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Scales haven't changed much for decades. Exactly two years ago, we quit our jobs and moved to Silicon Valley to build a crazy 3D scanning scale. This month we finally launched. We are the ShapeScale founders. AMA

May 25th 2017 by thirru • 21 Questions • 707 Points

Update: Back to the #entrepreneurlife... You can find me here:

Instagram: http://instagram.com/garyvee Facebook: http://facebook.com/gary Snapchat: http://snapchat.com/add/garyvee Website: http://garyvaynerchuk.com Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/garyvee/ Twitter: http://twitter.com/garyvee Medium: http://medium.com/@garyvee Planet of the Apps: http://planetoftheapps.com Podcast: http://garyvaynerchuk.com/podcast

Update: Starting at 1:40 PM EST.

About: One of the world’s leading marketing experts, Gary Vaynerchuk has built his career by being exactly where consumer attention is going next.

Just out of college, Gary grew his family wine business from a $4M to a $45M business in just five years. Now, he runs VaynerMedia, one of the world’s hottest digital agencies. Along the way, Gary became a prolific angel investor and venture capitalist, investing in companies including Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Uber and Venmo and co-founding the VaynerRSE fund.

Gary will soon appear with Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba and will.i.am on Apple’s original series “Planet of the Apps,” launching in spring 2017.

You can find Gary here: Instagram: http://instagram.com/garyvee Facebook: http://facebook.com/gary Snapchat: http://snapchat.com/add/garyvee Website: http://garyvaynerchuk.com Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/garyvee/ Twitter: http://twitter.com/garyvee Medium: http://medium.com/@garyvee Planet of the Apps: http://planetoftheapps.com Podcast: http://garyvaynerchuk.com/podcast

Proof: https://facebook.com/events/1034546673313618

Q:

what do you expect retail price to be?

how does the accuracy compare to say, a dexa scanner?

A:

You've said multiple times you didn't have a late teens/20's because you were grinding, what would you have done differently?


Q:

Retail price will be at $499 (it's now available at $299 for a few more weeks).

Now, for the measurements, we have done a lot of testing and while our measurements are more accurate than regular scales, they are not quite as accurate as DEXA/DXA scans which are able to measure your bone density via low intensity x-rays. However, we are pretty much as good as hydrostatic weighing which is pretty damn close in accuracy and measuring the relative change over time. That's really where most regular scales fall short. Also of course you'll be able to use ShapeScale daily which is something hard to accomplish with DEXA scans and hydrostatic weigh-ins.

Also, what is unique about ShapeScale is our ability to visualize areas of where exactly you have been losing fat and gaining muscle using depth sensing and software algorithms.

You'll also get all your girth measures and volumetric change, which is especially important if you are trying to lose weight in certain areas or gaining muscle in others.

In the future, we hope to do more cool things around photorealistic scans such as measuring your muscle definition using computer vision. However, that will require more data and time to accomplish.

Hope that makes sense! 👍

A:

I would have gone out a couple times and hooked up - I'm serious :)


Q:

So excited to have already pre-ordered mine! Congratulations on the launch. How will the shapescale work with multiple users and multiple devices (phones)? Does each person have their own account and connection to the device?

A:

Were you too shy with the ladies?


Q:

Hey glad to have you on board! ShapeScale will simply have multiple user accounts that you can either link to a family account or they can also have their separate login and use it from their own phone. ShapeScale will then be able to detect users automatically through it's body recognition algorithm and load it up to the matching account.

A:

Kick into patience and buy what I'm telling you. YOU HAVE TIME. You're young. Bake it into your head. BE PATIENT.


Q:

The name of the mannequin is Paul and it was inspired by Paul Graham from Y Combinator. I can tell you, he is an inspiration to all the startup founders, so you are definitely not f%$ing with him. Paul plays a lot with ShapeScale but he keeps getting frustrated not seeing any progress. The hard life of a mannequin.

A:

Gary, my family has a pharmacy business which is now really struggling, my parents are working their asses off. I'm currently studying industrial engineering, my question is: should I put my efforts in helping them with the business or carry on with my studies? Btw I'm 19 turning 20 on monday


Q:

Haha, that would be /u/awayenberg ! The mannequin is actually our third co-founder, Paul. When we first started we needed to have someone standing still for the scan for hours. When Paul joined the company it was a huge relief for everyone. 😉 ... and yes, /u/awayenberg plays a lot with him even to this date! Sometimes he even dresses him up in fancy wear.

A:

If you think that you can come in and save the day but you also have the air cover from your family to quit your studies then you should do it - BUT that's a big IF.


Q:

Why didn't you name it "ShapeWeight"? I feel like this is a missed opportunity.

A:

What advice would you give to someone who's doesn't know what to do with their life?


Q:

We actually tried a few names here and there. My all time favorite was Shapèz. Jokes aside we felt Shape + Scale is still very descriptive for what the product does. And often it's hard to explain something that's very new and most haven't seen before. What's your reasoning for ShapeWeight though? I could still see it a worthy contender for our volumetric measure. 😉

A:

To try as many things as possible and get into the YES business instead of the NO business. Think about what you can potentially do.


Q:

What if we wanted to change the type of service from lifetime -> monthly/annually? Is that possible?

A:

Where will influencer marketing be in 5, 10 and 20 years?:)


Q:

Downgrading? Well, we haven't received this question before. The lifetime subscription is tied to your device once activated and it will be hard for us to facilitate a downgrade. The other way around will be much easier to do for us frankly.

A:

Far bigger than most people thing in 5 yeasrs - Billions and billions and billions and billions -- 10 years - understood with more billions : ) -- in 20 years might start looking like television which means it will be a mature market or overpriced


Q:

How hype are you for season 5 of House of Cards, guy on left?

A:

Gary, what are the three biggest trends you see in digital advertising today that are here to stay?


Q:

VERY! I've been counting the days. The cynic in me sometimes wishes he'd be for real.

A:

Audio (Podcasting and alexa skills) Audio will save people time. It's not only my #1 but my #2 and #3


Q:

What problem does this solve, and what exactly does it do for people? How does this replace a normal scale and a fat measuring tool?

A:

When you say work your face off/hustle, what exactely are some tasks to do to move your business forward? What tasks can you do to occupy yourself a whole day and feel good that you pushed ur business forward?


Q:

The main problem we really are trying to solve is to create a better feedback loop. Right now, with a wave of fitness trackers and sports watches we have become pretty good tracking our exercises, except maybe for strength workouts. So I hear Athos has been doing a great job at that. Nutrition apps like MyFitnessPal allow you to track your nutrition as well.

Now measuring how changes in our diet and exercise affect our body and physique, that is something that is very hard to measure.

Scales are inaccurate. Mirrors and photos are pretty subjective to the viewer.

And that's how we have come up with ShapeScale. It's a device that will be able to tell you even after just a week whether you are progressing towards your desired goals. It makes things much more motivational for those that don't live and breathe fitness.

Eventually we hope to even go further and start correlating the data so that we can provide you with tailor-made advice on nutrition and exercise that match your desired "Shape" goals.

In phase II, we'll also enable other applications such as virtual fitting rooms / previewing clothing and fit on e-commerce sites. That's a model that requires more scale before it becomes applicable, but it's also a very exciting one.

A:

I let zero minutes waste. 15 straight hours every single day. Constantly doing. Just work. You can not waste time on stupid stuff.


Q:

As an average consumer, now I am interested.

I have seen that you are charging $299 for the product, and $299 for a lifetime subscription.

For body builders, and professional athletes this product is gold! But for the average gym rat (or even someone who has started dieting or losing weight), this product seems a little too expensive.

Do you see this price decreasing when you begin to mass produce them (in terms of materials cost). Has your team considered a "free" subscription with limited / basic features and charging a premium for extra options?

A:

Hey Gary, what is the best strategy to gain a following and to get known for a musician (Hip Hop) with a very poor following?


Q:

Yes, I get where you are coming from. Right now the tech is still pretty expensive and we initially tried selling just at ~499-599 and then asked those that found to be too expensive whether a subscription would help, which is why we introduced that model in the end. This actually allows us to subsidize some part of the hardware cost.

Comparable other solutions cost $1,000+ upward and right now I'm not seeing the cost come down in any major way until the next generation of the product a few years down the road.

We know the sweet spot would be $99~$199 total to reach mass-market, but alone with the mechanics involved that won't be possible until perhaps some of the tech makes its way into smartphones. The software involved will also need to become so sophisticated that you can simply spin around while your phone captures you.

I can not see that experience be as good nor as accurate, it's like comparing a DLSR with a smartphone camera a few years back, but now smartphone cameras at least meet a standard that is good enough for most of us. Maybe five years down the road we will see this becoming feasible.

More realistically we can see how ShapeScale will also make it into public places like malls, retailers and fitness clubs. It's not going to best experience, but it's something I can see that will make getting your 3D scan relatively inexpensive.

A:

Nee to get you music hear - make good music first cause if you're product sucks you're finishe - but if it's good - offer your music for free and reach out to other influencers so they can use your music in their content - bring them value !!


Q:

I was super excited for this and nearly bought one - $200USD shipping to Australia made me pause, and then I saw "shipping early 2018" - I haven't even seen a video of this thing actually in use. There's your fancy marketing video but I mean a real time, "Here's someone using it and here's exactly what it does" video. I just can't throw hundreds of dollars at something I've never seen in use with a "oh you'll get it in a year" line. Are you going to have some more realistic vids of it in use?

A:

How likely is it that you'll buy the Jets one day? What needs to happen for you to get there?


Q:

It really shouldn't be $200 for Australia but $100, mostly because we need to airship to Australia and that's pretty expensive for the moment given the weight and size of the device.

As for an actual use video you can check out our TechCrunch battlefield demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXq1-zRjm5A

PC World also did a hands-on demo video on here: http://www.pcworld.com/video/77555/shapescale-3d-body-scanner-hands-on

We'll have more videos come live over the next few weeks. Working on the content as we understand how important it is...

A:

100%. I have to stay alive.


Q:

I have been myself to dozens of factories over the years, and the worst ones are actually the factories to only manufacture for the domestic Chinese market which is a cut-throat business. Those that export are often held to high standards due to frequent inspections.

Have you not noticed the rampant counterfeiting of items of everything imaginable being exported from China?

A:

Gary what's your ultimate vision for your self, your company and the world? Thanks


Q:

Oh yes, though Chinese themselves have become pretty good at telling fakes and it's now recently become more of an export market as you mention. For a long time it used to be also pretty open with markets selling fake bags and watches openly in the public, that's become less and less the case now. The factories that make these kind of goods tend to be further inward in the country where labor is much cheaper. Much of toy and apparel industry has moved out of south China a long time ago. Now it's mostly furniture, appliances and of course consumer electronics. And, yes there's plenty of Shanzhai electronics, but most of them get exported to other developing countries. I have not come across a Shanzhai factory yet, but would be curious to see how they operate in all frankness.

A:

For myself: That my funeral will be attended by far more people than anyone realize. For business: Build one of the greatest business empires of all time. For the world: Keep doing what it's doing. The macro is always good.


Q:

Yeah, more subscription nonsense. I love it when DLC comes to physical goods...

Also, you guys build an apparently affordable large volume 3d scanner, then tie it to a scale? WTF?

Shit you idiots should be approaching hollywood, game studios, museums and other industries with this.

"We've invented a cheap large volume 3D scanner for $500"

"Let's stick it on a scale!"

Also, there is no proof of any of this working. No software, no sample scans ( webgl is a thing! ), nothing.

Looks like Juicero 2.0.

A:

HOW MANY CLIENTS did you have when you started to put systems in place and outsourcing? Thanks for all the content!


Q:

Was there a question here? We get it there are other use cases, but a lot of them are either niche or they wouldn't mind to pay a few hundred or in the case of Hollywood even thousand dollars more to get the best possible quality. It'd be a complete different approach. We wanted to be ShapeScale to become as affordable yet also useful as possible. On the consumer side we do hope we can enable other use cases beyond just fitness and health. But fitness works relatively easy on a small scale. You don't need to care about the fact that there are not a hundred million other users around when you get your body composition data, but an e-commerce store wanting to integrate a virtual fitting preview function would want to see some good user data first.

BTW here's a scan of me from last year: https://sketchfab.com/models/654082dc33db47b8bc03392ef64b4fc8 Let me see if I can upload a more recent one soon. Sample scans on the website is definitely a good idea, and it was something we tried but increased the loading heavily. But perhaps we could create a separate page for what it's worth! BTW, Hope we can prove you wrong on the Juicero 2.0 comment. 😉

A:

I never outsource work.


Q:

It all started a couple of years ago I moved to China. It’s quite common there to eat rice and noodles for basically every meal of the day. So I started to load heavy on carbs by eating traditional food from morning till evening. A couple of months passed by and the noodles obviously started to show off, until one day my wife actually asked me if I was pregnant ?!

That was the moment when he realized, that I needed to change my habits. I bought one of the first connected scale, started dieting and exercising at the same time. After two weeks of extremely hard work, I stepped on the scale, but got some shocking news. The scale showed that I weighted 4 pounds more than my pre-diet weight.

First, I was very frustrated, but then I noticed that my body shape and appearance had actually changed a lot. I was definitely leaner and more toned. So I understood that I replaced fat with muscles. So the simple explanation behind my weight gain was that muscle takes less place but weights more.

It quickly became clear to me that tracking the shape, surface and volume changes in the body would allow for a much better measure of his progress than a body weight number. So we needed a device to track this minute changes that we could not see and this is how the idea of ShapeScale was born.

Not understanding how our body has been changing over time is a problem we all experience. People look at themselves in the mirror everyday and wonder how they look like compared to a week, a month or a year ago.

A:

Gary, what's on your homescreen? Whose homescreen do you wish you could see?


Q:

Question is probably better answered by Alex since he had the initial idea and I'm sure he'll chime in a bit with his story.

But generally the idea was born out of our frustration that when you want to get in a better shape and you are putting in a lot of work you are not seeing the results until maybe in 1, 2 or even 3 months. Sometimes it even takes another person to point out that you look better or something.

You know we see ourselves nearly every morning in the mirror so we get so used to our own image that we cannot tell if and where exactly we are getting in a better shape. A scale is even worse yet, muscle weighs more than fat so if you are not going for pure weight loss your weight won't change much over a period of weeks or even months. Yet, we want to see that the diet and workout program we are following actually works (because often it doesn't!).

That's really how we started to brainstorm for ways of how we can measure or show these changes. To date most commonly professionals use DEXA scans or hydrostatic weighing to measure body fat which these do accurately. But you have to get an appointment and it costs a good $50-100 for each sessions, so you really only do it maybe every 2-6 months at best. What's more these two just give you a data point but they don't really show you what has changed. Like I said sometimes even with your eyes you cannot pinpoint that change until you compare maybe two photographs that are several weeks or months apart. And even those tend to vary depending on the lighting, angle and camera set up involved. There is actually a whole industry behind fake before and after photos, which is terrible!

A:

My screen - social sites, nuzzel, calendar -- I would like to see the collective homescreen of every 15 year old in America so that I can learn about what opportunities might be out there.


Q:

Congrats on the Entrepreneur Magazine cover!! What's your favorite dish of all time? What wine would you pair it with? Xoxo, Chef

A:

Getting time with me. Access is a real challenge. You can have a 5 minute facetime for #60secclub but only 1 minute with my own employees.


Q:

Congrats on the Entrepreneur Magazine cover!! What's your favorite dish of all time? What wine would you pair it with? Xoxo, Chef

A:

Getting time with me. Access is a real challenge. You can have a 5 minute facetime for #60secclub but only 1 minute with my own employees.


Q:

Where and how do you learn more about your intended audience (not you specifically)? What do you use to gather your data on your audience? I'm trying to find the pain points and make sure I'm targeting the right way.

A:

I personally use doing. By creating and putting out, I use my intuitive nature to understand. Analytics tells you what has already happened, Not what you should do now.


Q:

Hey Gary, I'm 19 how do I get people in the fashion industry to take me more seriously?

A:

By executing. Don't expect anything until you've actually done it. Nobody owes you shit. Look at Kobe and LeBron - they executed and got the attention they deserved. Don't blame it on anything - especially your age.


Q:

how do you provide people more value than they give you without being a "pushover"?

A:

By learning how to say "yes" and "no." You're only a pushover if you allow it. Learn how to take, not at the expense of what your giving. I am always willing to give because it is not transactional. I pay attention to the Macro.


Q:

When changing careers to a different industry, any tips on best way to convince hiring managers that your previous experience is relevant?

A:

By not trying to convince them. Never sell. Make them believe you and your story.


Q:

Gary, we know you are a Mount Ida Mustang alum however I've never heard you say what your major was?

Thanks for all you do!

A:

MADDEN!!


Q:

Hi Gary, long time follower/fan and love your work and thanks for doing this AMA. You always give advice that perspective is the highest “virtue”- no matter what, the right perspective gets you out of any tough situation. I’m wondering if you could explain your process of meta-perspective, aka, getting perspective on your perspective.

To re-word, how can someone analyze their own perspective if they are unaware that it’s fundamentally incorrect?

A:

They can't.


Q:

What is your process for making difficult decisions quickly?

A:

Believing in my intent. That's all that matters.