When Stefany Shaheen, EMBA ’18, first started thinking about launching a company, she thought it would sell tools to help people manage their food portions. Today, the business, called Good Measures, is an integrated digital platform and service company that employs registered dietitians and certified diabetes educators to work with people who are living with conditions like diabetes and heart disease. What happened?
The original idea. Shaheen’s passion for building the business grew out of her own family’s struggle to help her young daughter manage Type I diabetes. When she met her co-founder, George Bennett, he was working on tracking nutrition. Together they saw an opportunity to build on the idea of giving people tools to manage portion sizes. “I realized that our biggest challenges were having access to accurate nutrition information and helping my daughter figure out what to eat for meals and snacks,” Shaheen said.
The evolution. Good Measures started by building a technology platform, but the team quickly realized that pairing its technology with human expertise would offer a better solution.
“Our goal is not how much food can a person log or weight-loss tracking. It’s about achieving sustainable behavior change,” Shaheen said. That’s where the registered dietitians come in, distinguishing Good Measures from the wide array of apps and websites available for health tracking.
The Good Measures patented approach personalizes meal and snack recommendations tailored for an individual’s nutrient needs based on age, gender, food preferences, health status, and medications. The company’s registered dietitians then spend time working on behavior change. People can see their progress in real time by monitoring their “Good Measures Index” to see how well they are meeting their individualized nutrient needs.
The lesson. Staying focused on your mission can help you navigate challenging shifts in the business. While the company went through a lot of changes from the original concept to its current state, Shaheen’s focus on helping her child manage a life-threatening illness kept the work in perspective. “You don’t have the capacity to worry about the things that aren’t big problems, and that forces a focus on the real problems so you can tackle them before it is too late,” she said.
Shaheen is also the author of Elle and Coach: Diabetes, the Fight for My Daughter’s Life, and the Dog Who Changed Everything.