One of the most important cornerstones of leadership is setting strict boundaries. If we are unwilling to enforce them, we become subject to the whims of others and lose our authenticity. In business, that's deadly, but far from uncommon. There's a reason why we have so many companies, but yet so few brands and even less brand loyalty. Businesses just follow the latest trends without setting their feet down in what they believe in. See, with AZOTH, just like any other strong business, it's not the product we are selling, but ourselves and our own authentic voice. Lose that and you're as reliable as the next street vendor in Brooklyn - you've got tons of things to sell, but if you're gone no one's gonna give a shit. I refuse to subscribe to that.
When I started AZOTH, there were a couple of things I refused cut corners on:
For one, I wanted the product to be produced start to finish in the United States. Yes, this means even the labeling, the plastic tub, the lid, and every raw material used in the process of manufacturing AZOTH was built in the USA. It's matter of principle - we can't say we're proud to be American and then when the chance comes to put our money where our mouth is we flee to China. That's irony at its finest.
Secondly, I had no interest in skimping on doses. I made it a point that I created a profile with ingredients at dosages that were OPTIMAL and NECESSARY to feel an effect, without even looking at the total price and just sent it off to the manufacturer to make. When the manufacturer quoted me, it was a ridiculously high price point, I looked at the ingredient list and decided I couldn't cut anything. Instead I added a few more ingredients and just said screw it.I wholeheartedly believe that if you do something, you either do it at a 100% or you just don't do it all. What's the point if I add a few sprinkle milligrams of an ingredient if I truly know I am scamming my consumers because it's not going to do anything.
A REAL NOOTROPIC
This is a whole topic in and of itself, but the word Nootropic has been "bastardized" to include frankly everything that has any sort of effect on energy or on the brain, which by default would be practically every supplement out there. Seeing the explosion of this category, supplement companies have latched onto it like the last branch in the jungle. I commonly see products (as a matter of fact almost all of them on the first page of Amazon) calling a blend of Caffeine, a few chinese herbs and Indian roots with horribly low doses (several have a 10% specification of a 100mg total ingredient) "POTENT NOOTROPIC STACK." That's garbage.
When people try AZOTH they say it feels different than any other nootropic they've tried, I tell them that's because they've never tried nootropics. They've tried caffeine pills and underdosed herbs. When I set out to create AZOTH, I wanted to make sure it's actually what it says it is.
R&D OVER MARKETING
When AZOTH was being manufactured, the costs were going to be astronomical. I had made a conscious choice, however, that instead of the typical 90-10 split (marketing/R&D), I would flip it to 90-10 (R&D/Marketing). The thought process behind this was clear. With AZOTH I was on the mission to create a flagship product that works. End of story. If a supplement doesn't work, it's not going to last. Yes, I'd probably still get tons of reviews on Amazon with the right amount of ad buys, but that's not what I was going for. I could give two shits about validation. I care about the product working. Making people more productive. That's the goal. No corners cut. As far as marketing is concerned, I am a staunch believer in the notion of "build and they shall come." The ones who need the loudest megaphones are the ones who have little to show for. I was convinced that with a just a few channels to market the product, I could succeed.