Rise is a mobile app designed to help you lose weight. “That’s nothing new!”, you might say. “Why, if I lost a pound for every weight-loss app I’ve come across, I’d – wait, actually, that would be kinda nice.”
Joking aside – when I saw Rise, I immediately realized that this app was different. Two of the biggest reasons weight loss programs fail are: 1) they require too much work to follow, and 2) they require too drastic of an upfront change. Rise solves both these problems to create a more sustainable – though perhaps slower – weight loss program.
Here’s how Rise works:
- Users sign into the mobile app and choose a personal nutritionist from the profiles available. They can read profiles, scan reviews, etc. to find the nutritionist whose style fits them best.
- Next, users take photos of every meal they eat. No calorie counting; no weighing of food; no extensive journaling.
- The nutritionist later comments on each photo and makes small suggestions. E.g. “Try substituting fries for a side salad next time around”, or perhaps “Instead of ordering an extra side of pancakes, substitute your breakfast potatoes for pancakes”.
While the advice given may be obvious at times, the real trick behind the app is to provide accountability in a low-cost and approachable way. The easier it is to follow the diet, the longer users will stick with the app; the longer users stick with the app, the greater the chance they will form new habits.
This model of using the Internet to provide one-on-one interactions – at scale – is a pretty interesting trend. Normally, one thinks of the Internet as a mass-communication medium. However, more and more it is making personal interactions cost effective by removing obstacles such as fixed costs, geographical barriers, and even time barriers (communication can be asynchronous, unlike in-person meetings). I have seen this same model applied to areas ranging from tutoring, to legal advice, to physical training.
What other traditional services can be disrupted by applying this model of 1-on-1 interactions at scale?
From TechCrunch: Meet Rise, The Diet App That Helped Me Lose 20 Pounds