ShapeScale – The Story
Recently I sat down with Martin Kessler, Co-founder & COO of Shape Labs Inc. (ShapeScale). I wanted to understand how ShapeScale was founded and why he chose to team up with partner & Co-founder Alexandre Wayenberg to make the ShapeScale dream a reality.
We will be uploading the full interview on Youtube later in the week and will also be sharing sections of the interview across our social media channels. I have also embedded a snippet of the interview into this blog to give you a sneak preview of more of what is to come.
I am also hoping to turn future interviews and other applicable blog posts into audio files which you will be able to access via SoundCloud.
This blog post will paraphrase the interview I conducted with Martin to ensure I do not bore you all to death.
I hope you enjoy finding out a bit more about the company and the people that make it tick. Let me know in the comments if you have enjoyed this blog or would prefer to see more of our regular informative health & fitness content.
Martin – Background, Experience & Hobbies
Hey guys, I am Martin one of the Co-founders of Shape. My experience is actually quite diverse. I started out in China where I was involved in manufacturing consumer electronics. And I actually founded a consumer electronics company there called PhoneJoy.
Additionally, I was working in wholesale distribution and online marketing. I met Alex, my co-founder, during my time in China, as he was also involved in manufacturing consumer electronics. I am also a certified sports nutritionist.
In my spare time I love to push myself and so I love Spartan Races and I have run a few marathons. I frequently go to Flywheel and Soul Cycle (spinning classes) and when I am looking to relax, I love to play video games on the weekend.
How was ShapeScale founded with your Partner Alex
Alex and I began to work together on a few projects and we started to take a few meetings together. It quickly became apparent that Alex was full of crazy ideas. One day he pitched me the idea of ShapeScale, however, it was not known as ShapeScale at the time.
He described the idea of being able to visually measure your body and the progress you were making. The idea came to him after he had started to fall out of shape in China. He had been eating a different diet and so decided he needed to snap into action and get back into shape. Therefore, he bought a fancy wifi-scale and hired a personal trainer and began to work out. Slowly, he began to feel great about himself again.
But then he stepped on the scale! (You know what we think of ordinary scales, read here if not) He could not understand why his weight had increased, he felt fit and healthy again. It became apparent to him that muscle weighs more than fat which explained why his weight had increased. He had put on lean muscle mass and lost body fat.
Alex then thought to himself there must be a better way of truly understanding your progress. At the time, advancements in technology had led to computer vision emerging and consumer electronics were making some of these sensors more affordable and so he was just waiting for the right person to pitch this idea too.
Why did you decide to get involved?
I felt if you could come up with a way of scanning your body and measuring what has changed, pinpointing where this change has happened, it would really take all the mystery out of fitness.
When I was younger I used to be overweight and I was depressed because of this. One day I decided to make a change and I worked really hard to lose a lot of excess fat.
To this day I still struggle to keep this excess weight off and my weight constantly fluctuates. People like me, that are not blessed with the right genes, need a better means of understanding whether our hard work is actually proving to be effective. There is nothing more frustrating than stepping on a scale and seeing your weight bouncing up and down and not reflecting the work you are putting in.
When Alex approached me, I had just gained 10 pounds coming out of my last company as it was extremely stressful. And I saw all these potential possibilities with ShapeScale and I even thought to myself, whatever happens, at least I will get into better shape.
What motivates you? What is the vision for ShapeScale?
I am motivated by my drive to stay in shape and push myself to be better. I also find it extremely motivating hearing all the stories from everyone that reaches out to us. Whether that be personally, through phone calls, emails and Facebook comments. Everyone has their own story and goal. It is not just about looking amazing, it’s also about feeling happy and confident.
Beyond fitness and health, ShapeScale can do much more. I am fascinated by the prospect of bespoke fashion. Ordering tailor-made clothes without having to get measured would be so convenient or virtually trying on clothes to see how they look on my body would be amazing.
Until next time
That concludes my interview with Martin. I hope you found it as interesting as I did hearing about Martin’s past and his passion for bringing ShapeScale to the public. Many of you may even resonate with Martin’s story, I know when I learned how much weight he lost in such a short timeframe, I was amazed.
We will be posting much more content in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.
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