Fitbit is no stranger to customer complaints, especially when it comes to skin issues . After dealing with a wave of criticism, and subsequent recall, of its Force activity tracker last year, the company recently introduced a trio of new gadgets . Well, early adopters are already crying foul with reports of irritation after using the Fitbit Charge. The company offered an explanation, maintaining that it remedied the issue that plagued the Force by using new materials to construct the products. “We have conducted extensive testing with laboratories and consulted with top dermatologists to develop stringent standards so that users can safely wear and enjoy Charge,” says CEO and co-founder James Park. So what’s the cause of the issue this time? It turns out that it boils down to good habits and proper hygiene. If you’ll recall, a dermatologist we spoke with last year cited skin irritation due to the build up of moisture (water, sweat, etc.) and the resulting bacterial growth as a common issue with watchbands, rings and the like. “The reactions we are seeing with Charge are not uncommon with jewelry or wearable devices that stay in contact with the skin for extended periods,” Park explains. Fitbit says that it received only a handful of complaints from the “over hundred thousand” devices sold so far. The company recommends that you keep the Charge (and any wearable, really) clean and dry, wearing it loosely on your wrist and giving your skin a break from time to time. Of course, gadgets that feature heart-rate tracking need to fit snug, so you’ll want to loosen those after a workout.
The founders of entrepreneurial community Startup Grind have a startup of their own — Bevy , which announced today that it has raised $6.4 million in Series A funding. The funding comes from Upfront Ventures, author Steve Blank, Qualtrics founders Ryan Smith and Jared Smith, and Pluralsight CEO Aaron Skonnard. CEO Derek Andersen (who founded and runs both Bevy and Startup Grind with CTO Joel Fernandes) said that the product was created to deal with Startup Grind’s challenges as the team tried to organize events using a mix of Eventbrite, Meetup and Mailchimp, “It worked fine at first, but a few years later, we looked up and we had hundreds of cities, and we had maybe 500 people that were working on it, and it was too much,” Andersen said. “For the first time in many years, we started to get smaller instead of bigger. We were spending all of this time just running triage and maintenance on the platform.” So in early 2016, the team built its own event management software, with what Andersen said was “no intention of anyone else using it.” But eventually, he realized that other companies were facing similar problems, so he launched Bevy as a separate startup to further develop and commercialize the product. “We really focus on the smaller, community events,” Andersen added. “If you just do a conference, Eventbrite is great — I’ve hosted thousands of events on Eventbirte. But if you want to host five or 10 events a month or jack that number up anywhere above that, and you don’t want to hire 10 people, then that’s really what we’re perfect to do.” Usually, these are events where community members play a big role, or are even doing most of the organizing themselves. So beyond supporting tasks like creating event listings, sending out promotional emails and managing sponsorships, Andersen said one of Bevy’s big differentiators is the ability to precisely control which users are authorized to perform different roles at different events. In addition, Andersen said that with Bevy, companies can create fully branded experiences and get full access to the customer data around their events. Customers include Atlassian, Duolingo, Docker, Evernote and Asana. Andersen also suggested that the company is taking advantage of a broader shift in marketing, where company’s relying more on their own customers and communities. “All the best companies do it today,” he said