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Lively’s Values: Where They Came from and How We Live by Them

Alex Cyriac · July 19, 2023 · 6 min read

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Lively is about more than just providing customer centric HSA and FSA solutions. We’re taking the long view and are dedicated to building a company and products that stand the test of time and make a positive impact in peoples’ lives along the way. Either or is not an option for us. That’s where our core values come in. Together they constitute a compass that shows us where we are and if we’re heading in the right direction. When it comes down to it, they communicate our identity as an organization and what we hope to bring to the world at large.

This is all to say that we’re nothing without our values, which were chosen with intention and refined as Lively continued to evolve. Here’s a closer look at where they came from—and, most importantly, how they inform day-to-day life at Lively.

Where our values came from

Our values can be traced back to our beginnings. Lively was born from the desire to help people navigate complex healthcare journeys. Healthcare in the United States doesn’t come cheap. In 2021, the average worker paid $5,969 for family health coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. That’s an almost 7% jump from the year before. What’s more, that doesn’t include all the other out-of-pocket expenses that tend to creep up throughout the year. On top of health insurance premiums, co-pays, medications, and high deductibles can add up fast. It’s something both myself and Shobin, as Lively’s cofounders, both experienced firsthand. And it was through this experience that inspired us to create a better solution.

We know that health savings accounts (HSAs) can be a game changer for folks with a high-deductible health plan. These tax-advantaged savings vehicles allow you to earmark pre-tax dollars specifically for healthcare expenses. And you’ll enjoy tax-free withdrawals when the money is used to cover qualified medical expenses. But people weren’t leveraging HSAs to their maximum potential. We found that the problem was that the HSA industry was tied up in outdated technology and impersonal legacy providers that weren’t known for their empathetic approach. We created Lively to change that. To put it simply, we built an HSA platform that put the customer at the center. We understand deeply that the only way for us to succeed is to stay aligned with this belief.

Our values grew out of this mindset—and it’s what shapes our decision-making process and internal team culture.

Lively’s core values

We are champions of the consumer because, well, we’re also the consumer. That means we sweat the small stuff because, when taken together, it can make a big difference. The way we look at it, everyone is entitled to a healthy future. That belief drives all we do because change only comes when you’re brave enough to challenge the status quo, take positive action, and keep at it when things get hard. In that spirit, here are Lively’s core values:

  • Empathy: We have deep empathy for people struggling with the complex world of healthcare. We started this company because we experienced the pain ourselves and believed we could help others with compassion and care. At Lively, our people genuinely care about each other, what we’re doing, and our cause.

  • Integrity: We believe in doing the right thing—even when no one is watching.

  • Accountability: We have a tendency to be very nice to each other at Lively, which is certainly a good thing. But unfortunately, it can also be a double-edged sword. When things didn’t go well in the past, we were reluctant to have difficult conversations. We’ve since flipped the narrative and made accountability a core value. We should all be held to a high standard because that’s what our customers expect from us.

  • Determination: We’re committed to doing our work with collaboration and grit. What we’re doing is hard, and we won’t make any excuses. When things get tough, we aren’t deterred because at the end of the day, we know people are counting on us. This value is rooted in both Shobin and my tenacity: we pride ourselves on never giving up. This industry is full of red tape and old, antiquated systems. That means we have to persevere and push through.

  • Build something people love: It sounds simple and straightforward, but if our users don’t love what we’ve built, then we’ve failed. Everything we do as a company is to better the lives of our users. This is our north star and guiding principle.

How we incorporate our values into the day-to-day at Lively

Before hiring or onboarding any new employee, we first do a comprehensive values interview. Every single potential employee at Lively goes through the values interview. We use this time to discuss values-related questions to make sure we’re bringing on people who care about the same things we do. When things get really hard, we want people who have empathy and integrity; who are determined, accountable, and dedicated to building something they’re proud of. Potential candidates must not be a culture fit, but a culture add at Lively. We need their values to help us move forward.

And we walk the walk. We’ve turned away people who were great individual contributors and functional experts because we didn’t think they embraced our values. In a hyper-competitive workforce environment, it’s hard to pass up really good talent—but we know that one person who is not a good fit can negatively impact a company culture and cause numerous challenges in the long run.

We’ve also recently added internal 360 reviews. All managers at Lively are evaluated against our core values. This helps ensure that we are moving forward in a way that’s aligned with these beliefs.

What happens if a business objective doesn’t align with our values?

When running a business, it’s only natural for new objectives to pop up as the organization grows and evolves. Like all companies, everything we do is a work in progress. But if we ignore our commitment to the customer, Lively will be destined to fail. It’s something we’ve seen from competitors time and time again. That’s why our business decisions need to be in line with our core values. It’s a non-negotiable for us. Our growth continues to be fueled because we showcase this commitment to the customer.

Our values and mission statement are leading. If we can’t draw a line from what we’re working on to our mission, then we’ve done something wrong. Our mission statement is really simple—to inspire people to confidently embrace a healthy future. Business goals are important, and it’s entirely possible for them to support that mission. They don’t have to be in conflict with one another. If they are, that’s a sign that they shouldn’t be business goals to begin with.

If these values and our approach to them resonate with you, Lively might be a great fit. Check out our careers page to learn more about who we are and what open positions are currently available.

Alex Cyriac

Alex Cyriac

Alex Cyriac is the Co-Founder and CEO of Lively. Prior to Lively, Alex was the Head of Operations at Justworks Inc., a payroll, benefits, and compliance company in New York City (over $90M raised in venture capital). Prior to Justworks, Alex was the VP of Business Development North America at Worldpay (NYSE:WP). Alex holds a degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Disclaimer: the content presented in this article are for informational purposes only, and is not, and must not be considered tax, investment, legal, accounting or financial planning advice, nor a recommendation as to a specific course of action. Investors should consult all available information, including fund prospectuses, and consult with appropriate tax, investment, accounting, legal, and accounting professionals, as appropriate, before making any investment or utilizing any financial planning strategy.



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