March 10, 2018
Meet Maneesh Sethi.
Several years ago, Maneesh invented a device called Pavlok out of necessity: since he was young, he has had trouble concentrating. Maneesh studied psychology at Stanford under the legendary BJ Fogg, where he learned the basic principles of behavior change. He left Stanford to pursue a successful stint as a nomadic blogger (hackthesystem.com), during which his struggle to concentrate on writing led him to hire an assistant to sit next to him and slap him every time he got off task – leading to a viral video that garnered hundreds of thousands of views and a productivity increase of 400%. Inspired by this, Maneesh set out to create a less painful but just as effective way of boosting productivity and breaking bad habits, and in 2013 he started Pavlok.
Since I first met Maneesh when rooming with him at a health conference, and learned of his “Pavlok” device that we delve into in this episode, he's been trying to make Pavlok a full solution for behavior change. This means asking what someone wants to change, adding reward and punishment, and keeping people accountable. Pavlok 2 is the next evolution of what he is trying to do: upgrade humanity.
The latest iteration of Pavlok Ecosystem includes The Device, The Software, and the Behavioral Currency: Volts. Maneesh recently rebuilt Pavlok 2 from the ground up, adding 7+ days of battery life, customizable stimuli, motion and gesture tracking, and upgraded bluetooth connectivity. In addition, Pavlok 2 tracks your sleep, learns your gestures and patterns, and can remind you with a vibration, beep, or zap to start and stop doing behaviors – like a personal coach, on your wrist. He also created the milanese magnetic strap, which he claims makes it the most comfortable wearable you've ever felt, and is also tying the Apple Watch to the Pavlok Band.
Pavlok connects to your phone via Bluetooth (iOS/Android App). The Pavlok Core App connects the device to your phone. The App itself is similar to an App Store: you start off with the basic apps (Alarms, Sleep Tracking, the Bad Habit Intro Course). Maneesh has about ten different Pavlok Apps available right now. New ones are constantly being made by him, his partners, and his developers.
He's also added what he calls “Volts”. Volts are a digital currency that rewards you for positive behaviors. Volts are earned by contributing to the community and performing healthy behaviors that you enjoy Volts can be used to unlock apps and products in our platform or to buy goods and services – for example: courses, coaching, entertainment, and more.
How are Volts related to Pavlok? 1. The Pavlok App is includes community and resources for positive behavioral change; and 2. The Pavlok wearable (not required) tracks and trains your behavior automatically. Maneesh calls it your “24/7/365 personal coach.” Volts are a digital currency (buy-in only) for the next six months or so. Afterwards, they will become a crypto currency (buy-in, cash-out).
During our discussion, you'll discover:
-Why Maneesh hired a girl to follow him around and slap him in the face…[18:50]
-The inside story of Maneesh's Shark Tank experience (and how he made Mr. Wonderful cry)…[22:25 & 30:30]
-How Maneesh created a wearable that reinforces both good habits and punishes bad habits while tying in a cryptocurrency…[26:20]
-How you can use Pavlok to very quickly cut a sugar habit…[37:55]
-How you can use Pavlok to teach yourself how to do squats (and any workout) more consistently…[45:25]
-Why Ben chews on an apple tree stick…[46:35]
-And much more!
Resources from this episode:
–IWillTeachYouToBeRich.com (Maneesh's brother Ramit Sethi's website)
–HackTheSystem.com (Maneesh Sethi's website)
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Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Maneesh or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!