When PUML founder and CEO Damien King was beginning at his first startup, he was working fulltime and focusing on his side hustle at home, developing code and working late into the night. After several years of juggling both, it began to impact on his health.
“I was a ‘skinny fat man’ with high visceral fat. I didn’t have time to exercise and I was eating poorly. This was the first time I really started to think about health and wellbeing and how easy bad habits can form and how hard good habits can be to keep,” Damien says.
Now, with PUML, Damien is trying to solve the global problem of poor physical and mental health, poor habits and lack of motivation.
“We’re focusing on employee health and wellbeing in our first version. Particularly through the pandemic we’ve seen this problem increase significantly. There’s now a clear cost to business via claims, leave, sick days and an unquantified amount of underperformance.”
“I kick started my fitness after that startup experience with a coach and realised how motivating it is to do challenges and track your data. This was the inspiration behind PUML, a platform that gamifys health and wellbeing through fun physical and mental health challenges and rewards people with our own crypto coin, PUML.”
Prior to PUML, Damien’s startup was in London, Beeliked.com. This was his first investor backed company that he c-founded with the head of Lastminute.com.
“After coming back to Australia I worked as a CTO and then setup my own software development company called Adaptive Media. We develop apps for startups and specialise in rich media, music, video and LIVE stream.”
With PUML Better Health, Damien is trying to create a global solution using bleeding edge technology.
“I think it’s hard to keep it simple and focused when there are so many technologies and features that can come into our platform. I’m very product focused and love to keep building the tech into the vision I have and, in this company, like many consumer-based products it requires lots of feature to provide the full experience we want to provide,” Damien says.
“I prefer the idea of a Minimal Lovable Product but it does take time and resource to get to that stage. Being pre-revenue through your build stage makes it much harder to attract investment, particularly in Australia.”
Damien’s biggest success so far has been seeing the organic referral system add over 100,000 users in 30 days with zero marketing.
“This shows the power of using your own digital currency that can be used to incentivise positive behaviours. It also shows that our platform architecture is sound and scalable which means we can be a global player in a very short period of time,” he says.
“I’m also very happy that our micro-cap token PUML is being held and traded by over 20,000 users who are holding on or HODLin and supporting our community. This is all from a founder funded business with no VC funds.”
The future looks bright for PUML, as Damien will be working with the team to get to a million dollars in revenue and a million in users.
“They’re the big targets we want to achieve in the next 12 months. From a product perspective we have lots of exciting new features coming. We will shortly be releasing over 1,000 video classes for physical challenges and building a new Grateful Journal challenge to help monitor mood and improve our users mental health,” Damien says.
“The long term objective is to have PUML as a global health and wellness currency and our blockchain will be one of first truly global distributed digital health records where people can own and control their data.”
PUML has recently joined the biggest startup community, Fishburners, and Damien says it’s great to get inspired by the stories of other entrepreneurs.
“Many founders overcome similar issues such as PR, scale, organic growth and more and it’s much better to have tools recommended to you from other founder to help cut down the time on research. Sharing tips like these are others in the community helps us all grow together,” Damien says.
“If I could advise other startups, I’d say I strongly believe resilience is the best quality a founder can have. There is constant pressure to succeed fast but many of the most successful companies have had a slower measurable approach to scaling. Sometimes the timing simply isn’t right and the longer you can keep going the more likely the timing will turn in your favour. Remember you are building something that’s never existed in the exact form you are developing, and it takes time for adoption.”
“We’d welcome everyone to join our community by downloading our app and joining a challenge. 10 PUML is rewarded on registration and you can earn more PUML by completing challenges. Come along for the ride and improve your health and your wealth with PUML.”