Innovation Blog

Finalist Interview Series: Pavlok

Give me the elevator pitch on your company:
Pavlok breaks bad habits in as little as 5 days. Pavlok combines proven behavioral training techniques, innovative “zaptic” hardware, and tracking software to help you kick habits like smoking, nail biting, eating sugar, being unproductive, hitting the snooze button, and more.
Tell me a little bit about your background: what did you do previously?
I ran a blog called, where I taught readers how to become a famous DJ, fly around the world for free, and live a digital nomad lifestyle. I briefly had a TV show on the travel channel, but decided instead that I wanted to create a product that would help me overcome my chronic productivity issues. That product turned out to be Pavlok.
What does entrepreneurship mean to you? How did you first get involved?
Entrepreneurship is at its core creating something from nothing and turning it into a sustainable business. That something could be a product or a service, but what defines it most is the creativity and innovation of the solution. Coming up with something that disrupts a traditional business model or creates an entirely new business segment is truly entrepreneurial.
Where/when did you have that a-ha! moment for envisioning Pavlok?
My productivity issues became so bad that I hired an assistant to look over my shoulder to make sure I wasnt slacking off. I asked her to slap me in the face every time I went on Facebook and I got slapped a lot. But after only a few short days I realized I no longer went on Facebook, and my productivity increased 400%, because I instinctively didnt want to get slapped. At that moment, I started looking for ways to create that kind of accountability in my life without having to hire a full time person.
What is the pain point youre hoping to solve with Pavlok?
Every person has bad habits theyre different for each of us, but I have never met a single person who had no bad habits. These habits hold us back from reaching our full potential physically, mentally, socially, emotionally. Pavlok can solve these pain points, improving peoples lives immeasurably.
Why MassChallenge and what are your goals while being involved in the accelerator?
We chose to apply to MassChallenge because of the mentorship opportunities. While at MassChallenge, we will be launching our product to the public, and we hope to use the mentor network to scale production, fulfillment, and enter retail sales channels that we wouldnt have access to without the network we have access to at MassChallenge.
What is your greatest strength as an entrepreneur? Weakness?
My greatest strength is definitely my creativity. LikeEarlier this week I had the chance to catch up with Maneesh Sethi, founder of the habit-changing wearables company Pavlok. In addition to “testing” the product, I got to learn more about Maneesh’s fascinating backstory and dream of eradicating bad habits entirely. Here’s more of what he had to say! many creative people my weakness is my focus its hard to have both. I wouldnt give up my creativity for anything though, I like to think of it as a superpower. You can train productivity and focus, you cannot train creativity and original ideas.
What do you do to blow off steam when youre taking a break from changing the world?
I dont really take breaks. Sleep, I guess?
Whats one quality that you think entrepreneurs need to have — and why?
Every entrepreneur needs to have vision and fortitude. Vision to see the ultimate goal and stay focused on achieving that, and fortitude to weather the inevitable rough patches that young companies go through. Perhaps throw flexibility in there for good measure you need to be able to adapt to changes, iterate, and just generally do whatever it takes to see your idea through to success, even if that means making difficult decisions.
What was the best part of the Startup Showcase?
Being in a room with hundreds of like-minded people was great and being around other entrepreneurs was both really empowering and motivating. Getting feedback from mentors and seeing other MC finalists pouring their hearts into their businesses makes me want to work that extra bit harder for mine.

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