Founder of the Week

Conversation with Kevin Pham, Founder of NAPPIFY

On the go Power Nap!

Founded by Kevin Pham in the year 2014, California- based startup Nappify unveils a movable pod for a quick nap to overcome the inadequate sleep issues. It can be used by companies and colleges, whoever is looking forward to take a powernap.

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What’s the Buzz?

Nappify is a small container type sleeping pod. Loaded with required services, it can hold up to 4 people at a time for a short sleep. It is built with maximum comfort. The users have to pay around $7 or $13 on the basis of nap sessions. Nappify also takes care of cleanliness by replacing the bed sheet and pillow cover after each session.

Q & A with Kevin Pham, Founder of Nappify

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Ques.Your concept of Sleeping Pods is excellent. I,myself is a sleep lover and I wish there were some sleeping pods in India as well? So, do you have any plans to establish in India? Do you see India as a potential market for sleeping pods?

Ans. Thank you for your interest. You are not alone. We have received several inquiries about Nappify concept from the U.K., Taiwan, and Sweden. Nappify is a young local startup in Southern California, thus it is beyond our expectations to get such extensive attentions. I personally see India as a potential market, knowing that housing is a premium need in metro areas due to overpopulation. By the way, you should look up for information about tiny homes in Hong Kong. These days, many major cities are dealing with the same problem around the world, and it will continue to grow bigger of a problem. Fully realizing that we are living in a world of limited resources, my brother and I initiated ‘Nappify’, a concept to maximize living/resting capacity given a limited space.  At this point, we do not have a concrete plan to penetrate into India and others internationally; however, when there is a will, there is a way.

Ques. Must say,Nappify is quite an interesting name. Where did the idea of Nappify come from?

Ans. We came up with 10 different names and picked Nappify for its simplicity and uniqueness. It is a ‘verb’, and in our dictionary it means: to satisfy the power nap in you. The spelling is intuitive and there is only one way to say it.

Ques. Tell us about your achievements? Like number of customers served or If any celebrity tried the Pod?

Ans. We introduced the first-gen last month and have sponsored several local events since then. In each event, we consistently serviced 10-15 guests per day, and guest feedbacks across the board are very positive. Guests value the privacy, cleanliness, and uniqueness of the concept and would use it again. We always welcome celebrities to try the pod out. They would endorse and validate our concept.

Ques.  We would like to know more about the campaign “Nappify.zzZ”NapTour of Summer’16 ?

Ans. Very recently, we have been to a Startup competition event, and for the next stop we will be at LA Food Festival in Los Angeles. We are lining up more events through community outreach from now to September. Then, we will station Nappify Trailer at California State University, Fullerton for a whole semester to support students. I am very excited about this opportunity since I am an alumnus of CSUF Titans.

Ques. How was your crowdfunding experience? Was it difficult to gain traction or was it a cake-walk?

Ans. At this introductory phase, we are building brand awareness. Due to limited resources (one trailer with a small team), we are taking small steps to gradually create the next big trend. Crowdfunding is the plan to launch in July. We want to get as much guest feedback and visual aids from lined-up events as possible before shouting out for crowdfunding support. The goal of crowdfunding is to collect enough capital to build the second-gen trailer, an upgraded concept with self-service and on-board entertainment, while considering guests and supporters feedback into future concept.

In 1952, thanks to a telling campaign ad, coffee break got officially accepted into American workplace; in 2016, nap break might follow suits thanks to Nappify. (http://www.businessinsider.com/ads-that-changed-the-world-2014-8)

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Ques. Tell us something more about the sleeping pods. Any feature that we had missed to highlight in the news that could be highlighted now?

Ans. Each Nappify pod has a bed, pillow, side table, window, AC, wake-up light, and much more. We design the nap pod with 4 top priorities: cleanliness, privacy, comfort and safety. We made the pod big enough for a twin mattress and a folding table; and we make beds with clean sheet mattress and fresh pillowcase after each guest visit. The pod is soundproof, air-conditioned and has an emergency window. We also equip a natural lighting system in each pod to wake up guests when their time is up. The trailer is 17 foot long by 8 foot wide and a good size to be at any parking lot or stationary next to a building for servicing guests and staffs.The key is to make the nap-pod convenient for guests to visit and low profile to be stationed at strategic locations without obstructing traffic and other business activities

Ques.Are you the only player in the US market? Do you see any similar services on ground other than your startup and how is Nappify different from them?

Ans. There are MetroNaps company who sells nap-pod chairs to high-tech companies and several nap salons in New York. 16% of employers in the US, by research, have designated a napping area in their business culture. To name a few big ones, there are Nike, Facebook, Google, P&G, British Airway, Zappos and many more. However, nap-pod chairs (cost from $8,000 to $13,000) are not affordable for small companies and schools. These chairs are often perceived as a waste of resources and spaces. Moreover, they cannot match Nappify’s high level of Comfort, Hygiene and Privacy.

Ques.What challenges have you faced/ what key lessons have you learnt during your budding stage?

Ans. By research, one out of three Americans takes a nap on a daily basis and funded researches such as NASA have pointed out the benefits of power nap.Power nap done right actually enhances productivity and work/life balance if you make a good habit of it.However, power napping at work is not fully accepted in America: some people still doubt its benefits, and some people think it is a waste of time. We at Nappify evangelize for power naps and want to lead a positive new trend to change American misconception of power napping at work.

Many people have tried and failed at power napping, a popular experience would be: it takes him/her 15-20 minutes on the sofa or in the car seat to try to get some sleep without success and get back to work more tired. Therefore, we at Nappify have designed a napping-focused environment inside the pod, so that you will easily get into nap in less than 5 minutes, enjoy a high quality nap in 20 to 35 minutes depending on your need, and get waked upon a set time finding yourselfrefreshed and energized for the next 4 hours. No phone ring or disturbing noise, no sunlight, no discomfort, no watching eyes. That means you have full privacy and full control of your napping style.

Santa Ana College Ribbon Cutting 5-31-16 (1)Ques.What are your future plans (both short and long term)?

Ans. To evangelize for power napping and expand brand awareness, Nappify trailer is on the Summer 16tour, which will take us to shopping centers, business plazas, universities and colleges, hospitals, events, and trade shows throughout southern CA. On September 2nd, we will bring Nappify trailer to California State University at Fullerton to serve students and staffs. Going forward, we want to extend our Power Nap Wellness program to colleges and universities around SoCal.

Ques. Words of inspiration for someone who has dreamt of becoming an entrepreneur?

Ans. My advice to future entrepreneurs is ‘connecting the dots’, as a great quote from my idol, former visionary CEO of Apple- Steve Jobs. “…You cannot connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards”, he said.

Ten years ago, I was a student graduating from Arizona State University with big dreams that I would find a good job with my double degrees in Finance and Marketing. What happened is that I was disappointed for not finding a job, and I started to doubt myself and my degrees for getting me nowhere. What I learnt today is that I am grateful for my education looking backwards. Without those dots of knowledge, I would not be able to draw a single line and shape the future of my startup Nappify.

Moreover, at every single moment you have to trust yourself to connect those dots somewhere in your future, you have to have passion and love what you are doing, and never give up on your dream. You have to proactively connect to people who you trust, and they will support you along the way. Your personal contacts, knowledge, and ideas don’t get connected themselves, only you have the power to connect them and draw a unique beautiful picture as your own rewarding success.

Finally, whenever you are tired or stressed out connecting dots, get a power nap, and then give it another try.

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