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Future of Fitness

Jun 17, 2020

In this episode, I had an interview with Max Coleman about his journey to healing, and how it resulted in him becoming the successful CEO of DaoCloud - a wellness practitioner network and marketplace. 

We spoke about challenges, health issues, the problems practitioners are currently facing regarding insurance and so much more. 

Tell us about your story; your background (4:42)

  • Max is the CEO of Daocloud, which is a wellness practitioner network and marketplace. Daocloud was inspired by his own journey to healing and was founded with his colleague who he met in college.
  • As a kid, he was put on a bunch of ADD drugs like Ritalin and Adderall, which did a good job of getting him to concentrate but had a very negative effect on him physically and mentally. To such effect that he was battling chronic back pain at the age of 16.
  • Max started doing extensive research on health and holistic therapies. It took about 6 years to heal his back pain, but he learned a lot about his own health in this journey and realized that at least half the country has a chronic disease.
  • The way he sums it up, most chronic diseases are caused by blocks of energy and emotions in the body, and Daocloud focuses on those aspects to get to the root of the problem. Daocloud recognizes 51 therapies. 
  • After 5 years, the company has a network of 7000 practitioners in 50 states and 180 cities. The company offers a quiz and uses the answers to recommend which practitioner you need. Their mission is to make wellness primary care. 

Are there windows into insurance money for these practitioners, or is that still a far thought? (14:42)

  • Medicare and Medicaid recently started covering acupuncture, and chiropractors are also making way. But most insurance companies don’t cover these therapies.
  • Max believes that there is not enough research to prove the efficacy of these treatments, as studies aren’t being funded to scientifically prove that they work.
  • In the future, they will fund studies to prove efficacy so that insurance companies will get on board.
  • Insurance companies make money from monthly instalments, and the people staying alive to pay them. So if they can prove that these therapies provide wellness and a longer lifespan, insurance companies will get on board. 

Over the past 5 years, what are some of the challenges you faced as the founder and leader? (16:39)

  • First is that initially, Eric, Max’s co-founder, used to be the CEO. he left about 2 years ago, and that’s when Max became CEO, and just took the company by its reins. 
  • The biggest challenge he describes is loneliness. He feels like he’s in a dark tunnel where he can’t look back, he just has to keep going. 
  • There is a lot of pressure in keeping 7000 practitioners, 1012 investors and his own team of 15 people happy. 
  • In addition, all the stress and anxiety is not healthy, but he believes he was cut out for this because his own struggles with health are what enable him to lead the company.

Who do you look up to? (19:26)

  • Max says the first person that comes to mind is Elon Musk. Although he is probably not taking great care of his health, Max idolizes Elon for all that he is doing for the environment. 
  • He looks up to entrepreneurs like Reid Hoffman, who he feels is very underrated. 
  • Jason Calacanis is another idol for him - he believes that he is a great investor, and has a knack for finding founders of value. 
  • Another thing he pointed out about Jason Calacanis, is that he has no problem giving out money for the right reasons, and thinks that founders need more people like him to support them. 

Walk me through founder market fit? (22:18)

  • Max describes founder market fit as a way of determining whether a founder would be a good fit to solve the market problem.
  • He uses Jason as an example, saying that he is not too concerned with the business, but rather with the founder; their background, education, personality and so forth.
  • Founders rarely fail because they run out of money; they fail because they give up. That is one of the crucial components to look at when deciding whether or not the founder is a good fit - you need to know that they won’t give up.


Connect with Max on LinkedIn

Visit the Daocloud Website