Video Of The Week: Why Ida Tin Started Clue

I’m a big fan of our portfolio company Clue which is trying to improve women’s reproductive health and planning with their super popular mobile app.

Here’s a short video (< 2 mins)  that was posted a couple days ago where founder Ida Tin explains why she started Clue.

#hacking healthcare#mobile

Comments (Archived):

  1. JimHirshfield

    From riding motorcycles professionally to this. Badass!

    1. LE

      Oh come on Jim! Nothing special! We all grew up with dozens of girls that did that type of thing.

    2. LE

      Well now I find out that she led motorcycle tours across Europe not racing and at least not doing something moronic like Robbie Knievel jumping a canyon like his father did. Lest you think that drugs, food and sex are the only thing that people can take stupid chances doing when they have an addiction….

    3. Twain Twain

      Badass because she and her team persevered with an idea through to market implementation (from 2009 to raising $7 million in Oct 2015).Especially badass since ovulation & family planning cycles etc. isn’t a personal pain point for male VCs, who represent 94% of US investor community, yet is pain point for women who make up sizable global population.

      1. Dave Pinsen

        Especially badass since ovulation & family planning cycles etc. isn’t a personal pain point for male VCs, who represent 94% of US investor communityOh, great point. Because none of those male VCs are married to women, and when couples have kids men have zero involvement in that process.

        1. Kirsten Lambertsen

          How many male vc’s have you pitched a female-centric product to?

          1. sigmaalgebra

            What is the fraction of female users on Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook? For my project, I’m guesstimating 65%.

          2. Dave Pinsen

            Probably higher for Pinterest.

          3. sigmaalgebra

            Yup.Social media? I.e., electronically mediated gossip, and we wonder if over 50% of the users are females?As in, D. Tannen, You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation,females get emotional security by bonding via gossip. In the gossip circle, the girl who brings the juiciest gossip “is valued above all the other girls”, to paraphrase. So, from praise, acceptance, approval from the gossip circle, she gets secure membership in the group and, thus, (E. Fromm, The Art of Loving), to paraphrase, her “solution to the fundamental problem of life, her anxiety from her vulnerability from the hostile forces of nature and society from feeling alone”. So, sure, girls gossip.Men? According to Tannen, they exchange information, e.g., technical, business.Sure, this should all be in Girls 101 for Dummies — Boys.

          4. Simone

            Sounds awful. and it’s true :)I can confirm witnessing this ongoing contest of who has the juiciest gossip. and these girls wouldn’t get in touch unless they have something new and juicy to say. the only comment I have, I don’t think there is a noble reason behind this, just attention seeking. most women are competitive, some in silly ways, like who has the best gossip.

          5. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Are we comparing planning pregnancy to looking at sofa photos? Cuz no.

          6. sigmaalgebra

            I was just responding to yourHow many male vc’s have you pitched a female-centric product to?by mentioning some information technology startups that likely are “female-centric”.

          7. Dave Pinsen

            Why is a tool to help couples have kids “female-centric”?

          8. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Well, unless measuring *your* body temperature to determine if your partner is ovulating is a method I’m unaware of, I’d say it’s relatively female centric.

        2. Twain Twain

          VCs may empathize with their wives and, as couples, both may have adapted suitably to each others’ cycles (the mood ones too).Nonetheless, there are products that male investors don’t have direct experience points of reference to. So they think to themselves, “I don’t use it, so I can’t see other guys using it.”Relatability goes both ways.It’s like if I was an investor and someone pitched me a Golfing R Us app, I would instinctively give a “No” because I’d be thinking, “I don’t play golf and don’t know any women who do, so I can’t see it being useful.”Rory Mcllroy would disagree with me but that would be an example of my bias as an investor just as male investors bias against female-centric products.It happens on both sides so both sides need to be aware of this.

      2. JimHirshfield


  2. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I like how she makes it sound like she was doing motocross or something, ha. She’s actually kind of a big deal with her ‘riding motorcycles’ and best-selling book 🙂 [edited]

    1. LE

      Funny that is what I actually thought that she was doing; motorcross or some type of racing. I was confused by your comment so I looked further into it and see that she was leading motorcycle tours. I always find it interesting how words can be used like that which was certainly not her intention. Unlike this example: [1][1] A long time ago a relative told me they had bought an “office building” and I thought “wow impressive”. Until I found out it was not what I thought they meant by “office building”. (It only had 4 offices so yeah technically it was an “office building” but not large multi tenant let alone skyscraper. )

    2. lydiasugarman

      Yes, “riding motorcycles professionally” conjures a very different mental picture than “leading motorcycle tours.” The second is impressive, but not even close to the first! Chalk it up to ESL.But, when I say I rode in “outlaw bike messenger races in NYC,” it’s 100% accurate.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        “…I rode in “outlaw bike messenger races in NYC,”…” That’s cool!!!I should clarify, though, what I meant by my OC: she actually *is* a big deal with the motorcycle tours and being a best-selling author. (Just in a way more relevant to what she’s doing now.) I feel bad that my comment might be mistaken as dissing her a little. Quite the opposite :)Your take on which is more impressive makes me smile though, heh.

      2. Lawrence Brass

        Driving touring motorcycles alone sound quite professional to me. I will like to see anyone with the wrong mental picture here riding a 1000+ cc @ 100mph, not for the faint hearted. Now if we are talking about scooter tours in Rome, that’s another thing.

  3. William Mougayar

    I think some interesting insights might come from analyzing hundreds of thousands of data points globally and by various demographics. With all these consumer health apps, the hidden / backend benefit is the long term collection of data with huge samples that could rival any traditional clinical trials.

    1. Dan Moore

      Right. I am currently contracting for a company that will have tremendous value in the data they are collecting, if they can get their app in enough hands. And that’s the trick, right? You can’t get the aggregate data until you are ubiquitous (or at least common) so you have to have a use case that is individually useful. A different kind of chasm.(I thought Fred had a post about that a while ago.)

  4. LE

    I guess this is obvious. Using any timing method to determine when you should not have sex or use a condom (as birth control which Ida mentions at 1:10) is never a good idea. Why? Small chance of a bad thing happening. [1][1] Where “bad” is defined as being pregnant when you don’t want to be pregnant.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      How the heck to process the available data to tell when to have sex?Collect data from all the users and also when they did get pregnant and, thus, crowd source the data?Or, last I heard, just measuring body temperature is next to useless. Why? Because to be safe, the app should just say, except during her period, don’t have sex.Why? Because last I heard, no one really knows (1) how long a man’s sperm can remain viable inside the woman, (2) how long the woman’s ova can remain viable inside her after ovulation, and (3) just when she ovulated. So, to be safe, say one week for (1), one week for (2), and one week of a window for (3). So, now have three weeks when can’t have sex. That leaves little or no time except her period.Okay, okay, okay, collect data just from women who wanted to get pregnant, collect data on lots of variables, body temperature, age, race (in some parts of reproductive physiology, there are some significant differences due to race), woman’s height and weight, and more data, if possible, on the man.Then, sure, do some discriminate analysis, categorical data analysis, likely nonlinear, classification, regression trees (CART), etc.Collecting data from women who didn’t want to get pregnant — not so good for protection of human subjects, that is, an ethical problem.Collecting data from women who did want to get pregnant and did: Okay, maybe ethically okay, but, gee, since the couple wanted to conceive, why bother to use birth control and, besides, how the heck to know which effort was the one that resulted in the conception?

      1. Simone

        no, no, no – leave the crowds out :)the user data is only relevant for that user. the method is still flawed/risky as mentioned above by many guys 🙂

  5. Shalabh

    I don’t know how accurate/reliable this particular app is or will be. But, I love the idea of taking various inconsequential data points about a person and putting it in one integrated system. The friction lies in collecting these data points. I think IOT, sensors, chips etc. is the way the friction will be reduced.

    1. LE

      I don’t know how accurate/reliable this particular app is or will be.True! What they need is a large DOUBLE BLIND RANDOMIZED study! [1][1] In all seriousness using it to get pregnant has virtually no downside, only using it to avoid pregnancy.

  6. pointsnfigures

    Have friends that are going to great lengths to get pregnant. It’s so hard, and the landscape for both females (and males) has to be so right (especially females) that it is amazing people get pregnant at all!

    1. Lawrence Brass

      We couldn’t be 7 billion+ souls if it is that hard. Maybe they don’t know how to do it. 🙂