Going to the Dogs …. and Cats

Investors like to see a “Mission Statement” for startup companies – something short and sweet, something that checks all of the politically correct boxes, and incorporates the trendiest business phrase of the month. A perfect, digestible, double-digit IQ blurb.

A new AI-driven pet health system wouldn’t have that. Disruption is complicated, and our mission is truly multi-fold – something that requires an intellectual discussion well above the 120 IQ level.

The mission, broadly, is to mirror the benevolence of the mythological unicorn. I’m building new technology to help pets live happier, healthier and longer.

But it’s not just about the health and longevity of companion animals. The Pet Tech Ecosystem would be purpose-built to help reverse, or at the very least, slow dow the damaging environmental impact caused by livestock and farm raised poultry – the two major protein sources used for the production of pet food. We’ve pioneered a production system that ensures that we manufacture the exact amount of food our pet “customer” require – no shortages, and no waste.

Plus, we’re in the formulation process as I write this for a proprietary line of pet foods build on non-meat proteins.

Pet obesity studies by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) consistently show that 54% of US dogs, and 59% of US cats are overweight or obese. Of the nearly 200 million companion dogs and cats in the US, that corresponds to 42.9 million and 50.5 million respectively.

Obese pets die up to 2-1/2 years earlier than their healthy weight peers, will experience the same types of obesity related illnesses and diseases as humans, and will cost their owners an average of $4,000 to $7,000 for veterinary care. Sadly, their last few years of their shortened lives will be miserable – they will suffer a prolonger health decline.

That’s not acceptable!

My system is designed to reverse obesity in overweight pets and prevent 100% of every pet dog and cat on our system from becoming obese. Period.

There’s not a single competitive pet food manufacturer in the world that can lay that claim (so far). And, there’s not a single veterinarian who can guarantee that any prescribed pet food will accomplish what we can do.

And the economic impact of such an ecosystem? We performed an internal study that showed that excess revenue generated by the excess pet food consumed by obese pets was nearly $2 billion annually. And, industry data shows that approximately 40% of the revenue generated by the $16 billion pet care industry (veterinarians, pet pharmaceuticals) is directly attributable to pet obesity.

Can I put a dent into the $8 billion or so revenue generated at the expense of obese pets.

The company is complicated, as are its technologies, systems and methods. They are all intertwined to carry their respective loads like each cable on the Golden Gate Bridge.

I mentioned in an earlier blog that I dislike the notion of a “Eureka” moment. Complicated puzzles are not created in a “moment”, and so far, the Unicorn system has consumed 3 intense years of work, and re-work, scrapping approaches only to rebuild them differently.

This time, there’s a multi-mission, and a clear end game, one that I’ve envisioned, and virtually experienced in some future time – and I’ve looked back to see how I got there.

Creating a forward looking road map using 20-20 hindsight is easy, and along with my multi-startup team, we understand well that although we know the direction, we are already anticipating the pot holes.