San Mateo, California, United States United States
  • Overview
Company description

Wellsphere builds online healthy living communities that help people ‘Get active, Eat better and Unwind’. Wellsphere’s groundbreaking platform works by connecting each member with local health and wellness resources, classes and activities that match their unique interests and goals, and with the personalized advice and social support they need to sustain healthy habits. The company hosts a public website for consumers at http://www.wellsphere.com and creates proprietary communities (such as BeWell@Stanford) for large organizations seeking to improve the health and well being of their members and reduce their healthcare costs. Wellsphere is headquartered in San Mateo, California.

Founders Ron Gutman and Dave Kashen started the company based on a vision for helping to solve the country’s health crisis and a passion for helping people improve their well-being. From the obesity epidemic to the rise of inactivity to the high levels of stress found across America, our country is not exactly in good shape. Most of us know at least a few things we could do to improve our well-being, but haven’t quite gotten around to doing them yet. Both Ron and Dave know from personal experience the incredible impact that becoming more active and eating better can have on people’s lives (yea, they’re still working on the relaxation part, but 2 out of 3 is a good start). Turns out making changes is HARD. So, they gathered a group of some of the brightest minds across Stanford’s graduate schools and asked one simple question: “How do we help people improve their own lives?” Hundreds of interviews, research papers and concept tests later, they uncovered two big ideas that have formed the core of Wellsphere:

* Personalization. There is a TON of generic information in print and on the web about how much cardio you should do, how many calories you shouldn’t eat, etc. etc. Unfortunately, most of us actually have a lot going on in our lives beyond reading books to figure out what a cardio is and how many calories are in our raspberry vinaigrette dressing. So, we need solutions that are simple, relevant, easy to understand, and (drum roll please) actually work for real people. And, who best to uncover these mystifying solutions? You! And you, and you, and you. The ‘right’ solution is the one that works for you, and the best way to know what that will be is to find people like you and see what worked for them. No more reading articles from unknown scientists in hidden laboratories. Find out what really works from people just like you, and once you do, tell a few more people (and they’ll tell 2 friends, and they’ll tell 2 friends) and before we know it, we’ll all be a bit happier, a bit healthier and having a LOT more fun in the world.

* Social support & community. We heard the proverb that ‘It takes a village.’ Improving your life (now matter how much you want to do it) is a hard thing to do. In our research, we found nothing more helpful than having the support and motivation of friends in enabling people to make whatever changes they want in our lives, and keeping them accountable for sticking with it. Of course, not everyone wants to make changes, some people just want to have more fun, get outside and play more. Well, it turns out community is great for that too!

* Incentives. Of course the best reward for making healthier choices is how great it makes you feel, but sometimes it takes a little while before you really notice. Getting rewarded for making even small changes can give you that little extra push you need to stay motivated.

With this in mind, we created Wellsphere, and have had a great experience testing out some of the concepts from our research. We heard firsthand from community members what they thought would be helpful. Here’s what they told us…

“I need help achieving my goals”
* Set your goals and get tips and advice on how to achieve them
* Find local resources that can help you
* Get support from the community
* Connect with people who have similar goals
* Find out what other people are doing to achieve the same goals
* Keep a journal (update it from your mobile phone!)
* Get answers to your questions
* Log your progress and view your progress chart
* Earn points along the way

“How do I find the right gym (yoga studio, spa, hiking trail, cooking school, surf spot, restaurant…) for me?”
* Browse our nationwide Local Resources directory
* Share recommendations and see where your friends go to be well
* Find other members who go to a place and see what they’re saying about it
* Meet people who go where you go

“I need a little personal attention. Who’s the best trainer (nutritionist, coach, masseuse…) in town”
* We've included professionals in our Local Resources directory so search away
* See who your friends go to, and share recommendations

“I want to find some fun activities to do and people to do them with.”
* See what activities people like you are enjoying
* Meet activity buddies and go play together
* Learn new skills, techniques and tips
* Find a pro to hone your skills
* Find the best places to hike, run, bike, swim, kick, box, serve, spike, play, eat, relax...

“Finally get my questions answered”
* Ask questions and get answers from other members, including professionals
* Find out what other people are asking, and answering

“Find fun classes and events to do, and tell people what I’m up to!”
* Find upcoming classes and events near you
* See who’s doing what
* Create your own events and announce them to the world
* Find people to do stuff with
* See what classes and events your friends are going to

“Watch movies!”
* Watch videos on Wellsphere
* Want to know how to do a prefect sit-up? Watch Agasi win the Grand Slam? The latest yoga moves? Find it on Wellsphere.
* Add your favorite (relevant!) videos and share them with the community