For those who don't know, Michael is, before anything else, father of two sons, Leander and Solomon. He is CEO of Maple, a family tech startup looking to help families free up time and spend more quality time together.
Before launching Maple, Michael was the founder of Kit, a fully automated virtual marketing assistant for small business owners. Before being acquired by Shopify, Kit was live in 30+ different countries and helped small businesses all over the world. After the acquisition, he then became a director in Shopify where he led product and marketing technology for 4 years.
Michael is also an angel investor, small business enthusiast, and considers himself to be a bit of a survivalist. He had amazing personal and professional experiences as an entrepreneur and business leader and is here today to share some of these learnings with us.
Here are some questions I asked Michael:
You describe yourself to be a bit of a survivalist. What do you mean by that?
You had your first professional experience when you were 7 years old, working on your uncle's video store. How was it to have this experience so early in life in a family-owned business?
Do you remember what you did with the first money you earned? What did you buy with the money?
You mentioned that being a father is the hardest, yet most important job you have ever had. How do you assess Michael the founder before and after paternity?
Your parents sacrificed a lot to give you and your sister the best you could have. It's obvious you appreciate it very much. How do you want your children to perceive you as a father?
You grew up in a very small town in California. But living in California at that point in time must have had huge effects on your tech entrepreneurial formation. How do you think growing up in such a vivid tech geography shaped your life?
Do you have any habits such as journaling, meditation, exercise, that make you feel more balanced for your day-to-day activities?
You are at the very beginning of your mission to make parent's lives easier at Maple. What do you think is the success threshold for Maple, what is your long-term vision?
Is there something that you started doing recently that has significantly improved your life?
Is there something that you think is true, but others don't?
This was a great chat, and I'm sure you will find it extremely insightful.
“When you and your opponent are engaged in combat which is dragging on with no end in sight, it is crucial that you should come up with a completely different technique. By refreshing your mind and techniques as you continue to fight your opponent, you will find an appropriate rhythm-timing with which to defeat him. Whenever you and your opponent become stagnant, you must immediately deploy a different method of dealing with him to overcome him”. — The Book of Five Rings — (Miyamoto Musashi 1584-1645).
“My policy is to have no Policy” (Abraham Lincoln 1809-1865).
What will make you victorious at the end of Kali Yuga is your adaptation ability.
Coming up with a completely different strategy to get what you want is often necessary.
Old formulas are useless. When preparing for battle, be ready to fight and break all necessary rules, so victory is absolute.
In the new era that has started post-COVID, you must understand and comprehend: the only form of endless abundance is cooperation.
The human spirit, in its persistence, is capable of great achievements.
Very few understand the true power of their minds and how to work with creative energies properly.
A global pandemic in which everyone is connected but fails to work together towards a rational resolution is a remarkable opportunity to build.
The complete collapse of financial institutions, democracies, companies, public trust, the media, partnerships, marriages, nature ecosystems, etc. — all culminating in the destruction of all destructions: the identification with your ego.
Connect with your Atman.
Your responsibility as a builder and leader, combined with your ability to love and protect, should spell light in this world.
Remember that as a founder or investor, you have the power of leverage, to not only embrace change but achieve anything you want.
Recall that absolute victory calls upon absolute measures.
Fight the battle until the end. Be present. Adapt to the strategies with calm and determination.
In this episode l have a chat with Dr. Cameron Sepah. Cam is not an ordinary founder.
Cameron Sepah holds a B.A. in Cognitive Neuroscience from Harvard and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from UCLA. He's a Clinical Professor at UCSF, where he trains psychiatrists to treat patients with ACT, an evidence-based therapy. Also, he's an executive psychologist, and he coaches CEOs and VCs to change behaviors and optimize health and performance.
Besides, he popularized dopamine fasting, has helped start 3 startups and was a Venture Capital Investor at Trinity Venture and Magi Ventures. Today, Cameron is an Advisor to 8VC.
Recently, Cam founded Maximus, a consumer health company that provides men with content, community, and clinical support to optimize them in mind and body. Maximus has raised $5M from Silicon Valley investors, such as Founders Fund and 8VC as well as leading angel investors and operators from Bulletproof, Tinder, Coinbase, Daily Stoic, and Shopify. I also led an investment in Maximus when I was at my previous firm.
In my conversation with Cameron we discussed his experience studying Cognitive Neuroscience at Harvard, his career before founding Maximus, his company and more.
Here are some questions I asked Cameron during our conversation:
What made you choose Cognitive Neuroscience at Harvard? Were you interested in human behavior growing up?
You went from being a scientist to start working in technology. When was the moment it clicked and you felt that moving to San Francisco would be interesting to pursue your career?
What were some of the most interesting or important experiences, now that you are building Maximus, that you took from that hyper growth through Omada?
There are minorities that wouldn't understand what Maximus, Atman or this sort of companies and venture do. We can't say that we are going to solve all the problems in the world. How will people be able to understand what these companies do?
After leaving Omada you started a company in the keto nutrition space before founding Maximus. However, you sold it. How was your experience with that?
While you were talking I was thinking what's going to happen when we have kids. How are we going to raise them in the correct way? What do you think about this?
Was there a moment in your life when you realized that you needed to make Maximus your mission?
If you want to become a customer or learn more about the community what is the Maximus protocol? What does Maximus provide to men?
What's next for the company and when will it be publicly available?