A trip through wintry Berlin with the Danish Femtech entrepreneur.
Machine learning is allowing computers to compose classical music, drive cars, increase data security, predict the future—and now figure out the natural cycles of women’s bodies. Using equal parts science and technology, period-tracking app Clue connects five million women around the world to themselves and each other—with personal analytics, educational material, and immensely thoughtful design. Though the Berlin-based app often takes the role of educator, Clue founder Ida Tin stays in constant pursuit of knowledge. Between expanding her business and raising her children, she delves into the world of Femtech, learning from and connecting with innovators in the emerging sphere to provide her users with the most accurate and technologically advanced insights. Fresh from a $20 million round of funding, Ida Tin took She’s Mercedes for a short trip to Tempelhofer Feld to share the strategies and motivation techniques behind her revolutionary start-up.
What was the path that led you to found Clue?
I have always been curious about women’s health and was a Quantified Self person (someone who incorporates technology and data analysis into their daily life) long before I knew the term. When I dreamed up the idea of Clue, an app that helps women track their symptoms to understand the patterns in their cycles, I felt that there had been very little innovation in family planning since the pill came out. I was wondering how it could be that we managed to walk on the moon but that most women still don’t know which days they can or can’t get pregnant. I personally needed such a tool to manage that very important part of my life. And I was also convinced that many other women would find an app like Clue not only very useful but also very empowering.
Which memorable highs and lows did you encounter on the way?
One of the toughest, but also most rewarding, things about launching Clue has been to start a conversation about subjects that for so long just weren’t talked about. Every woman in the world – some half of the world’s population – faces the realities that come with menstruation and fertility, and yet these are topics that have been considered “niche”, lacked scientific research and still remain societal taboos in some regions. I’m proud to be part of the femtech space of companies opening up the global dialogue about female health.
Is it easy for you to kick back and relax or are you always switched on?
No, it isn’t, and I’m currently doing a lot of body work to get better at it. I know how much strength there is in being connected to my body, and leveraging the body to relax my mind. I am exploring my body in new ways, and a lot of it is fundamentally about learning to relax.
Whatever happens in life, there will be learnings and a way forward.
How do you deal with risks?
Fundamentally I believe that whatever happens in life, there will be learnings and a way forward. Or to put it even more radically, whatever happens—the only choice is to make the best of it. And I remember the Dalai Lama’s words that sometimes not getting what you want is the greatest gift. It makes life kind of failure proof. There is no such thing as failure.
What was the best advice ever given to you, and who gave it?
My mother always says to not worry in advance. To me it’s this incredibly optimistic view of not making a drama of something that might or could happen. Because it might not, and then all the worries were pointless, and I guess even if things do happen that are unwanted, worrying beforehand doesn’t help. It’s also a reminder to cherish what is here right now, which is good.