In this Q&A, you’ll hear from Clayton Kim, COO of Fount, a health optimization platform for high-performers. Clayton discusses using AI to translate data from elite athletes and military operators into unique insights for nutrition, exercise, and more. He also details Fount’s first DTC product that eliminates jet lag as well as emerging opportunities in sleep.
Can you tell us about what you’re working on at Fount?
Clayton Kim: Fount creates the most comprehensive and customized health and performance programs in the world.
Powered by Fount AI—the first API for the human body—Fount translates data from the highest performers in the toughest environments on earth into programs and standalone products that enable everyone to know precisely what to eat, take, and do to look, feel, and perform at their best.
Based on the insights generated from running thousands of high-fidelity performance experiments at scale through Fount Pro, Fount AI is generating insights that support standalone products for reducing jet lag, treating women’s hormonal symptoms, optimizing sleep, and more.
The first of these products available to a broad consumer base is FlyKitt, a first-of-its-kind system to eliminate jet lag.
Already used by professional sports teams like US Soccer, elite military units, and leading business executives, FlyKitt’s patented approach leverages breakthrough scientific insights to tailor supplements, manage light, and customize when to eat and sleep based on a traveler’s exact flight schedule so they arrive at their destination ready to perform.
How did you come up with the idea? What key insight led you to pursue this opportunity?
CK: I have always been interested in using technology to push the limits of human performance. I have advised a few companies in this space and have personally evaluated hundreds of different methods for improving my own performance.
One thing I noticed about what’s available is that there is a lack of thoughtful approaches to self-experimentation. It’s difficult to know what to try, how to integrate, what to look for when evaluating, and how to make the habit stick.
The funny thing that people don’t consider is that simple things, applied with surgical precision, can make dramatic impacts. And as an experienced coach, I’ve learned how to make those simple changes and when it’s worthwhile to apply more esoteric tools.
Now we just have to do it at scale.
How did you turn your idea into a company?
CK: The base idea of an API for the human body is a daunting one. It requires the combination of biology, behavior, and pushing the limits of AI.
Our first 200 customers experienced Fount through the lens of Fount Pro, our high-performance concierge program. Through the thousands of experiments piloted with our clients—and combined with [Fount founder & CEO] Andrew Herr’s previous research leading human performance for the US military—we noticed trends in specific functional areas of health that our clients needed answers to.
Through the trials we’ve run in the Fount Pro service, we’ve been able to simplify the experimentation process to one that is highly engaging and far more effective than simply giving recommendations to a user.
With the release of FlyKitt, we’ve taken the first step in fully unlocking the ability for anyone who’s interested to begin their health experimentation and optimization journey.
How big can this get? What’s the addressable market and how do you go about capturing it?
CK: The average adult will try about 126 different diets in their lifetime — and just as many different exercise routines, supplements, sleep hacks, mindfulness techniques, etc.
No one is really looking across this space horizontally, and even the most trusted names in this market are promising answers where there aren’t any.
The only real path to self-improvement is through experimentation and habit formation. So, we aim to be the meta-layer on top of all of these modalities, optimizing the path of experimentation across all domains that affect performance. Once we have this, we can tackle health.
The beauty of this methodology is that we are able to generate unique insight into solving discrete problems through trials with clients. For example, we have solved jet lag, PMS, and hangovers for hundreds of our clients. Some of these, we will take to market in DTC offerings.
Our first DTC product, FlyKitt, is aimed at long-distance travelers. Even though travel has taken a hit during the pandemic, the spending per person is still strong, and even taking a small percentage of this market would be a huge opportunity.
Who is the core customer? How are you acquiring customers? And how will you grow the customer base?
CK: The core Fount customer has traditionally been 40–60-year-old executives, creatives, and celebrities who are willing to invest in a top-tier solution for their health.
Our premium Fount Pro service has largely relied on word-of-mouth referrals, as it’s a steep entry ($11,995 for the four-month core program).
We aim to expand on this using our DTC products, which are more accessible experiences that have amazing outcomes. The target price point for these standalone products is ~$200, allowing greater access to our API while still positioning Fount as a premier offering for anyone who’s committed to finding out exactly what their mind and body need to reach their health and performance goals.
Looking at your road map, what are some of the milestones you’re targeting over the next 3-6 months?
CK: Over the next three to six months, we are looking at a few key partners to build products using our APIs. Even our internal products are designed to treat our Performance Platform API as a central brain for experimentation.
Our short-term focus is developing a sleep coach that will give you precise, actionable interventions to manage your stress, recovery, and performance while giving you insights into exactly how these interventions are working for you.
Anything else you’d like to share with readers?
CK: We are hiring talented, multifunctional people. We want candidates who can code and who want to become subject matter experts across different areas. The right person with a few low-code tools can make huge changes to a business.
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