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Firing Squad: Amplio's Trung Tran

Life is getting pretty stressful for workers. Fear, uncertainty, and doubt have us all on edge. That's why the health and well-being of your employees have taken on new importance. Enter, and its founder Trung Tran, who's busy building a company to make the health monitoring of workers a snap. Confused? Just think of your Apple Watch letting your employer know when you're stressed out, so they can give some support. Sound like an invasion of privacy? You might be on to something ... or not. Gotta listen to see what Chad & Cheese think.

SharkTank INTRO (1s):

Like Shark Tank? Then you'll love Firing Squad! CHAD SOWASH & JOEL CHEESEMAN are here to put the recruiting industry's bravest, ballsiest, and baddest startups through the gauntlet to see if they got what it takes to make it out alive? Dig a fox hole and duck for cover kids the Chad and Cheese Podcast is taking it to a whole other level.

Joel (24s):

Oh yeah. You know how we do? It's another firing squad. What's up everybody. It's your favorite guilty pleasure. The Chad and Cheese podcast. I'm your cohost Joel Cheeseman joined as always by my sexy cohost Chad Sowash.

Chad (39s):

Chilling out.

Joel (39s):

Today, oh man, we're going to learn something today. Chad, I think we're going to welcome Trung Tran, founder and CTO of Amplio. Trung welcome to Firing Squad.

Trung (52s):

Thank you for having me. I really appreciate the time.

Joel (54s):

You bet. You bet. So our listeners who don't know you, which I'm guessing is everyone listening. Give us a little bit about Trung. Give us a Twitter bio.

Trung (1m 4s):

Sure, sure. I went into the military for six years, then went to Silicon Valley for 17, working in all sorts of data applications, data centers, data switches. And then I got tagged by DARPA, become a PM in their new AI program they wanted to start off. And so really got excited of AI and the possibilities of it, you know, obviously it's all built on data and I've been doing that for a long, long time here now. And so from that standpoint, you know, I said, I want to build AI that doesn't just replace people or force them to be more efficient. I want AI to help people be better. And so that's kind of the Genesis Amplio is to, you know, take all the knowledge I have on technology.

Joel (1m 43s):

Well, we'll pitch the company in a second. We're learning about you. I want to add that you.

Trung (1m 47s):

Sure, sure.

Joel (1m 49s):

You went to Wharton, you're in the air force and DARPA.

Trung (1m 54s):


Joel (1m 54s):

A little bit impressive. Just want to say that.

Chad (1m 58s):

What actually pushed you to the air force in the first place?

Trung (2m 2s):

Well, back in the day, back in the nineties, you know, something where, you know, I'm an immigrant from Vietnam and so I wanted to give back a little bit to the country that's really taking care of me and it kind of gave me the opportunities I had. And so I wanted to serve. The air force was the most technical branch for the military. And so, you know, I've always wanted to be engineering, do technology. And so

Joel (2m 21s):

He's not some army meathead is what he saying.

Chad (2m 23s):

Now there's a ship there. Yeah, he is a more civilianized. I agree. I agree.

Joel (2m 27s):

Off to a good start.

Chad (2m 28s):

Making me tear up here Trung. You're making me tear up.

Joel (2m 34s):

Where's the pledge of allegiance when we need it? Well, Chad, Trung looks like he's ready to go. Tell him what he's won here on firing squad today.

Chad (2m 42s):

Well, Trung you will have two minutes to pitch At the end of two minutes, you're going to hear that bell and then Joel and I are going to hit you with rapid fire Q and A. If your answers start droning on, or they're just boring, you're going to get hit with the crickets. At the end of Q and A, you're going to receive one of these ratings from the both of us, big applause, pop that Dom Pérignon baby, because you've got a winner on your hands. Golf clap. Maybe try some of that cheap sparkling wine because you still got a way to go, man. Last but not least, the firing squad. Grab a case of Natty light and scrap this one son it's not going anywhere.

Chad (3m 24s):

That's firing squad. You ready to go?

Trung (3m 31s):

Yes. Sounds exciting.

Joel (3m 32s):

Fantastic. Pitching three, two.

Trung (3m 32s):

So Amplio is designed to help people with what we think that the biggest problem today in society, it is mental health. 76% of workers reported being burnt out and burn out by the World Health Organization is defined as "uncontrolled stress in the workplace" and at least physical and mental issues. Most important for employers is it affects performance. At least to people quitting the compan. In an error when you know the work, the rules between the worker and the employer is being written, retention and recruiting is very, very difficult and the great resignation they call it where a bunch of people quit. They didn't want jobs that, you know, kinda, you know, made them not live healthy lives.

Trung (4m 18s):

And so, you know, companies that really interested in doing that. And so what I feel does is we try to help with mental resilience. We know that no one in the middle of a crisis is going to look in the app to find a solution. So we want you to be more self-aware when you need help. When, when you need a step back and take a moment. Lot of times, we're not taught that as we grow up, you know, how is your body reacting to stress? How are we thinking about stress? And then we want to teach people coping strategies that they can use any kind of given situation, not just one or two, but a couple of dozen so if you are in public and you and your coping strategies screen, maybe you can choose a different one, right? And really we use our AI to kind of tailor that to you so that we use the biometrics that we have from wearables to kind of tell us what your emotional and physical state is.

Trung (5m 2s):

And we use that to kind of highlight to you and kind of buzz you let you know, when you need help. And then we also tell you based on that, we're not the coping strategy you chose actually is helping those numbers to actually reduce your heart rate. You actually improve your breathing, slow it down. He actually do all those things or is the coping strategy not working. So not only are we recommending things based on what you like or dislike, but also where it has an effect on you. And that's the difference between our AI and other AI's in the market. And when you look at Netflix recommended, recommended what movies you like. It doesn't really care whether you like the movie or not, it just recommends it and so we go beyond that

Joel (5m 38s):

Trung, your two minutes are up. Thank you very much. You need to tighten that up a little bit, tighten it up a little bit for future shows. All right. Let's get to the name. Cause I always ask that as my first question. We're going to, we're going to roll you into how the hell did you come up with Amplio looks like it can be had, were there other names, did you try to get explain the name to me Amplio.

Trung (6m 1s):

Yeah, we didn't want We wanted to amplify the AI piece of it, right? So AI, Antigua, amplio is Latin for amplify. And what we say is that, you know, we like to wear the word Amplio because we want to amplify people. So the P is in the middle because everything we do is surrounding us, actually amplifying people and making them better. And that's kind of idea and goal of the company. Okay.

Joel (6m 22s):

Okay. Fair enough. So it looks like you have not taken any money. How are you funding this thing? Are you looking for money? Should we be expecting a seed round in the near future? Talk about the cash.

Trung (6m 37s):

Sure, sure. I put in like a $401k of my own money, we did raise an angel round of $324K. And so that's been mostly funding us, but the majority of what funds us come in contracts. Last year, we won $2.1 million contract. And this year we have a $2.2 million contract to help soldiers and kind of deal with stress and then get a job better. So that's been the most fit. We are in the middle of a C round right now where we're kind of raised $3 million to take the product that we've proven in the military and convert it over to a civilian purpose in the commercial world. And that's kind of been our emphasis. We just hired a new CEO for that purpose.

Trung (7m 17s):

She has a lot of experience in the wellness market on the business side and marketing side. And so she's going to help us a lot with us making that transition in the commercial world while making the DOD and the technology side of that.

Chad (7m 32s):

Okay. Trung. So you've taken 72 products to market. How many of those were HR and/or in the talent space?

Trung (7m 39s):

So none. So they're all, well, I mean, if you count servers and switches, that's things that HR people use, but mostly it's been technology,

Chad (7m 48s):

They don't buy them though. They don't buy them.

Trung (7m 50s):

My background. Like I say, that's why, you know, I was there with the experience in the wellness market. She's taking a few products in there. My practice all been about data infrastructure, data processing, AI. So I have the technology chapter in lines or technology. But what Noel is going to do is kind of give us the wrap around that makes the technology useful.

Chad (8m 15s):

Okay. You have advisors in clinical psychology, behavioral neuroscience, economists, human performance experts. Your CEO, Noel is a health and wellness expert. You obviously DARPA background, tons of smart people. The problem is there's no representation from HR and or the talent acquisition space, which is what you're looking to sell into. Why not? Are you looking to add there or do you believe that's not even necessary?

Trung (8m 38s):

Well, we do plan to add there. I mean, one of the things that when we talked to a bunch of HR executives early on is that they saw it mostly as a wellness benefit. They didn't know exactly how to integrate within HR systems. Like we're really not sure what to do with, you know, engagement and those kinds of numbers from employees. Like if probably having emotional problems, we not sure what to do with this. So our goal is to kind of work through HR as well as the departments that actually have employees they're trying to keep that kind of work in that way. And that's more boots on the ground kind of stuff, as opposed to larger HR policies for the entire company, right. How to help my team, my individuals perform better.

Trung (9m 19s):

So we do plan to hire someone in the future. You know, we want to definitely get the, all the aspects that are actual science-based evidence-based, approaches to actually helping people handle stress and improve mental resilience. So that's been our focus so far is to kind of build up the science and the technology. And then, you know, like I said, you know, we're still talking to HR people and one of the things that we're trying to recruit for is an HR individual that would want that data, that knows has a vision on how they will use it. Company-wide and I think, you know, willing to break away from either like, you know, the tech space NLP stuff that people use for sentiment analysis or the surveys they use. And they're actually thinking, you know, how can we grow people to be better people?

Trung (10m 2s):

How do we grow people to do those kinds of things?

Chad (10m 5s):

Okay. So let's do a little cleanup here real quick. Cause it looks like your organization has gone through a re-facing here lately with regard to leadership, because I see Grant Guillory who was a co-founder and CTO, but that's your title. Noel, she just joined a couple of months ago, but yet she's a co-founder. What has been going on with this organization? You were founded in 2018, but it's 2022. There's a lot of shuffling going on here. So tell me about the shuffling.

Trung (10m 36s):

Well, I think, you know, what really came down to is that, you know, we didn't need more technology people, both Grant and me being technology guys and AI guys, there's not necessary to have both of us there. And what we lacked in is really wellness market experience, how they go to the market, which markets they attack and the market fit kind of knowledge. And that's why we, I decided to hire Noel, you know, Grant, when I got a very high paying job at Capital One, he had the co-founder title, but he actually wasn't bought in to the company in regards to the fact that, you know, he didn't invest, you know, a part of the company and Noel owned a good chunk of the company she's owned like 25% of it. Okay. And so, you know, from a standpoint, she's a true co-founder at that point, cause she's really, you know, bought into the whole idea of the company and she has a wellness experience.

Trung (11m 24s):

So that's kind of change because really, you know, we lived off a defense contract and we continue living off defense contracting, but you, you probably realize, yeah. You know, the government budget just got passed last weekend, right. Last Friday. And no new contracts started while we had this government shutdown. Right. Or just continuing resolution. That kind of gives you, makes you vulnerable if you're a government contractor only, you know? And so.

Chad (11m 46s):


Trung (11m 46s):

So that's one reason why we want to make this we're all in this commercial thing, we're still maintaining our government stuff. We still have opportunities to the government worth tens of millions of dollars. What were we want to make sure we kind of diversify enough so that we don't get hit? Like, I don't think the era of continuing resolutions and government not working well, Chad is over. I think we're probably looking at long-term for that.

Joel (12m 8s):

So that's the US federal government. What about the states? What about international opportunities? Talk about your footprint and how big that can get.

Trung (12m 17s):

So right now, you know, we're mostly, you know, in the DMV, the district, Maryland and Virginia area, so around DC. So that's why we were focused a lot in the federal. There's bigger contracts in the federal. And, like you say, you know, the military in and of itself has more emphasis on taking care of people and helping them deal with stress and deal with the problems to have, you know, there's big emphasis has been the suicide rates of soldiers after they come back and how they deal with the stress and the things that happen during warfare. So the military bought into this idea. And so they, you know, they actually had the forethought to kinda engage with us early. You know, I think, you know, there is some discussion about cops and like firemen who also have similar jobs that are very demanding and not very rewarding, right we're saving hospitals and doctors?

Trung (13m 1s):

One of our problems is we have too many places in those two Joel, and we want to kind of focus. So if we want to be government only and do the tier government, we could do that, but we want again, diversify in the commercial space. And so we're very much happy with our beachhead and federal, you know, but we definitely want to get the commercial endt. And if the opportunity presents and we were large enough, his company will go into the other tiers of government, federal, and state.

Joel (13m 27s):

What does the competitive landscape look like? Do you have competitors? And if you do, I imagine they're not even in like an employment focused, maybe they're in some other industry. Talk about the competition.

Trung (13m 40s):

Yeah. We were really in the virtual mental health business, right? We're a benefit for employees to help with their mental health, our biggest comparable is Okay. They're valued at $1.1 billion and they raised $220 million in funding. They provide health coaching as well as a marketplace to refer people, to if they need to have telemedicine for psychiatry. And so, you know, we're gonna start comparable. What's one of the things we are different for them because we do more than just mental coaching. We do financial coaching, we do cognitive coaching, nutrition, coaching, all the things that cause you stress. So we're much more holistic. We are looking at trying to provide you tools, not just coaching, but actually coping strategies you can use when you need it.

Trung (14m 26s):

And then we were, you know, we're partnering, we're reviving partners for the tele medicine marketplace because there's a lot of those already. Right. And we don't need to build our own.

Joel (14m 34s):

Gotcha. Gotcha. Let's move it on. Work from home is a fairly new phenomenon as I'm sure you've heard, you talked about the great resignation. A lot of people are working from home today. Does your product enhanced the work from home experience or does it create challenges that are, eh, kind of a pain in the ass for you?

Trung (14m 52s):

Well, I think, you know, actually they work from home was great for us because one of the things that that does is causes the employer not to have actually visibility if their employees are suffering or are having problems. Right. You know, one thing is different. Johnny comes in every day and he see him get angry, he started losing his cool, it's another thing when he's at home and he can just kind of pretend to be nice for like 20 minutes on a zoom call or an hour zoom call. So that helps a lot in regards to the company to understanding, you know, kind of their, how to help people. And secondly, you know, working from home and, you know, it sounds great. It's awful, lonely people feel isolated, people feel anxious. They feel like they're carrying the burden of a company on their own, as opposed to working with other people and teaming and stuff from a standpoint, you know, and they don't even know how to go to help.

Trung (15m 34s):

I mean, there's a lot that he said about your work husband or work wife, where you go and talk to someone about your problems that knows something about the company. When you work at home, there's no one to talk to. And so we help in that regard to encourage that, giving people an outlet so that they can actually address some of their mental health concerns or issues. We do in a way that we don't call it mental health per se, but just, you know, mental resiliency, how do you kind of deal with stress so that, you know, they feel comfortable with it and they can actually deal with it at home and, you know, cause you're cut off, right? I mean, any kind of, support network, any kind of supportive environment, a company would provide if you're working at home, you don't get any of that. Right. You get your kids and your dog, they cause you stress.

Chad (16m 11s):

My dog does not cause me stress. Tell me about the cognitive analysis you performed on cyber units through the department of defense.

Trung (16m 20s):

Yeah. So that's our first contract. We decided to look at what it makes, it takes to be a good soldier. One of the things that, you know, what's obvious back in the day, you know, you looking at Captain America and look at Steve Rogers before it became Captain America, right. You know, which one would be a better soldier back in the day. One that could like, you know, run miles and lift weights and stuff like that. Right. I see Rogers was the type. We look at the change in warfare and especially in cyber where they're not going out in the field, they're not running 13 miles an hour carrying a hundred pounds on their back, that they used their mind at the agile. You know, it's not that easy to see that, you know, we used to call it the Tom Brady problem, Tom Brady failed in every category, physical characteristic of a quarterback, but he had the heart and the traits that made him very successful, he was a seven time Super Bowl winner.

Trung (17m 5s):

And so from that standpoint, how do we kind of personality profile that? And how we do the cognitive and personality testing, we need to validate that these are the traits that successful people in the field have? So we spent six months interviewing and monitoring with wearables and EEG and look at how they think, how they act. And we came up with a screening process to actually test for traits.

Chad (17m 30s):


Trung (17m 30s):

To see if someone actually has the, sometimes in the NFL, they call the "intangibles", but have the characteristics that you want in a good cyber operator and a good leader.

Chad (17m 40s):

How does that actually equate to a digital twin? Tell me about a digital twin.

Trung (17m 44s):

So the digital twin is really for the second product, our main product, which is Omni par, which is where we're constantly monitoring the individual for their mental health. So, what we want to do, like I said earlier, we want to kind of model both your biometric with wearables and, and your physcometric data to see how things impact you. Now, what in your life is actually causing you stress, you know, what coping strategies actually helping you improve. And because we're actually modeling with an AI that actually takes in all this data, creates a baseline who you normally are, looks at the variants in regards how you're different from that baseline. We're very much your twin. In regards to that, we represent everything we know about you in regards to the biometric physcometric data or what's going on in your life.

Trung (18m 27s):

And we try to individualize our recommendations based upon how that model is predicting how you'll react.

Chad (18m 35s):

Can you employ see this data? Who's this data available to overall?

Trung (18m 38s):

So we actually believe that you own your data. We don't think there's marketing involved cause we build our models off of individual data.

Chad (18m 44s):

Who can see the data? That was my question. I don't care who owns it at this point, who can see, who has access to my data.

Trung (18m 50s):

So you and anyone you want to give it to. So if you want to go to the psychiatrist therapist, you want to self-advocate and you want to given your history, you can actually send that to them or print it out and give it to them. Or if you want give it to a friend or family member, if you're kind of like a little cry for help, you can do that as well. But you're the only one that allowed to actually send your data to anybody.

Chad (19m 11s):

Okay. So government is really against the private collection of personal data other than themselves, because you know, the government does what the government wants to do. It's kind of like do, as I say, not as I do kind of a scenario, so you can get away with this shit with the military. Easily. Right, right. But it's going to be much harder to do in the civilian sector. How do you get past that?

Trung (19m 30s):

Well, I, again, I think, you know, you have to kind of think through the fact that, you know, information in the aggregate, you know, how many people in your company are happy, how many people are in through sad are things that, you know, we can look at. There's two facts that I think people get confused about. There was an essential study that said only a third of people objected to being monitored. And of that third, it was mostly GPS monitoring that they worry about no one wanted they're boss to know they're having an extended lunch or something like that. A little less important today. With, you know, people working at home. Hang on, and secondly, we, you know, the HR companies attitude, that we are interviewing HR companies, like, what do you guys want?

Trung (20m 10s):

What do you want to see? What you want monitor? And even with the military, they're like, we don't want to get into personal stuff. Right? That's not our job. We're not gonna nanny. We're not here to help them make happy all the time. We just want to know that if they're having issues then we want to have a conversation. That's been our goal in regards to this kind of stuff is, you know, if they need help, you can start a conversation from a commercial standpoint. You know, if you're a group as a whole, is having problems, the manager can have a conversation, we're not here to tell them exactly what's wrong here, or, you know, where, you know, there's a huge issue on your own, but is there an issue in a group? Now we want to spark a conversation and the military standpoint, they do want to know if you're having individually problem on your own.

Trung (20m 52s):

But the commanders don't want that data, they don't want to look for, you know, your mental health over the last 90 days, they don't care. They just want to talk to you and see if they can do anything to help and that's really what it comes down.

Joel (21m 4s):

All right, Trung, let's keep it going here. Let's talk about sales and marketing, probably your favorite topic. What's the strategy around that? Do you really need an Instagram for a company like this? You have 36 or so followers, your newsletter signup is above the fold. You know, is it really that important that it needs to be that a high up on the site? What's going on with sales and marketing? What's the strategy?

Trung (21m 26s):

Well, that was for crowdfunding. We did a crowdfunding round with Republic back in July. So a lot of our social media is based on that. It's not really for our customers, right? It's just general awareness of our company for people who want to invest in us. And so from that standpoint, that's it. From a strategy standpoint in regards to go to market, it's mostly, you know, our success in the military, converting over to cyber groups in the commercial world. If we make the best people, cyber people in the country, better, the US military, we have a good argument to go into your separate group and help them become better. And every company has a cyber division.

Joel (21m 60s):


Trung (22m 0s):

So that's kinda the idea for us.

Joel (22m 1s):

Okay. Okay. In terms of extra expense, it looks like, you know, I can wear Oura Ring, I guess, an Apple watch. I have to have some device, right to use your service? And is that an extra expense for a company and or government entity? Is that a challenge for you or a threat to the business that you have to supply this? If you buy a company, a bunch of Oura Rings and all of a sudden Oura Rings become obsolete or not cool anymore, do you have to replace that? Like talk about the actual hardware of the business and what kind of challenges that brings?

Trung (22m 31s):

Yeah, I agree. I mean, one of the things that we did want to do is build our own wearable. There's $64 billion being spent on wearables today. So it didn't make sense for us build another one. We actually support a wide range of wearables from Whoop to Apple watch, to like Google Fitbit and all of those kind of things. So we have the interfaces to access all of that. What we see is that all of them are going basically the same feature set of things that you can measure. It's only so much you can measure biometrically. And so we're praying agnostic, you know, the cost of the devices included in the cost of subscription. So, you know, you get, you know, basically, you know, that's wrapped up in the cost you get a ring as part of our service.

Trung (23m 15s):

And we're pretty flexible. You know, we want to go in the next couple of years to bring your own wearable model, right. BYOW and so, you know, working in the same data for everybody, you can argue about the quality of it, but we're not really looking for accuracy, we're looking for trends and deviation, so we don't need to have to the 12th decimal.

Joel (23m 34s):

So help me understand what you said the cost goes toward the device?

Trung (23m 39s):

So part of cost, as far as the cost includes the device.

Joel (23m 42s):

But it's not your device, it's an Oura Ring or it's something else?

Trung (23m 47s):

Yes that's correct.

Joel (23m 47s):

Okay. Gotcha. Okay.

Chad (23m 47s):

Let's talk, go to market strategy with regard to, you know, who you're going to partner with or not partner with, you're going to go direct to the clients, the big brands, or you going to a partner with other organizations to try to get in through the back door?

Trung (24m 2s):

We plant to go direct initially. And like I said, we're using our chops in the cyberspace to show people that, you know, we're successful there. We've already have talks with certain finance companies, large banks who are interested because cyber is really important to them. And keeping employees is really hard. 56% of cyber operators want to quit their jobs. So that's what we're doing directly there. Our partnerships are really on the referral side. We're looking to, you know, see if there's a telemedicine marketplace that we can tie to. Like doctors on demand? Or something like that, where we can get a good variety of providers, because, you know, we realize that our app alone can't solve your problem if you have real problems, we need to hand you off to somebody, if you need chemicals or drugs.

Trung (24m 43s):

And so we were wanting a partner in that side of it so that we don't have to build our own provider network.

Chad (24m 51s):

Am I correct in saying that you are going to try to go through human resources and talent acquisition to be able to better cover the employee experience side, is that who you're going to be selling to mainly?

Trung (25m 3s):

So the answer is yes and no. So yes, we are telling to them, and no we're going directly to the divisions. So your manager or the VP in charge of cyber, you know, the CSO, we talked to them about, you know, this is the benefits we did, you know, to these other organizations, would you like to try it? We're kind of looking at docu a, you know, Dropbox or Slack model where certain parts of the company start using it. And then all of a sudden it becomes across the entire company because people start enjoying it. And so that's kind of more of our strategy. We are going to go through front door for them to take our execs that, you know, are willing to kind of do that. Then we're more than like, we're welcome, happy to do an entire company at once.

Trung (25m 44s):

But we also have the second door, second avenue in of trying to get within each division. And then growing from those divisions out.

Joel (25m 54s):

This sounds really expensive Trung. As a customer, what can I expect to pay? Is it like per employee? Talk about the pricing.

Trung (26m 5s):

Sure. It's per employee, you know, it's roughly 1200, 300 ways to ring. And so when you look at, you know, our costs per se, it's like about 600 and that's, you know, 12 months is for 50 bucks a month ish. So we think that's not too expensive for this type of service we provide.

Chad (26m 25s):

So tell me about legal threats. We've got all these different regulations that are popping up, whether they're local to state, or even federal government looking at prospectively, putting some regulations in place around personal data. We just saw a HireVue is now under class action lawsuit in the state of Illinois because of collecting personal data. So what kind of threats do you see and how would you actually guard against those?

Trung (26m 56s):

Sure. I mean, there's a lot of discussion about aggregating data and regards to doing big data analytics, looking at, you know, demographics and trends like that, all for anonomized. So we actually don't know who the you are and we don't really care what your gender, race, sex is or wherever it is that because, you know, from standpoint of us, it's your, just your data that we model. And then we try to help, right. And you own the data. So, you know, from our standpoint, we check all the boxes in data privacy, because we don't own the data. We don't share it with any third parties. We don't share with anyone like that. And that, especially important for biometrics, if, you know, if we, if you get data from the ring, you know, if you share with a, third-party like, Hey, you know, Chad, Chad, isn't a running very often.

Trung (27m 36s):

Maybe you shouldn't mark them like tennis shoes and stuff like that. We don't know, A, you're Chad and B you know, all that data that we're collecting goes right into your model. And so we actually don't store it about biometrics. We just aggregate within the model that that's you, which is your digital twin. And it's a really input/output kind of thing that it gets modified or adjusted as a new data comes in. But it's all your stuff.

Joel (28m 3s):

Alright, Trung, your time is up and it's time to face the firing squad. Are you ready?

Trung (28m 8s):

I'm ready.

Chad (28m 9s):

Here we go.

Joel (28m 10s):

I'm going to go first, baby. Alright, Trung, you had me at government contracts, I think. I was a really sort of confused as to what the market was, who was going to buy this and then when you said the army and the military, a light sort of went off in my head as to, in terms of the opportunity being pretty huge, particularly in the international opportunity. And then when you threw in the mental health and wellbeing of healthcare workers and education and other government workers, I'm sure there are some IRS workers that need a little mental health and maybe some postal workers that could use a device like this. So, so from that perspective, I think that once you start laying the groundwork with customers like that, you're going to be in really good shape from that aspect.

Joel (28m 56s):

The second sort of bridge that I see this should be successful for you, is the corporate side of things in terms of, allowing people to have cool products that they would probably like to have anyway, I think is going to be a really great advantage for you. So number one is never make your own device. When you said, we're thinking about making our own shit, like do not do that. Nobody's going to want to wear the Amplio, you know, ring or something like that. But if you can tap into the Oura Ring or giving people free Apple watches or something like that, then it's a benefit to the employee as opposed to like, oh, you have to wear this crappy, you know, device that some vendor made. So I think if you can tie in the corporate side with, Hey, we're going to give your employees like a really cool sort of device.

Joel (29m 40s):

And as long as they understand that, Hey, this is not invading your privacy. This is just sort of keeping track of your mental health and wellbeing. And by the way, you have to wear it because you're an employee. I think, although that could be a little bit of a challenge. I think that most companies, or a lot of companies can't get over that if they get to have a cool device like the Oura Ring. I like that you're going to raise money. I think you're going to need it. You're going to need some more brains on staff. I think you're going to need eventually some marketing people to get your site in order and get some of those things. I understand that it's not a huge deal, but if you're going to go to the corporate sector, you need to have a design that makes you look like a professional site and warrants their money.

Joel (30m 21s):

So for me, dude, I think, you know, I'm being long winded, but you really had me at government contracts. I think that you can solidify those and have a pretty damn successful business.

sfx (30m 33s):


Joel (30m 34s):

Are you ready for Chad?

Trung (30m 35s):

Sure, absolutely. That was great feedback. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Joel (30m 40s):

Go get 'em Chad.

Chad (30m 40s):

Oh, Trung you had me at hello when you said government contracts as well and then you lost me when you said that you're going to try to go direct to brands. I think there's no question that, you know, when you're talking about personal data collection, Apple does it, Google does it, in our space, HireVue, does it. You know, there's some ins and outs of where that could go wrong, but why not jump in with both feet, especially in the government sector. And since you already have case studies and business cases set up, then stay incredibly tightly focused on what you know, and that's cyber.

Chad (31m 20s):

At least at this point, right? And again, stay away from the HR side of the house because let's face it, HR is too risk averse to pull the trigger on something which collects personal data, whether the employer see it or not. And employees are way too cautious to allow their employer such intimate information. It's already hard enough to retain good employees without feeling like, you know, the burnout is just the cover for them to extract personal data. If a person has a heart condition, you know, they're going to be thinking to themselves, is this going to increase insurance rates and then will the company fire me there, all these things from a perception standpoint, you're going to have to fight if you go broad base versus being more focused on government and cyber.

Chad (32m 10s):

I'm a big fan. But again, until you get things tightened up on a go to market, on a sales and marketing side of the house, I'm going to go with a golf clap.

sfx (32m 21s):

Soft clapping.

Trung (32m 22s):


Joel (32m 23s):

Thank you, Trung.

Trung (32m 23s):

No problem.

Joel (32m 24s):

You have survived to the firing squad. How do you feel?

Trung (32m 28s):

I feel good. I feel good. Yeah. So I appreciate you guys' feedback. We're definitely moving forward and we thank you for the information. I appreciate that.

Joel (32m 36s):

So for our listeners out there who want to know more about Amplio? Where would you send them trunk?

Trung (32m 44s):

You can send emails to myself,, or contact if you want to and then we'll respond as soon as we can.

Joel (32m 53s):

Excellent. Another one survived Chad. And another one is in the can.

Chad and Cheese (32m 56s):

We out.

OUTRO (32m 56s):

This has been the Firing Squad. Be sure to subscribe to the Chad and Cheese Podcast so you don't miss an episode. And if you're a startup who wants to face the Firing Squad, contact the boys at today. That's


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