Let me set one thing straight before I dig into this topic—I’m a Software Engineer, not a writer. That said, I still have a story to tell about my journey to the creation of ZoeFit.
In the Beginning…Coding was My Passion
Back in 2006, while working for a Wellness technology company, I started building various tools and apps for clients. It was 8 great years of ‘coding’—which was my passion—in an area that was growing very fast. The company founders were great mentors who helped me to think deep on questions like HOW and WHY so I would consider the big picture and truly think about what I was doing. In essence, they really made me who I am today.
The Big Question
I moved on to projects that were in the clinical Healthcare field, but, one thing in particular remained on my mind from my experience developing Nutrition and Fitness projects:
Why people stop using fitness tools/apps within a short period of time, even when they are highly motivated?
During my 8 years, I developed over a dozen different types of Nutrition & Exercise Trackers, and yet, user retention was always the biggest challenge. Even applying the latest UX designs, the user experience was not good enough to hold user attention. In other words, these apps weren’t “sticky” enough.
I am a big fan of the TV program Breaking Bad. One of my favorite lines is, “I truly believe there exists some combination of words…..there must exist certain words, in a certain specific order that can explain all of this.” It seemed to capture the way I felt, that there had to be a better answer to make a Personal Health app a great experience to use.
Discovering Quantum Physics, Natural Language Processing and Realizing the Answer is Out There
In 2015, I developed interest in Quantum Physics, which led to studying Natural Language Processing (very odd – right?) and in the mix of experiencing these technologies, I discovered a whole new way of thinking about user engagement. And, a vision was born. Apps needed to interact with people the way people interact with each other. Use the user’s voice and Natural Language Processing technology to make it simple for people to log the food they eat, their biometrics and activities they do. At that time a couple of Nutrition apps were already out there using basic text parsing, but from my past experience, I knew it was not enough. The app experience I was envisioning needed to be super easy and learn over time.
Then Came ZoeFit
At the same time, a few colleagues that were healthcare professionals expressed similar interests about Natural Language Processing. They were following the IBM Watson momentum and experimenting in BlueMix. Very quickly our conversations exploded about the possibilities and that was the inception of ZoeFit. The journey that was mine became a troupe of followers who believed in the vision. We gathered an extraordinary group that worked on coding, data science, UX, and tool development (yes, it’s challenging “teaching” an algorithm, but that’s another whole blog topic). We polled user groups about talk-to-text usability and the importance of what needed to be logged, how frequently and wearables they used. We built a knowledge base, researched the data base suitable for ZoeFit as a resource. We worked, iterated, alpha, beta and now launched ZoeFit to the App Store. An amazing journey with incredible “fruits for our labor” if I may brag a bit. Thank you all, Team ZoeFit!
It’s a Game Changer for Nutrition & Fitness App Users
You can speak to it just like a friend about what you ate, which activities you did and how your biometrics are doing—all in one phrase and you are DONE. ZoeFit parses out everything for you and presents as if you entered everything by hand, and ZoeFit learns your choices so it becomes more accurate with time. Give it a try: here is the link to our website: www.zoefit.ai
It was not an easy path with no money, proof first – invest later—the typical startup experience. But none of us were ever deterred from our goal to bring ZoeFit to life. It took us 1.5 years to make it into the AppStore – and that day was truly one of the best days of my life. To all that have joined this journey, I thank you for helping me solve the original, burning question and bring the vision for ZoeFit to life!