Startup Idea - Ai powered health app that learns from your poop


There are no boundaries to my startup ideas. Today, it’s an app I completely forgot about until I introduced to my Founder Institute alumni group and Marc reminded me of it.

TURD started as a joke four or five years ago when I told Mike and Tyler about an idea I had after being exhausted with all of the stupid iphone apps coming out. This was when snapchat had billions in valuation and everyone I sat near at coffee shops in SF had some idea for a new “app”. Mike and Tyler laughed hard, which meant I must be on to something. Even my Founder Institute friends got a solid laugh out of it. So there must be something to this idea worth pursuing.

The app:

I decided to write an app that allowed people to take a picture of their poop, then send it to friends as a gag. TURD would make money by allowing you to "dress up” your turd for the holidays or theme week. Example would be for $1 you would get to buy a digital Christmas garland to wrap around your poop in the picture. The app is targeted at Junior High and High School aged boys. There would be a simple ranking system as well, it would have “color”, “firmness”, and “size”. The TURD algorithm would have a homepage that ranked the “TURD of the day” in which I can promise you someone out there will have laid a godzilla inhuman sized brick of a bodily function.

The TURD V2:

One day I suddenly had a TURD grownup and more purposeful health related use. It is to use image recognition to take these same TURD photos and educate people about their current health. Using common judgements about what a healthy bowel movement looks like versus obvious unhealthy stools, the app could recommend diet changes, doctor visits, and be used by doctors to track patients bowel movements if they are at risk for a particular sickness.

How does it relate to me?

First personal need for I’m an ultra runner. A few years back I attempted to break the Fastest Known Time of the High Sierra Trail. A self-supported 72 mile trail that climbs up Mt. Whitney over to Crescent Meadows. During this run I did not filter my water from the streams due to my speed attempt. It didn’t take long after completing this run for me to get diarrhea, which led to a doctor diagnosis of giardia. It didn’t take a doctor to know I had giardia, it was pretty obvious by looking at my turd. With TURD, I would have been able to send a picture to my doctor with the TURDs suggested diagnosis of giardia via its image recognition algorithm.

Second personal need for I raced a multi-day stage race in the Sahara desert called Marathon Des Sables. When I returned from this race I had a stomach bug and diarrhea for months. I never went to the doctor, because I’m not the kind of person that goes to the doctor often or takes medicine frequently, so I put it off until it fixed itself. TURD would have been able to suggest what nutrition I was lacking or bug/virus I had.

Third personal need for I race 50 and 100 mile ultra races for the last decade. At the end of one particular race last year, my turd was black as tar. A particularly scary dark black. From my internet research, the black turd was a sign of internal bleeding. I’m not sure what I would have done differently, but the app could have educated me better on how I should have monitored my health during the recovery process.

There you have it, the teen boys TURD app and the grown-up doctor version of the app. If you like this business idea and think I should pursue it, be sure to comment!