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Home / Learn More / Why being an outsider is good. Meet the founders.

Why being an outsider is good. Meet the founders.

Author: Vincent Cobb, co-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…

  1. Age: both 55 (been told by many we appear to be in our 30’s).
  2. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: Vince: INTP (logician), Marni: INTJ (architect).
  3. Where you grew up / live now: both Midwest / Boulder, CO.
  4. 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)
  1. 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).

  2. 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.). Weekly journaling, written gratitude & appreciation. Running 3 - 5 miles.

    We both follow our (Akamai) oral care and body care routines.

  3. 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!).

  4. What words do you live by? (quotes or sayings)

    Marni: The 4 Agreements. Be the change you seek.

    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.

  5. 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.

    5000+ hrs of formal meditation practice. 1st place in the Male 50-59 2019 Colorado Mountain Series in Half Marathon distance.

  6. 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)

  7. 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.

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.