Get Multiple Perspectives
The Inventive Journey
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Get Multiple Perspectives
I think trying to get multiple perspectives on something [is important]. It sort of contradicts what I said earlier. In a way, you don't want to be distracted.
At the same time, when you are building plans and when you are basically looking at everything and deciding whether this project is something that may grow into something big, I think various perspectives from people with different backgrounds, particularly a business background, are extremely helpful.
The Inventive Journey
Starting and growing a business is a journey. On The Inventive Journey, your host, Devin Miller walks with startups along their different journeys startups take to success (or failure). You also get to hear from featured guests, such as venture firms and angel investors, that provide insight on the paths to a successful inventive journey.
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i i think um trying to gather um multiple prospect uh perspectives on on on something all right and uh and uh it sort of like contradicts to what i just said earlier right so in a way in a way you you don't want to be distracted right but at the same time when you are building plans and when you are basically looking at everything and even even just deciding whether whether this project is uh is going to be something that uh that may grow into something big i think uh various perspectives from uh from people with different backgrounds particularly with with the business background are extremely helpful [Music] hey everyone this is devin miller here with another episode of the inventive journey and i am your host devon miller the serial entrepreneur that's uh grown several businesses to seven and eight figure companies as well as uh founded uh started and founded miller i p law where we help startups and small businesses with their patents and trademarks and today we got a another great guest on the podcast uh michael and now i'm going to ashley slaughter's last save mel malakov i'm going to say this fastly and try and split it together so i don't mess it up too bad and i have to apologize so michael's actually done the podcast once before and he did an awesome job and but me and him were the only ones who got to see that episode because of all the episodes we've done that was the one that or one time that the file got corrupted so he's on for a second time to tell his story yet again and he's gracious enough to come back on but appreciate that and uh so if it sounds like we already talked with each other a couple times that's why it is so give you the quick kind of background a bit on michael and he'll tell in greater detail so he was a biochemist and a molecular biologist uh by training and it's been loves and does a lot of with the test tubes and running the experiments and doing all that but then found out that he uh created some shoulder pain and went to try and fix it couldn't find a good solution so he decided he was going to come up with it as with it on his own and now you'll see what you see in the back behind them is the solution that he's come up with so with that as an intro welcome on to the podcast michael thank you very much devon uh welcome back on to the podcast all right right right thank you devin uh my pleasure uh yeah it's it's a it's a bummer it didn't work out first time but that's all right we'll do a better job now okay maybe it was maybe it was a prompting that we'll now we didn't do a good enough job the first time so now we have to take two so anyway so with that i gave a bit of an intro but you know so maybe walk us through and you know the inventive journey is as the name implies it's talking not just where you're at today but kind of the journey that lit up to where you're at today so with that kind of in mind you know walk us through a little bit about the journey of you know kind of where you're at and how you got to where you're at today with gyro sleep right right so um i was always a nerdy kid uh you know i i was one of the guys who spends a little less time uh playing in in the yard and then more time doing some weird experiments or uh whatever and uh so i ended up becoming a biochemist and uh the problem with the with the lab work is that you work in a very um asymmetric position so that affects your posture and you know keeps you in those awkward positions for hours so uh i actually started having uh back pain pretty early on when i was about 29 years old and uh eventually it was growing up you know the problem was exacerbating uh little by little and then eventually i had to do something so i started swimming and that's when i developed shoulder pain as well and at that time basically my biggest problem was that uh i uh could not sleep well because i would go to bed and i cannot sleep on my shoulder this was my preferred position i couldn't do that uh my backbone was always misaligned and i couldn't find comfortable position in bed so i started looking for things and uh and unfortunately there was nothing there is a bunch of different pillows one for the waist one for the uh knees one cervical pillow one pillow that you can put behind uh behind your back for elevation and so on but uh you know as soon as you try to change your position uh all those pillows left are left behind or you have to get up and rearrange everything and this is what actually many people who have shoulder issues or back issues or post surgery patients that's what they do so i decided to come up with something on my own and uh my my first uh prototype was a boogie board with two straps on them so i strapped myself to boogie board and i tried to position myself on the side and that that lasted for about 45 seconds i said okay that's not going to work so i can admit i can imagine you know a boogie board probably isn't going to be it may keep your back straight or may keep you in position but i can't ima i couldn't imagine trying to sleep that way for any long period of time right right right so so basically i i had to learn along the way all the mechanistic aspects of the back and uh and went back to human anatomy which i never liked at school but but uh basically certain things had to be done and little by little i actually built something that was usable and at that time i lived in san francisco i met at that time with process engineering people and they it's a small company in the bay area and they do equipment manufacturing for biotech and wineries they saw the model and they were enthusiastic about helping me to take it to the next step so i worked with them uh filed my uh first non-professional patent at that time and uh so and and little by little i was working and uh i was actually using the device for some time for nearly two years and that dramatically helped my shoulder and that actually allowed me to sleep so so the device was working but but it looked ugly and uh it it was not um you know it was not sexy at all and whenever i tried to show it at that time to some people uh there was not much interest so and uh probably in the year 2014 i uh basically had to move back to russia because my my parents had issues right so i needed to be there and uh and um after a couple of years i returned to the u.s and uh and what happened why jump in just really quick and i think part of that you see you started to develop it you kind of came up with the what will not be the genesis of gyrus lee but then you know as you know mothers also there's a necessity of all invention when the necessity goes away so does the invention so to speak and so i think when we talked a little bit before that you know you you started to work on it started develop it and then the shoulder pain and the back pain and that went away for a period of time so you know that in combination with having to move back and help parents and and go back and take care of them for a period of time you kind of shelled it for a period of time is that right you kind of put a pause on it precisely for almost three years i didn't do anything uh it was basically that yes i had other priorities plus this uh the entire project everything was here in the states and now at that time was uh back to russia so it was impossible to work and and you're right there was really no need for me to use it because i i felt good and then in 2017 i had an episode of frozen shoulder or also known as adhesive capsulitis and if people don't know what it is great but it but but basically it's a condition when your shoulder is really hurts and you can't really lift it at all you can't really do much with your right arm and that that's what happened to me and um that was the moment when i realized that look i already have a solution ready right i just need to go back and i need to make it more usable uh for people with this type of condition or other conditions and that's when i actually returned to the u.s it basically coincided and i uh pulled everything out of the warehouse and i continued and they started to continue to work on it this was the time when i added uh motors gears to actually allow so that the device will actually receive the user and then descend to a horizontal position and then allow rotation uh and only manual operation so that that device was made i showed it to some people there was quite a bit of excitement i showed it to a variety of doctors i already saw that that at that time it looked just good enough to communicate the idea and to explain what it really was without uh without forcing people to actually listen to you right so so this is this is a relatively radical uh uh change to the existing uh um devices that are available on the market so this is uh this was built from first principles it was not an analogy to a mattress or any existing device therefore uh comprehension from from most of the people was relatively slow so basically with the with once i devised my first device with uh with all the movable parts that was already a big step towards a proper explanation and and then i started working on this one with which is a fully robotic device which is operated by an arduino processor it's programmed it has a capability to correct all the uh movements to respond to the movements of the user it can be operated not only manually but also through the uh timer or uh sensors that will react to users movement and so on so so basically uh uh yes it was it was an almost 10 year old uh 10 10 year long journey that included three major uh uh campaigns so far and and i think that's inter you know that it sometimes the journey takes short is quick and you get it done and sometimes it's a longer journey but one thing i that we talked a little bit previously and um it was i thought it was interesting is you know initially it started out i think it's kind of a side gig or a part-time hustle or you know really just solving the solution and then you know you went to put or set it down for a period of time when did other things help with the family and whatnot and then as you had the flare-up came back he decided i think it was you know around this time last year so about a year ago or so to jump in and do that you know it's rather than as a part-time you know gig or as a side thing to do that as a full-time uh endeavor um you know because what was kind of the decision hey you know why you know leave the job make jump all in you know how did that go you know what made you decide to go that route um i think two major factors that uh that uh basically helped me to make that decision uh was uh number one is that i already started to see that people uh react to the um idea and the prototype differently uh right so that encouraged me and uh and uh several people particularly people who had either an immobile person in the family or people who had their own back and shoulder issues they immediately started seeing the advantage of this and they reacted differently they asked the right questions so that that basically told me that i'm on the right track and the second contributing factor was that one of my former co-workers uh actually even inquired he he wanted to invest in my business because he saw that this uh this may have a potential so so i uh i took his money and uh and that was the time when i said okay so let's uh let's utilize this money not took everybody but utilize this but right right exactly so so basically that was the time when i said okay i will um do this hundred percent now and uh i even went further i uh left california to stretch the money and i moved to a much cheaper uh las vegas to to be able to do it uh you know with more confidence and of course las vegas is also the city that has uh many of my friends who are athletes and so on and many of them have shoulder injuries so this is the right environment for me to be at right now all right no i think that's so now you made the leap you said okay got the investor got some money to actually pursue it gonna do this full time gonna go all in you know that's what it's gonna take and so how is that you know since going full time about a year ago from now not you know i think you mentioned it was july which tomorrow will be july how's it going has it been a good journey a good venture has had its ups and downs has it been everything you would hope for or if you regretted it or what or how's that gone so far right right it it's you know it's it's like like this so it's going up uh in in the long term but of course there are some hiccups and uh and uh certain things that uh you know may not work out and uh it basically covers all areas including engineering and uh whatever other things i tried to do and and sometimes it's it's just a matter of uh covet happened right so so if if previously i could get some parts let's say from china in in two weeks now it takes uh probably four to six weeks but but i'm still moving ahead and uh i think three major things that i had to uh that i planned to accomplish in this one year is obviously build this model uh build this advanced prototype which actually shows it has all the features of a plan that are planned for a commercial uh device so so i did that and then i hired a consultant i worked on the business plan uh presentation and so on so that was also a large chunk of my time and of course i needed to file an additional patent that would cover the uh these new uh retractable parts and the algorithm so that that basically was another a large chunk of my time that was dedicated to this uh there are a few other things that i'm trying to complete and uh that is growing the team and uh and advancing um this to the public telling more people uh this has been lagging behind a little bit but now now basically as i completed these certain things i can actually concentrate and and and and do these things and eventually uh and eventually start a massive fundraising campaign well not massive but but the appropriate enough to continue this business okay no fair enough so that makes uh good sense so now is you to do that so sick next six months a year i think you've already outlined your ask the question or answer the question i was already going to ask which is you know so now this is the time where you you know you can see the i don't know if you call it a prototype or you know first run or whatnot but you've got it towards a functional product and now you're going to move over to additional fundraising in order to get it out there in the marketplace as well as you know go out and do the sales and the marketing and pitch and find those people that you can help so as we as we then jump to you know what i kind of is wrap up the each podcast with maybe we'll jump to that now which is you know i always ask two questions at the end of each podcast um so the first question i always ask is so what was the worst business decision ever made um i think uh i think i did it twice with with various projects but uh but i think uh for me uh it was uh a distraction from the original plan so once you have a good plan uh that you worked out and you thought through it and uh and then um and then something happens or you meet someone who simply looked looks at this and says this is probably not going to work that is the time when depending on several factors including the authority of the person you're communicating with this is the time when you can make a decision and say oh maybe my plan was not good uh um at all and uh i need to basically abandon this and start from the beginning and uh and and and it happened to me and uh and i think and i think uh that that was the wrong decision for me right and uh and if i let's say continued to uh um if i continued on the on the path and uh maybe i could have pivoted and adjusted certain things but not completely abandoned and changed the strategy uh in my opinion i would have been uh much farther ahead now okay no i i that that certainly makes sense and it is a good lesson to learn from so now's the way to jump to the second question i always ask is so if you're talking to someone and you know you had a you know a 10-year journey and you know had its pauses and re-engaging in full-time part-time and everything else and so you have you know you've gone through a good journey with it but if you're talking someone's just getting into a startup just get into small business what would be the one piece of advice you'd give them um i i think um trying to gather um multiple prospect uh perspectives on on on something all right and uh and uh it sort of like contradicts to what i just said earlier right so in a way in a way you you don't want to be distracted right but at the same time when you are building plans and when you are basically looking at everything and even even just deciding whether whether this project is uh is gonna be something that uh that may grow into something big i think uh various perspectives from from people with different backgrounds particularly with with the business background uh are extremely helpful so um uh obviously very few people nowadays do things in the vacuum right but but even with the availability of all the resources sometimes it might be just difficult to simply contact someone and say hey look uh you know you you have an mba i i don't uh what would be your take on this particular thing and uh what will be your reasoning how how would you approach this problem and uh if you find that kind of person if you have availability to do that with several folks from different uh let's say in my case i could have i i spoke to people who are physicians i spoke to people who are engineers business personnel people who are involved in uh you know such businesses as hospices and uh and uh and uh you know hospitals and so on so basically gathering perspectives from variety of uh different uh uh you know uh uh specialists is extremely important in in building a good plan for uh moving forward right no i think that's a good advice and so um to be able to get the you know i think it's you know you kind of it's almost cliche or it's almost worn out that you get the idea to surround yourself with smart people or you know people that are smarter than you but in the sense of you know let's get those perspectives if there are perspectives of people that can offer something different unique or something that will be helpful to the business certainly helpful to get that perspective as you're going through the pro through the journey so as people are now saying all right you solved the problem of fixing my shoulder pain or my back pain or any of my joint pains with the with gyro sleep and people want to whether it's invest in the company they want to get involved they want to buy the product they want to learn more or just reach out to you what's the best way to connect with you um my website is gyrosleep.com um so this is uh this is the name of the web of the product gyrosleep and there is a form contact form that you can fill out and uh and i will make sure to respond to you as quickly as i could all right well i definitely encourage people whether it's looking for the the final solution that will make your shoulder or back pain or other things go away or just want to know more about it to reach out to you and uh and connect so well michael i know it's the second time on the podcast and so even more than normal appreciate you coming back on it's been uh you have a fun journey to tell and i think what you're doing is certainly exciting and wish you as you the next leg of your journey where you're marketing and fundraising and putting it out there all the best of luck and certainly it'll be exciting to see how it turns out for those of you that are interested in telling your journey on the inventive journey um feel free to apply to be a guest on the podcast at inventivejourneyguest.com and for those of you that wanna are that are listeners make sure to subscribe so you can catch this episode and get notifications of all the new episodes of the hair and if you need any help all as always if you need any help with any patents or trademarks feel free to reach out to us at miller iplan we're here to help michael thank you again for coming on it was it was as fun or even more fun the second time as a first and i wish you the best next leg of your journey thank you very much devon thank you very much for this opportunity and uh best of luck to you and to everyone who is listening alright thank you English (auto-generated) All Sales Recently uploaded