Two years ago, Eric Burke joined MyFitnessPal as the Android Lead—an opportunity Eric seized because no one was working internally on Android, and he was determined to get the job done. Plus, he had always been into fitness and working out, he knew the people working here were awesome, and he thought the product was amazing! Gosh, Eric, thanks for making us blush!
Eric, since you’re not from around here, tell us what’s your favorite thing about working in San Francisco? That’s right—I grew up just outside of Cleveland, Ohio, and if you know Ohio, you know the weather is nothing like it is here. So I guess that’s definitely one thing. I also love being able to walk everywhere, and there are always lots of activities and events going on here.
What’s your ideal work culture? And, be honest, does MyFitnessPal meet it? It’s a place where everyone feels empowered and trusted, a place where you can go off and do what you think is right—within reason, and your colleagues trust that you are doing the right thing because you’re in open communication with them. I’d say we have this type of work environment here, and I’d add that we all truly enjoy working together. In fact, when I first started we had a team week and a group dinner out. After that meal, we ended with hugs and handshakes not just, “See you later!”
What do you think makes MyFitnessPal different from other companies? The culture, for sure—it’s something [MyFitnessPal co-founders] Mike and Al have really focused on. In fact, a long time ago, Mike and I discussed at length what the overall culture should be, instead of just letting it evolve on its own. I mean, if you look at other tech companies, or some of the big health industry firms that are doing well, and you look at their early days, you’ll see culture was something they focused on, too—by saying, “This is who we want to be.” Setting this at the core enables the company to bring in new people who are able to adapt to your culture, rather than bringing their own work culture to the mix.
What are your goals for MyFitnessPal?I’d like to see MyFitnessPal be the tool of choice when it comes to diet and exercise, and getting healthier. But I’d also like to see us as a company work with as many other services and apps as possible, and create a collective personal health dashboard. Having it all in one place—workouts, nutrition, and the social aspect—that would be incredible!
Speaking of exercise and food, what are your favorites? I have two workout favorites, actually—pick-up basketball with my friends and coaching my kids’ hockey games. As for food, it’s pizza. I know, I know, not exactly the healthiest choice.
Last question: what would you say is the most rewarding aspect of working at MyFitnessPal?I think the biggest thing for me is the success stories. Seeing or hearing about people who’ve had success is incredibly rewarding and motivating!
Eric’s not the only one with insight on life at MyFitnessPal. Stay tuned for future interviews with staffers and let us know what you’d like to learn next about our workplace!