How did you get into the Health/Tech industry?
I've always wanted to be a scientist and an entrepreneur. Step one for me was building my own laboratory. We started with just two people and quickly expanded to over 20 scientists. After digging deeper into the quality control industry, I saw a need for this type of testing to be done for consumers. Chasing this dream led me to LabDoor and the digital health industry.
Tell us about LabDoor. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?
LabDoor is the trusted marketplace for supplements. What makes us special is that we test the purity and label accuracy of every product before listing it on our site (79% of supplements fail at least one of these tests). This data allows us to rank products like fish oil and multivitamins by quality and value. These rankings drive traffic to our product reports, where consumers can buy the best products through affiliate links to Amazon, GNC, and Vitamin Shoppe or directly from LabDoor.
Describe the ideal experience using LabDoor.
LabDoor wants to be your watchdog. Right now, we collect data to help you make smarter supplement purchases. One day, we'll be much more proactive, automatically watching the market and alerting you when there is anything related to your health that's important to you.
What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to LabDoor's success?
Some of our best "marketing" has come from simply talking to our audience. For example, we have answered hundreds of questions on-the-record on Reddit, which helps us quickly learn what our customers really want while being transparent about what we're trying to do at LabDoor.
What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?
Consumers want the "best" products. Getting a "good" product is no longer good enough. LabDoor makes that possible by doing all of the hard research and testing for you. We got pretty lucky with our timing — we started seeing these trends after we had already launched LabDoor.
Work like the world is watching.
Be safe. Be certain.
Your greatest success as Founder/CEO of LabDoor? Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?
In our short time as a company so far, the biggest success is probably the fact that we're still alive. LabDoor saw so many near-death experiences in our early months, failing to close new investors, struggling to pay our bills, etc., that it's still amazing to look back and realize that we're now bigger and stronger than ever.
In all honesty, we haven't yet seen our all-time greatest successes or most difficult moments in LabDoor's history. I'm excited (and scared) to see what's coming up next!
Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?
I like to compare the idea of "aspiring entrepreneur" to "aspiring musician". It's easy to call yourself one of these professions, but it's very hard to succeed at either. For every rockstar, there are thousands of musicians who are struggling to book gigs at a local bar. So if you're here because you're motivated by the fame and/or money, chances are you're going to end up very disappointed. But if you truly love the craft, you'll have a rewarding experience whether you have one fan or millions.
How do you motivate your employees?
I don't spend much time focused on "motivating" our employees. We're all charging up the mountain together. Maybe I'm the one in front carrying the flag. But we're a very self-motivated team.
One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?
Steak and a Guinness.
What literature is on your bed stand?
I'm re-reading "Into the Wild" now. The scientists at my old laboratory, Avomeen Analytical Services, just published some fascinating research about what actually happened to Chris McCandless. It's already a great story, and this extra insight has made my second reading even more dramatic.
Role model - business and personal?
My dad has always been both my personal and business role model. I actually wrote a blog post about this recently.
I've been playing around with a lot of virtual reality (VR) prototypes recently. The first consumer version of the Oculus headset (set to be released in 2016) is going to shock people with how close we are to true immersive virtual reality. It's going to remind us of how it felt when the first smartphones were released and we'll see how quickly an entire industry of VR app, game, and movie developers is created around these devices.
Favorite travel destination?
North Lake Tahoe. I rarely get away from work, so when I earn a day or two of personal time, I'd like to get to a beautiful destination quickly and then get out on the mountains.
What's next for LabDoor?
We have thousands of products left to test! LabDoor will always be testing more and more products. We also have a lot of new features coming up in our applications, starting with better ways to personalize our rankings.