Morri Chowaiki: Sure. Just to correct you, it wasn't the first person to enter the shark tank, but I was actually the first person to ever be on the shark tank and then actually work for a shark. Okay. So I'll take you through that journey. I was actually a, an aspiring actor, through high school and college.
I, that's what I really wanted to do. And I had done that for , many years. And, after which I decided to go back to Los Angeles, , after college to pursue a film career. And I really wasn't, , so excited about film because I had been, a character actor my whole life, where, I was doing all kinds of different dialects and voices and big, huge productions and singing.
And during the, , the auditions for film, it was a little boring. I was getting cast and, as a young lawyer, the young brother and it was boring. So one of the, the last performances I did in college was a show called little shop of fours, and it's a musical about a nanny plant.
And I was lucky enough to get the voice of the plant that's the lead role. And so it was an amazing thing to be backstage with a microphone. Sounding like an African American soul singer, but meanwhile, looking like me. So I decided to actually pursue that. And, I actually started going out and got some, I got started auditioning and I became a animation voiceover artist, and did that professionally for about five years.
And, it was amazing and, , it was really successful. I was great. And then it got harder after the wonderful Robin Williams did the movie Aladdin because he was the first celebrity to do a cartoon voice in a big feature. And when the other celebrities realized, I don't have to do my hair.
I don't have to work out. I don't have to do my makeup. All of a sudden it became much harder for voice actors like me who were doing cartoons. To get roles because celebrities were doing them. And then it just so happened that I ended up having an opportunity or a good friend of mine who was friends with my brother calls me up.
This is 1994. And he says, my understanding is that you're acting, you're working in restaurants and, managing restaurants and doing odd jobs. Do you want a part-time gig? And I said, and what he said, I just started an e-commerce company. I go what's that? And he said, I sell things on the computer.
I go, yeah. And he said, yeah, I started selling vitamins on this platform called. I had no idea what that was. He said, I just need help few hours a day packing boxes. Okay. So I went to work for him part-time and [00:03:00] that ended up growing into, the next five years of my career. We were the first e-commerce site ever to sell any type of health products.
We started on prodigy and then migrated to CompuServe and then ultimately migrated to America online. And this was all before the worldwide web. And, we went from typical two guys in a garage with a hundred products to eventually 25,000 products, with the only health store to millions and millions of people and a staff of 30 people.
And it was an incredible journey and it was so much fun. And, , that was really the beginning of my business.
Claudia von Boeselager: For a second, just said, how did you market even back then explain if you didn't have the world wide web. So how to explain that you can actually buy a product online, you pay and it will actually arrive.
Morri Chowaiki: A lot of that was actually left towards the platform, America online, for example, would have, you'd have you literally have the CD rom that you had to install on your computer, you had to pay a monthly fee to be a member. You signed on, you got mail, that famous saying.
And, it was when they had 2 million members and it was like a virtual storefront. And I remember going, , we had a challenge with a marathon line when we started, they said to us, listen, you only have 200 products right now. If you want to join our service, we, you need to have many more products.
What do you do this? So I ended up deciding to go to a very large. That's sold thousands upon thousands. I think 25,000 health products. And I presented them with an offer. I said, if you'll sell to me, just like you sell to the thousands of other small little stores, all carry all your products. Who are you?
Where are you going to carry this? Where's your store? Oh, it's online, online. What you know, who, where what? And so it was actually, it was a challenge. This is America online was around 97. And we were, it was always a challenge to, to explain to people that we were virtual, that we were just in time.
And the beauty [00:05:00] was, so this was the challenge was how do we make this deal happen? I ended up asking permission of this large distributor to basically camp out in their warehouse for about, I think it was two weeks. I brought with me a digital camera that was about. A lot of, big, massive computers and, about 10 kids that were on, spring break from UCLA.
And we basically sat in that warehouse and took photos and transcribed 25,000 products and loaded them into our database. And then the model was every single day we would get orders and those orders would have the SKU number of the individual products. We would download them all, charge them all.
Remember, this is all back from the modem still made noise. It was manual text and all that. It was a nightmare. Wow. And then that afternoon we would order the product just like the physical stores did. And then the next morning they would deliver one of this, two of this, four of that, five of this, and we would ship it out.
So it was all just in time [00:06:00] inventory and the promotions and the marketing, there was no email marketing. There was no social media. So it was really about, TV, we actually did a TV promotion with Turner broadcasting, and then it was really, at that point in time, it was really up to the platform to, to make yourself known
Claudia von Boeselager: incredible.
And I just love that dedication of, okay, how do we make this happen? How do we get just in time management and literally getting the cameras and a team in and writing down all the numbers manually. People don't realize, entrepreneurs nowadays, how easy they have it, how easy it is to start a business versus, , back then.
And then also doing TV ads, it's a huge risk. If you do the shooting and everything I'm in, I was talking to one entrepreneur. He's , there was $200,000 out of pocket and you don't even know if anyone's going to
Morri Chowaiki: come of course and think about it. You didn't even have the metrics back then.
, anything that you were selling in a physical location, you had no idea who bought it, where they bought it, how they bought it now. Yeah. What they bought, why they used it, how they loved it, didn't love it. It's the metrics in the analytics are, you can really fine tune now back then, even online, [00:07:00] you didn't know what was happening, it was just throw your money out and hope it works exactly.
Claudia von Boeselager: But somehow it worked. And so you
Morri Chowaiki: told them we had a very, and I would just want to tell this one story. Cause it's a real Testament to just taking a chance. And I think that, the luck of my career and things, that have happened have been, there's a famous, Jewish quote and, not a quote, but there's in Judy's.
All the words that are Hebrew, have a meaning. Every letter has a median together, combined. That word has a meaning. And so I'm sure you've heard muscle Tufts, which is good luck. So the word mazal is made up of three, three letters in the Hebrew language. It's the, the embassy and the L and then they have a thousand between the M signifies, the, a house, and this Z signifies like a clock and the L signifies a mouth.
So the meaning of luck is being in the right place at the right time, but that's not enough. You have to open your mouth. And that's really what, I think you've got to just take chances. So what happened was what really took us to the next level, [00:08:00] which is a fun story, is we were selling health products, right?
We were selling all these vitamins and pharmaceuticals and, everything from, workout shakes to whatever. And we were called health and vitamins. American line comes to be in. I want to say it was around November of 1998. When they say we're launching a last minute Christmas gifts collection on the homepage.
If you want to be a part of it, of course, I want to be a part of it. I had no idea what I was going to solve it. And I remember going to my partner and saying, you know what? This is a great opportunity. We had just started playing with the gift basket idea. We were selling like these gift baskets for healthy people with like granola and bath salts and things like that.
They were doing okay. I said, I want to try something different. I want to sell a few gift baskets. I don't want them to do with health that healthy because people don't want to buy vitamins for Christmas. I want to even change our names from health and vitamin express, T H V E gift baskets. And then we put [00:09:00] together five gift bags.
One was the naughty or nice gift basket, which was a heart shaped box with a little Teddy bear and chocolate love paint, and a feather tickler and a little mini massager. Then you had the moms one and the dads so on and so forth. Claudia, we put this collection on December 11th. I walk into work. What normally was 70 orders was 650 orders.
And that continued for two weeks straight. It was utter pandemonium. We bought out every gift basket company. There was the mini massager ended up looking very different at the end of the time because we had no other choice and we were, it was pandemonium, but that is what actually. Caused the attention to exit in 1999, , we were bought out right before the collapsed, right before, people started throwing millions and millions of dollars.
We were all self-funded and it was just, it was a Testament to just taking a chance.
Claudia von Boeselager: Amazing. I love that as well. And I think, where do you think that came from? Do you think it was a flash of [00:10:00] intuition or, change the name and then change the baskets as well? What were you thinking in that moment?
Morri Chowaiki: was, I've never had professional business training and luckily I'm working with no largest business mobiles in the world. My father was a serial entrepreneur with no formal education and was very successful, but he put me to work early. I was selling rattan furniture in his showrooms at 12 years old.
And I think it just has to it's a different. If you innovation doesn't necessarily come from technology all the time, sometimes innovation just comes from putting two different people in the room, there's that famous story about how Frito-Lay, had one of their most successful products, which is the flaming hot Cheetos and the person that came up with the idea with a janitor, I think sometimes it's just different eyeballs, a train marketer would have said, okay, let's analyze, let's do it.
Somebody like me is you know what? That doesn't make any sense whatsoever. Let's try this. And you just got to try and try, and if you fail or you learn, I don't like using the word failure [00:11:00] a hundred times when you hit it once that's what's important. I think it just came from, who wants to buy vitamin C for Christmas.
This is a tremendous opportunity to be on the front page of the site for 2 million people. What do people want to buy for Chris?
Claudia von Boeselager: Then I love that. And that's just a true Testament as well. And I think, I've got two, two kids as well, and I'm trying to teach them to be a bit more risk takers as well, because unfortunately, educational system is such that, you don't make mistakes and you have to always be perfect and that's totally wrong because if you don't push yourself out of your comfort zone every day, the mentors told me this years ago and I was like, oh, if I do push myself out of my comfort zone once a week, I'm doing well, but it's really every single day do something that's uncomfortable because that's how you grow.
Morri Chowaiki: know what we've all seen when you're, when you get a heart, the heart monitor is up and down, right? What happens when it's flat? You're dancing, the downs are what makes the ups, the bottom can be your trampoline. adversity in my career has propelled me every single time.
You don't know it at the moment. It's hot. But if there's a possibility that you can just change your mindset, just that little much to say this hell that I'm living through right now is going to actually bear fruit. There's going to be something that happens from here. That's beautiful. And it's not necessarily the end of the world, but it's the beginning of something else.
That's beautiful. If you can just maintain a little bit of that mindset, I, and I don't want to participate and say, oh, I'm perfect. I really have been through some hell in my life and that hell has, or beautiful fruit. And I think that it's just very important, especially in business to realize that, falling down is something you have to do a hundred times before you figure out okay.
Claudia von Boeselager: Completely. I like the analogy as well as, if you see a child trying to learn to walk, you don't say oh no, they've fallen like 10 times. We should give up. Now you're like, no, they're going to do it. It's just practice, and just keep going as well. So yeah, we share a mindset in that.
And how did that lead you to go on to the shark tank, Maureen?
Morri Chowaiki: It was really interesting. So after I, after we sold the company, very [00:13:00] luckily about three weeks later, I got called by a recruiter and this recruiter, was hiring somebody to lead e-commerce sales for one of the largest vitamin companies in the world.
And, I had no again, no formal retail training whatsoever. No. And this company was like, massive pharmaceutical, $1.5 billion company. That was the contract manufacturer. So I spent 10 years at that point. Managing sales for all kinds of accounts, brick and mortar, e-commerce direct selling like Herbalife, QVC international, and those 10 years ended up being my MBA, ended up being my business education.
And then, so that was an amazing time. Really got me an amazing amount of training from there. I spent about eight years at a software company where I was selling health and wellness software, similar to like web MD to all these big, same retailers at the time. So this just goes back to 2003, four, something like that.
[00:14:00] I was married at the time. I'm no longer, but, things are all fine there. But, my wife at the time, and I were in an interfaith marriage essentially, so I'm Jewish, traditionally Jewish. She actually came from a Jewish mother and a Greek Orthodox father for years and years of our marriage wanting to have Christmas.
Experience in the home. And I was like, hell no, not going to ever happen. 10 years into our marriage, I finally came and I said, okay, but just don't go nuts. Because if baby Jesus is in my living room, I'm going to have a little bit of an issue. And so I come home one day and she says, go upstairs.
Don't go, don't come out until I call you. And I hear all this hustling and bustling downstairs. And then I walked downstairs and I see , on the dining room table, this little, two foot, little Christmas tree, like about this big with all this Hanukkah, blue and silver decorations and little ornaments all over the place.
And on the top of the tree is a five pointed star. And I literally made a joke. I said, couldn't you get a Jewish star to put on top of the tree? And she said, I [00:15:00] actually looked for one, I couldn't find one. I said, I'm Mr. Internet. I'll find one. And I started screeching Claudia. It didn't. Wow. So again, my little head went on, I started doing market research and I realized that there's a million interfaith households in the U S that 50% good or bad, 50% of Jewish people in the last 20 years married outside of the Jewish faith.
And 90% married somebody, Christians and I started researching this and I started to use my old, sweat equity mind, which was, I didn't have the money to do this, but I, and I'm not a graphic artist or a patent attorney. So I called a friend who was a graphic artist. I called a friend who was a patent attorney, and I pitched them and sold them on my idea.
And I said, guys, there's nothing out there like this. And there isn't demand. Let's go ahead and try it. And I got them to join us, just with sweat equity. So in percentage of the company, and they did everything for me to make a very long story short, I patented and trademarked the product called the Hanukkah tree.
And, it's [00:16:00] sold, over 150,000 units out of my garage while I was working a full-time job selling software. And then in 2011, I heard about a show called shark tank. And I tried out and I got all the way to the video round because there's a pretty amazing story on how shark tank works. How many people start, et cetera, if I can get into, if you like, but I got to the video round and then I was told, sorry, no, go, maybe come back next year when you have more in sales.
And, , normally somebody would be like, yeah, BS, goodbye, never again. And I was devastated. The next year came around. Meanwhile, by that time I had already sold more online. I had personally gotten the product because of my experience in brick and mortar. I got the product to bed bath and beyond boys, home Depot, Walmart, and a few others magazine.
If you remember that, Okay. And, the next year I auditioned again and I got on well, and, it , was a thrill [00:17:00]
Claudia von Boeselager: for entrepreneurs listening. Can you explain, cause my audiences around the world, what executives shark tank is, , there's a different equivalent of it, but just so people understand the concept.
Morri Chowaiki: So actually it started in the UK and Canada called Dragon's den. And then, the very famous, television producer in America, Mark Burnett brought it to America about 14 years ago. And the concept is entrepreneurs with an idea or a product or a business pitch, their idea to five, very well-known billionaire millionaire investors.
And, they start off by saying, here's my company here in my product and I'm willing to offer X percentage of my company for X percent of money and they go through a negotiation and then also. The either make a deal or they don't. And I will say that, of course there's some theatrical, right.
But it is truly what it is. These individual, call them angel investors put their own money into business, but here's [00:18:00] the kicker. The kicker is shark tank is the number one show on ABC prime time in America as over 4 million viewership, just the night of, and probably 10 million over the course of the period of time.
So no matter what the product is, no matter whether you get a deal or not, no matter how they make you look, you're getting four or $5 million worth of advertising. Yeah. So imagine it's been a very successful show and it's about to go into season 14. Wow.
Claudia von Boeselager: Incredible. And so you went back and you were able to pitch in life and how did that.
Morri Chowaiki: So that's a, that's an experience. you do so the way it works is 60,000 people apply every year. From that 60,000, they pick 2,500 to do a video pitch from the 2,500, they picked 900 to come in and actually film in the amazing studio in Culver. City's in Los Angeles. You put your whole thing up, you like you're [00:19:00] pitching to the sharks, but you pitch the producers from the 900.
They then pick 200 to actually come in and film. And from the 200 only 120 actually go on TV, right? So you literally are, there's 120 out of 60,000 every year they get on. And so here's how it happens. I come out and I had studied and studied, and I knew my numbers. That's the most important thing in the world is know everything in your head because you don't get a piece of paper.
You don't get a PowerPoint deck. You don't get a calculator. You haven't. Okay. If it's not here, they'll rip you apart. Yeah. So I come down and, I pitched my business and I was, I had a very fun pitch. I did a whole character, and I was memorable, but again, I was hitting the important targets of business and margin and lifetime value and all these different things.
And I come down there and it's five sharks. And, I remember, I got grilled a lot. I was, and the, all the common theme was, so your business is this one product [00:20:00] that's bought by 0.1% of the population. One month out of the year, when you buy one, you don't have to buy another one.
This is stupid. This isn't a business. This is too good for you, or you're too good for this. Meanwhile, they didn't know that I had a full-time job. And this was just a side hustle. Four of the sharks went out, meaning they said, no, you're amazing. You know what you're doing? This business is fun, but this isn't a business.
This is a product then. Damon John, who is one of the sharks and he's, an African-American man who started the clothing brand called FUBU, which has done over $6 billion in retail sales. Wow. He's the only one left at this point. I'm thinking to myself, let's see, I'm a nice little Jewish kid from LA.
This is the black FUBU dude from New York when he got the car we're done. And then all of a sudden he says to me a lot of people don't know this about me, but I grew up with a Jewish stepfather because my father left [00:21:00] my mother and mine when I was 10 years old. And I really like what you're doing.
I don't necessarily love the product, but I like you and , I, in my career that decided that I don't want to make deals for business for businesses. I want to make deals with people. And if you're willing to possibly license this, I'm willing to make a deal with you. I was like done. I'll be honest with you.
You can't hit a target, you can't see. And my goal from day one was not to get funding for a piece of plastic and metal. My goal from day one, if I got on that show was to figure out my way to elevate my own career and somehow have a relationship with one of those guys because they're moguls.
Yeah. So I, I accepted the deal right away. All the other sharks thought he was crazy. And we, you don't get to even talk to him at that time. He is a staff. And after the show was done, I basically, I was who knows what was going to [00:22:00] happen and who knows when it was going to air, it ended up airing like three months later.
But, I basically just kept in touch and little by little, I would just ping him, because I knew in my life, even the way I grew up, especially I grew up with very successful parents and around a lot of successful people is, you have to know when to push and when to pull back.
Yeah, just that I was a part of that, just that I had the access to him was so special. And, there was nothing that he told me that would happen. There was nothing, so we ended up, I remember this is what happened. Three months later, I'm in New York, which is where he was based. And I was there on other business from my regular job.
And I remember calling his head of licensing, who I was working with and say, Hey, I'm in New York is going to get the other. And she said, actually, Damon's here. He wants you to come into the office and sit down. His office was the entire 65th floor of the empire state building. Wow. And I go up there and there's a big FUBU sign on the wall, [00:23:00] which is a brand for hip hop artists.
I walk in and it's the funniest office you've ever seen. His receptionist is a black man. Who's probably 400 pounds who was like eating his lunch at his desk, going, what do you want? Oh my God, like nice prim and proper kid. And I come in and I sit down at this big, huge wooden table. He comes in and we ended up having the most beautiful conversation for an hour and a half.
And that was when he. Okay. You're normal because there's a lot of strange people that come on the show, here's my info and whatever. Over the next few months, we licensed the products to one of the largest Christmas wholesalers. And to this day, it's the licensed and, I just collect my mailbox money, right?
Every quarter I get a check, which is amazing, but I wasn't satisfied. I really wanted more. I liked him as an individual. I liked his team and at the time he was, and still is one of the most sought after motivational speakers in the U S probably world.[00:24:00] And he has this incredible keynote where he talks about his whole journey, his life, how he started the company went from broke to multimillionaire and back, but not.
He invited me to a couple of these things and I would see something so interesting, and he has an agency called the shark group as well, which is a full blown branding and marketing agency, where all the shark tank companies go through and all these big brands, and he's the face of the brands and books and celebrities and all these kinds of things.
And I remember going to a couple of these things and just seeing something that I didn't understand, he's up on stage. He's got a DJ in the back doing all his video and music stuff. And then the front row is a C-suite you name it? J and J Samsung Ford motor company, T-Mobile and everybody is going crazy, standing ovation the most incredible thing.
And guess what? Nobody's talking to them like, don't you have an agency. [00:25:00] And so I went to. Out of the blue. And I said, Daymond, I see an opportunity here. He says, oh no, I don't want to be salesy Bible. You're obnoxious, I'm a hunter, I'm the guy that finds the opportunity.
And I said, David, I really think there's an opportunity here. Do you mind if I come with you to a few of these things and just see what happens, whatever dude, it's your dime. Okay. For six months I moonlighted, I was working software selling software and I was going on the road with David. My boss had no idea I was doing this.
Everybody thought I was going to get fired. He would, Damon would post me on social media. I would beg him to take it down because I didn't want my boss to see it. And six months go by where I'm doing this six months happened. He calls me a racist sit down. Oh yeah. He says, I don't understand you.
And excuse my French. You annoy the living shit out of me. Okay. That says, but in the last six months you have initiated more incremental revenue to my agency that anybody on my team has in the last four years. So quit your damn job and get over here. And that's what led me being his head of sales and retail for about eight years.
So I was the only guy to ever go on shark tank, who actually ended up working for the shark and actually being the guy that helped all the other entrepreneurs get their products into retail. So it was a full circle and it was beautiful.
Claudia von Boeselager: That's so incredible. And I love that. And it's innate to you, right?
Because you can't learn something like that and it's going with what you are good at. And clearly, like you see the opportunities and you go for it as well. And having that confidence as well. And I think, I try to employ, I mentor some, young entrepreneurs and things like that as well.
And it's just go for [00:27:00] it. , who, who needs to give you permission, and see what happens as
Morri Chowaiki: well. Exactly. And really, it's, I think it's about, like you said, knowing your strengths also being likable, I think theater honestly was probably the best sales training I've ever had.
Cause it taught me how to gauge a reaction. It taught me how to be relatable. And if you think about it, why do you hire people? A resume gets you the. But what gets you the job? What gets you the job is can I stand this person enough to sit next to them for the next eight years of my life, nine hours a day?
And you have to know when to go in when to pull back, and what's in it for them. A lot of people forget this when you're pitching somebody what's in it for the person you're pitching. A lot of people go in and say, I have this great product who, the F carrots, I'm busy, what's in it for me,
and if you haven't done your research, you're lazy because today everything is out there, right? You haven't really [00:28:00] realized what's in it. W what is it about this person that would inspire them? That's what it's gotta be about. And so for me, Damon never offered me a job. You never said, I want you to work here.
I was looking at, I saw a hole and I said, okay, I think I might be able to do this. I took a huge risk. Yeah. And.
Claudia von Boeselager: So incredible. And now let's move over to volume and what you're doing there, how did you transition from working for Damon and going into Viome? And I can't
Morri Chowaiki: tell you how bizarre of a story this is.
So no, it's just, I, it boggles my mind to this day, was founded by a very, successful entrepreneur by the name of maybe and Jane, even know how many years ago now, maybe six years ago out of the blue, I get a random LinkedIn message. And obviously I had some notoriety because of whole shark tank game and John, and this woman out of the blue on LinkedIn be [00:29:00] friends, me, uh, she's from Australia.
And she asks me, if I'm familiar with Nevine Jane. That based on my background and, whatnot, she says that she's going to be attending an X prize event in New York, , and at the United nations and I should come and it would probably be a good idea to meet the BJ. Okay. Interesting. Then she actually introduces me to Nevine over email, we start talking and I'll get into what Viome is in a minute, but what ends up happening is Nevine and I start to talk and, we realized that, I have a skill set that he might be interested in Viome was just starting at the time.
And we actually met in New York city at the United nations, and there was a star studded crowded he'd Roger Goodell from the NFL was there. All these people is this big high profile event about, an X prize, which is a, entrepreneurs, sponsor and initiative. And I think this one was to [00:30:00] invent an app that worked for women who were in situations of danger, in third world countries in order to, not rely so much on wifi and it was cheap to be able to broadcast, a message of trouble, something to that effect where they, could get help.
And so this woman is there and I meet her and whatnot, and then Nevine, and I meet in person and, she's there for a second. And then she leaves and I go into the afterwards. I said, so how do you know this woman? He goes, I have no idea what she is.
A random woman decided to introduce us. She wasn't a recruiter, she got nothing for it. And for some weird reason that happened. And so then we talked about things and at the time it wasn't right. As Viome was still too early. And then a few years later, we connected again and it's still, for whatever reason it didn't work out.
And then lo and behold, COVID
Daymond [00:31:00] was speaking in front of massive audiences every single day, multiple times a day, that all died immediately. And so my earning potential with Damon ended up going down and I had to pivot, and he even told me, he's Marie, I'm going to give you the opportunity, go do your consulting thing, do whatever you need to do.
I can't do the regular boy thing anymore. Things are changing, okay, fine. And so I started looking and I was doing consulting and whatnot, and then I got COVID in December of 2020. For a week and a half. Are you familiar with the audio streaming app or a audio social media app called clubhouse?
Yeah. I started getting addicted to clubhouse during that period of time and I was a clubhouse fanatic and I build this whole audience and whatever, and I heard Nuveen in a clubhouse room this probably two years after I spoke to him. And after hearing what was going on with Viome, I said, okay, this is really interesting.
And I ended up calling him, he reconnected. And about a month [00:32:00] later, which was March, 2021, I became his chief sales officer. Wow. Incredible. And I still work with Damon and Damon is actually an ambassador device. Oh,
Claudia von Boeselager: I love that. So full circle again as well. Incredible. And also this sort of, person that came from Australia to New York city to introduce you.
And he doesn't even know who I feel like I
Morri Chowaiki: need to call her and send her a big gift basket. maybe I have one of those naughty or nice gift baskets in my garage. I could send her with a Hanukkah. It
Claudia von Boeselager: happens. Yeah. Yeah. The feather might be a little bit wilted at this stage, but can you explain for my audience who might not be familiar?
What exactly is Viacom and what do you look for revolutionized with via?
Morri Chowaiki: Gotcha. It's a such a great topic. So Viome starts out with a kit and I actually have one. I can just show you. You'll see, you can get a bit of a visual, when we start with one of these, you can't really see it with my weird background, but it's a bit tricky, but it's a black box and inside the box is a [00:33:00] collection.
So what we do is we send these kits out to customers. The customer, puts a small sample of their stool. And soon to be saliva, we licensed a technology called meta transcriptomics from the department of defense. About six years ago, the Los Alamos national laboratory developed this technology for bio-terrorism basically, they said, if we get hit with a dirty bomb, that has a disease, how do we cure people?
Because the cure for you might be different than the cure for you and so on and so forth. So they really started looking at something called the microbiome, which you know, now a lot more people know about the microbiome is, you have microbiomes in your gut, you have microbiomes in your mouth and you're right.
The basically it's a term for the microorganism ecosystem, right? Bacteria, phages viruses, et cetera. And there's a [00:34:00] lot of research and discussion now about how the microbiome. Is more indicative and responsible for the progression of the avoidance of chronic disease, then know Cuban cells. So what Mike, what Viome does is it analyzes the microbiome using this technology called Metta transcriptomics.
The difference between us and other companies out there like 23 and me is we're looking at M RNA, not DNA. We all have, become familiar with MRMA because of the amazing things that maternal adviser did to the vaccine, but see the differences DNA. It's amazing. But DNA doesn't ever change.
DNA is the same, whether you're healthy, sick, alive, even debt, same, it's the same in every single cell DNA is the same. If you find a dinosaur, it's 65,000 years old, it's the same. So how can, okay. You can get a picture from DNA and say, okay, DNA says I'm predisposed to a certain disease, or [00:35:00] I'm predisposed to a certain.
But how do you ever know if you're doing something the right way? If it's always the same reading. So we analyze RNA and the best way I can describe it as DNA is the letters of the alphabet and RNA are the words that they make. Okay. So DNA is genes. RNA is gene expression. How are the genes expressed? So we analyze it.
We then come back with an analysis, right? We tell you, here are your scores, microbiome, gut health, stress response, immune response, biological age,
mitochondrial health cellular health. We give you this great data. Then we go one step further, Hippocrates who is the founder of modern medicine, said something 2,500 years, let food be thy medicine and let medicine be by food.
And that's our mission. Our mission is to provide our consumers and humanity. Data on what's going on inside [00:36:00] their body. They've never had access to before. And then based on that recommending personalized nutrition program. So for each customer, we tell them what foods they should avoid and why, what foods are their super foods and why and what foods they should enjoy and minimize.
And the way we do this is by looking at the microbiome and saying, okay, we found what we didn't find something in there. If you eat this food, this may happen. So we all think broccoli, spinach, kale, brussel sprouts are wonderful for us. They may not actually be depending on who you are as an individual and what you have in your microbiome.
In fact, they may actually harm you and ultimately cause inflammation and inflammation is the cause of most chronic disease. So we look at that, we give our customers a very detailed list of foods that are good and bad and why. And then we go one step further and we say, You can't get all the [00:37:00] supplementation and all the nutrients from your food that you used to 50 years ago, because all the generally, genetically modified things and whatnot.
And so we actually give all of our customers a list of supplements. They should also take on a daily basis with exact dosages and we don't charge them for this. We tell them, here's your exact list. And up until about a year and a half ago for four years before that was all we did. We sold the kits and we said, here's your food list?
Here's your supplements. And a lot of backlash. We had a lot of people saying, this is crazy. You're giving me this list. I can't find these products at my local retailers it's too much. So Nevine decided to make a massive commitment and commit millions of dollars into a fully state-of-the-art robotic facility that actually makes every single customer's formula on demand.
So we provide the food list and then we provide the vitamin list and we actually make the supplements. And then. Six months go by. Cause that's about how long it takes for the microbiome to [00:38:00] adjust. We ask our customers to retest and when they retest their scores of have hopefully improved, their foods have become different.
Now, all of a sudden, when it said don't eat tomatoes, now you can eat tomatoes. And here's why, and then their vitamin formula has changed because their body has changed. It's always changing. And so at that point in time, we've been completely revamped the supplement formula and we manufacture the new one on demand.
So the whole point is test analyze. Here's a solution pry that solution six months, go by retest, see if things have worked optimized. So you're always getting what your body needs and nothing that you don't. And that's basically the consumer division of IO. And then there's much more on the.
Claudia von Boeselager: Yeah, we'll talk about that in a minute as well.
And I just not hone in for people as well too, to realize, I think people are like, oh, I'm allergic to this. Or I'm sensitive to this and not understanding actually, the science behind it and what's going on and what you can actually do. [00:39:00] So what you're describing now perfectly is by taking certain supplements and regaining and building up certain good gut bacteria, you mightn't be allergic to something again, I hate people like I'm sensitive to this.
I'm sensitive to that. I was like, when was the last time you test? Oh, 15 years ago,
Morri Chowaiki: yeah. And, I am, I'm not scientifically or medically trained at all. Take what I say with a grain of salt. We have 200 PhDs on our team who are much smarter than me, both in the world of science and AI.
We have, our algorithm is built by one of the guys who invented IBM's Watson, but I will say this is that, when you look at what we're trying to do, what we're trying to do, Is to improve humanity. Okay. And, we don't look at the valuation of our company. We don't care about the money.
We care about positively affecting the lives of a billion people. When you do that, you'll have a company with a hundred billion dollars. And what we're really trying to do is look at okay, what is, how do we give people the information they need to potentially make illness optional? That's our tagline.
I think it's, on [00:40:00] this box somewhere right here, it says, yeah, our tagline is, imagine living in a world where illness is optional cancer, doesn't come from the heart disease. It doesn't come from a virus. If we have a way to detect these things early enough, these elements of chronic disease won't actually develop.
And that's really what our goal is. And it's truly amazing. The data we've seen, the science, the studies we've done. It really is miraculous and I'm just a very proud member of this team.
Claudia von Boeselager: I think.
being a fan family of health optimization and longevity, I always try to hone in and just the importance of testing and I, talking to some clients and things like that is that, oh, I had my routine blood test.
How do you help people get their head around the understanding of going deep and getting the amount of data that you're able to produce, versus the typical blood tests that they will get from their lo their physician once a year or once [00:41:00] every two years, even more
Morri Chowaiki: good question, I think good or bad, COVID helped us.
I think COVID advanced health care by 10 years. Think about when's the last time you thought of telemedicine. When was the last time you thought people don't want, they don't want to go to the hospital anymore. They want to get better at home. They don't want to go to the pharmacy for their medicine.
They want to go to the. There's a lot of education, it is a complex product. we do a lot of webinars. We do a lot of, education based selling. What people don't understand is these food sensitivity companies are interesting. And, you find out you're sensitive to certain foods, but why if you have leaky gut, yes, you're going to be sensitive to certain foods, but you're going to always be sensitive to them.
If you don't fix the leaky gut, we're focused on fixing the leaky gut or whatever it is that's happening. And, by analyzing, and biohacking really hacking your body and looking inside and seeing here's what's going on, [00:42:00] you can make the changes. You don't have to. That's why I say, imagine a world where illness is optional.
We can tell you everything, but if you choose to go out and still eat two big Macs, There's nothing I can do to help you, you've made that choice. I think that it really comes down to education. There is a lot of, there are a lot of naysayers out there. I think, look at the Sarah anos model and what happened there.
We're doing everything by the book. Everything is in line with all types of government and health organization, regulations and regulatory affairs. And we're, it's all about science, the science and the AI or everything and we're on it. We're on a very interesting path and it's just, it's evident now in some of the things that we've accomplished outside of the consumer division that has gotten massive worldwide attention.
And that's really where I think the entire goal is. We have now over 350,000 customers, it's all been direct to consumer. There's been no big partnerships. There's been no big retailers. That's why I came in is to make it bigger. [00:43:00] And, I know that alone, we can go real fast, but together we can go real far.
And, I think a lot of it has to do with strategic partnerships and making this something that becomes more routine. Because if you think about it, a regular blood panel tells you, okay, your cholesterol is high. What does the doctor do? Prescribes medication. Exactly. Which isn't good. And it becomes, once you start, it's never a new story.
And right now, a lot of natural paths and, HRT organizations and things like. Are very big fans of item we have over, I think 700 affiliates who promote violence. And many of them are naturopath doctors and, different types of influencers and whatnot. And, I think it is really important to get a sense of what's going on in your body and trying to fix it by way of nutrition,
and, because without knowing you're clueless and then it becomes too late, if you're able to find, , the presence of something that could [00:44:00] alert you, that there's a bigger thing going on earlier. I think they say 80% of fatal diseases are stoppable early enough.
I love this frigging world and I want to live here as long as I can. And there's no reason why can't live dog.
Claudia von Boeselager: Exactly prevention is better than cure. I even had the Bredesen on, I'm not sure if you're familiar with his work as well. It was a protocol to reverse cognitive decline and Alzheimer's, as he says, as well, it's a 20 year in the making.
Disease. And so it is completely reversible
Morri Chowaiki: and we just did. So we just did a massive study with 5,000 of our patients where we looked at, I don't want to say customers. and we looked at four chronic conditions, IBS irritable, bowel syndrome, type two diabetes. And then we went a little bit off the rails and we looked at anxiety and depression, and we told these people to just take their vitamins and eat the food, no medications.
And we looked at the clinical score of their symptoms. You're actually using like A1C and very scientific types of measurements. [00:45:00] We found in a five-month period of time that the clinical score of their symptoms for all conditions improved from 35 to 45% with no medication whatsoever. How can food affect my brain?
Come on. When you have butterflies, and you're scared or emotional, where do you feel that in your head or in your stomach, there's absolutely a connection. And we're actually doing a route, the embark on a major. For both, Alzheimer's and mild cognitive impairment as it relates to the foods you eat.
And I think there's a huge connection
Claudia von Boeselager: there is for sure, a huge connection. And I think I heard not so long ago, an interesting statistic that there's the same amount of neurons in your gut. As there isn't a dog, which we consider relatively intelligence brain and flow, but they say, it's your second brain.
And you think a lot, and the more, you connect with that. And I think people don't realize that, by taking medication in general, but even antibiotics, like second atomic bomb for the good government. Yeah,
Morri Chowaiki: no, it's another one is mouthwash. the oral microbiome [00:46:00] is the beginning of the digestive tract.
And when you eat food, your intelligent stomach says, okay, this food's coming. Your mouth just sent me a signal. I know to produce these types of enzymes because I'm getting the feeling that your meat is being chewed up there. So there's a massive amount of intelligence. Okay. What does mouthwash do?
Kills everything, so there are there's actual studies out there that show that mouthwash alcohol-based mouthwash is one of the worst offenders of chronic disease, because it's the beginning of the digestive tract. You have no healthy bacteria to do anything. And just slowly by slowly, things are deteriorating.
Claudia von Boeselager: How do you help grow back? Good mouth bacteria.
Morri Chowaiki: So we have at, we haven't, we are just starting with the oral microbiome and there's a oral, cancer product that we're coming out with, which I'll talk about separately it really has to do with nutrition. It has to do with the nutrition that's [00:47:00] right, for the condition that you have and the, or once we start coming out with saliva tests, it's going to be looking at, your oral microbiome health, your gum, health, breath, Gingervitis, things like that.
And ultimately it all comes into nutrition and. Our algorithm will say, here's your condition? Here's your score in order to improve that score, you need these foods and nutrients, probiotics, prebiotics, et cetera. And it just, for each and every one, we give a very comprehensive response on what is needed and, it's up to the patient to, or the customer to really take that up on themselves and be diligent about
Claudia von Boeselager: how do you help your let's say average customer.
You'll obviously have some who are super keen and do everything to the letter, but how do you help your average customer? Who's busy maybe as kit, like whatever it is detection is going on, how do you help them really make a change and implement?
Morri Chowaiki: So this is funny because when I started a year ago and I started digging into what was going on, and I noticed that only, I think 20% of [00:48:00] our customers who bought the kit ended up going on the supplement.
And I know we had a lot of, we had some focus groups and things like that, but knees on the ground kind of guy when it comes to getting my hands dirty. And I said, I want to start talking to customers. And so I remember filming a small video of, you just got your resolve to probably confused.
Do you want to talk to me? And we started sending that out just as a test to, to our customers. That has now turned into me talking to probably 10 customers a day. And just understanding what was going on. Most customers who were that, call it, less education of this whole world were just overwhelmed by the amount of information.
And they didn't even know where to start. Plus, as a marketer, I look at our app and I look at our website and I look and I say, okay, a customer does not know the go here. That they're here to there. We have. What ended up happening is over the last six months, we've realized there's all this incredible feedback [00:49:00] we're redesigning our app.
We're redesigning our readout, but what's more important is we realized that customers really need to have their hands held and walk through this. What happened first and foremost? I would say everybody, I talked to about 80% of them end up converting to some of the users because finally they understand it.
And we're scaling this out and doing a massive program where we're walking customers through their results over a telephone. And that's the most important thing is saying, okay, here's the bottom line. Look at your scores. They're your benchmark. There are a lot of scientific terms in here.
They'll get overwhelmed. This is what you need to worry about. Okay. The next thing you need to worry about is that. Okay, here are your avoid foods. Here are your superfoods. The common misconception is it tells me to avoid tomatoes. I'll never be able to eat tomatoes again in my life. That's not true.
It's just for a temporary period of time until you retest and you get things in order [00:50:00] your super foods, you've got 15 super foods, 2050 superfoods. Don't think you have to figure out how to eat one each and every meal possible, go out and buy a bunch of them. Make some smoothies, make some soups, keep some broth in the fridge and have a cup everyday.
Make it easy on yourself. Yeah. And there's the supplements. A lot of people don't realize this supplement formula is for them and them only. It's not a general. Okay. This is what we're thinking. Also, people don't know what to do if they're already taking something. What do I do? Yeah. So the biggest problem we have Claudia is people just get overwhelmed and they go numb and they just get stuck.
They just need a little bit of handholding and. A huge proponent to education-based selling. If you really teach, if you really guide, we started doing webinars, we started doing this telephone consultation where we're even gonna, we're even looking at having actual dieticians available, to walk people through their diet and things [00:51:00] like that.
That's really, what's important here because this is new, as even though there's 10 years, 15 years of science, the average person still doesn't know what the microbiome is and it's going to take a while to become mainstream, but it will, I have no doubt that, but it's really about, it's really about, seeing it from their point of view, And not looking at it from the eyes of, our team, which sees it all day every day.
Sometimes we're just too close to it. You've got clue in business and this applies to any business, know your audience, serve that audience.
Claudia von Boeselager: Yeah. And help them along the way as well. And I think for me also, again, because I'm in this and bio-hacking doing different things for many years, but when I got my mother who suffers from memory loss on the Bredesen protocol, it was this overwhelmed, this is too much, I can't deal with it.
And I was like, oh, it's just have to do this, that and the other, because I know it and I can register it. And so I literally had a breakdown and bearing in mind now my mother's, heading, approaching 80. And my father did he three, it was literally coming up with the daily [00:52:00] schedule, keeping it super simple.
These are the three different breakfast options. These are the things that you can do just remember this. And like step-by-step, and then in two weeks, two or three weeks times, add this part to it as well. And I think it's letting people know, Hey, it's okay to make mistakes. You don't have to be perfect all the time.
I think, and I really like that as well, that education. Component because it's like, what is the end result? What is the end goal? And really making that super granular? Like, why are you doing this, making this effort? Because of course it's easier to just, say, you know what I give up, I'm going to sit on the couch and eat potato chips.
And, I'm sure there'll be some pill at some stage. That's not the case. And then it's really letting them understand, like, when you feel that vitality and you have that energy and you can just conquer the world every day, it's such a beautiful place to be in versus worrying about which doctor's visits you have that day.
How are you gonna afford the medication? Like the nursing home, whatever it is that might be the concern. And so it's making that component so realistic
Morri Chowaiki: and it's not just, the vitamins in the food, you have to think about, okay, proper hydration, do you drink half of your body weight in [00:53:00] ounces every day?
All of it, But, if you're given this intelligence on your nutrition and you're given, a lot of people say, okay let's make recipes. You know what let's, if you know that these foods are not good for you right now, that's one step in the right direction.
Morri Chowaiki: Once in the right direction is just knowing what foods good do and what foods are going to cause adverse effects, and that's the intelligent people every single day, no matter what we do, some people are going to be able to look and feel.
Morri Chowaiki: People essentially have a choice. Once we vent the guidance, whether certain foods are good for them. That's a beginning. It's like a, it's a great enough. I have, when people like talk to site. Okay. Yeah. I took the spot. I don't want to take the vitamins. I don't want to follow the program.
I go, okay. That's interesting. Just $100 on a test. Good. Let me ask you a question. If you took, if your check engine light in your car went on, you do take the mechanic. The mechanic is going to charge you a call a hundred bucks, and they're going to stick a little scanner into your car. And it's going to tell you.
You have to fix your catalytic converter or else your car is going to die. What do you do? Or I fixed my catalyst. And then after you fix it, you stick the scanner in [00:55:00] again and if it got six, right? Yes. And then you go drive your car. Good. Interesting. So why do you take better care of your car than you do your own buddy?
Yeah. Why would you spend $200 on this test and then not do what we tell you to do? It doesn't make sense. And sometimes I challenge people like that and it's true, so it's funny. I sometimes , it, you just, sometimes people just want to know and may not change, but most people, most of our customers are taking advantage of this and really complying and are doing great,
Claudia von Boeselager: which is excellent.
And I think by the sounds of it, what you guys are doing to make it as easy as possible for people to get up to speed is just incredible offering for the one stop shop in terms of all the supplements and everything that people need as well. What have been some of the biggest, or exciting sort of success cases if you will, that you've heard or customer
Morri Chowaiki: so many things.
From, there's a been 1,000,001 people who have said their gut health has improved , a little wedding to all kinds of gastrointestinal [00:56:00] issues, funny enough skin and a bit more for us, acne psoriasis, eczema, things like that have improved drastically the Tea testimonials come in every day.
I w I do want to spend a minute on some pretty, , some real, powerful, things that have come out recently, so about, I want to say. We started noticing that, because part of what we're doing with 350,000 samples is we've got pretty amazing data. We started looking at like biomarkers, we started seeing things and we started seeing that there was a certain biomarker because we're also asking questions that all people who had a certain type of cancer and it ended up being with oral and throat cancer, we were seeing this biomarker.
So we actually took it to the next step. And we did a clinical trial with, thousands of people that were diagnosed and those that were not. And we ended up taking this technology to the FDA [00:57:00] about a year ago. And about six months ago, we were awarded breakthrough device designation, which means the FDA has found that nothing else out there exists like this and that it's potentially life-saving.
So you put, they put you at the front of the line with just a vial of spit. We can. With 95% accuracy sensitivity, and about 97% specificity diagnosed with undiagnosed detect the presence of oral or throat cancer in patients in every single stage of cancer. Wow. So right now you go to the dentist, they look inside and if they see a lesion or they see a bump, usually that's been like stage two or stage three.
Yeah. We would see it in, in the earliest possible precancerous or stage one, , stage. We are actually launching a product called cancer detect in the near future. And it's been several months that literally with just saliva, you can find this presence and now we're doing the same with every [00:58:00] other type of cancer.
You can think of breast cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, lung cancer, head and neck cancer. So again, early detection and most of the times pancreatic cancers. It's stage three, stage four, it's fatal. And imagine if we can just find the presence of it with stool, saliva, blood, that gives us that reading early on, changes everything.
Yeah. And we were the first company ever to get breakthrough device designation on this. We also have, we're working with large pharma organizations where we're licensing our microbiome traumatic transcriptomic technology, and they're developing therapeutics and vaccines. We're able to actually just like we know where the broccoli is good for you or bad for that person.
We're able to tell you as a diabetic, will Metformin work for you or not. If you have high cholesterol with and work for you or not. So right now doctors play roulette. Here are 20 medications that, for that condition, let's try one. Oh, you get side effects on that one. Okay. Let's try this one again. [00:59:00] We're actually able to tell what will work before they even try it.
We're able to test the glycemic index of foods and say, before you even try it before you even have a glucose monitor, we'll tell you what foods will cause a high A1C spike or not. So those are the areas where, you know, I think we really have a potential, we have so many going back to your other questions, so many positive testimonials, and now we've got like celebrities and really cool people joining our team.
And, Paris Hilton is an advisor of the company. She does all kinds of stuff for us, and she loves the program name. And John, my old boss, we have several others in the mix, but, we have had just such great stories and what's most important is the science. When you look at our studies and we see that the metrics of chronic conditions are coming down across a large group, that's what.
Claudia von Boeselager: It's so exciting as well. And can you just for people around the world, where is volume available? Yeah,
Morri Chowaiki: so currently viome.com V I O M E M is where you can buy all the kits. We [01:00:00] ship to, I want to say 20 total countries right now, so we don't ship everywhere, but we ship to, a lot of places in Europe and countries and all over the U S fortunately, or unfortunately our supplements are only available in the us right now.
And, we, that's just due to the fact that regulations in different countries are all different, but we're working on international, shipment formula soon. And then I do have, some interesting relationships, that we are targeting right now. some large retail chains that we're working with, some large employer groups and insurance companies, and, doctor's offices and big health organizations that are looking to start marrying as well.
But best place to go right now is by.
Claudia von Boeselager: Directly there as well. What would you say are your top five tips more from what you're seeing and what's happening across the space, but as particularly what you're doing as well,
what would be your top five tips for health optimization for people listening?
Morri Chowaiki: Great question.
I would say [01:01:00] number one would be to know what's going on test don't guess, number two would be, I think you've got to focus on more than just physical health. I think mental health is so important. So do what you gotta do. If that means taking an hour of each day or meditation or exercise or whatever it may be, that's hugely important.
Whole foods, very important. There are certain foods we should all avoid anything with artificial sweeteners, artificial additives, and preservatives and things like that. They're just, they just recap. There's such a bizarre mindset of people, especially in this country in America who, will go and eat a bunch of, fatty foods and then drink a diet Coke.
The diet Coke itself is so bad for you. And I think a big part of it too is hydration. I said it before, it's a good rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight in ounces every day. [01:02:00] There's a lot, , it's annoying going thing every five minutes, but it
Claudia von Boeselager: really means I always drank a lot.
Morri Chowaiki: And, I think, moderate exercise and good sleep is important. And really right now, I think, COVID also has done something really interesting and that's given us all a big. It's given us all a moment to just, can we calibrate? And I saw a beautiful ad the other day for the lab, which is a website that is devoted to, employment placement and recruiting.
And it was this guy who, had been on the road five days a week and away from his family who now has been home for two years and has decided that he doesn't want to travel anymore. So how do you find the right job for you now that you weren't be, full with your family? Do what you love.
I've had one job in my entire life that I hated and it lasted a week if you're not jumping out of bed in the morning, because you're so excited to [01:03:00] do what we do.
What can I say? That's not a way that you, no one should like, do what you love because. Doing what you love and having a positive mindset and happiness around you enjoy is not only healthy for mental health, very healthy for physical health and longevity too. In a lot of people I know I don't want to try to speak from an ivory tower.
I've worked very hard to get to the point where I have this, I spent years working, cutting meat and restaurants at four in the morning to get where I am today. So you sometimes have to do the grunt work, but shouldn't be work that you don't like. And so I think that's a huge part of it is, is really trying to manage, listen, money's great, it doesn't necessarily mean success.
Money drives you to your same problems and just the brand. But if you're not doing what you love and if you're not success to me is, making a difference in this world. The Venus said this multiple times, if you're not working every single day to improve humanity [01:04:00] and make a difference in people's lives, just a parasite.
So what a beautiful way to live, to wake up every morning and help people and serve them. That's my mission is just to help people. And I'll be honest, I've worked at amazing companies. I've worked with the most of the most innovative people in companies on the planet. I know with Viome, I am actually improving humanity every single day.
Claudia von Boeselager: It's really exciting. Thank you for sharing those tips and that inspiration as well. Just before we finish up, I'm just worried that the time that we're having such a great presentation, but what are some of the most exciting trends and developments that you're seeing across the longevity and health optimization space?
Morri Chowaiki: It's all tech, for me, it's all tech, it's the ARRA rings, right? It's the metaverse yeah, it's the, it's the news, it's the Viome it's, it's technology that, I was a star Trek fan growing up, and I [01:05:00] remember the little, the little device that they would just scan you up and down and say, okay, this is what you got going on.
It's happening, we're actually getting there. Every single year we're seeing technology that just if I don't see cancer eradicated in my lifetime in the next 10 years, I'm going to be shocked
Claudia von Boeselager: and you as well, that's a big call, but I agree. We're definitely on the way there. And it's almost the biggest challenge I would argue is getting people to test.
I'm getting people to wake up to the possibility that actually they have so much control
Morri Chowaiki: and it being affordable. We started biome, and our tests were a thousand dollars our tests are now, either a hundred or $200, depending on which one you do, by the way we make no money on our tests, we break even, or we lose money every single time.
We make positive revenue on the supplements and then, the other stuff we're doing outside of the industry, I think more companies have to have that mindset.[01:06:00] We have to all work together. And one of the things I love about being an entrepreneur is the collaboration and the cooperation.
Truly see a partnership with entrepreneurs where they're happy for you if you're succeeding. Sometimes of course there's competition or whatever, but, I think that the technology is there, there has to be, more focused on stopping the obstacles. There are a lot of obstacles.
We all heard, big pharma doesn't want to cure cancer, and things like that because available, losing all the money and pharmaceutical drugs and things like that. I just, I think that people are demanding to be healthier, longer. They want to live long. They want to be healthier.
I think that it's and there are more and more opportunities now to gain education and gain data about. Okay. And when you do that, and you have that research on me, just think about this, we've had the analytics forever to,[01:07:00] analyze retail spending or our car or our education and stats and this and that.
And the other, when have you last seen your body on a spreadsheet? We just don't do that.
Claudia von Boeselager: It's the most valuable asset we have vehicle. Yeah, exactly.
Morri Chowaiki: But I think we have a perception that all will be well and faith in that might be the way to live. You might be very happy living that way and saying, listen, I don't care.
And I just want to live this way. That's fine. But be true to who you are, and, but I do really think that, and that's why I've been very. Very lucky to be at the forefront of sort of life sciences and health and tech for the last 30 years. That's a, it's a very cool place to be.
I just know some amazing things are coming and we're just getting smarter. And, we have more tools at our disposal. People have more tools at their disposal today, than they [01:08:00] ever did, and it's more affordable, but we have a long way to go. Cause there are a lot of populations that just don't have the means to ever do something like Viome, but it's our mission to keep bringing down the cost as much as possible.
And the goal would be to make it available with everybody's.
Claudia von Boeselager: Yeah. I love that. What a fantastic mission, Maury, and with the being together as well and everyone else at the company, I'm sure working
Morri Chowaiki: great random woman who introduced us to, I, I've
Claudia von Boeselager: lost, you need to find her again because it's in a gratitude that needs to
Morri Chowaiki: be good
Claudia von Boeselager: for listeners wanting to better understand more about what the gut microbiome is and, just to familiarize themselves, where's a good place to stop.
Morri Chowaiki: We D we have a lot of good information on our website. There's a learn tab where it has a lot of data. We do webinars. In fact, I'm going to be doing one tomorrow and hosting a webinar tomorrow with our team. We have a, I think it's now a five-part series called signal in the noise.
And, it's really about, there's a lot of data that you can Google, but, our sites are really good place for it. And, there's some great [01:09:00] people out there who are not only incredibly educational, but are also big fans of biome. Dave Asprey is one, who's a pretty well-known guy.
Nevine does a ton of podcasts. He's looking him up, you're going to get a lot of information. It is it's, it was even hard for me, before, really understand. I I had to listen, it just, it comes down to being willing listen to the experts.
The most important thing that I find is that you have to find somebody who can explain it at a level that is not PhD, because once you get into the ones that explain it, you got lost, but, really understanding it. There are some wonderful resources out there, but yeah, definitely our site has a lot of great, what is the microbiome is like the first question we get asked and we explained it very well.
Claudia von Boeselager: Excellent. And the people want to follow what you're up to and Viacom, or those media handles. Where can people see what you're up to?
Morri Chowaiki: Yeah. You can always find me on LinkedIn. And then, my social media handles are my first name and my birthday, 1111. So Maury 11, 11 is my handle. So I expect lots of birthday presents [01:10:00] on the member.
Claudia von Boeselager: Very good. More. Do you have any final ask recommendation or any parting thoughts for my audience?
Morri Chowaiki: No. I just want to say thank you so much. If people are interested in learning more on very accessible, I love talking to people I'm I, I do a lot in the world of, philanthropy.
I'm on the board of several, big organizations and, it's just, let me just say the most important thing is to somebody do something every day to help, because you can never imagine what's on the other end of that. You can never, I don't know if it's because I've lived my life in a certain way that this, this karma has happened.
I have no idea I have faith. It does, I, do things to help others. That's what's the most important thing is that's a meaningful life, and isn't that what it's all about is living a meaningful life. At the end of your 80 years, if you haven't really helped people with.
I don't know. I just would say, if, let's all do something to help somebody else today and everything
Claudia von Boeselager: love [01:11:00] that. Thank you so much more for coming on. Today's such, it's such a
Morri Chowaiki: pleasure. I really appreciate. And here we ha we hopefully have a lifelong friendship and it came out of nowhere and here we go.
And that's the other thing I would say is you never know. And it's like what I said in the very beginning about, good luck being in the right place and the right time and opening your mouth up. You never ever know don't burn bridges, get to know people, especially with COVID.
It was so funny. It's like people are sitting there going, oh my gosh, It's the, probably the first time in history that every single person, is dealing with pain and suffering. And they're all sitting at home, doing nothing, pick up the goddamn phone and call these people and make a connection. I have more business that has come up in the last two years from people that I had done business with in five years.
We're now at a different company who got me in the door who had it's all based on relationships. The best business relationships are friendships with a piece of paper work on the friendship. Yeah.
Claudia von Boeselager: Such wise advice, Maury viewer, full of wisdom. Thank [01:12:00] you so much for sharing with us today.
Morri Chowaiki: I the audio again, thank you so much for having me.
I really appreciate it. And I hope you have a beautiful week. Thank you.