“I describe the life of an entrepreneur like a heartbeat. It goes up and down. You do not want a flat-line. If your life is going smoothly, you’re already dead.”–Naveen Jain
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Naveen Jain is a serial entrepreneur, his latest venture being “Viome” which examines gut health. His company provides testing to make sure that the microbiome in your gut is in balance which will improve overall health. Jain and the Commander discuss entrepreneurship, your imagination being your only limit and his plans for getting to the moon.
Find out how:
- The point of entrepreneurship must be more than simply financial wealth
- There is enough of the nervous system in the gut that it’s reasonable to wonder if the brain is really the center
- It’s much more reasonable and manageable to plan a moon shot now than it was in 1969.
Listen to this wide-ranging conversation to get an insight into health, space travel and business.
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Transcript & Shownotes
Welcome back, folks. This is Commander Mark divine with the Unbeatable Mind podcast. So stoked that you could join me today. Really appreciate your time. I know you’ve got a hundred thousand, million, billion things vying for your attention. Let’s just focus on this right now.
Before I introduce my guest Naveen Jain, who I’m super-excited to talk to, let me remind you that this year–if you haven’t heard yet–I’m not reminding. This is the first time. But this year I’ve challenged people to join me to do 22 million burpees to raise awareness and money for vets who are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress. I have committed to the humble goal of 100,000, and I’m donating 10 cents a burpee for that. So I’ll be throwing 10 grand towards this cause. And I’m challenging 1000 people to join me and together we’ll do 22,000,000 burpees. And that number is relevant only because you may not know this, but 22 veterans just in the United States… 22 veterans a day are committing suicide as a result of the stress of combat. And that is just unsat. We’ve gotta step up and help them. This is a cause that I’m putting everything I can behind this year.
And, of course, beyond. So the Courage Foundation, we’re going to drive that effort to support orgs that are doing real work for vets. And then we’re creating an after-care program to really help them once they kind of find us. So we’re looking for about 50 vets to work with. And we’re looking for people who want to do burpees. And suffer just the way they’re suffering.
Okay, so go to burpeesforvets.com. Hooyah.
So Naveen Jain is an entrepreneur and philanthropist. Originally from India. Founded, like, a billion companies. The ones that I know about are “Infospace,” which was a really search engine and pre-Google days. I definitely remember that big time.
You guys all know that I’m a big fan of space and what happens when we become a multi-planetary species. And the fact that entrepreneurs are starting to really press the envelope and take the lead.
Mister Jain is involved in that with a company called “Moon Express” which has essentially an agreement with governments to go back to the moon. Our government.
And then his latest venture is called “Viome,” which I’m excited to talk about. Viome is all about gut health and overcoming all disease.
So, wow. Very, very honored to meet you. My dogs in the background are having a little fight, here.
Naveen Jain: Don’t worry about that Mark… (laughing)
Mark: (laughing) They want to be in the podcast. Nice to meet you. Thanks for joining me today.
Naveen: Mark, it’s an honor and a pleasure. And I salute you for what you have done for the country. And I salute you for your determination to help the vets. And there is nothing that we each one of us should not be doing for these people because they have given up their life… they have to some extent taken all the risk to keep us safe. And the fact that we are able to do what we do is thanks to them. So any who is listening to it, if they can do anything to support your cause, I am completely behind it. And I support it.
Mark: Yeah, thanks so much. I agree with you 100%. I mean, freedom isn’t free, they say. And the sacrifice of the families and these vets… It’s one thing to serve. I came out unscathed and so I feel very humbled by that. But a lot of my friends did not…
Naveen: But Mark, no… Mark to some extent you came out still your heart beating and…But, the fact is, going through those traumatic times, it takes a lot of toll on your brain. It takes a lot of toll on your gut. And people suffering through PTSD as you mentioned, it is a nightmare for those people.
And thankfully the research is showing now that your gut microbiome is actually quite a bit responsible and influential in PTSD. So if you just Google PTSD and microbiome, there was research that was published less than a month ago that clearly shows how the vets who are suffering through PTSD, if they start to eat the right food and get the right gut–there will be a tremendous amount of impact on their PTSD symptoms. So I hope that together we can find a solution to that.
Mark: Yeah, I think that’s tremendous. I can’t wait to read that research. I think that makes a lot of sense. I wanna come back to that.
But before we dig into biome and gut health–give me a little background on your beginnings. How you made it. How you got to the United States. How you started in entrepreneurship. What was driving you when you kind of kicked off this whole period of your life?
Naveen: So Mark, I wanna focus a whole lot more on the audience, what they can do. Because my life journey is an open-book. And everyone can read about it.
But I want to focus on this idea of mindset. That each one of us are capable of doing amazing things.
And just like you, Mark. You are able to become a Navy SEAL. Not because somehow you had a gene and somehow you were born with that. You had the determination. You had the willpower. And you wanted to make that happen, right?
The interesting thing is, every one of us can do that. It is partly the mindset of us believing what is possible. And the minute you start to believe something is impossible, it becomes impossible for you and not for anyone else.
So it is your mindset that actually determines your own limitations, right? It is not even the people… Even my mother when I was young would say, “Son, you can do anything. The sky is the limit.” And as I grew up I told mom–I said, “Mom, you know there is no such thing as sky. The sky is nothing but the figment of your imagination, because when you… (laughing)
Mark: (laughing) Spoken like a true yogi…
Naveen: (laughing) Right. When you go from here to the moon, you don’t call mom and say, “Mom, I just passed the sky. I’m almost there.”
The sky doesn’t exist. So my point is our imagination is the only limit we have to what we can achieve. And what you and I and everyone listening to it, may not realize… we are living in a most amazing decade of the human history. This decade…
Mark: I’m with you on that…
Naveen: This decade we are going to be able to use these exponential technologies to solve the real problems, right? What’s really happened is many of the people in the Silicon Valley and other places have lost their purpose. They’re going out and building a 700 dollar juicer and building the Alexa enabled toaster. And building the Alexa enabled toilet.
Those are not the problems in the world people want to be solved. What they really want solved is when kids are graduating from college with that. How are we going to make the education affordable when people can’t live and work in the cities like San Francisco and New York? And they’re spending all of their earnings on trying to find an apartment. That’s a problem we need to solve.
When we are spending trillions in dollars in health care and people are getting sicker and sicker every day–that’s a problem we need to solve. When we are going around polluting this environment with fossil fuels–that’s a problem we need to solve.
My point is, the problems are plenty… but the good thing is there’s no reason to be frustrated and thinking, “How are we going to do that?” We have now the technology to be able to solve each and every one of those problems.
Mark: We just lack the political will and I guess, the motivation. That’s why I think it’s so motivating for me to see folks… what I would call kind of like big thinking social entrepreneurs. And I put Elon Musk and Diamandis, and others who are really trying to solve massive problems in that category. And you’re right, it’s different than just trying to go public and make bank. And we need more of that.
Naveen: And what’s really interesting thing is people somehow believe that if you dare… “I am young. I can’t be doing this social good. I got to be making money.”
And I keep reminding people, doing good and doing well are not mutually exclusive. As a matter of fact, the only way to do well for yourself is to do a tremendous good for society.
And here’s why. If you want to create a 10 billion dollar company, all you have to do is solve a 100 billion dollar problem.
What are those 100 billion dollar problems? The big social problems, right? So you solve them, this is how you create a massive enterprise. So if you want to do a small good in the world, you create a non-profit. If you want to do a large good in the world, you go out and create a for-profit company.
It’s the mindset of scarcity. It’s the mindset that tells people that things are valuable because they are scarce. What if they are abundant? What if the things that we value today can be created so much that they become abundant?
And what I mean by that, Mark, is if you look at it today, as humans we fight over land, we fight over water and we fight over energy. And all we have to do is look up in the sky. Where is the scarcity of land? Imagine. We got a tiny pale blue dot just in our own solar system. And imagine, our solar system is literally nothing in our own galaxy. And there are billions of galaxies in this universe. And there’s billions of universes in this multiverse.
Where is the scarcity of places we can live on?
Mark: (laughing) The scarcity is just spaceships to get there, right?
Naveen: My point exactly. But that’s a mindset for us to believe we can’t get there. And even if we get there, we can’t live there because the radiation and there is low gravity. Those are all the problems that could be solved. And the bigger the problem, the bigger the bigger the opportunity right?
So, for example, people say, “Oh, it’s awesome you’re going to the moon. But you know you can’t live on the moon because there is so much radiation.” And I remind people, and I say, “Think about it. Nature is an amazing innovator. Even in the radioactive nuclear waste, you find the bacterial organism growing and thriving. Nature figured out a way to find a way to protect its own DNA from the high radiation.”
Radioactive radiation. And use the radiation as a source of energy. Now imagine, if we can take the genes from those bacteria, use the CRISPR technology to modify our own human genes. And next thing we know, we as humans are not only resistant to radiation, we actually start to use the radiation for a source of energy. That means in the evening you say, “Honey, do you want to go out and get some radiation?” As opposed to getting some pizza.
Mark: (laughing) That’s pretty interesting…
Naveen: So my point is every one of the problems, there is a solution. All it takes it that mindset that says it is… “I can do this. What technologies can I apply to make this happen?” And that mindset is what’s going to allow us to solve these big problems.
Mark: Now I completely agree with you. Now it sounds to me… Cause I read on your website you came to the United States with, like, 5 bucks. But the biggest asset that you had that a lot of people lack is this notion that you could do anything that was possible. That was planted, obviously, by a very wise mother and probably father. And maybe your peer group. However you grew up.
So you came with that abundant mindset and the idea that anything was possible. Very few people have that from what I see.
Naveen: But it’s interesting. Here’s a…
Mark: How do we get that? How do you think that people can shift from scarcity to abundance? Or from “I can’t” to “I can.” What’s your recommendation?
Naveen: I’m going to give you a very specific set of examples. I have 3 children. And my oldest one, by the way, yesterday he was on CNBC and this morning he was on the FOX business news. At 17 years old he started something called Chiro society which has now become the world’s largest college entrepreneurship thing, right?
What is it that… our daughter graduated from Stanford. Became a Stanford Mayfield Fellow and now working on empowering women by working on artificial intelligence to remove the bias against hiring women. And she works for this company called Biometrics. And our youngest son is a junior at Stanford. 3 amazing, great entrepreneurs doing amazing things, right? What is it that we did?
First of all, we changed for them the definition of success. And we said, “Your success is not measured by the amount of money you have in the bank. Your success will be measured by number of lives you’re able to improve.”
The second thing we said was, “Your self-worth does not come from what you own. Your self-worth comes from what you create. If you own a lot and you still haven’t created anything, you’re still a parasite on humanity. You’re still a hunk of shit as far as humanities concerned.”
Mark: (laughing) I love it.
Naveen: The 3rd thing was “How would you ever know in life that you have become successful? The day you become humble is the day you become successful. If you have to keep telling people that… who you are… Or if you have any arrogance left in you, that means you’re still trying to prove something to someone else. Or yourself. You’re not successful.
So anyone… some of us know a person who is constantly telling us, “You know how much money I have? You know how big my hands are?”
Mark: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Mark: So it sounds to me like humility is a prerequisite then for true success. And I would agree with you, by the way. I think the moment… I utterly resonate with that, because I think the moment that I became truly humble is when my success really started to take off. And I was… I still built a business, and I was a Navy SEAL, but that humility…When you just get… you meet so many challenges and just get beat down. But you get up… you fall down 7 times and get up 8. And on that 8th time, you know, you’re like, “Holy shit. This is just the way it is. Challenges are always going to be there and I don’t have all the answers.” And it’s very, very humbling to realize that, you know what? You don’t have to have the all the answers. You don’t need to know shit. You just need to know that anything’s possible, and if you stick to it, and stay focused and ask for help that you can do anything.
Naveen: I completely agree, Mark. Here’s very interesting. I describe the life of an entrepreneur like a heartbeat. It goes up and down. You do not want a flat-line. If your life is going smoothly, you’re already dead. Right?
Mark: (laughing) Right. So you’re sliding backwards at least, right?
Naveen: Up and down tells you that you are alive. And that’s really… the trick is, when things are really bad, and you are at the bottom of the heartbeat, just know that if you survive long enough the next beat is up. Right?
And then you are on the top of the world. You never get to cocky because you know the winter is coming… the next beat is going to be down. And that’s what keeps you humble is to know that there is going to be that valley where I’m going to go through it. Where I’m going to see nothing but darkness. And when you come out of it, when you’re on top of the world, always remember where you came from because you can go right back there.
Mark: Yeah. Absolutely. And that’s really kind of the core of Eastern philosophy including yogic philosophy is that, “Hey, whatever happens out there it’s always going to be equal parts good and bad.” Like you said, if things are going great and swimmingly now then just around the corner is the next major challenge or crisis. And you can’t control any of that. All you can control is your attitude and what goes on inside.
And now what you’re saying, with Viome–the whole biome thing–is maybe we don’t even control that if we’re not in control of the biome. If we’re not eating well and dealing with that then your biome is controlling you. Is that one of your premises?
Naveen: Yeah. So my… if you look at we as humans, right? And most people don’t realize that somehow we have been told that when you are sick, all these bacteria and viruses make you sick. And if you can somehow get rid of all the bacteria and viruses from the human body–the sterile human body is the healthiest human body.
What they don’t realize is we as humans we have more bacterial cells inside us than the human cells.
Mark: Yeah, we’re symbiotic, right? We need them and they need us.
Naveen: Well that is not just symbiotic. Here’s the very interesting part is the human DNA u=only produces 20,000 genes and these organisms in our gut produce 2 million genes. That means we are less than 1% human.
Mark: (laughing) I knew I felt a little bit alien…
Naveen: So we are basically… we are so proud of ourselves. (laughing) We are basically a portable container for these micro-organisms. We are walking, talking eco-system, right? That’s who we are.
And I think you’re going to probably call me crazy, so I had this…
Mark: (laughing) So next time someone calls me a germ, I’m going to take that as a compliment.
Naveen: Here’s very interesting… I was thinking about it. The bacteria in viruses have been on this planet for what? 4 billion years, right? And the humans only evolved about 250,000 years ago, right? So I was thinking this, Mark… Listen to this–my crazy dream. I think about a million years ago or so all these bacteria and viruses got together and said, “You know? We are just sick and tired of living in this local community. I think we should take over the world.”
And all the visionaries and the scientists and the entrepreneurs said, “You know? That sounds like a really good idea. What if we can create something that will carry us around? All we have to do is keep this thing healthy. It’s going to run around and find the food for us. It’s going to work all day and keep feeding us. And all we have to do is keep it healthy. And, by the way, this thing is going to go around–go all over the world. Poop everywhere, spread us around. And we gonna take over the world.
And guess what happened? They created humans.
Mark: (laughing) It came true.
That’s too funny. Holy cow.
Naveen: but anyway, on a serious note, it’s very clear now that in the last 2 years, every single scientific research–if you Google Alzheimer and microbiome, Parkinson’s and microbiome, depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD. You look at diabetes. You look at obesity. You look at autoimmune diseases. Or you look at cancer.
The Cleveland clinic just published research that says that breast cancer is caused by the microbiome.
And by the way, the research that came out in the last 6 weeks alone, that says even the cure for cancer whether it is immunotherapy, whether it works or does not work depends on your microbiome. Whether the chemotherapy works or it kills you depends on your microbiome. Whether… if you look at all of these chronic diseases, they are fundamentally caused by our microbiome.
The problem that you run into is, even though you and I and every single human being our DNA is 99% same DNA. Our microbiome is less than 5% same. That means we are completely different when it comes to our gut.
Mark: Now how does that happen? I mean, let’s say I lived in upstate new York and I was eating the same things my family was eating and I was exposed to the same environmental stimulus… how could it be possible that I was only 5% the same as my brothers and sisters and parents and…
Naveen: What’s very interesting is that obviously the people you meet, the places you visit, the hands you shake, the food you eat… every single thing changes your microbiome. So the toxins we inhale, every time you shake a hand and you touch something … every single thing is changing the microbiome. You basically are breathing the microbiome.
So every time you take an… inhale, you’re breathing billions in your lungs. And when you exhale, you’re exhaling billions of them out.
So every time–depending on who you’re sitting with–you’re exchanging their microbiome. So that’s how our microbiome becomes completely different until you’re joined at the hip with someone eating exactly the same food visiting the same people. And you are tied somehow… the bodies are tied together, right?
Mark: Siamese twins probably share the microbiome.
Naveen: But only if they’re kissing the same women.
Mark: Yeah. Yeah, so you’re spouse and you probably share 10% (laughing)
So what’s the difference…? I’ve been telling folks in my Unbeatable Mind program… we talk about and we mentioned this earlier… the gut/brain, the heart/brain, and the brain/brain. And the gut/brain–I’ve focused largely on the enteric nervous system, which is the neurological and neurobiological aspects of the gut and then its relationship through the Vagus nerve with your nervous system. And right up to your brain. To send information, intuitive signals–gut checks and all that. And I relied on that quite a bit as a SEAL and I do to this day. How does the biome relate to that? Are they 2 separate things? Is the enteric nervous system one thing and the biome another thing? Or are they related?
Naveen: So the interesting this is your microbiome that resides in your gut communicates with our brain using the Vagus nerve. And the neurotransmitters like cortisols and serotonin, these neurotransmitters are actually… So you may or may not realize–90% of all the serotonin is produced in your gut. Not in your brain. That…
Mark: Yeah. I just read that. That’s mind-blowing. (laughing) gut/mind blowing.
Naveen: That’s it. And 70% of our immune system is along our gut lining. So our immune system is constantly interacting with our gut and the microbes. This is how they decide what’s friend or a foe.
So the idea is that when the baby is born, it’s not born sterile. So why… it’s very interesting, 2 weeks ago there was research that came out that shows that even when the baby is in the womb, it’s not sterile. The placenta and the core blood has the full mother’s microbiome.
And here is very interesting one. When the mother goes through labor, it’s not the nature’s way of punishing the mother. It is actually the way of moving the microbiome through the birth canal. And so when the baby goes through the birth canal, the labor allows the body to essentially be prepared to move the microbiome to the birth canal, and move the microbiome to the breast.
So interesting thing happens when the baby goes through birth canal, it’s completely being exposed to the microbes. And when the baby is being fed the breast milk…. interesting thing in the breast milk is the first 7 days of breast milk has 2 components. The colostrum and the microbiome. And the colostrum is very interesting, cannot be digested by the human body. It can only be digested by the microbiome in your gut.
So imagine what nature is saying. Nature is saying that I just created an offspring and the best way for me to keep this offspring healthy is not to feed the offspring, but to feed the microbiome and the gut. Because if that is healthy and good ecosystem, my offspring will be healthiest
So think about that for a second here. Is that our gut controls who we are? So interesting thing is through the Vagus nerve… there was another research that was published that our microbiome releases the enzymes and something called macrobolites, which are small molecules. That interferes with our amygdala and pre-frontal cortex using something called micro-RNA interference. That means…. amygdala means our behavior is being controlled by microbiome. And prefrontal cortex means our decision making is being controlled by microbiome.
So imagine what’s happening here. These are the puppet masters that are pulling the strings. And our brain is simply following the direction. The craving that we get, it comes from our microbiome. So when you eat a lot of sugar, you get sugar cravings. When you eat lots of salad… like my daughter. She says, “I get salad cravings.” Because she’s feeding the microbes that actually grow on that. And they start to crave that. That means when we are hungry, when we are full, what we eat, everything is being controlled by our microbiome.
So imagine who is controlling who. So what if we are wrong? Just like we used to believe that the earth is the center of the solar system. What if we realized that our primary brain is not sitting on the top of the shoulder? Our primary brain is really in the gut. And our thing that’s sitting on the shoulder, is really a motor cortex that simply follows the direction…
Mark: And makes meaning out of it, right?
Naveen: And makes meaning out of it. Because what people talked about for the longest time…
Mark: Do you think the gut is the source of our subconscious mind?
Naveen: That’s what I was going to say. That remember there were several books that were written that there is no such thing as free will. Because people make their decision before they even know they’re making the decision. How do you think this is happening?
What if our subconscious mind is really our gut? So when my mother said, “Listen to your gut. Do the gut check.” How do you think these terms evolved?
They evolved because they realized that’s where all the intuition happens. That’s where all the decisions are being made. That’s where all the subconscious mind is actually doing all the work, right?
So to some extent, the amazing thing is… if I can go slightly on the spiritual side… even on the Eastern philosophy, Mark, if you notice that the Brahma where the life starts, it starts from the belly. And it shows life is created out of the belly. It doesn’t get created out of the mind.
So the point is everyone in the ancient days… whether its Hippocrates saying that all disease start in the gut. Or saying one man’s food is another man’s poison. What he’s saying is, “Hey, every food is personalized. What is good for one person is not good for another person.” One man’s food is another man’s poison.
And today what we do at Viome is we do this testing to tell you what your microbes are doing in your gut. And what food is right for you.
Mark: And you know, in Ayurvedic and Chinese… I guess, nutritional philosophy that’s what they do. Essentially they look at what you need as an individual human and then try to stoke that healthy fire in the belly…
Naveen: That’s exactly what they’re doing. My point is… but they could not use the right scientific basis. So what we do now, we look at your microbiome. Every single organism. How active it is, and is it producing short-chain fatty acid? Is it producing vitamins? Is it inflammatory compound? And then you say… You know what? For me, I was told I should be eating mostly carbs. Don’t eat spinach, don’t eat avocado. Don’t eat oats, but eat more wheat. Very counter-intuitive.
Mark: Yeah, it is counter-intuitive. Now do you think that’s because maybe you’ve been eating that stuff for a long time and that’s what your biome is used to?
Naveen: That’s exactly what happened. What happened was… 2 things happened. When people go on these fad diets, right? “I am on an Atkins diet, I’m on Paleo diet, I’m on a ketogenic diet, I’m on a lactin diet…”
What happens is when you eat any diet, you’re only feeding one set of microbes. And then your eco-system becomes completely imbalanced. So things that used to be good for you become bad for you. And that’s the reason you have to test every 3 or 4 months, just like tuning your car. You gotta constantly making sure that your body is in a perfect working condition.
Mark: We’re probably too far disconnected from our own gut intelligence to know this, but it seems to me that when you’re really in tune–so to speak–that your gut’s going to tell you that. Like I feel like if I go for a week without eating a steak, I’m like, “I’m craving a steak. I’m going to go have a steak.”
And then if I go for a few days following my friend Dave Asprey and just pumping up my MCT oil and butter, I’m like, “Man, I need to gorge on salad for a few days.”
So I try to balance all that stuff every day. Generally, I do an okay job. But I think we’re designed so that the gut will tell you those things. We’re just too disconnected these days…
Naveen: That’s it. We’ve stopped listening to our gut. Why do you think we sometimes do things that are so… you go back and say, “What was I thinking?” Because we stopped listening to our gut.
Mark: Right. Exactly.
Naveen: There’s a little voice inside you always tells you, ‘don’t do that Mark. Don’t go there, Mark.”
Mark: (Laughing) I usually hear that when I’m about to pick up the beer, you know? Usually the 2nd or 3rd one.
So how does Viome… how do you do this? I mean, what’s the technology behind it.
Naveen: This technology was… it came from a bio-defence work at Los Alamos national lab. They were actually looking at this stuff to try to figure out if there was a bad actor who got hold of something biological, how would they ever know what is making people sick?
So they built amazing technology that is able to look at the RNA sequencing of every organism in the gut. Figure out every gene expression. Mitochondrial gene expression. Blood gene expression.
And say, “You know? What is making us sick?” When I looked at the technology, I’m saying, “If we know what’s making you sick, why can’t I keep the people healthy?”
And so we got the exclusive license to that technology. The biodefence work. And they spent hundreds of millions of dollars developing it. And now basically what we’re doing is making it available to the consumer.
So until we came about, to do something like this, Mark, it would cost $10,000.Because of the work that the government did for us, we’re able to now have the whole service retail for $399. Think about that.
And once you do one test for $399… During the year, you can do as many tests as you want for $199. So imagine. You pay thousand dollars a month on an insurance premium and it’s making you sick. What if illness was purely a matter of choice? What if you knew what was going on, and you knew exactly what to eat to keep yourself healthy?
So, for example, I was trying to lose ten pounds and people told me just cut down all the carbs. Don’t… Eat healthy. Eat spinach, avocado, lentils, legumes, tofu.
And I did that. In the beginning, I lost weight. Guess what happened? My weight came back to the same after a year, and my blood glucose level was still going up.
Once I did the Viome test, you know what it told me? It said, cut down… start eating more carbs. Cut down the spinach, cut down the avocado, cut down the oats and start eating other things. And imagine, I lost ten pounds now, and my blood glucose came down.
So thing is… I’m sure when I test it now, it’s going to come back and say start eating more spinach, more avocado… right?
Mark: Right. That’s what I was just thinking. That’s cool.
So it’s always going to take you through these wild swings until you’re back. And the swings get smaller and smaller.
Naveen: Smaller and smaller. That’s exactly what happens.
So keeping the body in tune and balanced. So what it really is doing for me, Mark, this is my personally my way of giving back. This is not something to make money. God has been… we came to this country with absolutely nothing. God has been very kind to us. And I, you know, people who helped become who I am, I can’t help them. And my way of paying back is to pay forward. And by doing the things… whether it’s creating a multi-planetary society using Moon Express, or solving this chronic disease problem where people don’t have to ever be sick.
If I can do that, this is how I’m going to call myself successful. By helping a billion people around the world remove the chronic diseases. But the interesting thing is, there’s so much data that we get from all the different analyses that we do. And then we use the artificial intelligence to actually decide what we should be eating, right?
The more people who take the test, make everyone better. So that if the thing is I need help. We need about a million to 2 million people that go through the service so that we have plenty of data to be able to know what is causing this cancer for different group of people who are completely living in a different environment. And the more data we have, the better we can do in terms of keeping all these different diseases away for everyone. Not only for the select few.
If you are only able to get select few, then only we can help those people. So I need help in getting more people to sign up because if we come together, we can solve this problem once and for all. And not only we will free up trillions of dollars just in our own country for education, for everyone else. We can make the society better. And imagine how much suffering we have. Anyone of us who has seen any relative go through any kind of disease…
Mark: It reminds me of the genome project. It was okay to have a genome but what we needed millions of genomes. So I went when Peter Diamandis started “Human Longevity,” I paid $5000 to get sequenced. And they’re like, “Hey, you’re one of the healthiest 50 year-olds we’ve ever seen in our lives.” I said, “Good. I’ll be an outlier for the genome project.’
So what you’re saying is we need the biome project. We need…
Naveen: Exactly. The human microbiome project. But we need to understand the gut. Because at the end of the day, you’re genes don’t determine who you are. Here is why. What the genes don’t make who you are because it’s the gene expression… remember your same genes can be expressed or not expressed. And our microbiome controls whether genes are being expressed or not.
So a gene tells you what could happen, and your gene expression tells you what is happening.
Mark: Right. That makes sense.
Naveen: So I think they were lying to you when they say you are the healthiest person, because they don’t know that.
Mark: (laughing) Well, my biome is expressing that health through some gene optimization somehow.
How to Join
So how do I get involved? How do we quote “sign-up” for your biome?
Naveen: You need to go to viome.com. (laughing) As an Indian, you can’t pronounce the “v,” but you start a company that’s called Viome that you can’t pronounce.
Mark: (laughing) Wiome. Well, I’m glad you didn’t do a “w,” because that would have confused the heck out of people.
Naveen. So viome.com. And if you can sign-up there, not only you will feel better… and here’s my promise to you. If you do the test and you don’t get better, you send me an email and I’ll personally refund the money to you. So my hope is that everyone who signs up actually feels better. And contributes to the betterment of the society.
Mark: So is it a blood test? Do you get something in the mail, or how does it work?
Naveen: You get a kit in the mail and you get a swab of the stool and you send that to us. And you do the four finger pricks, essentially for us to know how does your body digest carbs, how does your body digest protein, and how does your body digest fat?
And we basically have the metabolic intelligence test by measuring your glucose, how it goes up and down over time. And then we measure the… you swab the stool. That gives us every single organism, what they’re doing in your gut. And we take all of that and we take all the information that you give us, and we apply the artificial intelligence to essentially tell you what you can do to keep yourself healthy.
Mark: Interesting. I mean, my brain is a little bit stunned that you can tell me that a little swab of… this is probably TMI… but a swab of your poop is going to included every single one of those billions of critters.
Naveen: Yeah. Very interesting thing is that when people talk about “keep your shit together,” they really mean it.
Mark: (laughing) Ancient wisdom.
That’s awesome. We’ve only got a few more minutes. But I’m burning to ask you 2 more questions.
Naveen: Please, go ahead.
Mark: First, how are you going to get to the moon? Isn’t it crazy? I mean, for me it’s just mind-boggling that we went to the moon in ’69 and now we literally… the US government or the world governments can’t get back there. So how are you going to do it?
Naveen: so it’s very interesting… you know, first of all the exponential technology is making it so much affordable to do. The first time when we landed on the moon, it cost us a billion dollars in late ’60s. That’s equivalent to probably 100 billion dollars today.
Our cost of landing on the moon… the robotic mission that we’re launching this year, is going to be under 10 million.
Naveen: Because, imagine everything that’s making our iPhones thinner and faster and cheaper are the same set of sensors that go into the lander. So everything that’s making the reusable rockets cheaper is because of 3D printing. So now you can 3D print a rocket that used to cost 200 million dollars. We just bought the rocket that cost us 4 million dollars.
So building the things are becoming cheaper. All of the artificial intelligence… costs of processing is coming down, cost of sensors are coming down. Cost of optical systems like camera. You don’t need to buy a fancy, million dollar camera. You don’t need to buy a fancy LIDAR. Now the LIDARs, you can buy them for 500 dollars then you put them on self-driving car.
And by the way, in the ’60s they had to custom make them and they used to cost 10 million dollars. And now you can buy them for 500 bucks, right?
And that’s the reason we are able to do things that only the superpowers did. So when we… I don’t know if I told you that, Mark… we are the only company in the universe that has permission to leave Earth orbit and land on the moon. And president Obama signed into the law that clearly says that anything that we bring back, we get to own it. So imagine how much a person who grew up so poor in India they did not have food to eat could dream so big and make it happen. What would you do, right?
So my parting words would be dream so big that people think you are absolutely fricking crazy. When people say, “What you going to do?” and you tell them what you’re going to do. “I’m gonna land on the moon. I’m gonna mine the moon.” They say you’re fricking crazy. You’re on to something, right?
And never, ever give up. You only fail in life when you give up. Everything else is just a stepping stone to a different idea, different success and bigger success.
Mark: Awesome. So here’s my parting shot for all those budding entrepreneurs who are listening. I’ve gotta huge dream and I’ve been listening to Coach Divine and I’m never going to quit. What’s my next step? What’s the first thing I should do?
Naveen: The first thing you should do is start to talk about to everyone and share your dream. The more you share your dream, you’re going to find the passionate other people who want to join you because you have this audacious idea.
So when I started Viome, I said, “I’m going to make this less optional. I got the head for the IBM Watson research institute. “Hey, you know what? I wanna do something meaningful with my life. I’m gonna come and join you.”
Doctor Massey, she quit her job and she said, “You know what Naveen? The problem you’re trying to solve is the problem I want to help you solve.”
And it was amazing… Doctor Yusovich was working on this bio-defence work and called me and said, ‘You know what? Why don’t you take this technology? I can make it help you solve this problem.”
So my point is when you go out and have an audacious dream, people want to help you solve that audacious dream. If you tell them, “I wanna go build an iPhone app that’s going to help you find a roommate,” they’ll say “Good luck. Have fun.”
Mark: (laughing) Right. Good point. I love that.
Awesome. Naveen thanks so much. How can… people can find you Viome of course. viome.com. You actually said, “Hey, email me if it doesn’t work.” You wanna give people your email?
Naveen: Absolutely. My first name-dot-last name. [email protected]. And send me an email. Anyone, please sign up and if you’re not feeling better, if you’re not happy with it, it’s my personal email [email protected] Send me anything you want. Not just Viome, if you have any questions, anything you want to know. If you’re starting a company, you want advice. Just know I am here for you. My life is dedicated to making you successful.
because the only way we as humanity is going to be successful is more of each one of us going out and doing amazing things with our own lives.
Mark: Amen to that. I completely agree. And I honor your work sir. And your attitude. And your abundance mentality. And thank you so much for joining us today. Hooyah.
Naveen: Thank you, Mark. It’s a pleasure and it’s an honor. And thank you for having me as a guest.
Mark: you rock. I’m gonna go sign-up to Viome. I encourage everyone who’s listening to do the same. And send Naveen an email. He’s serious. If you’re an entrepreneur–holy cow. What an unbelievable offer you just received. So don’t take it lightly. Of course, and don’t flood him with junk.
Naveen, you rock. Thanks very much.
Naveen: Thanks a lot brother. Love you.
Mark: Look forward to meeting you in person. Take care. Hooyah.
Wow folks. That was just an honor. What a neat guy. And I think we’re onto something big here. The biome is huge and people are just starting to understand it. So be part of the solution and step up. And do the right thing. Start helping out the human race, instead of your pocket book. I love that.
All right. Thanks again for listening. That’s it for now. We will see you next time. This is Mark Divine on the Unbeatable Mind podcast. Stay focused. Train hard. One day, one life.