Untitled-3.pngMost of us need an extra little boost (or nudge, or shove) to reach a goal. We can't do everything alone, and our friends and families can be powerful support systems. The strength of these relationships is at the core of why we love HealthRally. They offer an intriguing new way for friends and family to motivate each other to reach important goals with rewards. You can post a goal and ask friends to support you along the way. Or, friends can proactively post a reward to encourage you to stick to a goal. For instance, if you want to lose a few pounds, I could offer a shopping trip for a new outfit in your new size as motivation to keep trying to lose weight.

We are thrilled to be working with HealthRally through our partnership with Rock Health, offering design mentoring and training to Rock Health's start-ups. HealthRally is passionate, focused, and mission-driven, and 2012 is shaping up to be a great year for the company. Here are excerpts of a conversation with CEO & Co-founder Zack Lynch about what makes HealthRally so great.

What was the inspiration for creating HealthRally?

You, us and them. Anyone who has ever needed some extra motivation to help reach a goal. Whether it's losing weight, getting better grades, taking medication, or running a marathon, it's hard to stay motivated every day. So we created HealthRally as a way to bring your friends and family together to cheer you on, motivate you, and celebrate your success.

How will you know you've succeeded?

We are already succeeding. Our beta service launched in January and people are changing their lives, friends and family are motivating each other, and people are reaching goals with amazing rewards.

What do you do when you and your team need inspiration?

We go for a brisk walk up Potrero Hill and take in the view over San Francisco. We get energized thinking about all the innovation and passion occurring right in sight. Then, we hike over to Mr & Mrs Miscellaneous, a Dog Patch must, to reward ourselves with some very tasty ice cream.

What have you learned about human behavior through the process of creating HealthRally?

People really do want to see one another to succeed! They'll do anything for each other, from cooking healthy meals to going on walks, as well as putting money on the line to help motivate one another to reach goals.

How are you using design to motivate people?

User experience is everything. Each element, from sign up through motivating your friends, each process must convey a sense of ease, fun, trust, and accomplishment. For example, to improve our sign up process, we designed a way for people to build their rally even if they weren't signed in. This makes the initial product interaction easier and helps people play with our motivation service faster than if we required a lot of info right up front.

How is HealthRally different than other motivation and behaviorial change services out there?

Only HealthRally lets friends and family motivate each other with real money. We do this in a fun and social way to make sure that everyone is involved. We also designed a service called RallyCoach, which monitors the motivational momentum and nudges people to share experiences and motivate each other. We are seeing are amazing results!

Tell us about how you've been working with Cooper to evolve your product.

Cooper immediately seized on the opportunity to evolve the initial customer experience with a deeper sense of emotional relevance. We walked through the users mindsets and redesigned landing pages to highlight the sense of support and gratitude people can have from using our product.

What's your next big hurdle?

Taking advantage of the opportunities in front of us and new ones that continue to arise. Startups are built with great people, so attracting and retaining the best team will continue to be a major focus of our internal efforts.

What goals do you have for HealthRally this year?

Grow! We just signed a deal to be the "at home" version for a new reality weight loss TV series on NBC in Chicago called "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is" where contestants get paid to lose weight. We want to go national with the show as it gets adopted in new markets, building out brand relationships to complement the rewards being given by friends and family.

What are you most proud of about HealthRally?

Making a service that helps people get excited about and energized to support one another, no matter what it takes.

If HealthRally won a (pretend) award, what would it be?

The Healthy Human Award given out to companies that inspire millions to get and stay healthy!