Defining the Problem

In a 1:1 at this year's O'Reilly Design Conference, Tony Fadell* explained to Tim O'Reilly that Nest had a very practical nascence. It solved a prevailing frustration - Tony wanted to be able to remotely set the thermostat in his home so as to not lose money on energy he wasn't using. This example of answering a frustration with a well designed solution has seen other products to great success - the iPod (take your music wherever you go!), the Palm Pilot (check my emails when I'm away from my desk!). 

Takeaway: for the designer interested in building something new, solve something that pains you.

For Project EnRG purposes, I took a look at my life and thought - what's causing me the most stress? And, how can I solve for it? 

To explain what worries me, please endure my stream of consciousness download:

[Worry 1] did you know that, according to the CDC, 1 in 8 women will experience postpartum depression (PPD)? The symptoms of PPD can be debilitating and overwhelmingly pervasive. How can I avoid it? Risk factor #1 = stress. Okay. How can I mitigate stress? We'll come back to that.

[Worry 2] did you know that lots of people have lots of opinions on how to nourish a baby in the first year of life? I went with the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation to nurse. I'd like to be able to continue this now that I'm back to work. How can I keep supply up? Risk factor for low milk supply = stress. Stress, you say? There's a theme here.

There's many an article offering the panacea for stress. They all, pretty much, come to the same conclusion: eat a healthy diet to nourish your body, drink water, stop to smell the roses and take a walk.

Left to my own devices - I don't always make the best choices (see picture). 

I admit,  today's lunch was worse than most. I live in SF - land of food delivery. A quarter of my diet is supplied by Sprig (I LOVE YOU SPRIG!). However, that just solves for a piece of the problem. What about breakfast, dinners? Budget consciousness? Food planning for my family? What about input about nutrients I may not have considered (or even heard about) that could help me even more? 

 Today's lunch: instant noodles. 

Today's lunch: instant noodles. 

A problem statement emerges:

I want a low-effort app that considers my needs as a postpartum mom and connects me with services, products and advice that will help sustain me and my family. 

And, just like that, Project EnRG was born.

Next up: Is this a problem that anyone else cares about? Let's ask.

*The sit down between Fadell & O'Reilly is here and worth a view.