Adam Bosworth's new big game: making us healthier with Keas

You might know Adam Bosworth. He worked at Microsoft and really pushed a ton of developer initiatives there, like XML. He also has done a bunch of other things in his career and launched Google Health at Google. But he learned from that experience that just giving people access to their health info isn’t enough to change their behaviors.

At Keas he’s discovered a good gaming system where you compete against your coworkers. He explains why this works in our interview.

Some things he’s learned:

1. You can not show negative info about health. People turn off. So, saying “Scoble you are 50 lbs overweight” isn’t going to happen here.
2. The perfect team size is six or fewer people. Bigger teams don’t work.
3. Social pressure is important. Why? Because you can’t game your coworkers. They can see whether you are doing the work.

Anyway, I find talking with Adam really interesting. You can tell he’s a guy who looks at the world differently than most of us and has had experiences that most of us haven’t had.

Comments

  1. Excellent interview. Loved the discussion of the evolution of the system and how their ideas changed.

  2. I was trying to watch the interview but here is a problem in internet connection. I have bookmarked this site for future.

  3. This is a really good/smart one Robert. I like very much the equation:

    technology + social = force for good

    Makes me wonder what other types of social challenges gamification (yeah, I hate that word too, but it fits) could solve? Definitely thought provoking; Rackspace got their money’s worth this week!

  4. This is a really good/smart one Robert. I like very much the equation:

    technology + social = force for good

    Makes me wonder what other types of social challenges gamification (yeah, I hate that word too, but it fits) could solve? Definitely thought provoking; Rackspace got their money’s worth this week!

  5. Robert, even a heavy schedule shouldn’t be an excuse. Personally, I’m up to walking almost three miles every day, usually taking about an hour.  I make multiple uses of this time, sometimes by picking up a few groceries or other shopping, and always by composing my thoughts for stuff that I’m writing.  I will probably be adding a dictation system, hopefully some kind of speech-to-text note taking on my Android.  I’m sure that I can make even more use of that same time with tech help – it ties in with cool gadgets!

  6. Checked out Keas for the first time @Scobleizer:disqus ! Thanks for the post. I am pretty big on fitness and health, great to see a good website to use!