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Meet Sheera Goren of Zygo in Playa Vista

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sheera Goren.

Sheera, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am not a swimmer and swimming as an adult is intimidating! So, because my co-founder and I love all boutique fitness and saw nothing in the swimming space, we first set out to create a 45-minute class option that paired upbeat music with fun, charismatic instruction — a la the SoulCycle of swimming. We ran these classes, SwimTeam, for about eight months all across LA, but everyone kept asking us about the headset. Customers wanted to play music when they swam on their own and coaches liked that they could now directly communicate with their swimmers.

After taking all of the learnings from SwimTeam, we pivoted to focus on the hardware, Zygo, more akin to the Peloton of swimming (fun fact: our name, Zygo, stems from the zygomatic arch which is one of the facial bones our headset rests on to conduct sound). Our headset is the first solution for streaming audio and live communication. Now you can stream your favorite playlist or podcast as you wish, or have an instructor coach you on your form. In addition, we have a companion app of a library of guided workouts you can do on your own time, wherever you are. Also, it’s not just for swimming; Zygo solves the pain points across the entire aquasphere — SUP, rowing, sailing, surfing, kayaking, and beyond.

We see water as the last frontier in audio and want Zygo to be known for breaking down the barrier to swimming – a barrier that exists today due to perceptions that it’s lonely, boring, intimidating, inconvenient. The inspiration to get in the pool or water is not there and we are out to provide it.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has NOT been a smooth road and we are still navigating the bumpy path ahead, most likely because we are blazing a new trail. Hardware is indeed HARD. We are building something from scratch and so the learnings and issue lists are a constant part of our daily challenges. However, we do believe there is an immense amount of opportunity within the difficulty. Is it always easy to maintain a good perspective while being told something will cost $X or Y solution didn’t work? No! But the belief in the end result and our mission overcomes anything at the end of the day.

Zygo – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We think that a well-balanced lifestyle is of benefit to all – well-balanced in terms of the right diet and fitness, and within fitness having the right mix of activities. We believe strongly in the power of fitness communities, evidenced by pioneers like SoulCycle and Peloton, and we want to unite people around a shared love for the water, whether that’s a longstanding love or newfound one. There is something incredibly exciting about the water – both pools and open water – but there’s also something intimidating about it, which makes a community particularly important. We want to write a new narrative about the water being the new fitness frontier, the next source of athletic adventure; this is part of the thinking behind our tagline “Go Louder.” To do so, we need to prove that swimming (and any activity) is enjoyable with the right mix of inspiration and instruction, two ingredients that are currently missing.

• We are selling all aquatic activities, not just an audio product
• You shouldn’t have to press pause when you enter the water
• We’re selling a love for the water
• We’re inspiring people to rethink their limitations when it comes to fitness activities
• We’re selling an appreciation for outdoor exercise
• We’re building a community around solitary sports

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Perhaps I’m answering this in a particular moment of positive practice, but I think success is even trying something risky or pushing yourself past your comfort zone. Mine was about 49 laps ago in the deep end. After that, I think there are bigger success milestones and then smaller, more daily success markers along the way.

For me, a major milestone will be when I see the first person using their Zygo at the pool or the beach (someone other than my mom or a relative :)) To see your product out in the world touching someone else’s life, that’ll be a true moment.

For the day to day, I try to set attainable success goals so that I feel like I’m progressing. Learning something new. Mastering a pitch. A good phone call. Making a mistake that had limited consequences so you know you’ll never make that again when the stakes are higher. These are all successes which, I hope when I am able to look back on, set me up for the major successes, like company growth, brand awareness, and customer satisfaction.

Pricing:

  • Zygo Solo (1 headset) = $299
  • Zygo Deco (10 headsets) = $1,999
  • Zygo App = $8/month (free for 2019)

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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