on Oil and Gas when he came into office. Since then the cost of energy has steadily ticked upwards and of course the stock price has followed. That and excessive monetary stimulus have contributed to massive price increases and this runaway inflation. Even Skechers running shoes are very expensive now, and at one time they were my go-to for less expensive, reliable shoes.
Crap. For a second I thought I had a Strava account rate increase until I checked and confirmed I have a "Free" account. Don't disagree for a second on the WAY misplaced sense of self-importance that Strava (FB, LinkedIn, Twitter, Truth Social et al) and it's ilk frequently have. I have a Polar Vantage watch (I got for free) that I enabled to post my prodigious 3 mile morning run efforts and apparently that greatly impress someone out there. I occasionally download a biking route but don't closely follow anyone. But, please, enough of the "wokish" references. Don't we all get enough of that already? Good grief.