Fitbit, founded and managed by James Park and Eric Friedman, known for its activity trackers—like the Fitbit Tracker— encourages Fitbit wearers to compete to see who can complete the most steps in a single day, over the weekend, or throughout an entire work week.
Invitees have up to twenty-four hours to accept a challenge, and they are able to see the other party’s profile photo, messages, total steps in the challenge, progress, and achievements.
Michael Dell and Marc Benioff are personal friends, and, as of this week, also Fitbit competitors. The CEO to log the most steps during the 5-day challenge wins, and Fitbit will donate $10, 000 to American Heart Association in the victor’s honor.
Dell took the opportunity to dis his pal a bit, in a Q&A conducted by Fitbit. He said he and some reporters at the Dell World trade show “scrolled through my leaderboard to see how I was doing relative to my friends. I was way ahead of Marc that day too, so this should be a lot of fun.” Dell said.
Benioff responded: “Michael and I have been friends for many years and he’s actually called to check on me when my Fitbit shows that I’ve missed a few days. He logs an incredible amount of steps, so I know I am in for a challenge. I’ve joked before that I think Michael puts his Fitbit on his dog.”
As of Wednesday, Dell has logged 82, 163 steps, compared with Benioff’s nearly 61, 382.
Here’s the complete exchange, as recorded by Fitbit:
Fitbit: How has having friends on Fitbit like Marc Benioff / Michael Dell inspired you to be more active?
Michael Dell: I’m pretty active anyway, but I’m also competitive. Funny story. I was in a media interview at Dell World last fall, and we were on the topic of Big Data. I used my Fitbit as an example of the innate power of data to turn information into insights and actions. We scrolled through my leaderboard to see how I was doing relative to my friends. I was way ahead of Marc that day too, so this should be a lot of fun. J
Marc Benioff: Michael and I have been friends for many years and he’s actually called to check on me when my Fitbit shows that I’ve missed a few days. He logs an incredible amount of steps, so I know I am in for a challenge. I’ve joked before that I think Michael puts his Fitbit on his dog!
FB: How do you see wearable devices evolving in terms of how they will continue to change consumers’ approach to health and fitness?
MB: Fitbit is an amazing example of the power of wearables and data. It can track my location, my physical activity and my vital signs, like my heart rate. I have no doubt that in the future, wearable devices like Fitbit will know my blood pressure, hydration levels and blood sugar levels as well. All of this data has the potential to transform modern medicine and create a whole new era of personalized care.
MD: Wearable devices are here to stay, and they’ll only get more sophisticated and effective as they evolve. Until now, most of us have made our health and fitness decisions based on what we think we know about ourselves. Advancements in technology – wearables and otherwise – will eventually take much of the guess work out of healthy living. And we’ll all benefit from it.
FB: On a larger scope, where do you see the Internet of Things and connected devices going in the next five years?
MD: I think it’s the next trillion-dollar opportunity for growth – and not just for my industry but for all industries. The productivity, efficiency and insights that all that connectivity will bring to bear in the world is how we’ll continue to grow and thrive on a planet with a growing population and finite resources.
FB: Why are you participating in the Fitbit Celebrity Challenge benefiting American Heart Association?
MD: It’s a worthy cause, and a good excuse to have to some fun with Marc.
FB: In fitness, just like in business, a little competition can be a big motivator. During this Fitbit Challenge, what will you do to stay a step ahead of Marc/Michael, respectively, and what’s your mantra going to be?
MD: How about #dellbeatsbenioff2015? That has a nice ring to it.