On February 8, 2011, just after leaving Boxee, I wrote the following email to a close friend and advisor.
I want to build and lead a meaningful business (meaningful in terms of its mission and scale) and I want my next 10 years to be about creating something that matters.
My instinct right now is to build expertise in health, wellness and behaviour change. And if I cast the vision bigger, I’d like to create a workforce of ‘lifestyle coaches’ — an entirely new industry that exists to help people to do what the healthcare system doesn’t empower them to.
This is the seed from which Sessions grew.
When we started Sessions at Rock Health, I did all the coaching and Ben sat beside me watching, learning, and turning our frustrations into product features.
We started so manually — calling people, asking them questions, and listening to hundreds and hundreds of stories about people’s lives and their universal struggle to build the best version of themselves.
We learnt that we had two challenges: to build a product that actually worked and to make sure people loved it.
Through everything, we held true to that, and the time we spent with Sessions members reinforced that we’d made good progress towards our goals.
Late last year, we were introduced to MyFitnessPal. From the first call, we knew we’d found kindred spirits — MFP’s founders Mike and Al spoke about MFP members in the same language we did. We could see they cared and were listening to their users. Most of all, they had built something that tens of millions of people loved.
That’s why we’re so excited to share today that Sessions has been acquired by MyFitnessPal.
MyFitnessPal represents an opportunity for us to scale up our vision drastically.
As of this month, the Sessions team is joining MFP in their San Francisco office. Though our program is going to have to be reimagined for MyFitnessPal’s 50MM+ users, our mission and vision remain unchanged.
We’re thrilled to be their first acquisition.
For me personally, this is a big step. The feeling isn’t ‘you made it!’. Instead, it’s a feeling of satisfaction that we’ll be able to keep working on something we love into the foreseeable future.
MFP is a continuation for us, an opportunity to build the scale and reach of Sessions way beyond what we originally conceived.
Starting a company is hard. Selling a company is hard.
For long stretches Sessions has been an incredible grind. Pushing a boulder up a hill you can’t see ending is a fair description. The fear, the uncertainty, and the constant motion have required all of my will to maintain.
I am fortunate that I haven’t had to do it alone.
To Ben, you’ve been a star. Steady, never down and better every day. You should be proud of what you did. Most people’s first companies don’t turn out like this. For having faith and taking the leap when no-one around you understood, you have my eternal admiration.
To Sessions members, we learnt everything from you. For taking our calls and emails and messages while you cooked dinner for the family, snuck out at lunch-time or got ready for the weekend, thank you.
To my mentors John, Daniel, Jeremy and Stephanie. Thank you. You’ve known all the ups and downs of this past two years and when things threatened to come apart, I relied on your help to keep them together.
To the Elephants, we did good. There’s much more to come.
To my friends and family, for the love, advice, couches, money and care — you know who you are and how important you’ve been.
Most of all, to Jules. Thank you for trusting me, for being super-humanly patient and for never resenting how much of me Sessions has demanded. Your encouragement on the hardest days made carrying on possible. You are smart, fierce, funny, kind and more beautiful than I can comprehend. I promise you this will all pay off. I love you.
This is just a start. All the hard work is still ahead of us.
The journey is just beginning.