Danish entrepreneur Ida Tin is the co-founder and CEO of Clue. Clue is an app that helps women track their menstrual and fertility cycles. Women can keep a detailed log of their period on their phones and even share cycle information with their partner.
Ida’s own desire to track her menstrual cycle gave her the idea for the app. In 2013, Clue went from being an idea to a company. Clue is currently rated the top free period tracker app by the Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Let’s meet the woman behind Clue to hear what she has to say about being an entrepreneur and the setbacks she’s faced with her startup.
How would you describe yourself?
I would say that I am a driven individual who is passionate about making information and knowledge available to all those who seek it. Especially, when it comes to women’s health.
I am also a quantified self-person. (That is someone who incorporates technology and data analysis into their daily life.) Which explains why I was driven to create an app that allows me to do just that!
What tips would you give to yourself at the beginning of your career, given what you know now?
When you start, I think not knowing is a great gift. Not knowing that the mountain you are about to climb is 1,000 times higher than you thought. That what you believe might prove false. That others might see things you are not yet ready to see yourself.
Starting the journey is the single most important thing as an entrepreneur. Had I not been so determined to start, that would have been the best advice – just start!
What would you say is the most important aspect that goes into building a successful business or a brand?
Listening to the advice of those who are more experienced and trusting your instincts. It is essential to seek advice in certain situations. Especially in areas you may not be familiar with or feel that you could benefit from the advice of others. But overall, it is important to own responsibility for your business and make executive decisions when necessary.
How do you deal with setbacks that occur in running your business?
One of the earlier setbacks I encountered when running my business was in my role as a leader. I felt there were a lot of things I could take care of myself. Instead of learning how to assess my own limitations and delegate tasks (thus sharing the workload), I tried to do too much myself. I found that this left me scattered and prevented certain tasks from being completed or completed to the high standard I would expect. Now, I try to focus on the things that only I can do, taking a step back and allowing my team to take care of the rest.
As a result of delegating, the whole company has grown and can work at a much faster pace. This enables me to deliver on the things needed directly from me.
What do you do when you are unsure about a future business move?
The first thing I do is speak to my team. At Clue, we have meetings regularly and discuss any upcoming plans. As a leader, I will always listen to my team and address their concerns. We also listen to our users. For example, we launched our smart pill tracking technology in May 2017 because we were seeing a huge volume of help desk requests around the pill and what to do when one is missed. This sizeable update was a direct result of trying to address user requests with a technology we knew they could benefit from.
What would you tell a woman interested in making the leap to entrepreneurship?
I firmly believe it is essential for women to empower each other to get involved in the industry and continue breaking gender stereotypes, thus paving the way for others.
We need more women entrepreneurs to bring attention to women’s reproductive health around the world.
What book do you read when you need a productivity boost?
David Sibbet’s “Visual Leaders.” I am a visual person and using visual tools to stay organized and productive is key. This book is a great leadership resource. It’s a tool that spells out how to use visuals to increase group productivity.
Do you have a saying or motto you live by?
“Things will work out.” I believe that whatever happens in life, there will be a lesson learned and a way to move forward. Or to put it even more drastically, whatever happens, the only choice is to make the best of it. 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 is your go-to piece of professional workwear?
My statement blue glasses!
How do you achieve work-life balance?
One of the biggest obstacles to women in business is the idea that they can’t have a work-life balance. The views of the Berlin tech industry towards work-life balance are not that different from Silicon Valley’s. It takes a more conscious effort to maintain a work-life balance at startups. There is always so much to do and so many potential avenues to take. Every day is different, and finding that balance takes collective and individual work each day.
Who is your role model, and why?
Anais Nin. I am fascinated by her diaries, which, in my opinion, are the absolute core of her work. Her ability to dive deep into the minds, emotions, and desires of herself and others is just breathtaking. Her depth, sensuality, sexuality, and creativity are inspiring.
She was an entrepreneur (1930’s -1960’s) who fought to make her art her livelihood. Unfortunately, she was ignored because of her gender. Today we would say that she had an enormous amount of grit.
As an early adopter of psychoanalysis, she worked to develop herself from a timid girl into a strong woman. I think there are many parallels with Anais Nin and the journey you go through as a founder. You must continuously rise to the challenge of being a leader.
Where do you see your company in the next 5 years?
On a company level, I feel the immense potential of what Clue can do. I think about what a difference it will make in the world when people have a good understanding of how their body works, and are able to take good care of themselves. Access to technology will change the world. It already has. Clue’s ongoing goals are to continue advancing research in women’s health and to make basic reproductive health information more accessible.
A lover of technology and knowledge, Ida hopes to empower women by providing access to the information they need to make decisions for a healthy life and advancing scientific research. Now, please excuse me while I sign off to download Clue on my phone.
Want to learn more about Ida Tin and her period tracking and fertility app?
By: Percy Jimenez-Nagy