Daniel Burka

Product manager and designer who focuses on solving complex global health problems in simple ways.

I'm the director of product and design at the not-for-profit Resolve to Save Lives, where I spend the majority of my time on the open source project, Simple. Simple is used by thousands of hospitals in India, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia to manage over 2 million patients with hypertension and diabetes.

On the side, I'm on the board of Laboratoria, a not-for-profit based in Peru helping Latin American women build successful careers in tech. In 2021, I started the open source Health icons project to provide free icons to healthcare projects around the world. I'm also a member of Adobe's Design Circle, which grants scholarships to a diverse group of designers each year.


1990s I grew up on Prince Edward Island in Canada. My older brother Peter was a nerd and my mother was very supportive, so I was privileged enough to have a computer around the house in my teens and started hacking on projects. In school, I even won a prize in a Remembrance Day website contest by Veterans Affairs Canada — my own legit copy of Corel Draw!

1996 When I was 16, my twin brother Nicholas and I started a web design agency called Whitelands Studio with our high school friends in order to make money in preparation for university. We got paid to digitize the collections of local museums, such as The Potato Museum in Tignish and the Fisheries Museum in Basin Head, PEI.

1999 That company became silverorange in 1999. We learned the ropes and worked on notable projects like the Firefox brand and Mozilla website. I'm increasingly proud that silverorange is still going strong and changing the world for the better, one project at a time — we celebrated 20 years in business in 2019.

2005 I was lured to Silicon Valley by Kevin Rose to be the creative director of the news pioneer Digg. For five years, we broke ground in the way news was shared online. Kevin and I also co-founded the social network Pownce with Leah Culver, which we sold to Six Apart.

2010 I left at the zenith of Digg and Stewart Butterfield brought me on as director of design on the game Glitch. God bless Stewart and the team... I left after a year because I wasn't satisfied in the game design world, and they went on to turn Glitch into the rocket ship Slack. Slack was a game? Yep, it doesn't make sense to anyone else either.

2011 Kevin Rose and I then started an incubator company called Milk, which we sold to Google a year later. I spent the next five years as a design partner at Google Ventures, where I got to work with a huge variety of companies like Flatiron Health, Zipline, Farmers Business Network, Blue Bottle Coffee, and many others. I also had the chance to contribute to the book Sprint with my colleagues Jake, John, Braden, and Michael.

2016 While visiting Lima, Peru, I met the founding team of the not-for-profit Laboratoria in 2015 and in 2016, I joined the board of directors.

2018 I was introduced to former CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden and soon joined his team at Resolve to Save Lives to build a tech team to support large scale hypertension control programs. We started the Simple open-source project and piloted it in Punjab, India in 2019. Simple quickly grew to an international effort in thousands of hospitals and clinics.

2020 Along with my ongoing work at Resolve to Save Lives, I volunteered with Project N95 to help get personal protective equipment (PPE) to healthcare workers who needed it most, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

2021 On the side, I started the Health icons project, where a big group of wonderful volunteers has created hundreds of icons as a public good for health projects anywhere in the world. I also joined the board of Loop Health, a fantastic India-based start-up in which I invested.

2022 Today, I spend almost all of my time at Resolve to Save Lives where I help to lead the Simple project, which supports large-scale public health programs in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Ethiopia. In April, a healthcare worker registered the 2-millionth patient into the Simple app. Today, I also serve on the board of the not-for-profit Laboratoria and the health tech startup Loop Health.


My DMs on Twitter are open. I try to respond to as many emails as I can: contact@danielburka.com

You can also find me on:

Sites and apps I worked on