The cavnessHR Podcast can be found at the following places or you can just type in cavnessHR on the respective site.
Google Play: https://cavnesshr.co/googl6be3a
Pocket Casts: https://cavnesshr.co/pocke97daa
Social Media links for Mike!!
Product web site: Relevium.co
Corporate site: gnglaboratories.co
Mike’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelluiprofile/
Gorelevium Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gorelevium/
Gorelevium FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/GoRelevium/
Mike’s Book Recommendation!!!
“Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind”
by Yuval Noah Harari
Resources from Mike!!!
Gearing up towards our product launch. Go to our website https://relevium.co and type in the coupon code cavnessHR. They'll get 15% off our products during the preorder period.
Jason: Hello and welcome to the cavnessHR podcast. I'm your host Jason Cavnesss. Our guest today is Mike Lui. Mike are you ready to be great today.
Mike: I am.
Jason: Mike is a first generation Chinese American born and raised in northeast Philadelphia. He majored in economics at Penn State. He enlisted in the US Army at the age of 19 after his sophomore year at Penn State. He joined for a mixture of gratitude and service to his country. He also wanted to stretch his personal boundaries and he wanted to engage with people who he wouldn't have normally met. Mike served as a Civil Affairs specialist, the part of the Army that engages in nation building and reconstruction during and after conflicts. Mike deployed to an area south of Baghdad for his combat deployment. Where he managed Civil Affairs teams and engaged in reconstruction efforts. Michael left the Army in 2008 shortly before starting his MBA program at UCLA. Mike has been a management consultant, Product Manager and technology researcher. Mike has a broad business and technology foundation. He has a good idea of what drives performance and teams, organization and business. The next logical step for Mike was to start a business of his own and make it one that he'd be proud of and that stands for something. For Mike, health care is a natural fit. Because everyone is affected by their personal health. G&G laboratories deals with propriety research and development in the cannabis space. The compounds within cannabis have much potential as traditional health therapies. But not enough research is being done to determine its exact efforts to tailor products to treat specific conditions. Mike that's a great undertaking.
Mike: Thanks Jason and thanks for that great introduction. I'm so excited to share the story of G&G laboratories with you today. For me it really is the culmination of the many different professions I've had in my career. When I think back to management consulting and all of the different strategic issues that I've helped my clients face. Whether it was how to better align their supply chains or how to better reach their customers. Then bridge that to Amazon where I managed technology and help them really try to understand how technology can enable new businesses. I fold that all into our work at G&G laboratories. Then as you mentioned, what really gets me jazzed up in the morning about the company. Is that I think we can really help a lot of people. Through the work that we're doing and the products that we are developing.
Jason: Mike, when you are leading a team, how do you know that is going to be a high performing team?
Mike: It's a great question and I think it's something that I continue to learn myself. I think some of the indications of a high performing team are transparency. So how comfortable are all members of the team willing to raise their own concerns and ideas. How are debates and conversations held within the team. Are they are they discussed in an open and transparent way? In addition, are we really leveraging all of the diverse skills within the team as well? I think that transparency and that diversity really lends itself to getting better results. When I think about the performance of the team and how to get the best performance from teams. I always try to understand the motivations of each team member of the team. How they would coalesce around a unified vision. Something from how do we launch this product all the way to how we rebuild this country and fulfill our mission. So, when I think about those areas. I really try to hone in on what are each individual's motivations? What is the unified goal of the team. How do we put those together in the most successful way? I really think transparency and diversity leads to that.
Jason: Mike, how long have you been working on G&G laboratories.
Mike: We've been around for about 15 months and much of that time. Has been surveying the landscape of research that currently exists in the industry. Building up our own R and D capabilities, building up our own functional capabilities in other areas. Whether it's operations or marketing. We're excited that we're getting close to our first product launch. Our flagship line to help relieve discomfort with regards to muscle and joint issues are is going to be launched in the next three months. Your listeners can check it out at https://relevium.co/ We are very proud of the work that's been done to get us to where we are and I'm excited to see how this product is going to help folks that are out there.
Jason: Mike what's your long term vision for your company.
Mike: Long term vision for the company is to be the preeminent consumer pharmaceutical company in the cannabis space. The gap that I see is that there are quite a few products on the market today. But there's just not enough product development rigor that underlies those products. So that's why we spend a lot of our time on research development. We spend a lot of time trying to understand consumers and what their needs are and we build those together into our company. I think one other thing that I haven't mentioned yet. But we're also very proud of is that G&G laboratories to me represents a company that not only meets the needs of our consumers and that is hopefully shaping a fast growing industry. But it's also a company that I can be proud to work in and our employees and our executives can be proud to work. Two programs I haven't mentioned yet that we're very proud of and that we're championing from the beginning are called our access to all and opportunity for all program. For our products that we are developing. What we'd like to do is partner with select organizations. To help make those products available in a subsidized way. To different groups in need so that everybody that can benefit from our products has access to it. One of the groups by the way that's near and dear to my heart our Veterans groups. A lot of Veterans come back with many different afflictions. I know I have wear and tear on my body.
Mike: Jason I'm sure you have certain things that are lingering from your time in military service. I think that we need to do better for our Veterans and hopefully our products at G&G can help relieve some of their issues. One program from the start is that I want to find the right Veteran organizations to partner with so that we can identify folks that can benefit from our products. But, potentially can't afford them. We want to subsidize that for those groups. That's just one example of a group that we want to work with. Our opportunity for our program is another thing that we're very excited about and that we're championing at the executive level. For our hiring we want to hire from groups that that deserve an opportunity and may not have had the best chances to seize those opportunities. Folks that are making transitions from prison back to the working world from homelessness back to the working world. We also want to partner with select organizations to identify individuals in these groups that we can provide opportunities for and we can employ. Now having said all that we are a startup so we're early, but I think it's important to point this out now. Because this is something that is important to us and this is something that we're championing at the executive level early on
Jason: Mike, how are going about marketing your company? Do you have a marketing plan you in place?
Mike: We have several marketing programs that I'm excited about that we'll be rolling out as we get closer and closer to the launch. I think that what's really exciting for us is that the feedback that we've gotten from our trial users so far has been very positive. For every trial user we recruit that test our products they tell three or four of their friends and I get notifications all the time of people that I know. That say wow we've heard about this. Can't wait to get my hands on it you need to please tell me when it's available. We think that we really have a good base of enthused users out there and we'll also be rolling out some other innovative marketing programs as we get closer to launch. We're going to make sure that we cover all the right digital channels. Because I think those are very big right now. We also have some interesting partnerships that we're going to be announcing in the weeks to come. I think that marketing for us is going to be very key. We want to establish that direct relationship with the consumer. I'm really excited about the marketing programs that we have lined up.
Jason: Mike, will people purchase your product online or in a in store? How the will that work?
Mike: Right now, we're taking preorders on our website. So, you can take a look and see if the products are right for you. We are going to be establishing select brick and mortar partners as well. I want to go slow into those areas. Taking a step back, at Amazon I worked on the brick and mortar initiative. I helped them to think about their Amazon book stores as well as their Amazon Go stores. I have my own point of view on the best ways to serve brick and mortar stores. The products we are developing are geared towards the mass market. I see ourselves in a Target and a Walgreens. But it's early, based on the industry that we're in and the regulatory frameworks we're covered under. We ultimately want to build relationships with brick and mortar stores. But one thing I also mentioned is we're really excited about international opportunities as well. In many cases there are countries like Canada, like Italy like other countries around the world that are a little bit more ahead of the U.S. with regards to not only the research that's being funded. But the regulatory frameworks that are governing the different active ingredients in the cannabis space. I'm really excited about international as well.
Jason: Mike for someone just beginning the entrepreneurial journey, what would you tell them? What advice do you have for them?
Mike: Find a project, an idea, a team that you're really passionate about and it can be one of those three or it can be all three if it's a great situation. Here's how passion manifests for me. When you're an entrepreneur particularly in the beginning, you're going to have the highest highs and the lowest lows. The passion that you have for that particular project, that idea that team. Is gonna carry you through all of those peaks and valleys. You have to really be attuned to that part of entrepreneurship. It's gonna be a long journey. I would say really think about the long term and think about what your vision is for that that long term. How your project's going to affect certain industries how the new product is going to affect certain consumers. Having that passion and maintaining that long term vision again will sustain users through a lot of the different peaks and valleys and will provide you a good framework to make decisions. Having said that in the short term. It's a grind. Just keep tackling that next issue keep building that next piece of technology. Keep talking to the next consumer. Keep talking to the next partner.
Jason: Mike, we're both part of Bunker Labs and Veterans in Residence. Can you talk about your experience with those organizations so far?
Mike: Bunker Labs to me has been a fantastic experience not only because it allows me to reconnect with Veterans like you Jason and just hear about all the fascinating things that are going on in the Veteran entrepreneurial community. I really like Bunker Labs as a mission because when we do a scan of the different organizations that cater to the Veteran community. There really is a gap on the entrepreneurial side. I think that there's a lot of latent talent in the Veteran community with regards to entrepreneurship and scrappy-ness and all those things and leadership and all those things that you need to build successful companies. Sometimes that translation doesn't happen as quickly as it needs to and so I feel like Bunker labs and the Veterans in Residence program helps with that translation. What I really appreciate with their mission is that they say. They are going to meet you wherever your entrepreneurial journey is. Whether you want to open up a barbershop or whether you want to create a venture scale business. They don't make a judgment call on the type of business that you want to create. So, we will help you create the business that you want. I've been very very impressed with the caliber of people that I've met through bunker labs as well. You know the mission I really find compelling. The cohort I really find compelling and the level of people that are in there. It's just has been a great experience so far. On a personal level, I find it very rewarding to interact with the Veteran community and think about ways that I can give back to them. For all those different reasons I think that Bunker Labs is doing great work and I want to stay involved long after our cohort is over to see how I can continue to give back
Jason: Mike, next, tell us about a time you were successful in the past what you learned from this success and what we can learn from this.
Mike: It's a great question that I always struggle with because I find that I always learn more from the challenges that I've had and the failures that I've had than the successes. It's very hard for me to analyze the processes to get to those success because I feel like there's always a wild card in there. So now that I have successfully stalled to try to come up with a good answer. I say that throughout my career I've worked on small teams and consulting where we had teams of four to six. In product management at Amazon, our teams were even smaller than that. In the Army and Civil Affairs, we have a very small team, small unit structure. So, our teams were for a four to six as well. My successes have always been wrapped up in the performance of the team and the outcomes that we been able to drive from that team. I get the most satisfaction from seeing people from all different backgrounds and capabilities come together. To tackle large problems in different arenas whether business or military or academic. For me, I don't point to any particular success I point to the categories of things that I find satisfying and drive me are really taking small small teams and driving them to a great end result.
Jason: So, follow up question. Talk about a time you failed in the past. What you learned from this failure and what we can learn.
Mike: Most of my failures have been wrapped around signals that I didn't see. Patterns that I fell into where I wasn't able to look and expand the aperture and look around certain corners. I can point to specific instances where planning for a mission in the military and saying we needed to cover off on this additional area. Sometimes we only learned that in hindsight through after action reviews. But sometimes I feel like I needed to be able to expand my thinking during the planning processes to be able to head those failures off at the pass. I can point to one specific instance that didn't really have an outsize impact. But it just highlights what I'm talking about with regards to really trying to understand what your own patterns are as a leader. When your own biases are as a thinker and how to overcome those during the early stages is a of problem you're trying to solve. So, building a framework to analyze the performance of a category of products for my clients in Europe and they were sold to twenty-three different end markets. The complexity of marketing and pricing these products drove a lot of variability in performance in those end markets. When I built up this analysis and presented it to the different business leaders there was a key assumption that I didn't understand or that I misunderstood or didn't account for right. These could have been diagnosed earlier on. But through a combination of my own perhaps overconfidence and inability to incorporate into my thinking and overcome my own biases. The analysis that we presented wasn't as thorough as it needed to be. I can highlight examples of this over and over again and it helps me to think about these examples as I built my current business and try to say what are those assumptions that I'm perhaps overlooking.
Jason: Mike, I understand you have a book to recommend for our listeners.
Mike: Along the lines of understanding and learning from our own patterns and increasing our ability to perform better. One of the books I've really enjoyed in the last five years is Sapiens. In the book it describes essentially why Homo Sapiens as a species have outperformed other humanoid species over time and ultimately becoming the most successful animal species on the planet. It really helped me think about how we interact with each other. How we interact in society, how societies are built up. On different constructs within society interact whether it's political, business, capitalist structures things like that. It really helped me fill in gaps in understanding on again how different people and societies interact with each other. It just goes back to my earlier thread about thinking about teams and motivations within teams and across teams and thinking about motivations within organizations and across organizations as well. So I highly recommend the book Sapiens. It's fantastic.
Jason: Mike, I also understand you have something for our listeners.
Mike: Yes, gearing up towards our product launch. If you want to go to our website https://relevium.co/ for your listeners Jason. If they type in the coupon code cavnessHR they'll get 15 percent off our products during the preorder period.
Jason: Mike can you share your social media links for yourself and your company, so people can reach out to you.
Mike: Absolutely, I'm not very active on Facebook or Instagram. If you want to connect the best way to do it is through LinkedIn. You can search for my name, Michael Lui. I would love to connect through LinkedIn. For our Relevium product line, go to Instagram or Facebook GoRelevium and that's our page.
Jason: For our listeners, we will have the links to Mike's book recommendations, resources and social media in the show notes. You can find the show notes at www.cavnessHRblog.com
Jason: Mike, we are coming to the end of our talk. Can you provide us any last minute words of wisdom or advice on a subject you want to talk about.
Mike: I think that entrepreneurship is a very worthwhile and honorable journey. It goes through its ups and downs. But if you find that passion that drives you. You'll survive all those ups and downs. It's a fascinating thing to undertake so I encourage anybody who has the idea that they're passionate about to just Take the next steps and To Execute on an idea.
Jason: Mike, thank you for your time. I really appreciate it.
Mike: Jason, thanks for the time today. I really enjoyed our conversation.
Jason: To our listeners thank you for your time as well and remember to be great every day.