Our Interview with Vida Health Founder and CEO, Stephanie Tilenius on the M1 Podcast (Ep. 57)
- Podcast /
- Product Leadership /
Mobile First Podcast Episode 57
Stephanie Tilenius is the Founder and CEO of Vida Health, a next-generation digital therapeutic and health coaching platform for chronic physical and mental health conditions deployed at Fortune 500 companies, large national payers and providers.
Prior to starting Vida, Tilenius was with Kleiner Perkins Canfield & Byers, where she worked primarily with late-stage KPCB portfolio companies, with an emphasis on companies in the Digital Growth Fund.
While at Kleiner, Stephanie invested in Nextdoor and MyFitnessPal. Prior to Kleiner, Stephanie was at Google, where she was vice president of global commerce and payments, helping build and launch new products and platforms including Google Wallet, Google Shopping and Google Express. Prior to joining Google, she was at eBay and PayPal for nine years, and in her last role was SVP of eBay.com and global product where she helped lead the eBay Marketplace turnaround. Prior to eBay, Stephanie was VP of Merchant Services at PayPal where she built the off-eBay PayPal business from the ground up into a multi-billion business. A co-founder of PlanetRx.com, she has also worked at Intel, AOL and Firefly.
Stephanie sits on the public boards of Coach Inc. and Seagate Technology.
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Key Insights from our Conversation
- Stephanie is passionate in making an impact in other people’s lives and doing the things that matter. Everything that she had done in her career had affected millions of people and improved lives and now in Vida, she is focusing on health care and eradicating chronic conditions, which is a real problem in the country.
- She had worked with eBay, Google and PayPal and her experience in building products and platforms from the ground up and reimagining how things are done during her time with these companies had helped her in her current work in healthcare, which, in some ways, is one of the last industries to adopt consumer-facing technology.
- Vida is an app service for managing your health. They match you to a coach, a nurse or a health expert, and a digital therapy program, to work in the area that you are most concerned in. They cover both mental and physical conditions and programs focus on concerns such as diabetes, hypertension, weight loss, and smoking. They use machine learning to personalize your programs to help you succeed.
- Stephanie shares an example of a mobile experience of one of their customers, Jenny, which led to great results. Jenny is a 49-year old, mom of three who lost 80 lbs. in 8 months. She had diabetes, cholesterol and hypertension and found profound benefits from Vida.
- The new movement today is that health care is being self-care. People are now trying to track their behavior in a more holistic way than they have done in the past and this is very beneficial compared to the traditional way wherein you only get one reading per year during an annual physical exam.
- Vida is connected to the most popular wearables and anything out there which will enable you to monitor your health. They connect to other apps as well so they can integrate your data into one place for your coach to see. The benefit of this is for your coach to personalize your experience and help you achieve your goals by knowing everything you are doing. This day-to-day insight helps people make the right behavior change and make decisions.
- Pure execution and scale, just like other companies, are one of Vida’s challenges. Things get more complicated as they scale so they continue to get customer feedback – from onboarding, retention, engagement with their coaches and programs, the use of different features inside the app – and just continue to iterate. They note that they should be mindful of population profiles and their use of the app.
- Building a two-sided market place is always complicated and one things that has been tough for Vida is balancing the supply and demand. In addition to this, they have to have tools for both their users and coaches so this is twice the work versus other apps.
Rapid Fire Questions
- What is your definition of innovation?
Innovation is solving a problem in a better way and bringing it to life.
- Would you put more emphasis on the idea or the execution? How would you weigh each of them and why?
Thomas Edison is famous for saying that genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration and I am a big believer in that.
- What is your biggest learning lesson on your journey so far?
It’s all about people. As a team, you can do a lot more than as an individual.
- What is your favorite business book?
Radical Candor by Kim Scott
Peter Thiel’s Books
Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance
- What is your favorite digital resource?
- What is your favorite app?