Arianna Huffington

Did you know that Arianna Huffington runs an HR technology company? No? Neither did I until someone pointed out that she’s running a wellness company meant to reduce stress, eliminate burnout and improve work.

Arianna wrote a book about burnout and her lack of sleep, and she made the rounds to a few HR events to talk about what it was like to be successful and exhausted. She left HuffPo and launched a tech company that aims to end the stress and exhaustion epidemic in our lives. Her new enterprise, Thrive, has three branches: bespoke corporate services, content that drives awareness, and e-commerce solutions to help improve specific outcomes.

That three-pronged structure is exactly how new technology companies should be shaped, by the way. All technology should start on a blank sheet of paper, so take whatever you’ve created on paper and turn it into a real-life consulting experience. Then generate content to build a market and drive brand awareness. If your primary product isn’t ready, find a way to create some apps and give them away for free until you have an enterprise solution. Collect data and email addresses along the way.

Dammit, it’s just that easy.

I’m super-interested to see how Arianna applies her knowledge of media and commerce to the world of corporate wellness. Right now, her efforts are all over the map — take note of the shopping and the charitable donation portals — but I can appreciate firsthand how her team is trying to find a groove and a voice.

Is sleep the 21st-century problem that technology needs to solve? Will Arianna help you sleep better at night? Will she make bosses less thoughtless and rude? Ha, no. But sleep is important. Work-life balance in America is a joke. And her efforts should provide a reasonable measure of validation that human resources professionals, and the technology that supports the function, are an important part of the corporate ecosystem.

Think about it. The world of HR technology isn’t very glamorous no matter how many times some jamoke with a new dashboard tells you that he’s disrupting recruiting. So it’s fun to see someone with real clout — spelled with a c and not with a lame-ass K — enter this industry.

HR technology could do worse than have Arianna enter the space with this endeavor. I welcome more women like her in our industry, and I hope she leaves her mark!