Highlights from this week’s conversation include:
Abundant Aging is a podcast series presented by United Church Homes. These shows offer ideas, information, and inspiration on how to improve our lives as we grow older. To learn more and to subscribe to the show, visit abundantagingpodcast.com.
Michael Hughes 00:07
Welcome to the Art of aging, which is part of the abundant aging podcast series from the roof Ross Parker center for abundant aging and United Church homes. On this show, we look at what it means to age in America and in other places around the world. With positive and empowering conversations that challenge, encourage and inspire everyone everywhere to age with abundance. As part of our aging and innovation series. We’re very pleased to have Max Sam calendar on the show today. And we’re gonna be talking about venture capital and H tech. And man I can’t think of a better take has been Max. Max is the managing partner of third act ventures. That’s an age tech specific venture firm, where he invests in founders working to change the way that we age. He also serves as the editor in chief of H tech news, which is the only complete source of fundings, exits and opportunities in the world of Asia. Because he has a singular focus on h tags. Max is able to support and empower visionary entrepreneurs to accelerate the pace of innovation in aging, and make the world a much better place for us, as we all age. So welcome, Max.
Max Zamkow 01:08
Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.
Michael Hughes 01:11
So I’m going to start with a question we ask a lot of people on the podcast, I mean, you could be putting your talents into a lot of different areas. You could be doing venture capital in sports drinks, or oil and gas, or why are you so passionate about the world of aging and h2o?
Max Zamkow 01:26
Sure, for me, like many entrepreneurs, you know, it originally stemmed from a personal experience. And then, you know, the combination of being able to both do good, and make money was quite enticing. So, you know, going back almost 13 years ago, I was living out on the west coast where I am now. My grandmother was living on the East Coast, my whole family’s from there. And she just reached that point in her life where she couldn’t live by herself anymore. My grandfather had passed away, the house she was in was too big. She was all by herself. She had a couple falls, you know, all the things that happened to us generally as we get older. And, you know, finally, you know, my father and his siblings, my aunts and uncles, they like hit their breaking point, they said to my grandmother, you know, we’re too worried about you, we have to find you somewhere safer, better for you to live, let’s start looking at facilities. So they started that process, they looked at a bunch of facilities up and down the East Coast, which one near my uncle in Massachusetts moved her in, and we’re excited, they were happy, or at least relieved that like Finally, she would, they would not have to worry as much there’d be care all around her, they’d be taking good care of her. She’d also like friends around to be able to have this community doing all these things. They were very helpful. But what actually happened was quite the opposite. She just really struggled to connect. And she really struggled to settle really, as soon as she walked in this door, she just became a shell of herself. She basically stopped eating, stopped sleeping, it wasn’t like engaging with anyone, it was really jarring, and so different from how she lived the rest of her life. And I could tell just from a phone call how bad it was. And that’s when I jumped into action. You know, back then my whole world was mobile, this was when the mobile revolution was just kind of getting going. I was working in early stage startups as an engineer, CTO, and founder on mobile. And so I started looking around for ways that I can help them afar. And since my world was mobile, and because mobile changed the way that we interact with computers to the point where they don’t come with 100 Page manuals anymore. Like toddlers, I have a 16 month old at home, she knows how to use my phone, it’s really impressive. In my mind, there was no reason why my grandmother couldn’t be using it too, even though she wasn’t very good with technology, I’m surprisingly so I started looking around for things, you know, where’s the app for my grandma, or the app for the staff or nurses to help take care of her help do something, and was just really surprised at the lack of anything. There was really nothing that existed. And that really saddened and frustrated me. And as I continued my entrepreneurial journey, and started to try to figure out what to do next after my last startup. I checked back in on this field of age tech, and some more happened, which was good. But the more that I dove in, the more I realized that, you know, the two biggest impediments were just not enough entrepreneurs building for the space. And for those that were very few of any sort versus early stage Capital to help them get off the ground. And in addition to that, I saw, you know, the population aging, I saw how there was certainly opportunity for venture capital scale companies to do well here. And so the combination of all three of those made me decide to jump in headfirst.
Michael Hughes 05:21
But a story, you know, that mimics also, so many of the entrepreneurs that I think that we see in this space, it’s just that passion or that personal experience driving the need for change is very purposeful. Well, too, isn’t it? You know, you really feel like you’re, you’re helping people with this. And when we started our first established Mac’s,
Max Zamkow 05:40
so I made my first investment in this space, somewhere around like, seven years ago. You know, the name, I think I started using it somewhere closer to like, five to six years ago, maybe I was using a different name. Well, I figured out what the right term for this industry was, we didn’t call it age tech, back then. I was trying to think of Silver Tech as better than what it was before, which was like elder tech, or Geron tech, both of which were bad. And then I finally had this epiphany, I’m like, okay, like, third act, like, that’s something that people are not offended by, I think, kind of nicely describes what we’re investing in. So that’s kind of where it was born.
Michael Hughes 06:24
Yeah, and you’ve got quite a few investment, you know, for any, for any of the listeners that are just purely listening and can’t see Max right here, you know, we can see a lot of the organizations that he’s investing in behind him, we got, and this is, this is October 2023, to work recording the session here. So I see things like pear suits, I see. Labrador, which a lot of people are talking about, I also want to just say that this is a great lesson for people in logo design. Because these are the ones that I can read fairly easily behind you. So
Max Zamkow 06:55
just some of them you can so yeah, they don’t get mentioned on the podcast. If you think about that next time,
Michael Hughes 07:00
like people who design why they put words on the flags and slogans. And basically, it’s like reading a postage stamp. But yeah, there’s really a variety of things. And, you know, there I mean, just from different types of solutions. And I want to get into that in a second. But just for people that may be new to the venture capital space, I think it’s fair to say that you would you’re investing in early stage companies, can you let us know, just how are companies typically categorized? When it comes to venture capital investment?
Max Zamkow 07:34
Sure, typically, they’re categorized by, you know, what their last round of funding was, and who it was from, may hear things like, precede seed Series A, Series B. And again, that relates to how much funding they raised and not how much so much as like how many rounds, the whenever I think about in the early stages, that there’s really like, you know, there’s an idea on a napkin stage, there’s like, that time between on a napkin and you’re building and launching, then there’s, you know, post launch, and everything after. And so you know, an idea on a napkin is like just starting, call yourself, you’re nothing at that point, you’re just an idea. The idea stage after that up until your launch, you’re kind of a pre seed. And then once that seed has started sprouting, once you’ve launched, then that makes you a seed company. And then comes all this series A is like, after you’ve launched, you’ve gotten some early traction. And now you can go out and raise generally nowadays, it’s between like five to $10 million. Series B is then the one after that, which is generally 10 to 2025, and then see just keep going like that. So that’s generally how they categorize in my world, I really just care about that. See, that’s generally where we invest, which is where the product is launched. And they might just have a couple customers, it could just literally be to pilot certain customers that we can talk to,
Michael Hughes 09:13
and I suspect that you must get at least one company a month, coming Tuesday. Hey, Max, I’ve got a great joke. I’m sure you have like one a minute coming to you saying
Max Zamkow 09:24
I was gonna say once a month that I would not be doing a very good job on my deal flow. If I was only getting one a month. One minute is closer. That would be a little intense, but somewhere in between? Yeah.
Michael Hughes 09:35
Sure. That, you know, there’s a lot of folks out there that would love to get some page templates, even like you and I think that part of this podcast is really meant to provide some guidance to those entrepreneurs. These are in you know, I work with a lot of them. And we are always happy to talk with folks that have these ideas because it really does come from the heart. And we are at your earlier point just facing this huge feud. Your state of need. With the grown man, I look at every single problem that the solutions behind you are looking to address. I’m just thinking in 10 years, and I have 10 times the number of people that are going to be exposed to those problems. And so, you know, between a huge economic promise and then also the purposeful aspect of this, is this, this compass, wonderful kind of place to land. But I’m sure that you know, there are things that pique your interest, there are things that you’re that they may, they may say no to right off the bat, maybe from your mind, you know, what are the things that make a project investable to you?
Max Zamkow 10:42
That’s a really good question. Again, I will preface this by saying that every investor is different, we’re like snowflakes, everyone looks for something different. Even other seed stage investors may look for slightly different things. But there are some general things that all VCs need to see, you know, those things rarely pertain to the opportunity size, the market, and the scalability of your solution or potential of a solution. You know, you need to remember that VCs are also companies in themselves, and they have their own investors, they are kind of startups, and so they have a responsibility to return money to their investors in a certain timeframe. So there are many companies that have been very successful, that were bigger than many VC companies that took longer, and that’s perfectly fine. But VCs need to return money to their investors. That way, we can raise another round and invest in more companies. So the biggest things are, again, making sure that the market is big enough. VCs invest in incredibly risky companies, and they fully expect to lose money on most of them. They expect most of them to return basically nothing. And but they do need a few of them to basically hit like out of the park homeruns I think have to be grand slams, they call them fund returners, because one investment returns the entire amount of capital. And if not more, that you raise from your investors, which is kind of crazy. So every company that a VC invests in, has to have the potential to do something that most of them don’t make, but they have to have that potential. Otherwise, it’s not even worth taking a swing at it. So they have to be able to return the fund to billion dollar companies, sometimes they vary depending on the size of the fund. The second one is scalability, because it has to do that in a certain timeframe. You know, generally, VC funds are about 10 years long, depending on when the VC invests in you that they could be eight years from the end of that it could be if it’s right at the beginning of full 10. And they need to return that amount of capital by the end of that. And so a company that takes 20 years to build, that’s too long for VC VCs need to exit quicker. 10 years can be a long time, it can also be a short time. So the company has to be able to, you know, reach that point where they can return the fund. And they have to be able to scale there within 10 years. And really, it’s probably closer to six years. In order for it to make sense for VCs. Again, like lots of other options to finance companies, many companies are very successful at VC funding. You know, there’s this phrase that VCs like to use, which is that they sell rocket fuel, they don’t sell jet fuel, which is also pretty fast, they don’t sell regular fuel. It’s rocket fuel. And if you take VC money, you need to know that you are on that ride. And that’s how you’re gonna get pushed. And you need to, in many cases, kind of go for broke. And which is kind of a nutso way to build a business. But obviously, it is successful for some.
Michael Hughes 14:09
Absolutely. And I’m thinking now like just the I’m seeing Max, you’re starting your day you’re getting on the computer, you’ve got a bunch of decks to go through. And let’s talk a little bit about maybe just presenting the idea for a second. Yeah, we’ve had we’ve had we’ve had to call it Tesla Thomas on the show. And then Andy Miller on the show, we picked up some things about you know, don’t you know,
Michael Hughes 14:37
You don’t need to tell me, you don’t need to put the baby boomer age wave slide in the decK. Right. I know, the baby boomer age wave side, you know, I know that you’re gonna put a competitive grid on there, and you’re gonna be in the top right hand corner of that grid, you know, or you may think you don’t have competition and guess what, maybe aren’t enough. Are there any sort of things that come to mind that you like, you see these decks as like, oh my gosh, why are you doing this or I wish you would have said that there. It’s just Presenting the idea in general.
Max Zamkow 15:02
He knows, I don’t get as upset as maybe others when they may say. No, I know. They are just things. Listen, I understand that, you know, vendor racing is a numbers game. And it means you need to send that decK out to a lot of people. So in some ways, it needs to be general enough to work for even investors that may not notice space. So putting in a slide that talks about the 10,000, baby boomers, boomers turning 65 Every day in America is perfectly fine. You know, I’d say the biggest faux pas that I see is companies that don’t first explain the actual problem that they’re solving. And the magnitude of it, you know, they kind of jump into their solution. Or the team, which is fine. But what exactly are you doing? And like, how important is it? Like, sure you use AI? In, you know, electronic health records? But so what, like, what, that doesn’t mean anything to me, like, what is that actual problem that you’re solving using that AI? And how big of a problem is it? So you can talk about and as in baby boomers turning 65 Every day, that’s great, but what problem are you solving for them, or the problem that is caused by that population change. So that’s you really need to hook an investor initially, with, you know, a problem that they can understand. And a size that’s big enough. And again, that comes down back to what we were just talking about market size, you need to hook them on the fact that this is a big problem, and that’s a big opportunity and solving it.
Michael Hughes 16:55
And you know, what’s coming into my head now Vax is this, this sort of that human centered design principle of falling in love with the problem? Before you come up with a solution, right, and I guess, it’s, you generally find that those that deal with the problem that really do fully understand how to fall in love with that problem, generally come up with better solutions.
Max Zamkow 17:17
Yes, but not necessarily right away. And because often, the first solution that you come up with, is often not the best solution. And people that are in love with the problem, instead of loving their solution, are willing to entirely scrap remake, try a version two of the solution, which, you know, generally you get improved every time you try something, and you’re improving because of feedback from individuals from the market from changes in regulatory landscape, whatever it is, you know, versus people who are in love with their solution, and don’t listen to, you know, their customers or what’s happening. And so they make one solution. And in all likelihood, the probability of an individual coming up with the perfect solution, their first time is really small. But if the probability of one person coming up with the best solution, trying 100 times, that’s much more likely. So it’s not about you know, someone’s design sense or knowledge of the problem, that first issue that really separates them. Initially, it’s whether they’re willing to listen to what is happening, listen to the market, and be willing to totally remake their product, you know, one company in a portfolio that literally just did that is Keras switch, they literally like remade their entire product years into it. Because they realized that what they needed was different, and the way that they needed to build it for particularly this new AI revolution to take advantage. I had to totally scrap the previous product and rebuild it. And what has emerged is really exciting and strong. And, you know, companies do this all the time. You know, they entirely scrap a product and rebuild it. You think of Apple and Steve Jobs, the amount of times that he tried to eat his own product, you eat your own company. That’s kind of how companies stay on the cutting edge.
Michael Hughes 19:39
And again, are recording this in October 2023. We talk about market dynamics, AI revolution, all these new things that are affecting change in the market. And we were talking about, you know, this world of age tech, you know, what are you particularly fascinated by these days? What are you curious about right now,
Max Zamkow 19:56
I’ll tell you that the thing that I’m excited about or excited to see kind of how it plays out, is really the value based care and the different ways it’s coming about. The one that’s really interesting, and novel, or we’re still figuring out is how value based care and seniors housing can play together. You know, I will be honest, when I first entered this field, I thought that seniors housing was part of the care continuum. Like I thought, That’s why people like my grandmother moved into facilities because they needed more medical care, and that was being provided at an assisted living facility. Didn’t realize that’s not actually the case. But now, it seems like we’re starting to get there. And it makes sense because senior housing providers, they are providing care, it may not be traditionally medical, as you know, we previously defined but now that we finally admit that, all these other things, we call them social determinants of health, affect our health, lifespan health span, I bet it those are things that senior housing providers are affecting food heating, transportation, community, all these things. And, you know, why shouldn’t they be participating in these diabase care arrangements, if they can help keep an individual healthy longer, they should be benefiting from that. And there should be you think that the health insurer would provide that incentive. So I’m really excited to see how that is enabled, how it plays out, how we’re able to make that work, just like anything, I’m sure there will be some failed attempts. That’s kind of how innovation happens.
Michael Hughes 21:47
And then thank you for that. Now, you’re obviously you know, speaking my language here for where we sit here at United Church homes, we know that us and our peers, especially in the nonprofit housing space, have just been for decades, just to just know how just you know how experiences have been just keeping so many people out of the hospital and supporting people in a very person centered, holistic way. And yes, I think that we are at the stage where we can get our news and it’s a very exciting time to be in this industry. So thank you for that recognition, or is there anything that you think has been overdone? And, you know, too many solutions out there? Or, you know, maybe just limited new cups on the solution? It may not make it worthwhile for another entrant?
Max Zamkow 22:30
Yeah, I mean, the first thing that everyone anyone thinks of when their parent false, which is often how many people start to think about this space, is like, oh, like, if they were wearing a smartwatch or smart wearable, then like, they wouldn’t have been on the floor for so long. Or maybe it could have predicted before they were going to fall and could have stopped it. I can’t tell you how many smartwatches I’ve seen, you know, a few weeks ago, I was aging two points. I was optimizing Congress in Louisville. There were multiple there, I was just at Health last week, there were a lot. There are lots of smartwatches, they all do basically the same thing. And they don’t really solve the big challenge that smartwatches wearables have, which is that generally, people don’t want to wear them. And older adults especially don’t really want to wear them because they don’t like being tracked. It’s the same reason why they don’t want to wear a life work pendant, no less than 1% of the people who would actually benefit from it. And using a Life Alert. Because every time they put it on there, you know, basically admitting to the world that they’re old and frail. And I don’t care how old and frail you actually are. That’s not how you want to be made to feel every day. Not to mention all the challenges with charging and remembering to put it on and yeah, so don’t need more smartwatches. Or maybe we just need the one that actually people want where you can figure that out. That’s great. I think the best one we have right now is the Apple Watch. Or what I mean like the best fall detection or fall if I guess detection device we have or like Life Alert is you know, an iPhone is a smartphone sure has that something that everyone including grandma, grandpa older adults want to have in their pocket and just generally what they have in their pocket. And you can use that to call people if you fall. So that you know the most successful ones are probably out there already. You need to be doing something a little bit more unique and different. I want to get into this idea of maybe
Michael Hughes 24:47
just you know, platform solutions versus individual solutions when it comes to aging. H tech. I think one of the critiques I’ve heard is that there’s a lot of things it’s very fragmented right now. You have Have a fall detection solution, or you may have another type of monitoring device or you may, if I wanted to put together a holistic set of solutions, I’ll have to cobble it together for five or six different vendors. And you know, we’re seeing platforms getting developed, particularly online engagement platforms, content platforms, lots of different things can hang off of that. But do you? Would you agree that the space is too fragmented?
Max Zamkow 25:30
I would not agree that it’s too fragmented, it is fragmented. But, you know, that’s also in many ways, a good thing. Like there are platforms out there that try to do everything, you know, generally, that’s like the point, click care. And there are a few others too, that have an EHR and have a CRM and have this and that, and most people don’t, that use points, declare their solutions only use a very small subset of the features, because they’re all average. Like, if you tried to do everything, we call that NBC boiling the ocean, you’re not going to do any one of those things very well. And certainly not many of them at the same time. So you’re kind of in that search for, you know, that single unified platform, you’re sacrificing expertise, essentially, you’re, you’re sacrificing quality, and you’re willing to live with mediocrity. And listen, if that works for you. More power to you, that’s great. But if you want to work with the best solutions, you need to find people who focus just on that. Just like, you know, if you’re surrounding yourself with a team, are you gonna surround yourself with one person? Who knows everything? Kind of okay? Or a bunch of experts? Who are all experts in their particular field? Right? And it’s exactly the same? And yes, like, it would be easier if you could combine the best in class of everything into one unified platform, like what a dream, right? Do you have this? I mean, again, back to this team analogy, like you have this one right hand person who just does everything from accounting to sales to, you know, your personal assistant to cleaning the floors, like yes, it would be wonderful if you could just hire one person to do it all. But that’s just not how things work. And no one person would be able to do all of that at that level. So you need to use many solutions, many people if you want to be the best. And again, like I think people fall in love with that dream of like, it would be nice if it was just one like sure it would. But it’s also not a viable solution. It’s not a viable option for most.
Michael Hughes 27:56
Yeah, and you know what, what was really mind now, Max is that when I see these types of HTTP, multi products with 100 features to them, oftentimes, they’ll add those features, because a competitor has it and they want to happen, Ernie. And what seems to get lost is going back to that idea of falling in love with the problem, you know, it’s like, you know, what, I have a system that can do 100 things, but for me, or this particular customer, what are the two or three things they do most often? And how did you optimize the solution? So those things are really easy. Typically, if somebody works in that, I find that if somebody works from that mindset, I find that the UX is a lot cleaner, simpler, it’s more intuitive. And that’s the product I’d like to use, right?
Max Zamkow 28:40
Yeah, great. And you need to not only think in that direction, but also like, going out and watching people use that, and interviewing people using exactly that. And only by doing that, and really focusing on that one piece of the problem, or one problem, can you really become an expert and make a UI that is so clean and easy to use? And, again, you try to do that for everything, and you’re only going to get a little bit of info on everything and everything’s gonna kind of get jumbled.
Michael Hughes 29:16
No, that’s true, just because no one’s ever done a podcast on AI before. So I want us to be the first one. But when you think about AI, you think about AI as a disrupter. Where do you think it is? Where do you think the application of AI may offer the most benefits? Or the most surprises when it comes to age checks?
Max Zamkow 29:42
It’s a good question. I think on the benefit side, really, within think we’re going to at least initially see the biggest benefit coming in any kind of form filling out data input, as well as kind of complex scheduling and rescheduling. These are things that AI can do really well, you know, you give it, you know, you say you have 100 people schedules, and a whole bunch of people that need care, AI can pretty quickly figure out like, how, what the different best arrangements are. And you can even change the parameters in there, depending on, you know, how you want to rank, whether it’s more important that someone sees the same person more, or just that you minimize distance, like, AI is a way better at that, and someone looking at some gigantic Excel sheet of like 100 people, like there’s no way that a human can do that nearly as well as a computer. So I think we’re seeing it there. And the other place, again, is anywhere you need to fill out forms, if you’re filling out forms, whether it’s for Medicare reimbursement, or government regular regulatory forms, or EHR, I think we’re going to see AI and we already are starting to see it be able to kind of take, it’s just a free form, visit a recording of whatever the interaction was, and pre populate a lot of that, I think we’re still gonna want people checking it for a while. But it’s going to take out a lot of that kind of manual busy work that, you know, for doctors, that’s all the charting that now they do at home, and allow people to focus on the actual interaction, the care, which is, I think, wonderful.
Michael Hughes 31:34
Yeah, and I would tend to agree with you, because I know that at least in the work that we do, we do regular assessments with our residents with our clients, I don’t want my person having to just type into something the entire time, and we already are seeing this in medical transcription. There’s a number of, you know, the solutions, there seems to be a common practice in medical transcribing that you’re no longer sending this transcription to a third party service to interpret coming back, the AI is essentially doing that for you. And I think that note that we had, we had Victor Wang on the podcast, as well. And I love what he says about geriatrics. It is all about what’s in AI that tends to be good at making sense of complex things. And as I recall, you know, there’s a number of these assessments out there, like there’s ones for fall risk for social isolation for social determinant, knees for engagement, they’re all they all seem to be siloed. And I, you know, and I’m hoping that AI will have the power to kind of crosswalk between the two. So that we can say things like, you know, I fell, I fell because or I’m more, you know, I’m feeling more depressed. I’m depressed because I fell last week, where those two things might have been separate. Now you can combine them together. And there might be some really intriguing new insights that can come from cross walking, all those all those data points, I’m not sure if you’re seeing the same thing. Or if you’re seeing companies out there that really do get more into kind of the slicing and dicing of social determinant,
Max Zamkow 33:12
or I’m not sure I’m seeing anything in terms of really being able to cross pollinate that well, although I think that’ll happen. What I think we are seeing are tools that will help prompt these responses. If I say you haven’t gotten the information, or there’s a follow up piece that like maybe given something that they said, You need to ask that you didn’t or didn’t realize, and so instead of having to, you know, have a follow up phone call or visit, like it can just say hey, like, you know, Mrs. X said that they’re not feeling great, you know, ask if they’ve been taking their new meds or you know, if they had been skipping meds, or whatever it is, that can make it much more natural, and make the process more smooth. I really like this idea of the AI being able to make these more conversations instead of like, question answer, like form filling out. It’s important that we have standardized assessments because otherwise how can you really understand the difference between one person’s risk and another. However, it’s not a natural way to converse and really, to connect with someone is through filling out some standard form. Whereas having conversation about it can really change the dynamic and change that interaction in a way that feels so different particularly to the recipient and the care of themselves and really create that bond which is what you know, we’re so many are trying to do in the senior care space is you know, with taka how caring is so personal. And I’m really excited about how AI can kind of help bring that back in many ways, especially to all these tests and everything else,
Michael Hughes 35:12
especially for us in the senior housing and see if your space were our differentiator versus medical over so often the trust we build peoples can open up, we can have those conversations adding in. Formalities, we add, it just takes us back a step. So I share that same aspiration, that’ll be adopted. Max, you’ve been very generous with your time, I just thank you so much for the advice and for the perspectives that you’re giving myself and our listeners. And we do like to end our podcasts with three questions about your personal experience with aging. And I hope it’s okay, if I ask these of
Max Zamkow 35:48
you, of course, I mean, if everyone does that, I can’t say no. Can I say no, I know you’re forced to,
Michael Hughes 35:53
you can turn it off. But before we get to that, where can people find you?
Max Zamkow 35:58
Yeah, LinkedIn is a great way. I’m trying to be more active there. You know, for more on third act, you can go to our website, third act.vc. And then also the other place to follow along as h tech DOT news. And again, that’s our monthly newsletter that chronicles all the financings, exits, etc. Nh tech, anyone that wants to learn more about this space, what’s going on, you know, financings and acquisitions are a good proxy for kind of what’s working, and what things are hot. So it’s definitely a pretty good thing to be following along with.
Michael Hughes 36:31
There we go. So that’s ag tech DOT News. And thank you for that. Okay, we’re getting into our three questions. Here. We got question number one. Max, when you think about how you gauged, what do you think has changed about you or grown with you, that you really like about yourself?
Max Zamkow 36:46
Sure. I mean, for me, the biggest one is just being more comfortable in my own skin. And, you know, for those that are listening to the audio version, you don’t see but I am a redhead. Not only am I a redhead, but I spent, you know, half of my childhood from 10 to 18. In the UK, which was really interesting. But it meant that I stood out even more, so I sounded different. I looked different. And you know, as a teenager, all you want to do is fit in. And I’ve really struggled, surprisingly, with that. And one of the best things about growing older, how I’ve changed is how I’ve just gotten much more comfortable. Being myself and looking like myself, and not really caring so much what other people think that’s saying that.
Michael Hughes 37:49
Thank you so much for sharing that. And then the second question is What has surprised you the most about
Max Zamkow 37:54
you this page, I think the most surprising part is just how emotional I am and continue to be, you know, you think of this traditional, stereotypical model of particularly, being a man is like, you start as a child and you are emotionally have tantrums and then you grow up and you’re kind of stoic and nothing moves you. Now fortunately, I think that paradigm, we’ve been busting through it a lot in these last, you know, few decades, which is good, you know, real men do cry. It’s okay. It surprised me how often I do it. Especially now as I said, I have a 16 month old at home Maya. And it’s silly, but it’s amazing how often I just like to tear up. I can’t tell you I went to this class of hers that she’d had to use like this toddler. Sound and experience class. It was nothing right? She did this for like five weeks, I went to the last one. All they did was sing and clap. And it was fun. But you know, I went to this and the teacher said, Alright, like, you’re all gonna get your graduation certificates. At the beginning of class. I’m rolling my eyes. It’s like a graduation certificate for doing what? Right, exactly. And then at the end, the teacher comes around and gives us his envelope and I look at it. And I literally just start bawling. Fortunately, I was wearing sunglasses, but so filled with emotions, like I don’t know, like I’m growing up and I’m so proud of her but objectively subjective, like, what am I? What is going on here? Like this doesn’t make any sense. So it’s definitely been quite surprising.
Michael Hughes 39:45
We’re still thankful for sharing that story. That’s awesome. And then our third question, is there someone that you’ve met, or someone that’s been in your life that has set a good example for you in aging like someone that’s inspired you to you know, as we say, You know, the church homes age with abundance.
Max Zamkow 40:03
So a few years ago, I was lucky enough to meet Gary Player, the golfer. And he is an absolutely incredible person and an incredible model for aging. And how the way that he has continued to approach life, you know, he had a very challenging upbringing. I grew up in South Africa and had challenging times. And there are a lot of things that could have stopped him early in his childhood and then getting older. Yet he still every year is at the Masters hitting that opening shot. And he dominates the other guys that he hits with, because he is just making sure that as he ages that he stays active. He is just absolutely amazing. And I feel very fortunate that I got to meet him. That’s very cool,
Michael Hughes 41:05
Max, and thank you very much for lending your time to us. We’re very privileged to have you on the show. And most importantly, thank you to our listeners. Thank you for listening to this episode of the art of aging, which is part of the abundant aging podcasters from the Ruth Ross Parker center, and you know, church halls, and we want to hear from you. What are some of the age tech ideas that you have in your head? What’s most compelling to you? Who has inspired you to age with abundance? And really, what ideas do you have for topics of the show? We want to hear from you. So visit us at www DOT abundant aging podcast.com to share your ideas, and also give us feedback when you visit the root cause Corporate Center website at United Church homes.org/parker center and reminding everyone to check out Max and third act ventures especially subscribing to the age tech news at age tech, DOT news. Again, thank you for listening. We will see you next time.