Avid runner and entrepreneur, Meridith Unger, is tired of taking guesses at her hydration levels when she runs. While wearable technologies seem to do just about everything these days, the one painpoint that Unger feels when her sneakers hit the sidewalk, is lack of information around her hydration levels.
Enter Nix. Nix Inc. is taking the guessing out of hydration. Nix's single-use wearable sensor provides real-time, personal hydration status for the 60+ million athletes who are currently guessing at their fluid needs during training and competition. Studies show that athletes guess incorrectly up to 80% of the time, compromising their safety and performance up to 29% as a result of involuntary dehydration. This is 100% preventable with the proper tool.
What are your hobbies/what do you do when you're not working on your business?
When I’m not working on Nix, I’m typically training for a marathon or enjoying recovery time by binge-watching Billions or Entourage with my dog. I’m on a quest to complete all the World Major Marathons. Next up: the Tokyo Marathon in February 2017. After that, I’ll have just one more to go - Berlin 2017 - and then will likely set another ridiculous fitness goal like becoming a member of the Seven Continents Club (running a marathon on all seven continents).
How has your business changed and evolved since you first conceived of the idea?
I am a devout believer that the need case and the opportunity should define the technology, rather than the technology define the market. Too often people start companies to commercialize some piece of technology by trying to identify “the killer application”, when in reality, companies are more successful when they figure out exactly what the user needs, what problem has to be solved, and then engineering the technology as the perfect-fit solution. We built Nix to solve a very specific problem and deliberately researched and built the commercialization plan before going too far down the path with the technology. As a result, the nuanced features, functions, and user experience with our technology has changed more than anything else.
How do you deal with ambiguity or fear?
I think the most important step in overcoming fear is self-awareness. So often people misidentify the driver behind procrastination or apathy and don’t realize that it’s often rooted in fear – of failure, of making the wrong choice, of being judged or criticized. As soon as the lightbulb goes off that I might be letting fear dictate my behavior, my pride kicks in and overrides it. I know I have the power to choose my path rather than letting it choose me. The second most important step in overcoming fear is the power of vulnerability. Blocking out your fear and shoving it down isolates you from your support system – your co-founder, your team. Talking openly about it not only helps you recognize it when it’s happening, but also empowers you – and your team – to push forward through it together, growing stronger as a result.