Tell Us About Clue, How Did It Start?
Clue was launched in 2012 by Danish and German entrepreneurs & co-Founders Ida Tin and Hans Raffauf. It started out as a hardware device that tested hormones via saliva. That soon changed when Clue, the period tracking app, was added to the Apple App Store in 2013. Now Clue is so much more than a period tracking app–it’s also a trusted menstrual health resource, pregnancy companion, contains a digital birth control feature, and is a thought leader in the FemTech movement.
By harnessing science and technology in a user-centric app, we are actively changing the way people learn, access, and talk about menstrual and reproductive health around the world. Clue was created to empower women and people with cycles, and to provide alternatives to hormonal options with something data-driven, personalised, and modern. Clue tackles the lack of conversations around cycles involving data, information, standards, and care.
Tell us a bit about your role as Co-CEOs.
At Clue, our mission is to empower women and people with cycles on their journeys to self-discovery, agency, and health. Carrie and I first joined Clue over three years ago in different positions, myself as Clue’s Chief Product Officer and Carrie as General Counsel. When we received FDA Clearance last year to bring a digital birth control feature to market, we re-examined how we needed leadership to look for this new chapter.
One of my favourite things about working at Clue is that we don’t have to have a concept of “normal”. There’s no “right” way of doing things. Everything gets to be this creative design process. Everything from the inclusive design of our app to the way we work –and we’re building on it all the time. So we asked how might we design leadership to work best for the organization and the mission? So when Clue needed a new CEO we stepped up together and chose this Co-CEO setup because it’s agile, our skill sets complement each other, and it increases the learning edge at every turn.
There is no one definition of CEO or co-CEO. Except that the buck stops with you. In our case, we take joint responsibility, meaning we are also each individually accountable for everything, and no matter how different our perspectives may have been going into a discussion, we both own the final decision 100%. I think leadership is always a balance of individual North Star and dialogue with your team. Clue’s vision is a world in which there are no barriers, no myths, and no taboos in female reproductive health and experience. Our constant dialogue, in our micro-team, keeps enforcing and clarifying what this means for me.
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What Challenges Have You Faced?
One of the biggest challenges Clue has faced is educating people with cycles about non-hormonal birth control options. For many years, hormonal methods of birth control have dominated the conversation surrounding cycles.
Clue operates in a completely new space, but in time, apps like ours will be recognised for the ability to normalise conversations around cycles. Clue Birth Control is a regulated medical device that has been clinically determined to be effective birth control. Another challenge we face is to make users more aware of the differences between using an app like Clue Birth Control that has been clinically tested and FDA cleared, versus the numerous other period and fertility apps that exist that are not held to the same standards and regulations. There is a dire need for more evidence and accountability within health tech.
What Can We Hope to See from Clue in the Future?
Now that Clue has evolved from a period tracker app into a medical device, we believe that this is only the first step towards making even more features that support people throughout their reproductive lives. We’re proud to have recently launched our first pregnancy feature, which has been requested by our users and we’ve now finally been able to deliver. We want Clue and our features to be able to support people at every stage of their lives and feel that Clue Birth Control is only the beginning of what’s to