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North Star Podcast


Nov 2, 2020

Will Ahmed is the Founder and CEO of WHOOP, which has developed next-generation wearable technology for optimizing human performance and health. I found him through an excellent interview he hosted with Rory McIlroy, a winner of four major championships who was once the #1 golfer in the world. Then, once we started talking, he told me about the group chats he shares with other top golfers like Justin Thomas.

The man is obsessed with health technology like nobody I’ve ever come across, so conversation topics range from the business of wearables, to the challenges of tracking accurate data. Then, he shared his philosophy for why sleep and recovery are a more important data point for an athlete than exercise and stress. My favorite part of the interview was hearing about Will’s philosophy of management, and why he tries to hire people who have high intensity and high humility. Please enjoy my conversation with WHOOP CEO Will Ahmed.

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Show Notes

2:15 - What data Will wishes he could magically track for his users and why it could drastically improve their health.

6:30 - How breathing exercises, mindfulness, and meditations help your heart rate.

11:05 - Why WHOOP has found so much success in helping golfers and baseball players over other sports.

13:20 - What Will remembers as his favorite conversations with athletes.

16:24 - Why it's so hard to capture accurate sleep cycle data.

20:43 - Why teams on average get less sleep at an away game than at a home game.

23:38 - The limits of what can or can't and what should or shouldn't be tracked.

26:38 - How WHOOP separates itself from the larger players in the health market.

31:08 - Why Will believes strongly that the branding of WHOOP products aids in developing a person's own brand.

34:30 - Why not developing your own hardware to go with your software can be detrimental to your overall design.

41:41 - The future of informed coaching using WHOOP and their membership services team.

43:19 - Why WHOOP started out as a brand-focused company, and why it was so important to go about it this way.

45:38 - What it was like playing Augusta National.

49:00 - How to know when to operate analytically versus intuitively.

56:43 - The key to being different, and why you should always be asking your customers what their problems are, not what their solutions are.

1:01:16 - What piece of advice that Will would give his younger self in the past.