June 16, 2023

From Vanity to Vitality: The Truth About Skincare - Keith O'Briant | BCL #295

Keith O'Briant, CEO of Hydrinity. Hydrinity started as a regenerative medicine company developing advanced wound care products. Early on they began getting reports from many of their leading clinicians that their formulas promoted rapid healing and repair on severely compromised skin patients. So, they started experimenting with skin repair and anti-aging serums for at-home use.

Keith:It's not just about beautiful skin, it's about healthy skin. And that's what wetalk about a lot is let your skin be healthy.

Your skin is yourlargest organ of your body. So you need it to protect.

Julian:Hey everyone. Thank you so much for joining the Behind Company Lines podcast.Today we have Keith O'Briant, CEO of Hydrinity. Hydrinity started as aregenerative medicine company until being pushed into groundbreakingregenerative skin science. Keith, I'm so excited to chat with you. Not only becausewe, we haven't had anyone in your particular field on the show before, butalso, we see all these brands out there, we see all this skincare, and it'seven become more popular, more widely available and, and, and used, but I'msure a lot of people are still understanding, what is the consumer products,what are the products that are a little bit more specialized in, in, aparticular area and what are the companies doing behind that?

To, to be able todeliver on, what they're saying, which is, whether it's wound care or actualskincare products, you know how they're doing. So. So before we get into allthat good stuff with Hydrinity,  

what were you doingbefore you, you joined the company and started leading as ceo.  

Keith:Well, thank you.

It's, Hey, it's anhonor and a privilege to, to, to be with you. I, I appreciate the, so no befbefore this with with Hydrinity it was, it was, We actually started Hydrinity.Before this, we were doing a regenerative medicine company, and that's how wekind of got into Hydrinity. We working on advanced wound care products,products for spine surgery and even drug delivery system for oncology patients.

Yeah, that's,that's what we were, we were, that's kind of how we. Made the transition in,into hydro energy, so yeah. Yeah, I've been in the medical industry for about30, for about 30 years now, so,  

Julian:yeah. And,  

and it's alwaysinteresting thinking about how those products are made and, and how itactually, I guess, How, how it, it's relationship with the body and, and whatis involved.

Making sure thatit, it can do the function when the body necessarily won't reject it. I know,I, I think commonly we're, I, I think a lot of consumers are worried about,whether it's an instrument or products, it's effect, what, what kind ofresearch are you doing and what's involved in those products to be able tocommunicate with the body or, not have it respond negatively.

Keith:Yeah, no, I think well, all I can do is speak for Hydrinity in my experience.And, and what we do is we do extensive testing on ours. We test everyindividual ingredient by itself, and then we test them when we bake the bulkmaterial. So we test it again. Okay. To make sure it's, it's safe and it'sclean.

And then before weintroduce any product to the market, we do clinical trials. Yeah. We, we, we,we test subjects to make sure there's no reaction. Make sure it's good for allskin types, whether you're acne prone, whether you have oily or dry skin. Yeah.So we want to make sure that there are no reactions to, to our products.

Julian:Yeah. I love this idea.  

I love the idea ofbuilding the product backwards. So thinking about, okay, we have the product instore, taking a step back, it's clinical trials, during that process, how manysteps does it actually have to take to, to, get to where, the normal consumercan actually use the product?

Is there a certainamount of, number of trials, years review system? What's involved in thatprocess that we don't about?  

Keith:Well, yeah. Well, the difference is if you were. In my previous word inregenerative medicine, biologics, the FDA gives you a very, very rigorous step,steps and tests that you have to provide.

Yeah. Theaesthetics in the cosmetic world, it's not quite, it's not that rigid. It'smore, it's actually more the honor, the honor system. Mm. But I, I just from,from our experience, for our first couple of products, it took us, it took ustwo years to develop those and get those the right way. Wow. So number one, yougotta, you have to start with the end in mind.

What's the problemthat we're trying to, come up with a solution for? Yeah. And then you do yourresearch, okay, what's gonna be really good for that? And then you start, thenyou start putting things together. Mm-hmm. We probably went through 50 formulasbefore we got the one that was just right.

Yeah. It was, itwas two and a half, almost three year process before we released our firstcouple of products, just to make sure they were really, really good.  

Julian:And what and what is,  

how do you definethe right formula? Is it, getting close to a certain, set of outcomes that youhypothesized?

Would, if you wereto use this combination, you know what, what gets you there? Are you lookingfor something particular or looking for the problem to be in degreesbetter?  

Keith:Essentially it's, there's a couple of things. Number one is it has to work.Sure. It just, number one, it needs to work and then it needs to be safe.

Yeah. Nope, nope,no side effects. But the other is you need rapid results. Yeah. People areimpatient now. And whether you're dealing wound care or whether you're dealingwith the skin science patients are super impatient. So you need to give resultsquickly so that y'all continue, they'll continue to use it, and, and it'simportant for results to happen quickly too.

Julian:Yeah. When you think about, what works, what are you measuring? Is it, are youtaking certain calibrations of the skin? Is it just like, okay, you, you feelsoft today. It's, it's working. What, what's involving that? I

Keith:think there's, there's, there's two ways you can look at it.

As a, as aclinician, sure. We can grade things is you can do what they call tool transepidermal water loss. We can mm-hmm. We can, we can measure that. Mm-hmm. Butthe other way to do it is the person that's using it, they know if their skinis softer, they know where it's more luminous. They know where those fine linesand wrinkles, they know where their acne is going away.

Yeah. If therosacea is getting better, they, yeah, they can see that. They see it everyday. Yeah. And so, so you can look at it two ways. Number one is at the end,users who you're trying to please the patient, right? Right. So you, you wantsomething, they, they will give you feedback. And our feedback is phenomenal.

Yeah. From ourclients.  

Julian:Yeah. And, and thinking about,  

you spent, your,your career in, in, just like healthcare, skincare, all, all these differentservices, medical, the rigorous nature of approving products. How has thatevolved over time? What have you seen in terms of changes made to actually, isit to consider the patient more mind?

Is is it, tomitigate any risk from company standpoint? What are the changes being made? Andis it all for the consumer at the end of the day?  

Keith:At the end of the day, patient safety is the number one factor. Yeah. Yeah. Nowthere, there are some medicines you, you will have some. Let's, let's takeoncology products versus let's say skincare.

Yeah, there are,there are risk involved in those very potent products, but does that riskoutweigh the benefit? And that's, that's what the regulators have, have todecide. Yeah. And so I, I think the approval process has become a lot stricter.And I, and I think probably in, in some cases it's needed.

And in some, I'm,I'm not, not sure if it is or not, but it's but you always have to put thepatient first. Safety has to come first. Always.  


When you think about going to market, with thenew product in, in healthcare and particularly even, even skincare, now, youknow what, what's different versus, the regular kind of day to day productswe're bombarded with today.

There'sapplications, there's, kind of all the, the hierarchy. If you think of Maslow'shierarchy, there's food, there's, living and housing. Then there's theadditional stuff. Now what is. I guess particularly yeah. Not valuable, butsuccessful. When you think about marketing a product within this realm to,consumers, what are some of the key things you have to connect them on andbuild that trust with?

Where do youstart?  

Keith:Part of it is, it's and again, I, I know I'm gonna harp on this a lot, butefficacy, your products have to work. Yeah. When you ask somebody to, to payfor something that they're getting, they need to see that there's value there.Right. They need to see that it actually works.

That's the greatthing about our products. Not only do they work, but they work quickly. Yeah.So people, they see the, they see the value, they see the value in that. Andit's not just about beautiful skin, it's about healthy skin. Yeah. And that'swhat we talk about a lot is let your skin be healthy.

Your skin is yourlargest organ. Yeah. Of, of your body. So you need it to protect. Everythingelse to determine what comes in and out of your what in and outta your body.Yeah, it's, it's also whether you're dealing with a wound or you're dealingwith a skin issue, it's of major importance to that person.

Yeah. Their mentalhealth, their, their wellbeing, how they perceive them themselves. It's, it'simportant. And that's, yeah. And I think that's something that gets overlookeda lot of times. Sometimes people think these products are just for vanity. No,they're not. Right. They're for health, they're for healthy skin and healthyskin penetrates the rest of the rest of your world.

Yeah. And it'ssuper important.  

Julian:How would you define, or I guess, divide, the different types of skincareproducts out there? In regards to, the consumer kind of, I, I, I would say thepopular products or even like, you think about Glossier has done a greatmarketing but they're very consumer brand focused versus, you think about maybenot Clinique, but one of those types of brands like, I'm, I'm slipping my, mybrain here, but one that's a little bit more, I would say, in the luxury kindof, whether it's regenerative or restorative.

How is, how wouldyou segment the differences outside of just being price, is it, leveraging moretechnology, more science? How would you segment those two types of skin cares?And, and how would you choose as a consumer of which one you need?  

Keith:Yeah. I, I think that's, that's a great question and I think part of it is andthat's part of our vision, is to bring top tier science luxury products thatare affordable to every, to everyone.

Yeah. Yeah. Thereare products that you can get at, at, at your retail store. Yeah. I will tellyou the quality of those ingredients are not quite as good as what you willfind at your derms, your plastics, and, and your, and, and your med spots.Yeah. It's just because of, of, of the cost of those, not that they're badproducts for certain things.

Yeah. But a lot oftimes you do get what you pay for and it's, if you have your dermatologist,your plastic surgeon, your aesthetician, if they're recommending theseproducts, it's number one cuz they believe in them. Yeah. And they've vetted,they have vetted them out. Yeah. That's, and that's the area that we play in.

The other thing isthe more higher end products they probably have science to back, to back themup also. Yeah. Yeah. And it's, and so there, there, there are differences inin, in, in products there. Absolutely. In the, in the quality. And we can, wecan talk more about that later cuz our, our quality on, on our products is, issecond is second to none.

And we do that onpurpose.  

Julian:Yeah. Obviously,  

definitely wannadive into the product in particular. But, just thinking about, as a CEO of a, askincare company that has to deliver value, has to deliver products that work.Mm-hmm. What is, what is kind of like a, a normal function for you in regardsto on the partnership side?

Because I can seethat, people who recommend this, that you trust be a huge kind of channel for,whether it's partnership or, customer acquisition and whatnot, but what else isout there as, as a company like yours in regards to, is it, is it looking forretail partners? Is it looking to expand into, other networks of, of providersor, what in particular do you kind of spend your time focusing on and when youthink about growing the product?

Keith:Yeah, ours is, we're a healthcare provider. Partner. That's who we are. Weonly, we don't, we don't do retail. We have our, yeah, we have our ity.comwhere people can go and, and buy it. Mm-hmm. We don't promote it. Our partnersare who we work with. Yeah. Dermatologists, plastic surgeons and med spas with,with medical directors.

Yeah. And sothat's, that's our, that's our channel. So our, our goal every day is to get asmany partners as, as we, as we can. Yeah. And, and you're right. We take thatvery seriously When somebody recommends our product we, we know that we have todeliver. And that's, that's one reason we have, we have something called theity guarantee.

If somebody usesour product, if they empty the bottle for whatever reason, they may not evenlike the color of the bottle. If they send me the empty bottle back, I givethem their money back, no questions asked. Mm-hmm. Yeah. It just, becausethat's the type of partner we wanna be. I don't want. Our healthcare providersto, to be on the hook and recommend something that.

Yeah. That, thatthey wouldn't use themselves.  


How much is theproduct, finished from, when you say start launching it, do you startcollecting feedback and, iterate? How, how, how quickly is the iterativeprocess if you start receiving feed feedback to go a different direction,different from, other industries that, you know?

I, I think softwarein particular is one that's, touted for being hyper adaptable or, orchangeable. Right. Super dynamic. Yeah. How, how is that within the healthcareor the, the skincare and, and healthcare space?

Keith:Yeah. We try to get as much feedback as we can before we launch a product.

Yeah. And so that'sthe reason we always, hydro entity is committed before we mass market it beforewe start selling it. Yeah. To our partners. We do clinical testing. Yeah, yeah,yeah. I, I give our product beforehand to our advisors, to our seal, to ourfield. Salesforce and then just people that I meet sometimes, Hey, try this andtell me what you, what you think about it.

Yeah. Yeah. Andthat's the reason our process probably takes a little longer to get to marketthan some others is because when it's there, it's hard to change then becauseif you start looking at supply chain and everything it does to make, to makethese products that the timeframe is, they're, they're much to do.

So if you make a,so if you make a mistake early on, You've got six or 12 months before youreally can correct it. Yeah. And so we do our very best to to, to get as muchas we can Right. Right out of the gate. And so that's the reason we probablyget a lot more feedback before we launch than, than most companies do.

Just, just know.Yeah. You have to do that as a young company, you can't afford to make those,you're gonna make mistakes, but you can't make critical mistakes. You can'tmake mistakes that really hurt the organization. Yeah. And that would be one ofthem.  

Julian:Yeah, yeah. In, in regards to, ity in particular, what,  

what was that catalystthat caused your shift from working on, on the regenerative medicine that youwere at at the time, for wound care, for all those different reasons, what kindof caused that push?

Was it a particularclient? Was, was it patience? Some, what, what made the company move in thatdirection?  

Keith:It was like, like I said, we had a, we had probably two really serendipitousincidents that really Yeah. That, that changed the, changed the course of theorganization is number one is we were using it for, for something else.

Um mm-hmm. It's aradiation oncology and, and just people with severely compromised skin. We sawthat their skin was beautiful. I mean, before. Radia radiation patients. Youget, you get thrush and your skin gets messed up. Well, we can't treat thrush,but the skin was just beautiful. And man, we saw that and they said, okay, Ithink we have something.

So then we kind ofstarted work, started, started working on it. The, the other thing is I don't,I don't like talk too much about it, but I had a terrible accident. Yeah. Andjust the side of my face was all messed up and so I used to see him on it. Wow.And it was remarkable. I said, I can't be a hypocrite.

We, we gotta, yougotta try these things if you're going, if you're gonna be in this Yeah. Andwithin three months you couldn't tell. Yeah. You just couldn't tell. Thedismemberment was, was brutal. It, it was bad. Yeah. So you had those twothings go together and at that point, we kind of felt obligated.

We have to go intothe, we have to go into the skincare market right now because Yeah. If, if not,we're, we're not, we're not doing what's right by people. Our, our productsare. So if it can work on severely compromised skin, then we know what it canthen, what it can do for for just not, not severely compromised skin, justregular ordinary patient that needs, that needs help every day.

Julian:Yeah, it,  

it's fascinatingthinking about not only just that story in particular, cuz you, you have sucha, experience having seen the results of the product, but also thinking about,that market in particular not, like you said, hopefully not severely damagedskin where, there, there was an incident involved, but skin skincare wheremainly it, it, it's, being a little neglected needs some maintenance, some selfcare, things like that.

How many people areworking within this kind of space where you're really focusing on theimprovement and almost like rejuvenation of the skin versus. Bandaid, the skin,or even if wound care, you think about everything's more medical. You kind offind yourself right in that middle ground.

How many companiesare in that middle ground with you, or were before you?  

Keith:There's, there's probably a couple out there that really rely on the science.Yeah. And, and try to, try to elevate the other companies. Yeah. Around them.But it's, it's a handful at the most. Yeah. It, it really is. It's not, it isnot, it is not many.

Julian:Yeah. Is it just because of the investment of the, of what it takes to actuallybuild that type of product?  

Keith:It does, yeah. There's, there's a huge investment in involved and yeah, it, ittakes money to do clinical studies. Yeah. It, it just takes a lot more money todo it the right way. Yeah. But at the end, you're, you're going to be betteroff if you, if you do it the right way.

But it just, Sthere, there's different business models. And I'm not saying theirs is wrong, Ijust like ours much better.  

Julian:Yeah. Yeah. And you're thinking about the, the, you talk a lot about theingredients and, and one particular, cuz I was looking at, the, the ingredientsor you have a patented formula that obviously I, I'd love to discuss and asmuch as you can share but it's nothing necessarily we haven't seen before interms of like, hyaluronic acid is extremely popular with a lot of skincare.

Mm-hmm. But what inparticular? Is involved in the formula and the ingredients that makes it soeffective versus, me grabbing kind of a, a simple solution from, Sephora orsome maybe even specialized skincare. What about that formula makes it soeffective?  

Keith:No, absolutely. That's, that's great question.

Because theingredients are, the better the ingredients, the better the product's gonna be.Right? You just, and it's just that simple. So number one is RHA is differentthan any other ha out there on the, on the. On the market. Okay. It's the firstreal advancement in HA in 25 years. And it's how we, and it's how we make it.

No one makes ha theway that we make ours. Yeah. And so it is, it is different. The molecularchains, they're long and they're strong and they're sticking. Yeah. So peptidesand antioxidants stick to 'em. Yeah. They don't break down. They're not fragile,they're not weak. You get penetration down to the dermal layer.

Yeah. Where withthe other shorter change you don't. Yeah. The other with our HA is we put twiceas much ha in our product as anybody else, twice as much. The third part ofthat is we use injectable grade ha, not cosmetic grade. Most other topicalagents they use, they use cosmetic grade. We use injectable grade.

We use the samething that people put in a needle and inject in you. So ours is 99.9% pure. Theothers is not. RHA is better and it's more of it the other products that weuse, yes. Some of them are the same and some are different. Mm-hmm. I'll giveyou an example. So our Kakadu plum, the Australian plum, yeah.

It's grown in oneplace, in this, in this earth, and that's on the northern shore of Australia.That's where they get more sun than any place else in the world. So the plumhas evolved. To now it produces more vitamin C. It has a hundred times morevitamin C than what A, than what a an orange does. Wow.

So, so you onlyhave to use a small amount. The problem with vitamin Cs, a lot of companieshave vitamin C in their product, but if you don't use, sometimes it irritatesyou also. Yeah, yeah. Well we have, we use just a small amount. We use enoughto where it's super effective, but we don't use where you don't get thatirritation.

Yeah, so that'sone. The other is the ache Mexican flower. Yeah. That, that we use. It is apotent anti-inflammatory and a and a heat reducing. So for patients undergoingderm, abrasions, microneedling procedures, yeah. You put this on their skin, itreduces it between one and two degrees Celsius. It takes away the pain, ittakes away the redness, the inflammation.

It gets them backto doing what they were doing faster. Yeah. So sometimes it's not the products,but it's how you put 'em together and the percentages that you, that you use'em.  

Julian:Yeah. Also, It's, it also seems like, an ingredients game. It just like, finedining, right. It's, it's, without understanding the, the ingredients to themicro level, you really don't understand its actual effect or impact.

Right. I, I didn'tpersonally didn't know that if. You have a shorter chain of ha then it, itdoesn't necessarily get, as, absorbed into the skin even into an effective amount,it sounds like. Yeah. It, it's fascinating to think about the culture aroundskincare, at least in the US in particular, how is it in comparison to, othercountries in its advancement and, and really just using science to deployreally good.

Products that workout in the market versus products that consumers will just buy and maybe use.It might be some diamonds in the rough, but it's, more saturated. What is thecomparison, culturally, I guess, between the US and, and abroad,  

Keith:Some of it is there, there are certain companies like I with this, like Koreaper capita mm-hmm.

They purchase moreskincare products than any other country in the world. Yeah. Per, per capita.They do. South America, they do more procedures Yeah. Than even, even even theus. I mean, you take like, Brazil, Brazil's probably number one audan. It'snot, not too far behind. But then some of the things, some of the ingredientswhere we have to shy away from here in the States.

Mm-hmm. Some, they,they really embrace some ingredients that, let's say are not natural. Mm-hmm.They really embrace those in certain parts of, in certain parts of the world.But I would say probably 60, 70% of the market is, is still the same. They wantthe same thing. Yeah. So that's where you do and that's where our products fitin really well.

Cuz we don't have ahundred, we have a few SKUs right now. Yeah. And they can fit into any regimentor you can just use them alone. And I think that's where a lot of people aregoing is simplicity. We call it skin mize, where it's not covid anymore. Youdon't have. Two hours to get dressed or anything like that.

You gotta, yougotta go. So you need something that's simple. Yeah. You need two pumps twice aday. Two minutes, and, and, and you're gone. And so, yeah. I think thatresonates across, across the world these days.

Julian:Yeah. Yeah. If you think about  

whether it'sexternal, internal, what are some of the biggest risks that the company facestoday?

Keith:There's always, I think some of the more internal, it's just our pressure onourself. We want to do so, so good. Yeah. It's just that, that's, that's one iscan, can we manage our own expectations? Because we know our products are, andwe, we know that the team that we're building here is, and so I, I think wejust have to keep that, that in perspective and say, yeah, man, we've done morein nine months than most companies do in four or five years, so it's right.

So you have to, youhave to manage those expectations. Externally, I have to tell you, I don'tworry about about, about that. Yeah, cuz I, all I know is what we can controland what we do and we'll let the chips fall. Where, where, where they may,there, the only thing externally that really could affect us, if there were somesay geopolitical event.

With things likesupply chains or you cut off from certain markets. Yeah, but you can't, youcan't go around threatening about that or worrying about that. You know whatyou have, do you have to plan for that? You have to have second sourcesuppliers. You have to have a contingency plan. But other things keep me up atnight.

Not, not, not, notthat. Cause Yeah. We'll, we'll figure. We'll, we can figure that out. Cause ifwe have that problem, everybody else does.


If everything goeswell, what's the long-term vision for the company?  

Keith:You know what? We just want to grow it. Our, our goal is, and I tell everybodywhat we focus on is a couple of things here, Julian, is we focus just stillbeing the best at what we do.

Yeah. You deliverthe best products, the best customer service, be the best partner. Everythingelse takes care of itself. Yeah. We, I said, some, where do you wanna, how bigdo you wanna be? I don't, I don't focus on that. Yeah. Let's just be good ifwe're good at everything you do. I. Those top line revenue numbers and the sizeof your organization, all that will take, will take care, will take care ofitself.

So, yeah, no, we,we plan on being a very forceful disruptor in, in the skincare market. Yeah.That's, that is, that is, that is our goal. That's our passion.  

Julian:Love that. I love it. Yeah. I love this next section I called my founder faq.So I'm gonna hit you with some rapid fire questions and we'll see where we getokay.

'First question, Ialways like to open it up, is what's particularly hard about your job day today?  

Keith:The hard part is, is you have to wear so many different, different hats. Yeah.And you have, you have to make the decision that's best for the entireorganization. Not one person or what one department you, you have to, you haveto make the decisions based on the facts that you have today.

Yeah, you, youcan't wait till tomorrow when you may have more, you need to make decisions onthe best available information that you have today.  

Julian:Yeah. And thinking  

about your journeyas a, as a, a ceo, what's something that you're particularly really good attoday that you wish you were better at earlier on in your career?

Keith: Idon't know. Some people may say I'm not good at anything right now, so I don'tknow. No, I think part of it is, is Probably seeing the big picture. Yeah.Sometimes when, when you're coming up through an organization or you have acertain discipline that you're really good at, you don't, you don't look atwhat everybody else does.

You don't see, youdon't always see the big picture. Yeah. And that's what you have, you have torealize that it's, it's a domino effect. Yeah. And what you do, your words andyour actions affect people. Yeah. And so you, you really have to, you have toun you have to understand that.  


Thinking about, thecompany in particular, I think about, external factors and you mentioned, acouple things in terms of whether it's geopolitical or supply chain.

But I always thinkabout the shifting changes in, the, the current structure. Esp it isparticularly in healthcare, being that it seems as though people who are proviproviders are starting to connect more directly with their customers. And areyou seeing that change from your end and, and has that changed how your companydelivers products?

Keith:AB Absolutely. I think they especially in, in the, with the physicianspecialties we deal with, they're very interactive with our patients. Thedermatologists, plastic surgeons, they're very active on social media. Yeah.They have their own websites now. And so what we try to do is we try to providecontent to, to help, to help them with that.

Yeah. Because it'sit's, it's super important. That's where people get their information from now.Yeah. Is it's, that's, that's how they make decisions sometimes.  

Julian:Yeah. Is on just trusted source. It's on right.

Keith:It's on a 32nd clip. That's the world. That's the world. So if that is, thenwe, we need to make sure that they're getting true and accurate information.

So we need toprovide as much of that content as we can for our partners.  

Julian:Yeah. Are you seeing just, I, I feel like a lot of companies are, are getting,having that shift where they're almost becoming, not media companies, butthinking about leveraging media as. Not only, their source of truth, but wherethey harbor their content, where they, communicate or educate their customers.

Have you have, didyou ever think you'd have to kind of invest so much into that? Or what do you,what do you, I guess, surprised along this journey that you, you had to investin a lot of outside of, delivering product or building product or things likethat?  

Keith:I, I am, I'm super surprised with that.

I'm still a littleold school. I'm still. It's sit down face to face and let's, let's, let's talk,let's, let's, touch the product, feel the product, smell it. Yeah. Kind ofthing. But sometimes they're decisions that are made with, with, with, with it.Yeah. And you are 1000% correct. I didn't think that in the medical industrythat, Social platforms would have that much influence, but they Yeah.

But, but they do.And so you just, yeah. You need, you need to change, you need to, you need toevolve. Yeah. And you need to figure out a way to, to get it right. And so,yeah, luckily I got some smart people that know how to do that. And they're,they are absolutely very good at that and making it happen.

Julian:Yeah. What,  

what do you lookfor as a CEO when you're thinking about building teams? Are you looking for,specialists in a certain industry or are you looking for individuals who have adynamic skillset that, that fit company culture? What are the different thingsyou're looking for to make sure you're bringing on the right people?

Cuz I mean, youlive and ibo ab  

Keith:absolutely. What I call, it's the pyramid of success for every organization.It's the people. Yeah. That's, that is the foundation. Yeah. Then it's theexecution phase of it. Yeah. And then the product is actually, I see the thirdleg of the stool and it's the least important. So yeah, I look for people,number one, that are a lot smarter than me.

That's, that's notreal hard. So that's, so that's the easy part. And then the second is I don'tcare. I'd like for you, you need to have medical background, but it can bemedical device, it can be aesthetics, it can be pharmaceuticals, cuz every oneof them has a little something different. Mm-hmm. And if you, if you bringpeople from different backgrounds that have the same vision, that rowing in thesame direction, yeah.

You're gonna besuccessful. As long as everybody has the best interest of the company in mind,they're willing to work hard, they believe in themselves. Yeah. Then that,that's, that's what you have and that that's the true team. Yeah. You can'thave a, a. A bunch of mini mees or anything like that.

Julian:Yeah, yeah. Do you have like a certain process, does everybody on the team,meet with it, the person you're hiring? Or does does there, there's some kindof a collaborative session. I'm always curious to, to, to learn about,  

Keith:usually how do, yeah. Usually we try to set two eyes on people, yeah. Let twodifferent, two different people look at 'em. We, we try to do that foreverybody's. And I would say we do that 95% of the time. The, the higher up youget in the organization. Yeah. You have two, sometimes three. Yeah. But theother part is when you're moving fast, when you go from zero employees, to, to30 plus and six months, it's Yeah.

Sometimes it, I,like I said, I'm a face-to-face person, but sometimes now you just have to doit by zoom. Yeah. Or, or, or call, for the, make that final, final decision.Yeah. The second ed set of eyes is just so in case there's something thatsomebody might miss. Sure. And, and people, and people interview different waysalso, but I try to give my people, if, if that's your part of the organization,you need to make that hiring decision, yeah. Right. That's, that's they need toown that, so, yeah.  


I think about onething, when, when building my current company that, that we're working on Ialways think about who, who do we wanna look like or who's out there who aredoing some really cool and, and creative things or innovative things or, orjust, just question it, just delivering great product.

Who's that for you?Whether it's in your industry or, or outside of it that you're like, I likewhat they're doing and if. Ity could emulate some of that. We, we would have awell run machine. Not, not saying it doesn't already, but just, in  

Keith:terms of inspiration.  

No, absolutely. Ithink has, have we started out, we probably have had a similar path to justgetting better science.

Yeah. Super wellrespected company. They believed in science, some of their leadership team.Yeah. Had some of the same background as myself and, and, and, and my team. I,I think, we'll, we'll depart ways in, in certain, but I think right now for in,in our youngness of our company, we probably best emulate them.

There's some thingsthat, that we'll probably do different. We have some plans and some visionsthat other companies don't. Yeah. So that in a couple of years you can ask thatquestion to somebody else and hopefully we'll be on the, the other, yeah. Otherend of that. But, but I would say for right now, there, there are, They're,they're a very well run organization and yeah, I like a lot of the things theydo.


Thinking about thedelivery as a founder and or delivery as a ceo and, and thinking about, kind ofwhat, what metrics or what do you put in place to make sure that your companyis delivering? Is it cultural? Is it something strategic? How do you stay thecourse being that you, you can get so involved in the other.

Projects or productlines or potential, roadmap, visionary kind of high level stuff. How do youkind of keep everybody on the same track?

Keith: Ithink part of it is, is what's, what's your number one fo And you don't lose,you don't lose track of that. And yeah, number one is you have to driverevenue.

You know what? Wedeliver good products, but at the end of the day, that's the reason we get, weget sales reports two times a day here. Yeah. Wow. Twice, and it goes to theentire company, so we know what our revenue is every day, twice a day. Yeah.And, and I just, and that's just culturally, it's like that's what we're here,that's what we're here for.

Mm-hmm. The moreblue boxes we get to go out the door, the better that everybody does internallyand externally. Yeah. I think that I'm a dashboard kind of guy. Like you said,we are all busy and got stuff to do. Yeah. I like dashboards. I, I want five orsix things to look at. And then I can drill deeper if I need to.

Yeah. We haveweekly team meetings. I can't know everything that's going on get I get updatedat least weekly. Some, yeah. A lot of times before we, we'll do calls, but I, Ijust think you have to have some structure and you have to have somediscipline. Yeah. And you can only focus on so many things, so be, just beright about what you wanna focus on.

Julian:Yeah. Yeah. I, I was thinking about, one thing I I, I've heard you're focusingon is actually expansion and, and working with new collaborators and partnersabroad. So I'd love to hear you share about that. And, and what's particularlyinteresting about going from one market to another and is, is there, obviouslythere must be some, some, some red tape that has to, be cut to actually get tothat point.

What was involvedin that process and what are you particularly excited about?  

Keith:Yeah, no, we've We've already, internationally, we have a distributor I thinkthe top distributor in Canada. They are, they're with us. We have one in Mexicothat are already selling products for us. We'll launch next month in Europe.

Yeah. Congrats.Yeah. And so, the EU should approve all of our, it's, it's, it's funny how Theregulations are a lot more in Europe for skincare products than they are herein, here in the US are much more stringent. And so we, we've been workingthrough that the past six months, but I think we have our last piece ofinformation to them, so we should get approval next week.

It's, yeah, thereare certain things. You have to have multi-language and all, all your differentinserts for your products. Your boxes have to be a little different. Yeah. Butit's just, it's such a good opportunity. Once, once you get that initialexpense done, then it's, yeah, then it's no more, and, and people loveproducts.

They love high-endproducts. They love products that are made here in the US Yeah. Around theworld. So, I'm, I'm super excited. Yeah, Bri, Brit Nixon runs the internationalpart of Hydro Energy Force, us. He's done a great job. He's got tons of 20years of experience. International knows a lot of people.

And so we're, we'reexpecting big, big, big things out of that move

Julian:moving forward.  

Yeah. Yeah. And,and what's particularly important, in, in terms of partnerships? Because, Ithink about, bringing something into a new location, even if it's, a domesticright.

It almost needs a vehicle to almost jumpstartit, especially if it's already running. How important is that and how do youselect your partners?  

Keith:We do. And like I said, Brandon is, he's the catalyst for that. But you know,my direction are they, they have to be topnotch, yeah. And the other is, do youtrust them because they're delivering your message for your product?

And at the end ofthe day, we're ultimately responsible for that. So we have to make sure they'redoing things the, the, the right way. I would rather have fewer distributorsthat are quality and top notch. Than just, than everybody. Let's be limited inwho we, who we get it to, because different parts of the world, they, theyjust, they put it on shelves.

They, they do a lotof different things with it, and that's just not where, where we want ourbrand. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah. We need to, we, we need to be very selective in who,who we partner with.  

Julian:Yeah. The consistency. I, I would see that, that, that probably is a big thingthat, that you think about and how it's being delivered and communicated.

Yeah. Yeah. And,and especially probably specific because it's a, having a physical product isjust so much more impactful in terms of that experience. It is. And yeah, I, Icouldn't imagine having made all this decision and all this investment and, andlaunching it and take doing it, at that time and, and putting something out inthe market that almost has to be a hundred percent correct if not close to thatamount.

And what wouldyou,  

what advice wouldyou give for other aspiring entrepreneurs who are, in the skincare space who.Maybe have an idea, wanna solve a problem, but, are, are just unaware of notonly the, the time, but also the investment prior to delivering something. Whatwould it, what it, what would you give them?

Keith:There's a couple things. Number one is, is it, you gotta ask yourself, am Idoing this to make a dollar or am I passionate about it? If you're doing it tomake money, that's probably the wrong reason to get started. But if you'repassionate about it and you got a work ethic that just won't stop.

Those are the firsttwo you have to foul then. Then here's the other thing. Find a mentor. Findsomebody to ask questions to cuz you don't know all the answers. And now noneof us do. I don't know, believe me, I call people every day trying to, tryingto figure things out. Find someone that will give you some time and just be, beyour, be a, be a mentor to you.

Yeah. And then theother thing is when all that bet on yourself. Yeah, always bet on yourself. Cuzif you won't bet on yourself, nobody else will. Yeah. Believe, believe, believein yourself. Stay, stay true to yourself. Yeah. So those are just kind of someof the, the, the oth you can figure the science out, you can figure the otherstuff out.

Yeah. But what'sinside you is what's ultimately going to determine whether you're successful ornot.  

Julian:Yeah. Well said, well said. I know we're coming to the close this, the, theepisode here, but I do wanna ask I always love to ask this to all my guests. Ifyou think about  

whether it's earlyin your career or now, what books or people have been highly impactful even totoday?

Keith:You know what, man, I had so many great mentors. Early in, in my career. It wasjust, it was almost unfair. Yeah. The amount of talented people that I got tobe. One of the books that I loved the best though, it's the Jim Collins bookfrom Good to Great. Mm-hmm.  

Julian:Yeah. Yeah. I just finished that one actually.

Keith:Yeah. It, it, it's just super impactful and it just, yeah. I, I love that bookand all the different aspects of it. Like don't let good be the enemy ofgreatness. Yeah. Don't be satisfied with good try to be, and that's where wekind of get or be the best at. If you're the best at every, everything elsekind of comes in to, to effect.

Yeah. And, andthat's, that's what we're seeing with the organization. The book, the FlywheelEffect. Yeah. You're working hard, you're working hard. Then pretty soon whenit gets to going, you don't it. That thing just starts spin and it, and that's,there's so many great lessons in that book.

I just, I, I lovethat book. It's one of my, one of my, one of my favorites. I'll give you oneyou probably had, I'll give you another one. Yeah. It's a great salesperson'sbook. It's by Rick Patino. It's, it's old now. It's Success is a Choice.  

Julian:That's, no, I haven't heard that one.  

Keith:No, it's a great read. And it's it, it just talks about if you wanna besuccessful, it's not up to anybody.

It's up to you.Yeah. He, he talked, he talked about Billy Donovan when he first went toProvidence, was just a fat kid or so Tino would get on him, and he just, heworked, he made himself an NBA player. Just Yeah. Cause of his heart and hiswill and Yeah. And it's easy, it's easy to translate that into all aspects ofyour life.

If you wanna besuccessful, you can be, yeah. Are, but are you disciplined enough? Are youwilling to, to do the sacrifices that it needs?

Julian:Yeah. Yeah. That, that goes, I, I think over spoken, but under underdone isyeah. Is that aspect right there you're talking about Right. Is is is, yeah. Italked to my brother.

I have youngerbrothers and, and they're junior college athletes and, and they wanna go to thenext level and it's like you really got to reflect, And, and, you gotta compareyourself to the best and see, are you putting in that work or are you puttingin the, the good work, the one that makes you good enough, but not, in the, inyour trajectory.

But ultimately,Keith, I know we're, we're at the close of the show last little bit. Is thereany question I didn't ask you that I should have? Anything we left on the tablehere today?  

Keith:No, I, I, I don't think so. I just, Hey, thank you for letting me share. Alittle bit about Hydrinity, our, our vision and just all the work that thegreat people of the company are doing.

And, and again, Iget to do these, these interviews and these types of things, but if it's notfor the people that really make up Hydrinity, I wouldn't, I, I wouldn't bedoing this. I'm just, yeah. I'm, I'm thankful to work with such a greatleadership team. Every person within our organization is truly committed.

Yeah. To makingHydrinity. Best skincare company there is out there and so it just, I'm just,I'm, I'm just, I'm super humble just to work with all of those folks. Yeah. Ona daily basis.  


Last bit, Keith is, where can we find you?Where can we find ity? Let us know your website, so let us know. Also, you areLinkedIn to where we can find and support you.

Keith:Go. You can go to Hydrinity.com. All of our products are listed there. The currentones we'll have, we'll have two more in September that gets added. Two more in,in, probably in January of, of 24. Go to your derm, your plastic in your, inyour med spa and ask, ask for Hydrinity. Yeah. We've been out, like I said,nine months now.

We've got over,we're in over 700 accounts. And we're growing. We're growing every day. So ifit's not there, ask your ask your physician to get it.  

Julian: Ilove it, Keith, it's been so exciting. Not only learn about your career and,and where healthcare has kind of changed and adapted, but also ity and really,thinking about leading with science and, and leading with the things thatactually have outcomes and results and, and really just being able to sharethat and, and in modern world where it, it incorporates a lot of aspects thataren't traditionally used, but now we'll see a lot of that being involved.

So it's been such apleasure having you on the show. I hope you enjoyed yourself and thank youagain, Keith, for being on  

Keith:Behind Company Lines.  

No, thank you. Iappreciate it. Thank you, Julian.  

Julian:Of course.  

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