Eric Stopper 5:26
Nice, nice. So how big is the team now how big has MyoStorm grown to?
Jonothan DiPeri 5:33
Oh, honestly, hasn’t grown a ton just because we’re still in that stage of trying to stay as lean as possible. We got probably 10 people involved, but only two of us full time. And we manage as much of it as we can, right by ourselves, but we’re looking at we’re looking at growing here pretty soon in the hiring process. So we’re tired in the hiring process with two other people right now. So
Eric Stopper 5:58
nice, very nice. So I want to I want to take a couple of steps back. So a lot of the folks that listen to our show are either already selling on Amazon or want to sell on Amazon or they just want to do e commerce in general, not necessarily Amazon focused. And they listen for folks who have kind of run the gambit. So you were at this vibration lab at BYU and were there other products kind of on the table other other research ideas that you could have pursued? What were those and then why did you decide on the on this ball design this Meteor?
Jonothan DiPeri 6:34
Yeah, so kind of the original concept was just vibration right and it started off as the question what you know apparatus do we use to deliver this vibration it could have been anything right? It could have been a massage gun, it could have been a ball could have been a roller could have been a pad. And that’s where we just kind of started think taking what’s going to be the most effective and useful and versatile way. To use this because there’s whole body vibration platforms, there’s big vibration tools, but what’s something that we could really use for localized areas areas of the body because a lot of research has been done on full body vibration, like standing on a platform, not so much until recently on localized vibration, like applying it to a specific point. And that’s really what are we wanted to pursue in our research. So we wanted something that could deliver vibration to a small area, pretty much anywhere in the body that we decided we wanted to study, whether it’s the foot or the neck or the face or the legs. Then when I started speaking to Shaquille about it and kind of started talking to him about hey, what could be something that does well in the market, the massage ball just started make a lot more sense one because it’s extremely versatile and portable, doesn’t take a lot of space, and you can use it pretty much anywhere on your body. You know, however creative you are as long as you can use it where a lot of other mechanisms require some Somebody else to hold the device and and then it also provides this trigger point side of the therapy. So there’s three forms of therapy therapy that the Meteor provides our product and as heat, right, the vibration, and then what’s kind of commonly referred to as trigger point therapy, it’s kind of a misnomer, but essentially usually using pressure, like massage to release tension in the muscles. So the ball just kind of ended up making the most sense to deliver all forms of those therapy in a way that was familiar to that athletic and sport market, but could still have application in chronic pain where we felt our bigger market was.
Eric Stopper 8:43
Yeah, that makes sense. So do you guys have have more products in the pipeline? That
Jonothan DiPeri 8:48
Yeah, so we, yeah, right. Yeah, we’ve got like four, four other products that are in various stages. We’re hoping to launch at least one this year, potentially two or three. So we’ll see.
Eric Stopper 9:02
And are they? Are they leveraging the exact same research? Are you guys breaking out into other other areas?
Jonothan DiPeri 9:09
Yeah, same same research. Some, you know, a couple of the product ideas we have are just variations of what we currently have that are again in a mechanism that’s useful to different sets of people, right. So our current product might not be right for everybody. And so we’re making variations of it that we’ve received from customer feedback. And then what’s currently out in the market, that it’s extremely popular. We’re kind of taking our take on some of those products, putting our research behind it and making them better
Eric Stopper 9:40
so so you chose you chose Kickstarter. Did you use like, I know there’s Kickstarter agencies out there. I used one for a previous business of mine. Did you guys leverage any of that or was it totally solo?
Jonothan DiPeri 9:53
Yeah, we did. We use a I don’t even remember the the one that we used, but we did use it. Kickstarter agency, but only for the last week of our funding. We kind of didn’t want to use an agency, we because again, it was one of these final forms of validation for us, we just wanted to push it ourselves and see how it could kind of grow organically and see what the interest would be just from from that community. But we did want to run some ads just to see what the response was to ads. I think that we were kind of worried that the Kickstarter companies, they have this giant database of people that are really loyal to Kickstarter, not necessarily a great representation of who our customer would be. So that that little, we wanted to run it for a week, we just kind of wanted to see how it did on its own for the first couple weeks through our efforts and through we wanted to push and then just for kind of kicks and giggles. We kicked that last week off with with this agency who’s just kind of waiting for us to pull the trigger to see how that performed as well. And so it was good that we got information on how we could perform just organically doing it our own and then how we could perform a little bit with with some help. And so there’s good information for us.
Eric Stopper 11:07
Okay, so so that makes a lot of sense. I mean, was it a huge lift? Did the the ads make a significant impact on the last? I mean, you said you tripled your goal right? So you were somewhere around $20,000 for your goal, maybe a little less? Yeah. Where were you at? Like right when you hired the agency?
Jonothan DiPeri 11:25
That’s a good question. I can’t remember feels like ages ago but I’m pretty sure we had met our goal before the ads started. So it was all just cream on top. But it was definitely a big boost and that last week I think we you know, we did 40 grand or something like that. So it was
Eric Stopper 11:42
pretty good. We will you do it again, a Kickstarter? Are you gonna get funding?
Jonothan DiPeri 11:46
It’s a good question to like, literally for a couple hours this week. I’ve been meeting with my team just talking about this next product that we’re wanting to launch and we’ve been going back and forth on whether we want to do a Kickstarter or not. I think we we will, partly because we feel a lot of gratitude and loyalty to those original Kickstarter backers in that community for really getting us to where we are today is really great. So we want to offer them some more incentives and getting a sneak peeks at our at our products with with good deals as well as continuing to leverage that marketplace because you can get seen by so many people on Kickstarter that you wouldn’t otherwise so it’s a nice platform, especially if you’ve already had a successful campaign. Usually you just keep building upon that traction and they do better. Better so I think we’re leaning towards probably launching our future products on Kickstarter, but well we’ll figure it out.
Eric Stopper 12:36 Yeah, I’ve seen like brands like nomadic the bag I think they’ve probably done six Kickstarters at this point. And they’re they all look very similar. No offense to nomadic but they just keep smashing it. So you went through this competition Gambit, I want to speak to kind of both of the audience’s that listen to us. Some of these guys are students right some some of these folks are very much in this university. Gambit. I think, as you said, doing these competitions, I went through them as well. Do you think that you would have pursued the business if you hadn’t have won that? So Si, the student Innovator of the Year competition?
Jonothan DiPeri 13:20
Definitely not. Really. Okay, that was a huge catalyst. Yeah. There’s, I guess, a possibility because outside of the competitions, there’s still some great mentorship provided, you know, through the entrepreneurial programs and stuff that we were involved with, and we were kind of involved with that simultaneously to this competition, but the competition was really like, I think that first validation point that was like, hey, this could be real. It was still just kind of a fun idea, like, you know, fantasy kind of in the back pocket. And so we weren’t that cash. I think so.
Eric Stopper 13:51
Right. How much How much money did you end up taking home in big checks from the university?
Jonothan DiPeri 13:57
Honestly, I think overall, we only did one like three three grand, but to us at the time, it was like Wow. So
Eric Stopper 14:03
yeah, milk and honey, you’re a poor college student and you had like a you had a little a little boy. Right? And then did you have another kid on the way as well during the all this time?
Jonothan DiPeri 14:11
Yeah. So it was a kind of a crazy, crazy time for me, you know, I was busy with the engineering program. My wife just had a little boy. And it was crazy. I’m sure your dad, you know, kind of how that goes. But a lot of health complications with for my wife as a result of that, you know, sleepless nights engineering program and trying to run a business is pretty, pretty hefty. And then pretty shortly after I got pregnant again, with twins that we ended up losing around 30 weeks that was just kind of all in the midst of these competitions and starting the business. And so it was really tough to try to decide, you know, am I going to pursue this this business and to take on that risk? Or am I going to try to find another job and go for with the engineering recruiting? There’s just so many factors That plan was a it was a kind of crazy stressful time, for sure.
Eric Stopper 15:04
Yeah. And you had mentors, right? That probably helped you through this through this whole thing? Is that what made the difference? Or was did your wife just say, like, keep on pressing? or was she kind of on the other side saying like, like, forget this, like, let’s get something super stable because life is life is nuts.
Jonothan DiPeri 15:20
Honestly, you know, my wife has been my biggest supporter, biggest rock biggest fan, she’s just got a lot of faith in me, you know, and, and just just hoping she was always like, you know, I trust that the choices that you make, well, we’ll be all be alright, you know, we’ll be okay. So you do whatever you feel like you want to do and I’ll support you. You know, she’s never questioned my choices. You know, when I told her that I think there’s an opportunity here, she’s like, great, you know, I’m backing to 100%. And that’s been a huge blessing because I know that there’s not it’s not always the case. And so that’s been a big support to me for sure. Throughout all this, that she just trusted that, if I chose to do it, you know, I would find a way to make make it successful no matter what I did. So that was right. Yeah.
Eric Stopper 16:09
And I’m guessing you were probably second guessing. Just about every decision that you’re making at that time.
Jonothan DiPeri 16:14
Oh, yeah. Yeah, I think I mean, honestly, I still have it. I think it’s, I’ve talked to other entrepreneurs, I think it’s a similar kind of thing where a wake up some days just so confident, like, yeah, we’re gonna take over the world and the next day, like, what am I doing,
Unknown Speaker 16:27
I’m gonna close my doors.
Jonothan DiPeri 16:30
I still I still have that like one day to the next, you know, every other day. I’m just either waking up confident or like, stressed out in my mind and slowly but surely, I have more confident days. But I think that maybe being able to consciously make the choice to continue to push through some of the anxieties and the stress and the uncertainties is what makes or breaks entrepreneurs. So
Eric Stopper 16:50
yeah, I definitely I definitely think so too, and I’ve and I felt that so I want to talk about the the actual Shark Tank experience. So when I was when I was doing my my nanotechnology business they Shark Tank had reached out to me the executive producers and it sounds like did a very similar thing for you was this was this after the point that they kind of did away with the no matter what we’re going to take equity in your business if you come on the show I know that was a that was a thing for a while
Jonothan DiPeri 17:24
yeah and I don’t know I can’t really speak to this too much you know depending on what Shark Tank tells other people because what they told us really clearly from the beginning is that like your you’ll hear all these rumors that will take equity and that’s never been the case. I think for the first season. They did it but I don’t even think it was mandatory. We that’s what they told us getting involved. So there was no Shark Tank. Their only interest is for the entertainment side of it. They’re totally separate from the businesses and that in the deals and the sharks. They’re really just in it for the for the show in the entertainment
Eric Stopper 18:00
Yeah, I think they I think they do a fabulous job. Now you were in there for, like an hour, right? Like it was
Jonothan DiPeri 18:06
just pitch. Somewhere between, you know, 30 minutes and an hour, it felt like two minutes. Right. But you’re in there for for a while, and they only show, you know, a few minutes of it on TV. So but yeah, there’s definitely some more negotiating and behind the scenes and discussion and the sharks always have a lot more questions that maybe just aren’t as intriguing to the general Shark Tank viewer base. But as important for an investing pitch so
Eric Stopper 18:29
and they you would say they take it pretty seriously, right? Like they’re actually going through and saying this is this is an opportunity that I’m trying to pursue and I trust that like, Is it is it Shark Tank that does the preliminary screenings? Is it like the sharks Do they have their own producers and people that vet these different companies to decide whether they’re going to come through?
Jonothan DiPeri 18:49
Now from what I understand the sharks have no idea who’s about to walk in front of them.
Eric Stopper 18:55
They get a they get like a business plan as you’re walking out though, right? Or something like that. Maybe
Jonothan DiPeri 19:00
I don’t even know if I don’t even know if they do that if they do this,
Eric Stopper 19:03
like totally cool. Yeah, yep. Wow, man that just speaks to the producers of shark tank. What a good job. Yeah. So tell me tell me kind of Well, actually, I have a specific question. So there’s, there’s a section in the Shark Tank episode and we’ll put it in the show notes as well. So everyone can go and watch it. Where you and your co founders kind of like, like, gosh, like we’re gonna like we’re gonna plow for a second and try to come to a decision to decide which deal you want to take. And at that time, you had Mark Cuban had did his childish thing where he was like, Dad, like if you hear any other deals I’m gonna be out. And you had Laurie. Mr. Wonderful. And then Matt Higgins was on there doing like a like a special guest.
Jonothan DiPeri 19:44
Do you remember how that conversation went? What you talked about with your founders? I do. Yeah, it’s actually pretty pretty clear. In my mind, I think what what actually came out in the conversation what was going on my head may have been different things, but it wasn’t an easy change. Twice. For me I was, you know really tempted to consider some of the other offers and was a lot more cautious. I think my co founders specifically Shaquille he felt really confident and it was really great to have him there in the circle because we had discussed kind of our plan and what we wanted to do and what offers we would want to take if we got it and he was really good at just like sticking to that and doing what made the most sense. I loved Matt Higgins, I just you know, was would have loved to do a deal with him. But at the end of the day, it was kind of Laurie’s offer, and Kevin’s offer were better. They give us a better valuation. They gave us I think a better potential and then so it just became between Kevin and Lori and I think we had kind of identified Laurie as a great potential partner in the sense that we felt we could do really well on TV because our products very demonstrable. She actually understands I think our market like we I don’t know if it actually showed it in the in the episode but we talked about our market is actually women that are you know, late 30s and above that are just trying to live healthy active lifestyles and reduce pain maybe post pregnancy things like that. So even though we gear and market towards this kind of fitness II feel yes to our customers aren’t actually athletes, they’re just people that want to feel good. And we just found that that segment of the market responds well, to the fitness vibe. So we felt that Lori could provide a female perspective on our, our true customer base that we just kind of aren’t as familiar with at that time. The all of us men
Eric Stopper 21:34
Yeah, yeah. Three Three male co founders. And by that point on Shark Tank, you knew that these were your customers this this kind of demographic women in their in their mid to late 30s. Yeah. Okay. Wow, that’s, that’s interesting. So in terms of market though, oftentimes, a company like MyoStorm, especially one that’s that single product or like a subsidiary of a big medical company, for instance. They’ll start by selling exclusive To like chiropractors and therapists and coaches and stuff like that, you guys decided to go direct to consumer. Did you ever consider doing the the exclusively to these practitioners? That kind of business model?
Jonothan DiPeri 22:15
Yeah, for sure. And honestly, it’s still a consideration with a lot of our products. Part of the reason is because a lot of our research and our research team that’s continuing to come out with stuff. A lot of research really is based in a clinical scenario, right. And so a lot of our research is based around our devices and our technology, solving, acute pain, which has tremendous benefits and the clinical side of things. It’s a little bit trickier to currently tap into that market, just that channels a little bit more complicated did and the regulations and finding the right model, but we’re constantly working on it and we think that we’ll probably have certain products that are exclusive to that clinical setting. But we really wanted to make a research, you know, scientifically backed product that was good enough for athletes but accessible to everyone. And that’s still kind of part of our vision is we want to help everybody, you know, just live life to its fullest potential, right? So enabling anybody, whether you have chronic pain and you’re and you’re older or you’re an athlete that just wants to improve your performance. To us, it’s all the same, we just want to help people feel better and live life happier. So we wanted to make a really accessible product. So we felt like by you know, making certain products just exclusive to, to this clinical field would eliminate some of our potential customers cuz we really feel like anyone can be but we have definitely went back and forth. You know, there’s certain products that would really make sense in this in this clinical setting. So yeah, well just keep an eye out for that in the future.
Eric Stopper 23:57
Is the does does the target at become kind of myopic, right? Where you’re, you’re only focused on a specific type of person. And it may be misses some of the other folks like how do you dynamically target all these different demographics that you can service?
Jonothan DiPeri 24:14
Yeah. So that’s a great question and something we’re continuing to learn ourselves, right. And that’s one of the biggest challenges I feel like our company and brand has faced is trying to decide like, you know, do we just try to serve everybody? Or do we focus. And so we’re doing a lot of learning still. So definitely all the audience that we target, we have specific material that we’re testing, you know, with different groups of people. We’re really trying to find what works best for us still, the fitness market for us has always probably been our, our strongest point to market to just because of all the traction, we have the, you know, the validation we have with the professional athletes that are on board with us. And so I think it’ll take time for us to really shift and capitalize On other channels, or other segments of the market, but we’re definitely constantly creating content and testing different content for different fields, different markets. And I think eventually, we will probably have to try to focus or potentially you know, sub brand to different segments of the market.
Eric Stopper 25:21
Right now you’re a mechanical engineer, which means you are a Tinker just inherently you like to build stuff. And most engineers that I’ve met, they are really, really, really, really focused on on one thing, and then they’ll see something really shiny. And it’s all that they can do to keep from running after that other idea. Have you experienced that during this this whole time at MyoStorm?
Jonothan DiPeri 25:48
Yes, and no, I feel like that tendency is definitely part of me, but I feel like I’ve been pretty good at reining it in. I think I have a list of like 40 other ideas that are just kind of weird. To be tackled when, you know, this journey kind of ends for me, which may not be for a very long time. So I have these ideas all the time, but I really do everything I can to focus on what we’re doing now and to making sure that we’re executing Well, before I shift my focus. It’s definitely a temptation though. So
Eric Stopper 26:19
I definitely feel that so I found that in talking to all these product companies, sometimes their success, oftentimes I’d say is, is tied to like landing a big what I would call an anchor client, like Walmart or in your category Dick’s Sporting Goods, right? Like you get on the shelves at Dick’s. You’ve probably like you’ve made it right you’re gonna you’re gonna get some revenue and some POS Did you guys have any of these early ones where you just landed a big brick and mortar contract?
Jonothan DiPeri 26:51
No, no, honestly, most of our businesses all just been ecommerce, the brick and mortar stuff. We’ve gone back and forth on what our strategy You should be approaching that we’ve definitely considered some big boxes. And obviously, being involved with Laurie we considered you know, Bed Bath and Beyond and some of these other places that she has connections with. But for us, it never felt right for our brand to go into any of these big box stores and this mass distribution, kind of the the marketplace that we’re addressing right now. They tend to shop at like the specialty stores. So like specialty running stores, so where you go and get your running shoes, right athletes and people are coming in. We liked that model a little bit better because we have closer more intimate relationships with the each of the stores individually, we can kind of control because our product is like demonstrable in a way like you people want to feel it, you know, before they really sold on buying it. It just made a lot more sense to be in these smaller stores that could have demo products out and that the reps can be trained to kind of talk about it in conjunction with other things that are going on. So we kind of ended up avoiding into steering away from really trying to push like a big box sale. And we’re focusing on many specialty stores and word travels fast and you know, we have dozens of those guys reaching out to us pretty regularly. So
Eric Stopper 28:15
good good. So ecommerce in general, what has been the single most influential strategy that you have applied to grow your online presence?
Jonothan DiPeri 28:30
Um, honestly, we’re pretty young. And we have like a handful of strategies that we’re discussing and really trying to launch for us to Shark Tank’s really carried us through to now. And what I mean by that is like after our Shark Tank episode aired, we just had a tremendous jump in traffic that lasted pretty much through January. And even then, for our advertising, no matter how many different ads that we put out. Our clips or clips of shark tank that we use in our ads like outperform everything else. Wow phenomenally. So it’s just like you know, no matter how cool or great of an ad we try to think of, it’s still the Shark Tank brand name that’s bringing us a lot of our momentum. So we just haven’t really thought to to mess with that too much yet.
Eric Stopper 29:16
Have you ever tried showing the setting of Shark Tank an ad but not actually showing like the logo and the state and the sharks to see if it’s the logo or if it’s just kind of like the pitch setting that does the trick to convert people?
Jonothan DiPeri 29:30
That’s a good idea. We haven’t we haven’t a ton we have like a couple of images from Shark Tank that we’ve used and then some clips of the videos that they released to us but we’ve never really tried to change that up. We just always use the same ones but I think it’s a great idea to kind of test to try to test that out and see because we’re technically allowed to use their logo anywhere. Oh, interesting to make sure that Yeah,
Eric Stopper 29:54
I almost wonder if I staged like a Shark Tank set. And I make it look like I was on Shark Tank. I wonder. I wonder if that would increase my conversion rate.
Jonothan DiPeri 30:04
Do you think the video though? Like shows the sharks and stuff does perform better than the stills and everything still so I don’t know. But yeah, it’s an interesting thought.
Eric Stopper 30:15
We’ll have to see I’ll have to test it and if anybody listening wants to test it out with me and you can validate the hypothesis here. Let’s let’s give you a free Alexa, tweet at me at Eric stopper and we’ll see what we can do. Jonothan, anything else that you want that you want to tell our listeners? What are you working on? Where should I send everybody?
Jonothan DiPeri 30:35
Right now, we’re we’re really busy just really trying to revamp our content. Again, when Shark Tank hit B. We were pretty young in the process and hadn’t really built our brand that much. And it kind of caught off the success caught us off guard. So we’ve just been catching up really since since Shark Tank hit and now that we’ve kind of settled down and are standing on our feet and getting our feet planted. Really trying to build the brand and develop content that delivers the messaging that’s consistent with our ideals and values, which I don’t think we’ve done. Well today because we’ve just been focused on focusing on staying afloat with the influx from Shark Tank orders. But we’re doing a lot on our website, myostorm.com. We’re constantly trying to release blogs and content. We’re revamping a lot of a lot of campaigns right now. We are doing a big giveaway right now. The charitable side of our business is really important to us. It’s one of the things that as founders we kind of all agreed on, from the very beginning that we always wanted, giving back to the community to be an important part of our brand. So right now we’re actually doing a nomination giveaway. If you find us on social media, you can see our posts on that, where we’re giving away some of our recovery tools to people who are in need. So Jared Ward, who’s an Olympic marathoner, who was one of our founders that came on Shark Tank, our planet originally was to do the speaking circuit probably in our local communities to start by maybe doing some traveling where we go to high schools and he would speak about health and fitness and cross country and the, you know, the Olympic dream and just trying to inspire the youth and then we are going to be giving away these recovery tools to those underfunded sports programs. With everything that’s kind of going on in the world right now, we’re not doing some of those visits. So we decided to just run an online nomination giveaway. So if you know anyone whose training has been affected, maybe a high school athlete that you know, isn’t doesn’t have access to their training room anymore, isn’t meeting with their team as regularly. Or maybe somebody you know who’s in chronic pain that doesn’t have as easy access to their therapists and chiropractors and things like that. We’re asking people to nominate someone they know who’s in need of these recovery devices that can help reduce pain and help people continue on their recovery goals. That’s something We’re doing right now we’re planning to launch a lot more campaigns like that in the future. So you can follow us on social media. It’s really easy to find just MyoStorm. And then on our website, we launched a lot of that information as well.
Eric Stopper 33:10
Perfect. Yeah. As part of the global spread joy campaign. The Meteor is $50 off right now, right? Correct. Correct. All right. Awesome. Jonothan thank you so much for coming on the show.
Unknown Speaker 33:22
Thanks for listening to the Buy Box Experts podcast, be sure to click subscribe, check us out on the web, and we’ll see you next time.