Before Human Improvement, the name for our company was HUSK.
I loved it. It came from a conversation with a friend who is navigating a “bout with cancer” (apologies for the phrasing, how the heck do you talk about this disease in a non-pedantic way?). In reflection, he referred to the body as a husk. It was inspiring. It’s not a new, or novel, idea; but, in the context of our conversation — a man who was reflecting on a disease gnawing at his physical being — it had a profound effect.
The human body as a “husk” demystifies the complex machine into a simplistic home for the mind, spirit, what have you. And a home feels like something that should be taken care of. Not in some grandiose aspirational commercial human machine vision, but in a thoughtful (quaint?), way. Of course you’d take care of your “home.”
In this context, healthy wasn’t some penultimate state we were trying to achieve. It wasn’t a city upon a hill. It was as simple as dusting off the shelves. Tidying up. It wasn’t exclusive or a luxury. It was the exact opposite: a welcoming, accessible, practice; part of our maintenance.
I loved the idea of a nutrition company serving this more simplified version of health. And I thought the name HUSK captured that. It made taking care of yourself more accessible, less daunting and more democratic (more on why wellness has an air of privilege to it later).
When we discussed HUSK as a team there was love for the strategic intent, but not the execution. So we pushed HUSK to the side in search for a name that captured the same meaning, but with less allegory.
Iwish I could remember exactly how Human Improvement, or hi!, came to mind. But it happened shortly after we abandoned HUSK. When we discussed it as a team, there was immediately a positive reaction. It was lighter, simpler and more successful at capturing our ethos.
The name Human Improvement also took the ideas that inspired HUSK a step further. In HUSK, wellness was a maintenance practice, but through the lens of Human Improvement, we started to think about wellness as less a practice and more an evolving state… a way of doing, or being. It felt even more democratic. When wellness is a “way of being” it’s more holistic, everything is a contributory factor to your progress… to your improvement.
We are called Human Improvement because this is what we do. Everyday. All of us. Every breath. Every heartbeat. Everything is progress. Everything is an improvement. Existence is improvement. It’s forward momentum. We don’t see an aspirational version of ourselves or our customers. We don’t see a grand terminus we’re moving toward. There is no better. There is no worse. There is only improvement and it’s a perpetual state. Our purpose as a company is to provide tools for this improvement and to celebrate this process in a universally welcoming way.