Co.Create

Nike's Stefan Olander On Following The Wisdom Of Tweens

Stefan Olander, VP digital sport at Nike and MCP 2012 honoree, explains how the company tapped tween thinking and behavior to create Nike+ FuelBand.

Goal: Create a device that keeps everyone, not just runners, motivated and active.

STEP 1: OBSERVE

"My 12-year-old son is into tae kwon do. I saw this incredible pride when he got a new color belt—‘Dad, I made it to blue!' That just struck me. We’re propelled by recognition."

STEP 2: TRACK

"We took that angle of color with the Nike+ FuelBand. You wear it all day: The LED display starts off red, then goes to yellow as you move through your day, and turns green when you hit your goal."

STEP 3: COMPETE

"But people also want to measure activity against their friends’, and there was no way to do that if you played different sports. That led to the development of a new metric called NikeFuel."

STEP 4: COMPUTE

"We spent a ton of time working with researchers at Arizona State University, measuring the motion of your wrist in a particular activity and then correlating it to oxygen intake and consumption for that activity. Then we developed algorithms to assign NikeFuel based on each activity."

STEP 5: COMPARE

"We launched this on January 19 in New York—and at the time, you didn’t have a reference point: How much is 2,000 NikeFuel? Through Facebook Connect and our app, users can quickly correlate their scores with other people’s."

STEP 6: CELEBRATE

"It’s still all about wanting credit for something we’ve done—whether that’s someone tapping you on the shoulder to say, ‘Good job,' or, in our case, using technology to do that for you."

Illustrations by Peter Sucheski

A version of this article appears in the June 2012 issue of Fast Company.

Illustrations by Peter Sucheski

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2 Comments

  • Inhisimage1

    The band is great, but poor at measuring weight lifting that focuses on your lower body. If you do a leg workout it doesn't really record and as we know
    some of your bigger muscles are in your legs.

  • Nick Copelin

    Or did they just copy FitBit and mold it into their already popular Nike+?