Hot Areas For Sleep Innovation

I’ve written about a few of these areas before (like my discussion on wearables here), but I wanted to put together a more all-encompassing article for where I think entrepreneurs can help people sleep better.  Let’s go through some different areas.

Mattresses- People sleep on mattresses, so it only makes sense that providing people with really great mattresses is a tremendous way to help people sleep better.  I’ve written about this before, but entrepreneurs can come in and disrupt this pretty old business model and make really high-quality mattresses much more affordable for the masses, and by doing so, really help a lot of people get some better quality sleep.

Sleeping Pills- This will be from a more pharmaceutical background, but I think there’s room to make a more natural substance that can help people sleep better without the risk of dependency.  Pills like Ambien and Lunesta can be great, but I think the risk of dependency is too high and that kind of defeats the purpose of everything.  If there’s a way to provide the benefits of these types of pills without having to have the risk of dependency, I think a lot of people would be much better off.

Diet- If an entrepreneur can come in and successfully convince people of the powerful impact that diet has on sleep, they might be able to change the world.  Not a lot of people know that eating better can have a big impact on people’e ability to sleep.  It’s going to take a great entrepreneur to come in and educate the world on this very important issue.

Wearables- I’ve written a full article about this.  If people can wear sleep sensors, they will get a better idea of exactly how well they sleep.  Once they understand that, they will have a better picture of what areas they need to improve.  Then they can focus on getting better sleep only at that point.  The technology for these types of devices will only improve over time.

That’s a pretty good list.  I’m sure that I have left a few things out.  If people can learn meditation and decrease stress, they will certainly be in a position to sleep better.  Hopefully some entrepreneur will start to focus on areas like that over time as well.  I’m confident that this will happen, but it will take some time.  Either way, we will all be better off when any of these areas takes off.

What The Next Mattress Entrepreneur Needs To Do

So, the market has now been filled by entrepreneurs that have disrupted the entire business model of the mattress industry.  Consider yourself disrupted old executives of this industry.  The question is, can these guys sustain this success, and if not, where will they need to turn to next?

A few considerations:

Sure, these companies have disrupted the mattress industry with the direct to consumer business model, but there’s nothing really stopping an established company from starting an entirely new brand and copying these new companies.  In fact, with their experience in manufacturing, they might and are actually able to most likely make a better product at less of a cost.  So for that reason, these new startup companies in the industry need to watch out for incumbents.

Second, with the success and press that these companies have achieved, there is nothing really stopping any new company from being formed and taking a slightly new angle on the mattress.  I am willing to bet that there will be much more competition going in to the future not only from established companies but also from new companies forming.  Advertising budgets will be squeezed by rising costs from competition increasing.

What a new entrepreneur should think about is creating the best possible product.  Sure, it’s easy to get good reviews online, but eventually the word will get out whether the product is actually good.  So, my prediction is that the industry will turn backwards in many ways.  Companies will be forced to create products that are extremely supportive and comfortable, all at a reasonable price.  Innovation might take hold even more in the industry, but if not, and even if so, companies should focus on making the best products possible.  That’s what these companies should focus on going forward.  As I’ve mentioned in other articles (like here), entrepreneurs are capable of lots of things.  Let’s hope they’re capable of creating amazing mattresses.

Tech Entrepreneurs turn their energy on mattresses

Tech entrepreneurs can create almost anything these days.  Plenty of them are out their doing consumer apps, helping people call a taxi, park a car, get groceries, chat with their friends, and share pictures.  But the fact of the matter is that technology is important in almost every aspect of our lives, and the mattress industry is no different.

Take a company called Reverie, which has a truly amazing electric adjustable bed.  It’s truly remarkable, because technology helps you move the bed around.  It’s linked to apps, so that you can actually control the position in your bed that you are sitting in and move it from place to place.  If that’s not a step forward in technology, then I truly do not know what is.

These custom mattress makers have really figured it out.  But folks, they truly are not the only ones!  There are truly a large number of opportunities in this market where durable products can be integrated with excellent programming ability to set the product apart.

This isn’t the olden days, when people would sleep on a pile of straw.  It’s time to innovate in every aspect of life, to seize opportunity and really advance humanity.

When a bed is connected to a smartphone which is connected to a smart watch which is connected to a person, anything is possible.  The level of integration that we’re going to see across the board is going to be tremendous.  We’ve really seen that there is opportunity to set oneself apart in traditional industries by pushing the borders of technology.

Mattress and bed making.  Materials.  Industrials.  Light fixtures.  Furniture.  These are industries that have been sitting around for centuries, and now we need some young coders to really come in and mess the industry up.  To really wipe away stagnation and bring new light.

Wearables and Sleep

A new area where entrepreneurship and sleep collide is in wearables.  There are so many devices that you can use to track how you sleep.  So should you get a FitBit, or some other kind of wearable device?

My thoughts are that it is better to focus on getting better sleep overall, than to track constantly your sleep patterns.  If you track your sleep patterns too much, then you are going to get too anxious about them and you will end up losing sleep over them.  The major downside of of wearables and health tracking is how anxious and obsessed people get over them.  I see this being an issue with sleep and think that tracking your sleep activity can end up being counterproductive.

It is good information to know generally to figure out how many full REM cycles you are getting during an average night of sleep.  It’s also good to know how much you toss and turn at night and how often you wake up during the night.  Those indicators are really good pieces of information to know in general.  There is no question about that.  The problem is trying to worry about getting to a solution.

Unless you have problems with insomnia, I don’t think it’s worth tracking your sleep activity with some sort of wearable and sensor device.

Instead, go out there and try to find ways to get better sleep.  Stay away from electronics before bedtime.  Go for walks during the day.  Cut out the alcohol and caffeine.  This is the better way to go about getting better sleep.

 

Starting to sleep, from scratch

If you think about improving sleep, it really should be an entirely entrepreneurial endeavor – that is really looking to disrupt what is currently happening, on a personal level.  If you’re not sleeping well, throw everything that you think you know about rest out the window.  It’s time to restart and refresh your approach.

Many people think it’s one little thing, like going out and buying a well reviewed Saatva Luxury Firm and suddenly everything is fixed.  Sure, that can help part of your sleep issues, and it’s definitely better than going out there and just getting the best valued mattress.  The real issue is not being addressed, and that is understanding what makes you sleep in your core.

Sleep Like A Baby Please!!

Approach sleep like you do the rest of your life, with conviction, with courage, with relentless determination.  Don’t let this slip by the wayside, and you’ll become a true sleep entrepreneur for the ages.

Entrepreneurs helping sleep entrepreneurs

When it comes to entrepreneurship, we’re all a team.  We’re all out there with an idea, a vision, that can one day define you.  To climb a mountain, knowing that it’s too steep for other men to climb, and still finding a way to make it to the top.  This is the goal for many, yet  for few.

We as sleep entrepreneurs are a special category.  We really understand the importance of life and balance, and how something as seemingly simple, natural, and necessary quickly goes out the window.  That’s why we would like to take a moment to shout-out to our tech friends that make things easier for us.

Sleep entrepreneurs are often just tech entrepreneurs with a bit more focus.  We may sell mattresses online, or have a digital newsletter with sleep advice like Slumber Sage.  And thus having a master of these digital options is extremely important.  Yet our time is limited, so the many moons required to master something may be out of our grasp.

Thus we take a moment to honor team treehouse.  They’ve done a fantastic job of teaching our tech community how to be better, for a very reasonable cost.  They have inspired us with their easy to learn, easy to comprehend methods that truly help entrepreneurs to be better.  To be wiser.  To be more efficient.  And to in the end, get more sleep.

The coding lessons are very well put together, I even was able to learn HTML in just a weekend – or at least the basics.  If you ever thought that programming was out of your reach, I think this course will make you think the opposite.  It’s every man’s coding world now, so take the opportunity that treehouse has given you and taking your coding from zero to hero.

Also, take this as an inspiration.  The work that you do in this life can greatly benefit those around you in unexpected ways.  Maybe these guys were just out to make a buck, but they ended up doing a great thing for all sleep entrepreneurs, both current and present.  More advances like this can really help push the industry forward and help us all better understand the impact of sleep on our daily lives and health.

 

Mystery entrepreneur, king of sleep

Friends, every great entrepreneur has a great story to tell.  We believe this firmly at Pine Magazine, and will continue to believe it until we lay down in our death bed.  We’ve heard from some of the mattress greats, most recently the infamous Philip Krim of Casper.  We’ve started in the modern day, with those revolutionizing the industry today, and will soon delve back into the history to perhaps the greatest all-time entrepreneur, the inventor of the bed.  However as time goes on and on, we must nominate the greatest sleep entrepreneur of all time.

Slumber Sage King of Sleep

Yes, there are many options available.  And as we narrow down our selection to one winner, we are devastated to tell you that this man is a mystery.  That the very person who brings so much knowledge to the world regarding sleep methods and sleep products is in fact a true unknown.  This man is a great, a legend, a true visionary, and we only know him as the Slumber Sage.

Are you a side sleeper?  He’s got the info.  Looking at a Saatva Mattress?  Yup, he’ll fill you in on everything you need to know.  Sleeping bags?  Inflatable beds?  Adjustable mattresses?  Sleeping pills?  It’s all in his warehouse.  The man is not an adviser, he’s an institution.  And America thanks him for his contribution.  There would be a lot more restlessness in this world without him.

Some of our favorite new entrepreneurs

One entrepreneur that we really admire is the founder of Casper mattress, Philip Krim.  Casper has been named the Warby Parker of Mattresses, meaning they provide a high-quality product exclusively online with a big focus on brand and customer service.  He’s taking on the biggest mattress brands, thus far with great success.  Philip spent time at Vocalize Mobile and The Merrick Group, and has strong personal connections to the New York startup community.

This market certainly isn’t the sexiest thing to come across venture capital’s desk – however Philip has managed to land funding from some premier VCs, including Lerer Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Crosslink Partners, and Correlation Ventures.  So far the Casper mattress reviews are very strong, with people noting the great quality of the product and the fair price.  We expect more great reviews, particularly since they have a really nice Manhattan show room that is all the rage.  They launched earlier this month, and reportedly did tremendous sales on their first day.

Here’s the new mattress getting unboxed:

The big question with Casper is whether it consumers will feel comfortable buying a mattress online.  The company argues that laying for a mattress for a couple minutes in a showroom doesn’t actually give you an understanding of how well the mattress will treat you after sleeping on it for a month.  So instead of the show room, they have a generous return policy that lets you return the mattress after 30 days, no questions asked.  In my mind this is a great leap forward for customers and will pay big dividends for this company in the future.

Casper currently only has one model, the medium-firm, which supposedly fits the majority of sleepers.  With such a quality mattress at such a reasonable price, even if it’s not a perfect fit, it’s going to be a huge upgrade from what I’m currently sleeping on.  We’re very excited to see where Casper lands amongst the competition in their effort to provide the best luxury mattress online!

Why I am a sleep entrepreneur

Jason Cress sleep entrepreneur

Reading a book before bed

Jason Klasey is a sleep entrepeneur.  What exactly does that mean?  Basically he is just like any other entrepreneur, he forms companies and helps them grow.  Except his company focuses on making you sleep better.  This means he provides products and services like mattresses, sleep aids, and methodologies on what can help you sleep better.  Here is an interview with him where he talks about how he became a sleep entrepreneur.

How did you end up focusing on sleep and relaxation?

Out of college I started another company that sold high end chairs to offices.  These chairs were extremely expensive, due to the ergonomic properties.  Being a young person, I thought I was seriously duping these companies.  Who would pay so much for a chair?  Well after working a few years at a desk, I spent an incredible chunk of change on a new chair for myself.  The fact of the matter is that these items in our life that seem so basic have a dramatic impact on our life, physical health, and happiness.  So through that company, I became a huge fan of taking care of myself.

One thing I again didn’t think about throughout this whole process was sleep.  I was so tired all the time, working long hours, but never thought about how I could sleep better and improve my life.  Instead I just drank more coffee and hoped for the best.  Finally one day I was laying there, so tired and uncomfortable on my $100 used mattress, and it hit me; sleep items could have an even bigger impact on items than chairs do on your daily life.  I sold my company and started focusing on sleep shortly after that.

What products do you use to enhance sleep in your own life?

Personally I’m a fan of the Saatva mattress you get really great bang for your buck, and it’s a very cool company that I admire from an entrepreneur’s perspective.  I’ve had a Saatva for about a year and I’m a huge fan.  I’ve had a Sealy and Verlo in the past, which were fine for me, but I think Saatva took it to the next level.  A new company on the market, Casper, is becoming very interesting to me, so I might try out one of their mattresses soon.

I also use a noisemaker.  This isn’t necessarily best sleep practice, you can actually develop some bad habits if you use this regularly.  However I live on a very noisy street, so it’s more out of practicality than desire.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I use a tempurpedic pillow for obvious reasons.  I think this is the best product you can get to have a big impact on your sleep and quality of life.

Any last words?

Sleep isn’t all about products, it’s also about your mental and emotional state.  When people ask me what the number one thing they can do to improve their sleep cycle and get deep REMs, I say to meditate.  Get yourself calm, relaxed, and don’t look at a computer screen for a while.  You’ll see great returns if you do this even for only a few weeks regularly.