free-ranging conversation: dailyfeats spurs change through small, positive steps

January 30, 2012

in free-ranging conversations (interviews with wellness innovators)

dailyfeats wants to be a “positive action platform for the world.” the way they’re tackling this mildly ambitious goal is by encouraging users to take one small, positive action. CEO and co-founder veer gidwaney spoke with me about their goals, partnerships and future possibilities in the employer space.

fm: what is dailyfeats going after?
vg: the biggest social challenges we face are going to be solved because people change how they live their lives on a daily basis. we believe the biggest opportunity lies in helping people take on positive actions and celebrating those actions with them.

fm: when i use dailyfeats, what do i do? do i set up goals?
vg: no—no goals. we want to help people create new habits one small step at a time. when people use dailyfeats, they complete small actions that range from tackling their to-do list to eating more vegetables to practicing safe sex. along the way, they earn points, share with friends, and treat themselves or others to real-life rewards, motivating them to keep up the good work. at dailyfeats, we aim to make positive actions part of people’s everyday lives by helping them celebrate their “feats” and reach their potential.

fm: can you give me an example of how i’m rewarded?
vg: the team at jawbone asked to partner with us with their new device, jawbone up. we created a challenge with them, a defined set of actions a user needs to complete within a set period of time. the device authenticates that you actually completed them. and when you do, you get bonus points that have a monetary value and that are automatically integrated with your dailyfeats account.

fm: i understand you have sponsored partnerships. why?
vg: if we’re going to touch millions—to inspire millions to change—we know we need to have a strong voice. we’re competing with the couch. we know that for-profit and nonprofit organizations have the strongest voice, so we partner with them. we invite them to join our coalition for good.

for example, cigna is our exclusive health services partner this year. they sponsor certain activities you can complete daily, activities like eating more fruit, taking a walk or completing a wellness assessment. walgreens is another partner. we have an in-store text-based campaign that’s going live with them this year. it focuses on healthy kids. when you’re in the store, you’ll see placards that advertise this campaign. you can use your phone to get a list of things you can purchase and redeem a gift certificate for walgreens. people do something good for themselves and save money, it’s good for the walgreens brand, and as a society, we see better collective behavior.

fm: dailyfeats is strictly consumer-facing right now. do you have plans to enter the employer market?
vg: clearly dailyfeats could be very powerful in the employer space. the way we’re pursuing it right now is through our health plans partners. we’re exploring how they can bring us to employers.
we’ve run pilots with certain partners and in certain markets. we’ll be working with human resources and our health partners to customize activities per the employer’s focus and create challenges that can be framed around their particular health risks.

fm: your goal is very ambitious. how are you measuring your progress toward achieving it?
vg: we measure by the sheer number of positive actions people are taking.

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read more free-ranging conversations with health innovators.

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