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In this episode of The Sage Executive Podcast, join our host Fernando Corona and his guest, Momo Vuyisich, the Chief Science Officer and Co-founder of Viome, to learn more about our sick-care system and their extraordinary products. Viome provides your precise food and supplement recommendations for a healthy living. They created the world’s first health intelligence service! Momo was able to share some of his words of wisdom and experience in the health industry. You will learn a lot from this episode!
Health Care vs. Sick Care
Viome’s number one role is to revolutionize our sick care system. Why sick care over health care? Momo believes that in some instances, health care will eventually lead to sick care. Given that there are a lot of chronic diseases. That’s why they focus on producing life-changing sick care products.
Here are their differences:
- Health care is everything that helps you maintain a good health system. This includes exercising, dental care, mental health care, massages, and so many more.
- Sick care is managing your disease, traumas, and accidents. Included here are the chronic conditions. Unlike the health care that prevents illnesses or pain from happening again, sick care handles sicknesses that reoccur or are incurable.
Always Have a Good Purpose
In business or creating a product, it is always important that your purpose is going to be of help and not driven by money. Many companies fall behind because of their unclear vision, goal, and purpose. Once they earn a huge amount of money, they’ll no long exert that much effort that will slowly ruin their business. When your goal is something that will produce impactful, helpful, and revolutionary outcomes, your job won’t feel like work! If your business is able to achieve that goal, it will inspire you to do more! The money will always be there. One way or another, you’ll be able to earn. However, being able to change a person’s life for the better is a blessing.
About Momo Vuyisich:
Besides providing scientific leadership, I focus on product development, conversion of RUO assays into CLIA LDTs, and clinical research. I am also an Adjunct Professor at the University of New Mexico (UNM) and New Mexico Tech (NMT).
Before founding Viome, I worked for 12 years as a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), the Applied Genomics team leader. My team's research focused on developing and applying modern genomics to gut microbiomes, host-pathogen interactions, microbial interspecies interactions, pathogen detection, cancer biology, toxicology, infectious diseases, antibiotic resistance, forensics, etc. I also helped set up several turn-key genome centers in Africa and Asia and provided complete staff training in laboratory methods and bioinformatic analyses.
Outline of the Episode:[00:22] What does Momo Vuyisich do? [00:50] Viome’s number one role is to revolutionize our sick care system. [01:01] Health Care vs. Sick Care [05:11] The most exciting part about being a leader is that you're in a position to make things happen. [06:10] Making mistakes is part of life. [06:51] Impacting the lives of your customers will help spread the word. [09:27] Create a product for the purpose of doing something good. [11:32] Naveen Jain, the CEO of Viome. [12:03] Viome celebrates a win by being excited about what's next. [13:06] Viome’s next product: Precision Supplements
Momo Vuyisich’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/momchilo-momo-vuyisich
Viome LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/viome/
Connect with Fernando Corona!
Fernando Corona’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fernando-corona/
Fernando Corona: 0:07 Hey, everyone, thanks for hopping into The Sage Executive Podcast, where we interview top Executives, so you don't have to. With me today, we got a special guest. I'm excited to bring him on board. So without further ado, can you share who you are and what you do?
Momo Vuyisich: 0:22 Yes, thank you. My name is Momo Vuyisich. I’m the Chief Science Officer and a co-founder of a company called Viome. And I am responsible for all scientific aspects of the company that has the list is too long to fit within this podcast.
Fernando Corona: 0:41 Just really quick, then what is it that you know, the company does for I guess maybe going to share with us, what's the problem that you saw?
Momo Vuyisich: 0:50 So the company's absolutely number one role is to completely revolutionize our sick care system. As you know, we have a system in place called health care. And when you think of the word “health care,” you think that it should be taking care of our health, but in fact, it's not the case at all. What it does is it waits for you to get sick, and then it manages the sick. That is why I call it the sick care. And so any chronic disease that you look at today, and there are more than 50 major and hundreds of minor chronic diseases, any one of them, it doesn't start the night before you feel the symptoms. So whether you're talking about diabetes, obesity, heart disease, Parkinson's, or Alzheimer’s.
Fernando Corona: 1:33 It's way further back.
Momo Vuyisich: 1:34 You don't eat a steak one day, and you're fat the next day or get a heart attack.
Fernando Corona: 1:39 Right cholesterol and all that. Yeah,
Momo Vuyisich: 1:41 Exactly. So pick any disease, let's say Multiple Sclerosis or Alzheimer's, the sick care system waits for you to get sick, and then all they're focused on is what can we sell you every day for the rest of your life. Just to keep you alive. Not really enjoying your life have a lot of painful experiences, both emotionally and physically and financially.
Fernando Corona: 2:05 It's a subscription service. It's making it sound like a subscription service. Gosh, it's so scary. You’re subscribing to stay alive.
Momo Vuyisich: 2:10 Literally, the state of the art today.
Fernando Corona: 2:15 Oh, my goodness.
Momo Vuyisich: 2:17 All right. Yeah. And I was a very frustrated scientist, I had a chronic disease that was, you know, idiopathic, which means we have no idea what caused it. And so that's another thing that are these 50 major chronic diseases, we don't know what it’s called, what is causing any one of them, not a single one. Right and what we need to refocus is the whole society, and unfortunately, the site is not doing it because there's no money in it. How do we actually identify when you start to develop Alzheimer's 30 years before you display any symptoms? And what do we do about it so that you know with a hundred percent confidence that you will not develop that disease if you follow those recommendations? And so what we are all about at my company Is digitizing the human body using very high resolution and high accuracy, molecular tests. And then understanding when your body departs from health very, very early on years or decades before any symptoms would show up. And then we tell every single person exactly what to eat and what not to eat and how to live their life to prevent the development of any chronic disease. That's the plan. And that's really what we have to move forward with. The staggering numbers are that every single year in the United States, we spent $3.5 trillion on health care, and 3 trillion of those 3.5 are spent on managing chronic diseases, managing chronic diseases. $3 trillion, and that doesn't mean that we're actually making these people's lives better. We're just managing their illness. Anyways,
Fernando Corona: 3:50 You're gonna get I feel like you would get total, some backlash, and jobs, and you know-how. What about our hospital systems and all this stuff? I think I'm with you, but I'm saying how are you going to convince the profit centers? Right? The people who are profiting from all of that big pharma who you know without getting into it?
Momo Vuyisich: 4:08 Yeah, we don't need to convince anyone of anything when we provide a solution that's prevented them and curative. You know, I had a chronic disease for 15 years, and it completely consumed me right towards the end of that illness. I have to know what my life was consumed by chronic disease until you have a current disease. You don't know what it means. It means from every, every single moment of your life, you have to think about it and suffer. It's debilitating. Exactly. And so I switched my diet, and my disease not only went away, I completely healed myself. So I have not had any symptoms for five years now. And if you ask 100 dermatologists today, can that be done? They will say that's not possible like that's just literally not possible and rheumatoid arthritis. An Equalist is probably the lightest; the best we can do is slow the disease down. That's it.
Fernando Corona: 4:55 Got it. All right. Now that was that's all. Yeah, it's all answer number one. Thank you. So let's go on to the second one. And this is an opportunity now for you to share with the listeners about what's the best thing about being a leader?
Momo Vuyisich: 5:11 Yeah, so this is the phrase that I wake up with every single day, which is the only way to predict the future is to invent it. Okay? And being a leader allows you to invent the future. So when I predict a future, that's going to be 510 years from now, I'm not saying this is my prediction, I'm going to let the world go forward, and then see if my prediction is right or wrong, right. I'm predicting what's going to what the future is going to be like five to ten years, and then I make it happen. And that's really the most exciting part about being a leader is that you're in a position to make things happen. So I love that.
Fernando Corona: 5:47 That's really good. Yep. I agree with you on that. You're cutting your athletes at the forefront now. How do you prevent the fear of failure or at times, you're not perfect, right? You're making mistakes. You’re making errors. How do you get that off your shoulders and not let that weigh you down for making those decisions?
Momo Vuyisich: 6:10 I mean, you just know upfront that in life, you're going to be making mistakes, you can either dwell on them, and you can spend time and waste your time on them. Or you just pick yourself up, and you just keep moving and keep running, you know, your stump-pulling, then you just get up and run—just a part of life.
Fernando Corona: 6:26 Yeah. So that leads to the next question where sometimes there's just a ton of strategies, right for client acquisition. And many times you're trying one thing, and another and things are working things and aren't working. In your specific case, the people you're reaching out to, whether it's bigger entities or individuals. How what's worked for you, and how have you had to adjust?
Momo Vuyisich: 6:53 Yeah, so I like to give an example here of Tesla and Toyota, right. Toyota, budget per marketing per year, is billions of dollars. Okay, and they obviously have lots of competition, and they struggle to sell cars, right? They have a backlog of cars that they're trying to sell at any point in time. Tesla has a zero marketing budget, and they can't make partners fast enough to meet the demand. Right? That's true. And Toyota is the best in my mind, the best example of traditional cars, right? So how do you sell stuff is you make a product that sells itself. It's really that simple. So we didn't have a marketing theme game at all for the first three years of our company. And now in our fourth year, we have small marketing, but the vast majority of our customers are acquired by word of mouth. And that's because someone buys our product, they try it and they're like, “holy cow, this is amazing. Like this is literally amazing.” We have a testimonial where someone says, I’ve been overweight all my life, right and three months. After I started Viome, I started losing weight. And a year later, I'm 40 pounds down, and I'm maintaining 40 pounds down like this is a mirror, and I eat whatever whenever I want, or someone will say something like, I had psoriasis my entire life like for 40 years. I tried every pharmaceutical in the United States. I tried every service to the point of other countries. I went to Japan and tried this alternative medicine. I went to China, and I went to Bulgaria and poured Holy water on my skin, okay. I mean, I have tried everything on the planet that anyone has claimed can treat psoriasis, and nothing has worked. Okay, three months after I started the Viome diet, my psoriasis is gone. Like this is amazing. Guess what? That person is going to talk about Viome in every possible setting, and they’re going to be like, this is, I believe.
Fernando Corona: 8:45 It's impacted their lives in a crazy way.
Momo Vuyisich: 8:48 Exactly. They're it's just an extraordinary experience. And so when you have such customers that have such extraordinary experiences, you get new customers all the time. We've had these other times where we had no problem meeting the demand or several times where we just could not meet. We're doing just fine. So just create that product that everyone wants.
Fernando Corona: 9:11 I'm gonna call it the vial model or the Tesla Model S.
Momo Vuyisich: 9:16 Tesla is just one of the greatest. Thanks.
Fernando Corona: 9:21 Okay, question number four, what piece of sage advice would you give to other Execs?
Momo Vuyisich: 9:27 Yeah, so so there are several, but overall, the number one advice, I would say is, be socially responsible, create a product, don't create a product for the purpose of making money, create a product for the purpose of doing something good, okay. And when you create something that's good, it's going to exponentially grow, and it's gonna make you money. Don't worry about it. Don't worry about money, right? Think about we have so many problems on this planet. How do you help solve those problems using your entrepreneurship in your life? Backing scientific and financial backing out, you know, how do you solve those problems? That's what I would recommend to everyone. And if we can have more people and more leaders think that way our world would be a better place.
Fernando Corona: 10:12 As opposed to thinking more in like a profit-focused way.
Momo Vuyisich: 10:15 Exactly, exactly. It's just it. Don't think about profit, profit will come to solve a big problem, and profit will come.
Fernando Corona: 10:23 Now, there's, I feel like there's a second piece to that, that sometimes not spoken about. And it's probably that the intrinsic fulfillment of working towards something that you know, is better for the world, versus working towards something that is more self-fulfilling, like, what is the word? Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. I think that just adds to what you're saying, you know, focus on something that not on a challenge or a problem that's needed in the world. And then not only will the money come in that case but also that's self-fulfillment in the selfless nature.
Momo Vuyisich: 11:03 You're going to feel a lot better when some when you're 60 years old and someone asks you, what have you done with your life? Instead of saying I made a shitload of money. Why not say, you know, I helped hundreds of millions of people live better lives. That's a lot more fulfilling.
Fernando Corona: 11:17 Absolutely. Okay. Question number five. Thanks for all that. What other top leaders like yourself in your network here on LinkedIn? I think you're pretty active on LinkedIn. From what I can see, that would you recommend be on our podcast?
Momo Vuyisich: 11:32 Well, I can't recommend enough. The CEO of our company, Naveen Jain, he is very charismatic, very knowledgeable, very experienced. And yeah, so that's my number one pick, and so I can recommend others via email.
Fernando Corona: 11:48 Awesome. All right, and then the last one. Thanks for that. The last one is you know, when for you as the Chief Science Officer, what you know, how do you classify a win and then what do you do to celebrate
Momo Vuyisich: 12:00 Yeah, so that's interesting. So we don't really celebrate like a typical way, you know, we celebrate wins by thinking about what is next, right? For example, the first product we released at Viome was the first product of its kind, in the world in the history of the world, right? We just released our second product, actually this month, and it's also the first product of its time in the world. And yet, literally, that that same day after we released it, we're like, great, what's next? We now got to think about the next person, you know, the world’s first and next and so on. So we really celebrate by being excited about what's next and how do we bring more useful things to the world and do good and help more people? That's our celebration, using our powers to do that. Yeah, that's really where we find our satisfaction.
Fernando Corona: 12:54 Awesome. So and with that, with everything that's happening right now. Do you guys have a “what's next” right now at least, either whether that's a product or anything like that? What's.. u can't share what's brewing?
Momo Vuyisich: 13:06 No, I can share everything. Yeah, absolutely. So we have currently, we just released this blood test. That's really revolutionary. And it's first of its kind like I said, and then the very next product that we're going to release, which is this July/August, is precision supplements. So as you probably know, today, everyone claims that their supplement is the best, and you should take, right and so, if you listen to everyone's advice, you'll be spending hundreds of dollars per month on supplements. And you'll be taking a lot of supplements that your body doesn't need and has to deal with or are potentially toxic, right? And that's the standard the day that's the state of the art day in supplements, right? Just shove as many supplements down people's throats as you can. Well, what we've devised is a strategy that has precision supplements that are data-driven for the decision as to which supplements you need to take and how much of each supplement you need to take. It’s all data-driven, meaning that when we analyze your stool sample and your blood sample and soon your saliva sample, it will be 100% mathematical algorithms that convert that molecular data info, which supplements and how much of each supplement you need to take your name. Wow. And then you can create the supplements and exactly that we are going to be so yes, we're going through the manufacturing process right now to create those so that every single one of our customers will have a different supplement pack. And the reason we've had to, unfortunately, go this route is because we've knocked on every door of every supplement manufacturer. And when we tell them that an average person needs six times your supplements than what they're currently recommended by these supplement manufacturers. Every single manufacturer basically said we don't want to work with you because you're gonna reduce our revenues six volts. That doesn't that's not of our interest. Right? Yeah. And so we've had to. Basically then make a hard decision that even though this is not in our original business plan, and this is not what we do, we have to make that hard decision that we're going to have to manufacture these because none of the other manufacturers are interested in this position. So on. Wow. So we'll just have to do it ourselves.
Fernando Corona: 15:17 Well, I wish you the best of luck. Yeah. Awesome. Thank you for sharing all that. And Momo, for those who want to get in touch, want to connect with you, and or learn more about your company? How can they do that? How can they reach out?
Momo Vuyisich: 15:31 Well, they can reach out in two ways. One is on LinkedIn, I’m available there. And the other one is if they have a question about Viome, they can always send an email to info at viome.com. And you know if they have a scientific question or something like that, that'll be directed to me.
Fernando Corona: 15:47 Awesome. Okay, thanks so much. Thanks, Momo.
Momo Vuyisich: 15:55 My pleasure.
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