Author: Vincent Cobb, founder.
(First published 4.27.21 - this is fluid so we will update in the future)
When my wife, Marni, and I founded Akamai in 2016, we didn’t start it to make a quick buck — we saw major problems in the realm of personal care products (e.g. loaded with toxic chemicals, high costs, too much complexity/not enough health, and a lot of myths/bad advice), and were inspired to take action and show a better way. Something better for our health, wallets, and the planet. To create a platform to share our findings with our family (big family as in ohana — an early possible name for what we ultimately wanted to be named akamai — the Hawaiian word for wise).
So who are we?
First, a few quick data points…
- Age: both 55 (been told by many we appear to be in our 30’s).
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: Vince: INTP (logician), Marni: INTJ (architect).
- Where you grew up / live now: both Midwest / Boulder, CO.
- Favorite hobby / sports / wellness: Vince: running, Marni: painting.
We’re fans of the Socratic method of inquiry whereby you gain understanding by asking questions — here are a few we’ve answered to help you get to know us a little better. (Thanks to Tim Ferris for a few of the questions below we borrowed from his book Tribe of Mentors)
What book(s) are you currently studying?
Marni: Embrace the Sun by Marc B. Sorenson, and William B. Grant, Ph.D. and Goddess Never Age by Christiane Northrup, MD.
Vince: Daily Stoic (3rd time), Turning the Mind Into an Ally (5th time), The Way of the Superior Man (1st time).
What is your daily wellness routine?
Marni: FMC detox drink, 10-15 min morning sunshine, 30-45 min walk or hike with dog, weekly 2-3x / week tanning (UV A & B) & red light 10-12 min of each, key supplements (foods based vitamins, minerals, mushrooms blend, anti-inflammatories e.g. turmeric), listening to music. Weather permitting, “grounding” by walking barefoot.
Vince: Same as above. Plus daily formal mediation practice, 10 min calisthenics (jumping jacks, push-ups, pull-ups, etc.), 3 - 5 mile run. Weekly journaling, written gratitude & appreciation. Weekend 2-4 hr solo run or hike.
We both follow our (Akamai) oral care and body care routines.
What’s a “good habit” you’re having a hard time adopting / practicing?
Marni: Formal meditation practice.
Vince: Relaxing and being in the moment (less systemic anxiety). Sweets and snacking after 7. Weekly HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and picking up weight training again. (Doing less vs more — ha!).
What words do you live by? (quotes or sayings)
Marni: "Be the change you seek." | The 4 Agreements.
Agreement 1: "Be Impeccable With Your Word"
Agreement 2: "Don't Take Anything Personally"
Agreement 3: "Don't Make Assumptions"
Agreement 4: "Always Do Your Best"
Vince: "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast." | "Be here now." | "Begin again." | "Pain is inevitable, suffering is a choice." | "Be of service" | "Do the change you seek" | "Make it as simple as possible, but no simpler."
What empirical evidence (or milestones) have you seen personally as a result of the “Akamai Way”? (includes our personal care products & routines, and wellness lifestyle)
Marni: The complete reversal of periodontal disease that included inflammation, and deep pockets in gums.
Vince: Same as above. And no more bleeding gums and occasional mouth sores — a small cavity healed. Used to get occasional acne — not anymore. No more dandruff and occasional skin rashes.
1,800+ hrs of formal meditation practice. 1st place in the Male 50-59 2019 Colorado Mountain Series in Half Marathon distance.
What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)?
Marni: We got two kittens — utter joy!
Vince: Sam Harris Waking Up App ($99.99)
Besides Akamai, name another time you saw a problem and decided to “change the world”?
Marni: Saw how bad Chicago schools were for preschoolers and how good Waldorf was for them. The schools they were in at the time only went through kindergarten so I helped Co-found an Urban Prairie Waldorf.
Vince: Founded Reuseit.com to raise consumer awareness about the problems with use-and-toss items like plastic bags and bottles. The vision was to use simple lifestyle changes to help save the environment, save money, and waste.
Biggest health challenge you’ve faced?
Marni: IBS (in my 20’s), periodontal disease (in my 40’s), menopause (in my 50’s).
Vince: Anxiety / depression / adrenal fatigue episode in 2016 (set much of wellness agenda for past 5 yrs), receding gum lines, self-loathing (lack of self-compassion).
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
Marni: That the sun is bad for you.
Vince: That many of the synthetic / naturally-derived chemicals are okay and should be used on our bodies and in our mouths. Just like with food, I think there are a lot of unknowns and we should be far more skeptical and cautious.
What is an unusual habit or an "absurd" thing that you love or have done?
Marni: When I was nursing I learned that breast milk can be used to address skin, ear, and eye infections (tried it and it worked). I started a practice of walking barefoot for its grounding benefits.
Vince: Built a sensory deprivation tank in high school.
In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, habit, or modality has most improved your life?
Marni: Spending as much time outside in nature as possible.
Vince: Mediation / mind training, journaling, CBT.