My friend Sol Orwell released his beastly, totally useful, no-nonsense “The Supplement Goals Reference Guide” 6 weeks ago. So far the guide has been a big success; I caught up with him to inquire about any behind the scenes happenings of the launch, how the guide is only going to get better, and why he pays so well for statisticians:
Sol, it’s been about 6 weeks now since you launched the supplement goals reference guide. We know the experts in the copy love the book, but how has the feedback been from those who have purchased the guide?
The feedback has been quite gratifying. I’ve had random people reach out via twitter, email, even Facebook to say how much they love what we are doing and how much they love what we’ve built. A common theme has been people telling us how much money they are saving – how they no longer buy X Y Z supplements. They no longer wonder “maybe it’s working and I don’t know” – now they know. 4500+ sales now, so it’s continuing to sell strongly!
Honestly – it was a pretty easy and smooth experience. We’ve been around for a while (2.5 years), so there are a few things that surprise us. We know what supplements people care for, and what they don’t, and pretty much had most of them covered.
Thanks – it’s been awesome.
There are two areas we really need to expand on:
1. We need to make our product more accessible. This means both language and also access. We are working on both – hiring an editor to help clean up our language, and also working on smartphone apps that will be part of access.
2. We need to help clarify and quantify what minor vs notable vs strongly notable is. There is an element of subjectiveness, but we can do a much much better job in making it more observational. The #1 priority of our new hire will be bringing this level of normalization to our data across our site (in fact, we may end up hiring two people to help this happen faster!)
In case those who read my blog are recent PhD’s with a strong statistical background, I’ll tell them to contact you. Based on the email you put out, you’re paying way more for this skill-set than even some tier 1 research universities. When starting all of this, did you fully appreciate the need to really interpret the data? Is this where people miss the forest for the trees in interpreting studies? Is that why you’re compensating accordingly?
There was an appreciation, but that appreciation has definitely grown. A lot.The reality is that our body is extremely complex (it’s stunning how much of it we still don’t understand), and when it comes to understanding what effects supplementation and nutrition can have, you need a vast domain of knowledge to draw from to give context to what you are reading.
For example, it’s easy to have “fat burners” work on obese persons which then fail in more lean people. The domain of knowledge I mention then comes into play with the “why” – what is happening here? How can we make sense of this and apply what we know about obese people and fat loss and then apply it to the general population?
Of course, losing fat is an easy one. When you start involving stuff like blood sugar (for example, berberine is fantastic at lowering it, but what happens if you’ve worked out and then you consume food and your insulin spikes?) and other hormones, you can’t just focus. You need to know 50 other factors that come into play.
Now – going back to research, you need to realize that just because X happens in Y and Z conditions does not mean it applies in general. You need to be able to sift out the edge-cases and figure out how it can be applied in a generalized manner. People are incredibly reactive (just see how we process news). You see one study and everyone starts running around screaming. A calm, calculated, contextual approach requires hiring the best!
Thanks Sol and good luck!
To put it another way: save yourself time, save yourself money, and spend more time training and recovering than looking at the newest, latest, and greatest supplements. Get your Supplement-Review Reference Guide today!