Gabe Glynn: Makusafe Co-Founder
Safety Consultant with Sheldon Primus
Gabe Glynn: Makusafe Co-Founder
February 16, 2022
In today's interview, Sheldon speaks with MakuSafe Co-founder Gabriel Glynn. MākuSafe® is an award-winning Safety, Data & Analytics solution aimed at improving worker health, safety, and productivity while reducing incidents and mitigating workplace hazards and risk exposures. The patented MākuSafe® system combines a robust safety management software platform with innovative wearable technology that provides immediate access to real-time EHS data with predictive value. Gabe Glynn, COSS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, CO-FOUNDER Gabriel Glynn is the CEO of MākuSafe™ and a serial entrepreneur. Gabriel’s startup journey began began in 2007 and includes several technology and service-based companies. His passion for the industrial workforce began in his childhood; watching his father navigate a career in industrial machining and safety. Gabriel’s leadership has been recognized in many ways including a Gubernatorial appointment to Iowa’s STEM Council in 2020, and one of the Top 10 Leaders in Insurtech by ACORD. In 2019 Gabriel was named one of 30 Innovators To Watch by Digital Insurance, a list that includes powerhouse innovators like Elon Musk and his work with MākuSafe has been featured in more than a hundred publications across the globe. Gabriel and his wife of 15 years, Amanda, live in Ankeny with their two boys, Caleb and Tucker. Gabriel is a Certified Occupational Safety Specialist (COSS) and has a degree in Business Administration.
Keywords: Makusafe, Gabe Glynn, Sheldon Primus, Safety, Safety Consultant, EHS, Health and Safety, Organizational Culture, Safe and Sound, OSHA, Near Miss, Permit Required Confined Space, Safety Culture, Culture, OSHA compliance, OSHA, Worker safety, safety consultant, consultant, technology, tech, BBS, HOP, learning teams, Safety FM

[00:00:00] :  this episode is powered by safety FM. Welcome to the safety consultant podcast. I'm your house, Sheldon Primus. This is the podcast where I teach you the business of being a safety consultant and this week we have a special guest, Gabriel Glenn. He is the co founder and the ceo of make you safe corporation. Make you safe is an ai driven business platform for process management, production automation and data driven risk assessment for businesses. So it's a device that the workers will wear and in this device has many, many different characteristics and things that they do. It has some uh, some atmospheric recording and has a few other uh tips and tricks you could get from it, including things for near miss reporting, contact tracing. So we and me and Gabe have shared designation. He's a C E O S s as I am and I got a hold of him through my mentor, writer cobb and you could hear a writer and one of my early episodes. So you might have to look that one up. So right ahead gave us his student and said, alright, I'm telling you gotta talk to this guy this of this new idea that he has in this business that he has is going to be awesome. So I did. And we contacted him and I was able to get him finally, we've got the schedule issues but he is truly a wonderful person to talk to. He's got a good grasp of safety through his dad who was into safety and health in the industrial side. Um Gabe was great with leadership. He's one of the Grouper Grouper gubernatorial. How do you say that gubernatorial? The one where you're governor places you, you know place? So he's got appointed by the governor in Iowa as a stem council in 2020 and then he was also named smes 25 leaders transforming manufacturing. So that's like amazing. Uh, some of the things that he has their available and there's another stuff top 10 liter for his company, which is of one of the things that the insurer attack Bye accord has him listed as and in 2019 who is also listed as one of the 30 inventors to watch by digital insurance and that's actually the same company that had Elon musk listed as one of these people to watch. I'll make you safe as a product itself has been in more than 100 publications across the globe right now. So it was really my honor to be able to talk to him, get a little background, even a background about his great grandfather, which was awesome to hear. So you've got to listen out for that story as well. But it was a wonderful, wonderful episode and I want to thank everyone for listening. And also, if you have not become a subscriber to the podcast, please do that. I am looking for people to share this podcast with others and you don't even have to be a safety consultant if you're in the safety field, this is here to help you, so go ahead and pass it on, let's describe as well. And also one of the things I would like to do is see if I could get you to go to safety consultant dot tv. So on your computer typing safety consultant dot tv, you could put in code sc 101 and you can get a free month with that and you could actually get templates and downloadable material if you see it online or if you want to watch some of the learning the video learning in there, you can do that on your Roku device, you could do that on your amazon fire stick and amazon tv and apple tv. So two ways to get some training, get some fun. I have some fun stuff in there. We even have some things about mindfulness for success. So you go to safety consultant dot tv, type in the code sc 101 for a free month and subscribe to the podcast. Uh this week, I will not be doing my end of episode uh talk because it was such a good one. I want to make sure you guys will focus in on Gabe and uh make you safe company. So go get him. Thanks Sheldon and thanks for having me on, by the way, I appreciate it. I always love talking to fellow safety nerds and people that I just care about other people's health happiness well being. Um so anyways, it's always good to talk to somebody in the space. Um, I'm Gabriel Glenn and I am the co founder and Ceo at make you say for a venture backed workplace safety startup located in, in the middle, right smack in the middle of the country. 30 interstate 35 interstate 80 hit right here in Des Moines Iowa, wow, mm hmm. So now, uh, the product itself will give us a little background of the product before we get into your story. So, uh, so we kind of know what the product does and then we'll find out how you got there. Yeah. Really? Um, the product is a wearable technology that's designed to understand what's going on around a worker, what's going on in the workplace around them. So unlike a Fitbit where fitbits, looking internally at biometric data, heart rate, skin moisture and oxygen levels and all that kind of stuff. Heart devices. Really, it's looking at a few things. Looking at the environmental conditions around the worker, what's the air quality, what's the sound exposure, right. What's the lighting, all of that kind of stuff. Um, and it's also looking at how, how physical are they working? You know, what's the, the energy that they're producing? Um, if you've ever been on a peloton or any of the new exercise equipment. It tells you like how many killers jewels, you know, you're producing in your workout. We kind of do the same thing. It's a little bit different to kind of do the same thing on worker physicality and and really trying to detect things like slip trip and fall hazards before they happen. So that's really the premise of it. It's uh for anybody listening that you can't see the screen. There's it's an armband warren device so it goes on the upper arm. So if you've ever been to a gym or crossfit or anything like that, you see all these people working out with an iphone right on their arm. Yeah it's a great place to have a device. It's accessible. It's right there next to the worker, it's close to their heads. So it's close to the the sensing area. Um it's nowhere near the size of an iphone as you can see. It's about the size of my phone and just about, yeah and those people that are watching are gonna be watching on the safety consultant tv. So you do have an audience that's hearing this and an audience that will be watching it to uh so you mentioned in that that uh it does atmospheric monitoring. What kind of limitation does that have? Or or are you doing like almost a four gas meter monitoring? Yeah it's a little bit different than uh specific gas monitoring. So we do um total volatile organic compounds. So V. O. C. S. And and C. 02. And really what we're looking for as opposed to a life saving device. I always want to tell people like we are not a replacement for a ceo monitor for the agricultural worker that's walking into a hog confinement that if they go down it needs to alert like we are not a replacement for that. What we're doing is we're gathering a lot of this information about the environment and what's going on around people. And we want to do kind of two things with that data. One, we want to create immediate interactions if there's something that that we need to address right away. For example, somebody slipped in an area or two or three or four people slipped in an area, right That tells us there's probably a slip hazard in that area. You know, there's something going on there. Eventually there will be an accident in that area. We can now go address it immediately because we've been notified on our smartphone that that people are slipping in this area. So there's some things that are immediately actionable and then other things are, how is the environment trending, How is it different from what it used to be um or what it's normally at And then also whence something unfortunate does happen. We now have all of this context that we didn't have before. We don't have to go back and guess or wonder we know what the lighting was. We know what the temperature was. We know what the humidity was. We know what the air quality was. We know where they were on the facility, where they were on the job site, but we have all of this really rich data that over time we can begin to understand, is there correlation or causality between certain environmental factors and accidents? Right. So kind of like forecasting bad weather, It's not wind that makes tornado or bad weather, it's not temperature, right? It's a combination, a confluence of factors and it took, you know, decades of data gathering and analysis to determine, hey, when the wind is coming from this way and we've got a front coming from this way and we've got temperatures from the south doing this, there's a heightened propensity for risk and that's what we're trying to do on the safety side of things. Well, and it's so much technology, it's telling me that you're going to be using. Um, well, at least it might be Bluetooth technology I'm hearing there. Um, imagining it's also wifi technology and I don't know if you're working on any kind of, uh, it's possible, but I don't know. But are you doing anything regarding, I guess the, it's the, it's the information behind the Cryptocurrency. So basically that, that that type of work is what is the program Blockchain Blockchain. Thank you. The Blockchain technology. It seems like it could fit into that as well. I think there's a lot of uses, I think at the core. Um, we're trying to do a couple of things. Sheldon one. We recognize that workplace workplaces are a lot safer today than they than they were um in the past certainly I don't, it's kind of hard to see, but those on the screen can see. So over my shoulder here, um I was fortunate to be on the cover of Smart Manufacturing magazine about a year ago and I'm holding a picture in that photo of my great grandfather, my great grandfather walked out of a factory in my hometown moments before it exploded and killed all of his co workers. So he he left because he wanted to go have lunch with my great grandmother and I'm so thankful he did because I wouldn't be here today if it if it wasn't for him taking his lunch break and walking out of the factory. And so we don't, we don't have factories necessarily exploding every day. You know. Now things have improved a lot. Um workplace safety is at the forefront of a lot of organizations, um but we recognize that it still could be better, right? And there's still um incremental change that can make and I think big differences and and provide better outcomes and in order to do that, the only way we can do that is gathering data and this data is not available to us has never been available to us. Nobody has ever gathered this kind of data from, on human beings for any length of history in a whole bunch of diverse um workplace environments and we were in construction or manufacturing were in food production. Um We're uh Steel founder, we're in a lot of different environments. Right? And so over time, I can only imagine what data that we're gathering could be used to do. So, you know, some of the things that you're alluding to, Sheldon, it'll be maybe my son, I've got two boys, one is 10 and 17, maybe, maybe someday they'll be in data science at Purdue University and they'll be working with, you know, data sets that were gathered from from workplaces through through our technology. So I think the possibilities are endless. But at its at its essence and at its core gathering this data allows us to do more and be more proactive than we've ever been able to do in the history of workplace safety. Um and we're still just at the very beginning of it, which is pretty exciting now. How did you know, now that we understand the technology a little bit better? I know it's so much more into it because the application could be used as you're saying, it's an investigation that could be used for proving that you're doing exactly what your regulation tells you to do. I'm sure in some cases some people are gonna want to manipulate your your your information and use it for evil for? Well, pretty much will be, you know, uh punitive issues is some of the areas that I would think could be used as you know, people not following the rules, but what got you into it, what what what what was the pathway to get you to make you safe? Yeah, again it was kind of family inspired. So I didn't know the story of my great grandfather actually when I started the company um but I didn't know the story of my father and my father worked in a factory my whole life, he worked third shift. So when I was heading off to school, he was getting home and he was eight years and when I was going To bed at night he was packing up his lunch to head to the factory to build printing presses. Actually really large scale printing press press is um and he and he did that for I think over 20 years before that company went bankrupt, people got these things and they stopped reading newspapers and magazines and things like that and in the quantities they did. And so Um he actually at that time decided to go to school. So here he is in his forties right, and decides to go to school and get a degree in safety and then became a safety manager at a facility in our hometown for the remainder of his career which was probably another 20 years. Um and he retired just uh just about a year ago um from that. And so it just so happened conversations with him and spending time with him. I have been a technologist for some time. Um, I've been working in the manufacturing space for some time with, with technology and uh, when I was hearing the challenges that he was facing and the problems that he was trying to get his hands around. That's, that's kind of what sparked the idea of my gosh, if I could provide somebody like my father with better information, more timely information and stuff that he can be proactively addressing, um, we could make a big difference for people. And so that was really the core of the motivation was, how do I make life for guys? Like my dad better. And one of the first things I did was I decided to go get cost certified because if I want to work in the safety space and try to understand what my dad is dealing with. I wanted to make sure that I had at least a basic knowledge of the kinds of things that he would have to do on a daily basis. And I think, you know, speaking full circle here, I think that's how we ended up getting connected was my, my costs instructor was writer lab and he's the one that, that I think in the end connected my, my mentor. Yeah, great guy, writer. He gave me a call. Yeah, he said Sheldon, you gotta talk to this guy and he gave me a call and he said, what game is doing is going to be so instrumental in our field and uh, and once he told me about you, I was like, we gotta make this happen. Very nice. Tell me just just as a cost instructor and a weird fascination, how did that, that program for you? Uh, did it enhance your knowledge enough to really push the business? So I know we're not doing a, a cost promotional, but it's, it's, I got you here. Might as well just ask the question. So how did it benefit you? Yeah. In a lot of ways Sheldon, so I think about, uh, it's one thing to invent a piece of, of technology, right? And startups fail for many different kinds of reasons, right? But a lot of times the number one reason is bad product market fit, right? They, somebody has a smart idea that they think is going to help an industry that they really don't know that much about, but they're like, oh, come on, Everybody's gonna want this thing and then they created and they take it to the market. The market goes, I really don't want that, I want this, you're, you're kind of close, but that's not what I wanted. And then it's, it's too late. And so before we got too far down the road of product development, we really had to understand, um, what is the frequency severity of accidents, what are the things that are, you know, we could gather data on that, could, could make a difference. What is the day to day life of a, of a safety person even at its core, the most basic thing of knowing that my dad's role is to identify hazards, determine who is exposed to those hazards and then apply controls as needed. Right? Just that process alone was, was important for me to understand and it was so important because as we've built the technology and we've grown our company and we are now selling product across north America. We've got thousands of workers in our platform today. Many of the sales conversations that our team has, or many of the conversations that I have with executives that literally some of the biggest companies in the world, I can speak a language that resonates with them. That shows them as a global DHS leader for a fortune 100 company that hey, this guy gets it. Like he, he wasn't just in some lab somewhere trying to build some sort of product that he thought would make him a bunch of money. This guy really understands the core of what it is to, to be responsible for workers lives every single day. And it was so important to me Sheldon that as we've grown our company, so we're a team of about 25 now, which is crazy when I think back to, you know, me being employee number one and my co founder on the other side of the wall here being employee number two, how much? We've grown our entire business side of our company and our lead software designers. So the person who does the design of our products have all gone through and got cost certified as well. So all of our sales people, all of our account managers and the person that is in charge of design for our technology has at least gotten that base knowledge. I know that doesn't make us experts, I know that doesn't make us you know somebody that has 30 years, 50 years of experience like like a writer cobb. But I think what it does is it really helps us understand when we're trying to build a new feature or trying to make a change to the way our technology does something we can ask ourselves if I had to implement this in the field. If I if I had to use this would I be happy about it. And and just that gut check alone I think has helped us build a better product than anything else in the space and be able to really empathize with our with our users um that are using the technology every day. Yeah. And that's that is the core getting down to basics, you know, you identify the hazard as best as you can and quantify that hazard before you could even get control. So you're you're making the quantification part, that part of detailing knowing the hazards and the hazardous uh situations conditions to such a degree that then now the control side gets easier. The control side almost becomes a no brainer in some cases and the documentation, you know, that's the hard I think for a lot of safety professionals out there, you're constantly trying to justify your existence, right? If you're, if you're doing a good job as a safety person, you're not having a lot of recordable accidents, things are pretty safe. The safety culture is there people feel safe and then leadership's going, do we really need to spend so much money on safety because we're already a safe company, Right? And the reality is is there a safe company because they have a good person and they're, and they're, and they're paying money to, to help with safety, Right? So one of the things that we wanted to do was make that process, um easy to do and documented. And One thing I didn't mention for example on the device here, it's got this button. And so right now you see it flashing, so it's recording up to 15 2nd voice memo of whatever the employee wants to say, it could be a safety concern. They have, it could be a productivity suggestion that they have, um, you know, it could be any number of things. It gives them a voice. But what we see literally it does, does, it literally gives them a voice like right to leadership and what we hear, um, you know, from our customers, employees is, you know a voice member where they say, Hey, there's a bunch of products parked in front of our fire exit on the south side of building seven. Right? That's a hazard. That's a risk to the employees. That's a OSHA violation, right? That's a fine. Right? If they come in and see that, that there's a fire exit that's blocked. Right. Well, so now we've got an employee that identified the hazard as a safety manager. I get a text message on my smartphone that just tells me that just tells me that I can look at that voice memo. It's been transcribed there. It just popped up actually, yeah, I can see it right there. Nice. So I can click on this. I can go and it'll take me right to this voice memo, which it's already been transcribed into text right there. I can add a note to it. I can go take a photo, I can go investigate it and tell me who left it where it was on the job site. It also actually gathers all the environmental conditions, lighting, everything that it also was reading at the time. The person pushed that button in case any of that is helpful. Right? But all of that information is there, I can now just with the push of a button on our platform create a hazard and it automatically goes into a workflow where I can take a note, I can tell somebody to go remediate it, take a photo when it's been remediated and I can take it through just a three step process of identification In progress and, and and taking care of remediated and all of that is documented immediately and easily for somebody. So at the end of whatever period of time when they're talking to their supervisor, when they're talking to leadership and they go, so what did I do this year? Well, our team collectively with this technology identified 111 Naruing hazards. We remediated 111 potential hazards. The average one took less than 24 hours to remediate from the time it was identified to the time and here by the way are three of the biggest ones that we found that helped us avoid some fines and helped us avoid. Right? So you provide them the documentation piece and the ammunition to show what they're doing matters. So yeah, absolutely. That's the kind of stuff that we were trying to think about when we were trying to put ourselves in the shoes of that everyday safety person and even the safety people walking around. They just, they're constantly taking notes. Like, you know, maybe they'll do an observation for um, uh, you know, doing an observation on workers many times a day. You know, things like that I think is just taking notes right in there just with voice and for, for those that that aren't familiar with. the whole process of Mark OSHA audits or anything similar to that. You would go through look at different facilities and you basically be the eyes as if you were OSHA. So when you're done, you have to give a report to that. There's me on the consultant side and do that for clients. But the people who are physically going through the field, they have to think about their work day, the places they need to go and if they could do this in seeming seemingly easy fashion, that's bringing up their day to to keep addressing these high hazard things and also immediate things at the same time. So that's truly a value added benefit time and concentrated information and truly you're, you're getting a history and you can start proving stuff is defensible. So if there is a citation, you can may be able to say, all right here we do have, you know, um, maybe it could be someone's misconduct or it could be the, the environment. You could prove it. Mm hmm. Yeah. And I would say for the most part that, you know, we know when we work with the company, um, what their intent is, it's pretty apparent when you talk to the, the safety leaders within an organization and you know, one of the first questions I asked before I started this was I asked some folks in the manufacturing and construction space that I had worked with in my previous life? like do you want to know this information Like or would you just rather have plausible deniability? Like something bad happens. You're like, sorry, I didn't know what something, you know now. So I can't be in trouble. And the and the react like what I heard over and over again was a couple of things. one they're responsible for the workplace environment, the walking, working surfaces, the environmental conditions, right? All of this is already governed by law and many of the, these companies are required to do audits and tests and things on an annual basis anyway, so they're responsible for it as it is. So not knowing that it's bad, doesn't absolve you from the liability of needing to have a safer workplace. And the other thing is, is these companies genuinely want to do something proactive about it. If they can find a slippery floor or a cracked concrete or lighting that's out in an area and they can remediate that kind of stuff. We're not talking about building a new building or tearing one down and rebuilding it. It's not that expensive stuff. It's incredible how often our system will say something like the air quality is bad in this area and they'll go and investigate and find out an air handling machine is not operational. They've got a dozen of them in the facility. It's loud, you can't tell that one of them is not operating right? But the air quality is bad in that area. And it turns out it was that right. It's a maintenance issue. They have the air handler there already, they can fix that, you know, or lighting, they got lighting is low in an area, they go over and they realized that 20% of the bulbs in this area are burned out. Let's put some new bulbs in. Yeah. So again, it's, it's not stuff that is uh, dramatically um expensive or anything for them to fix. It's all stuff that they're already responsible for that can usually be fixed pretty easily. It's just the reality of being a safety person or a maintenance person. Like you only have so much time in your day and you're responsible for so many things. So if you have a piece of technology that tells you, Hey, if you've got 30 minutes today to go out on the floor, look at these five things, right? That's so much easier walking absolutely square foot job site and it tells you go look for these five things. Now, I know what I'm gonna do with my half hour walk on the, on the job floor that day. Right? Yeah, that's what we're trying. That's what we're trying to do, is really trying to certainly not replace a safety person, we're trying to arm them with how to, to be the most effective safety person. They can be with the little time resources that they have. Yeah, that's excellent. And part of my audience, a high percentage will be those that are going to be either trying to get into working for themselves or trying to as safety consultants, but they're also entrepreneurs in their own right. How did you get your, your mindset into entrepreneur mode and learn how to promote and market yourself and and get out there any tips on on that end of helping, helping everyone get, get out of work or mode to entrepreneur. I'm in charge of this business myself and I got to do something. Uh, what, what would you say? Well, I've been fortunate, Sheldon, I left a career in retail. I was in corporate retail um in 2008. Um, so I've been out on my own now for some time and I've been fortunate to have some success at a small level with a couple other smaller things in the software space because I'll be honest with you, you know, taking on creating a physical product, a physical piece of hardware, right, sourcing components all around all around the globe, having manufacturing operations in Malaysia and other places around the world to help produce, you know, parts of our technology. Um, just all of the things that have gone into building this company, the way that it is, it took me some smaller stepping stones to get here. This is my first um, startup where I've had to raise outside capital. So we've raised about $17 million now in venture capital to grow our team to build the technology, it took us 4.5 years from the day that I drew on a napkin at a coffee shop a few blocks from here to the day that we hung our products are our production style product on the wall and checked out our first device from, from our production product was 4.5 years. Right? And so it took a tremendous amount of faith and trust from some private individuals, from some companies that believe in in the space and what we're doing to get here. And so I think all that said, I would say a couple of things for, for somebody that has an idea or is interested in the entrepreneurial space one. Um there's a lot of resources out there and it takes a village, it really takes a village and there's so many, whether it's mentors or retired folks that are uh, you know, it? S. B. A. Or find, find the startup ecosystem, there's an ecosystem in every community now, right? And that's a great place to start. Um you can go further much further with others right Than you can on your own. And the other thing I'll say is that this happens to a lot of folks. Um you start with solving a problem, you've got a simple idea and a simple way to solve a problem. And then you spend a lot of time thinking about it and talking about it and then it gets bigger and then it gets bigger and the more people you talk to well you could also do this and then we could also do this and then if we did it for the ag industry we could do this oh and if we did it at hospitals we could do and pretty soon it gets so big that you look at it and go yeah I can't take that on and you forget that what you're trying to do was something simple to solve a problem in our case. Um I didn't know what, I didn't know sheldon and I'm thankful that I didn't know that it would take $17 million dollars and that it would take 4.5 years to get to market. And it would take you know what feels like a P. D. PhD and in global economics right to be able to to create a technology. Um And so we just started small like building one prototype device with a few sensors and taking it to a factory here locally and seeing if we could identify something and then you know from there taking the next step and the next step. And it was just a series of gates along the way. And before we knew it we had a truck pulling in that was full of our technology from our factory and pending Malaysia dropping off right here at our warehouse at our facility. We were 4.5 years in and it, it took a lot of small steps to get there. Um, but but sometimes it, it grows to be too big in your mind and you get so afraid that you don't even take the first step and that's, that's sad because so many ideas die before they're, before they're even, you know, brought to life. Yeah, that's an excellent tip. And um, for those who aren't sure what the S. B. A. Is is a small business alliance or small business association that helps people who have ideas with retired people who have gone through the business mindset and they decided that they wanted to give back and it's usually free services that they'll do and they'll help you, help you brainstorm stuff. So they're, they're really good administration to, to be involved in. Oh, any lessons learned during uh pandemic times with anything? Uh Oh, did I break? Break your brain. Yeah. Holy cow. How long do we want the podcast to be Sheldon, um you know, it's interesting ah challenges like a pandemic present opportunity as well. Right? And for us that was no different. I told you that 4.5 years in, we had had a truck back up with our product in it. So, um we had worked so hard, we have this whole team of people, all of these investors, everybody worked so hard, we had a big media event planned for this event kind of like steve jobs would do for his big unveiling, right? You get all the stakeholders together, you get some champagne, you get cocktails, you get everybody happy, you back the truck up, you open a box, you hang that, you know, our kiosk on the wall, you check the device out, everybody cheers. It's a great event. Um, and that was slated for april of 2020 and so just weeks earlier, as you know, the world shut down, we shut down our office. And uh, my co founder lives not too far from here. And so he drove to the office, turned the lights on, opened the door for the guy with the truck, grabbed a fork truck and a palette got it off, closed the door, shut the lights off and went home. And that was, that was our big unveiling, you know, so there was a lot of letdown and challenged our customers. We had customers lined up that we've been working on for years and fortunately we didn't lose customers because of the pandemic. But of course in the beginning, everybody's like, look, we're not going to start something new, We're not going to implement a new project. We're not gonna, sorry, we don't even know if we're gonna open, we don't even know if we're gonna stay in business, right? We don't even know if we have employees. So that was the challenge side of it. But then there was also the opportunity side where we're putting our heads together, like what can we do? Can we put, you know, thermal detection on our kiosk? So when somebody's checking out a device that can read their body temperature and you know, do we want to get into the biometric space to try to do that? Well, one thing that was really apparent to us was, hey, if every worker has got our technology on them are devices can see how far they are from each other. And now we're hearing that if you're within six ft of somebody for 15 minutes or more and they're sick or they get diagnosed with something, then you are technically exposed and you're at risk like wow, we don't have to change our hardware at all. And we could do contract tracing reports for our customers. So if Gabe gets diagnosed, all I have to do is go in and say Gabe, I want to see everybody in the last 48 hours. That was within six ft of Gabe for 15 minutes or more. And boom, they get a list, you know, so within a very short period of time at the start of pandemic, we were able to say, hey, we can, we can do contact tracing and we didn't have to try to build a product like so many people out there did that built, you know, made wristwatches and all these other things like we already had it and the technology was already there. So you know, there are things like that that that just presented some good opportunity to us as well. Good Now what about this side with personnel because sometimes, you know, my dad had once said to me, you know, he said son, you can't stay small for long forever. He said, you can't stay small forever. You're gonna eventually have to hire people and you know, in order to grow the business. So when did you make that choice between the two of you Employee one and 2? When you said all right, it's time to get some more people. What's, what's the mindset that you had to to choose? All right, I'm gonna, I'm gonna take the chance and I get someone and hire them knowing that now their whole family, the livelihood and everything depends on, you know, your effort and everything. It's a lot of pressure. So when, when did you guys make that decision? And how did you go through that and plant through that? Again, we've had some really good people around the company. Um, some really good mentors and leaders. But I think a big part of it is when you, when you find a gap, um, that becomes so painful for you, you realize you just don't have your just not equipped to do it and you can either try to outsource it, you could try to find a contractor, um to come in and do part of it and then there's times where you go, hey this is the long term need for us and so some of the earliest folks we brought on um in fact we just had on friday of last week our director of hardware product development, Matt Mcmullen uh just had his three year anniversary with us, So I called him up to wish him a happy, happy, make you safe anniversary, asked him if he was still having fun, you know, and still being challenged. But the guy was came to us with almost 20 years of experience in this, in the electronic space, a lot of which was spent with sea gate um doing, doing Seagate's so yeah, incredibly talented individual and we were so blessed and so lucky to land Matt Mcmullen has been such a cornerstone for our team and technology. Now I look at him like, I don't know how we got along before Matt Mcmullen was here right to have that talent on the team, but we had hit a point where Mark, my co founder is a brilliant engineer, a brilliant technologist, He made our first prototype devices in his own lab at his house with hot glue and wires and cracked open, you know, cell phone charger parts and you know, things like that to get our first, but when it got to um you know, building an enterprise grade piece of technology, we just realized we were, we were limited and we, you know, there are engineering firms out there, but we thought it would be great to have some core competency on our team and, and so we just kind of growing the team that way all through the early phases, it was engineers, it was software engineers, hardware engineers, because you're trying to invent the product and then all of a sudden it's like, oh, we got to, we got a lot of customers, we gotta sell this, we gotta manage accounts, we gotta keep customers happy, we gotta, you know, all of this other, you know, market advertise all this other half of the business. Um, you know, at some point prior to our launch had to come on too. So yeah, so you had the awareness that you knew you couldn't do it on your own. You guys knew that it was, there was teams that needed to be in place in order for you to hit the market and hit the ground running. We did. And we were again, really fortunate um, to have the investors that we have and the people that believed in us and back to us because, um, you can bootstrap a lot. I mean, I was the chief volunteer officer for the company for a year and a half. Right? And I was fortunate, I had exited a software company that, that me and a business partner had built and sold and so I had the freedom and financial freedom to be able to do that for a year and a half. But yeah, when you're trying to hire somebody away from a very high paying engineering job and they're doing really well. You can't say, hey, you know, come on board with us and, and in a couple of years we'll pay you, you know, if it goes well. So we're really fortunate to have the financial backing of people too, to allow us to be able to bring some really talented people onto the team um, and not, not have to do all of it on our own. And that's not the case with all startups. We're really fortunate and blessed to have that. Well, I know a lot of the safety pros listening right now and the consultants, they're probably thinking, you know, how can we reach you, so go ahead and let them know how they could get ahold to reach you. Yeah, yeah, so make you safe, we can kind of see it on my shirt here too. So it's actually M A K U S A F E. And it's a little bit of a double meaning. So Mcu is a Hawaiian word for risk. And so we kind of do a play on the word that our goal is to identify and eliminate risk. We put the line over the Macron as it's called to give it the long a sound, so make you safe, but you can find us online. M A K. U S A F E dot com. Um, certainly searching wearable technology. Um, looking on linkedin, that kind of stuff. We're, um, we're charging a few different safety groups and things on linkedin and um, just really again happy and excited to be in the space and, and we continue to attract people like you Sheldon to around the companies that are looking at what we're doing and so on. I want to make a connection for these guys. I wanna, I wanna, I wanna give them an idea or I want to, you know, get a better understanding of the technology because you know, I, I know that's kind of the next wave of where things are going. So we welcome any and all of that, we're so grateful that so many people in this space have, have embraced us and what we think is kind of the future of where things are going. It's so easy to go to work every day when you, when you know that your work is meaningful and making a difference in people's lives. And I know you felt that for a long time and I get to feel that every day today is, you know, just just going in knowing, hey, when I, what I put it there today, but I make a difference for somebody else and that's kind of cool even on a mass scale too. So you know, you're reaching thousands of workers at this point from something he wrote on a, on a napkin. Isn't it amazing. I gotta pinch myself sometimes. Yeah, that's amazing, man. So thank you so much, enjoy the rest of your day and thank you for being on. You too. Yeah, I appreciate it. Thanks for having me on. And and let's stay in touch. This episode has been powered by safety. FM. The views and opinions expressed on this podcast or broadcast are those of the host of its guests and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the company. Examples of analysis discussed within the past hour are only examples. They should not be utilized in the real world as the only solution available as they are based on very limited and dated open source information, assumptions made within this analysis are not reflective of the position of the company. No part of this podcast or broadcast may be reproduced stored within a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means mechanical, electronic recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of the creator of the podcast or broadcast. Sheldon brightness. Mm hmm, mm hmm.