How Surfing Shaped the WONE Founder’s Startup Success

Reeva Misra, the CEO and co-founder of WONE, an innovative AI-powered coaching platform for workplace stress, draws intriguing parallels between her surfing experiences and her entrepreneurial journey. The London-based company, which stands for Walking On Earth, employs biometrics and clinical assessments to measure stress levels, offering AI-driven recommendations and expert interventions via an app. Additionally, WONE provides companies with a comprehensive dashboard to monitor and manage employee stress.

The Intersection of Surfing and Startup Life

For Reeva Misra, the lessons learned from surfing have been instrumental in shaping her approach to building WONE. Misra’s passion for surfing has ingrained in her qualities such as resilience, adaptability, and a growth mindset—all critical for navigating the startup ecosystem.

Overcoming Waves of Challenges

Surfing is inherently about anticipation and balance, skills that are directly applicable to managing a startup. Misra notes that just as a surfer must continually adjust to changing waves, an entrepreneur must stay agile to navigate the unpredictable currents of the business world.

Resilience and Persistence

One of the most valuable lessons Misra has learned from surfing is resilience. The ocean’s challenges are relentless and unpredictable, much like the hurdles faced by startups. The key is to persist, no matter how many times you fall:
Embrace Failure: Every wipeout in surfing is an opportunity to learn and improve, similar to encountering and overcoming failures in business.
Stay Determined: Persistence is crucial. Successful surfers and entrepreneurs share an unyielding spirit and determination to succeed.

Adapting to Ever-Changing Conditions

In both surfing and running a startup, conditions can change rapidly. Misra emphasizes the importance of being adaptable and flexible:
Read the Environment: Just as surfers read the waves, business leaders must understand market trends and consumer behavior.
Quick Decision-Making: Adapting quickly to new information or changes is essential for staying afloat and moving forward.

Building WONE Merging Technology with Wellness

WONE’s mission is to tackle workplace stress by combining sophisticated technology with clinical expertise. The company uses biometrics to assess stress levels and provides personalized interventions via an AI coach.

Technology-Driven Insights

WONE leverages AI to analyze data and provide tailored recommendations to employees. This technology helps identify stress triggers and suggests evidence-based interventions to mitigate them:
Biometric Analysis: Using data from wearable devices, WONE can track physiological signals of stress in real-time.
AI Coaching: An AI-powered coach offers personalized advice and actionable insights, helping employees manage stress proactively.

Expert Involvement

Alongside AI recommendations, WONE integrates human expertise, offering access to professionals who can provide deeper support and guidance:
Clinical Assessments: Professional assessments help ensure accuracy and reliability in stress measurement.
Expert Interventions: Employees can receive interventions from psychologists, therapists, and wellness coaches directly through the app.

The Company Dashboard: Empowering Employers

In addition to supporting individual employees, WONE provides companies with a dashboard that aggregates data to offer a holistic view of workplace stress levels. This tool helps employers:
Identify Stress Trends: Understand patterns and common stressors within the organization.
Implement Strategic Interventions: Develop targeted wellness programs based on data-driven insights.
Monitor Progress: Track the effectiveness of interventions and adjust strategies accordingly.

Key Takeaways from Surfing to Startup Success

Misra’s journey with WONE reflects the vital lessons learned from surfing and how they apply to the startup world. These principles include embracing failure as a learning opportunity, staying resilient in the face of challenges, and being adaptable to change.

Embrace the Journey

Building a startup, like mastering a surfboard, is about embracing the journey with all its highs and lows. Each wave presents a new challenge and an opportunity to improve:
Enjoy the Process: Celebrate small victories and learn from setbacks.
Stay Passionate: Passion fuels perseverance and drives continuous innovation.

Stay Grounded and Balanced

Maintaining balance in surfing and business is crucial:
Work-Life Balance: Prioritize personal well-being to sustain long-term success.
Holistic Perspective: Consider all aspects of the business and its impact on stakeholders.


Reeva Misra’s insights illustrate how the lessons learned from surfing have profoundly influenced her approach to building WONE. The resilience, adaptability, and passion derived from surfing have been pivotal in advancing WONE’s mission to combat workplace stress through technology and expert support. As WONE continues to grow, these guiding principles will undoubtedly steer the company toward sustained success and innovation.