This is why we are in business

Most start-up companies develop a vision and mission statement and use it as a way to guide and motivate their teams while sharing with the market who they are and what they stand for. If you are a fan of the show Silicon Valley, the show had a funny episode that entailed psychedelic drug taking as the driver for company visioning and finding that “north star.” At Glooko, we didn’t need quite that much “intervention” to come up with our vision.

From the start, our founders, all technology veterans who personally deal with diabetes either directly or via a close family member, realized in their early days of being confronted with diabetes that it is extremely hard to manage. It is, in fact, a chronic disease that requires individuals to manage their own metabolism and its frequent fluctuations that are often triggered based on time of year, diet, exercise, stress and more. Diabetes requires an individual to do many things everyday to stay on track. It requires constant attention and focus.

Simply put – it is hard.

At Glooko, our vision and mission were created out of the desire of our founders to use technology to take some of the burden away. Here is where we ended up (remember, these things need to be simple and something the team can remember…):

Vision

A world where diabetes is easier to manage.

Mission

Transform the way people with diabetes and their care providers interact by leveraging the power of mobile, cloud, and analytics.

Many of the team members here at Glooko have diabetes. Those of us who don’t, have close family and friends who do. And through our users, we have an extended family of people with diabetes as well. We talk to our users every day. We listen to their struggles and we get their input on what we can do, big and small, to make what is extremely hard just a little bit easier.

We often argue whether our vision makes light of the challenge of diabetes. It is not meant to. It is meant to force us to ask ourselves, every single day, whether what we are creating for our users is as easy at it can be. It forces us to then ask, does this new capability make some of the burden of managing diabetes easier than it is today? For example, how much easier is it to automatically sync data from your glucose meter versus manual entry and logging? Does the automation make diabetes management easier? On that one, the answer was “yes!”

But at Glooko, we find ourselves looking much beyond just our vision and mission to drive our daily work. Your feedback is what drives us every day. For every new feature and every new process flow, we ask our users for feedback. We track user behavior when we implement something new and change it or its related process if we see that it is too hard or could be made even easier.

Last week we received great unsolicited feedback from a user on Facebook. More specifically a Mom who has been helping her young son manage his diabetes at school, during sports, while with friends and in daily life. Whenever a Mom posts, I think about my three boys and what it would be like, in our already hectic crazy lives, to have to manage diabetes. I just can’t imagine it. When we see posts like this we all stop and look back at our vision and mission and realize that stories like this are why we are in business. Why we come to work everyday and why we push hard for greatness in everything we do. It makes staying late each day and working over the weekend on a new release, feature, guidebook or video worth it.

Facebook Feedback Sanitized

Needless to say, her post was quickly “Slacked” (is that a word?) across the company. Her feedback was something we’ve heard when interviewing users, but when given unsolicited, it is really exciting. I have posted it here, with her name and personal information pulled out so you can see what inspires us here at Glooko.

And while our vision and our mission are our “north star”, the energy that nourishes us everyday is the feedback we get from you, good and bad, that tells us how we can improve and design a product that helps you or someone you know stay engaged and motivated to actively manage diabetes.

Here’s to another great week of making diabetes management just a little bit easier!

Robin Beadle