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The Future of Beauty: Ziv Haklili of Scale On How Their Technological Innovation Will Shake Up The Beauty Industry

Beauty as nutrition (or Beauty from the inside out) — I believe that we are just at the tip of the iceberg in discovering the full potential the foods and ingredients we ingest have on the appearance and health of our skin. Ultimately, I believe that the combined approach of mind, body and skin garners the best results for health and beauty.

As a part of our series about how technology will be changing the beauty industry over the next five years, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ziv Haklili.

Ziv Haklili is a brand builder, business leader and eCommerce growth strategist with 10+ years of diversified experience developing companies and products that are aligned with his vision. As the Co-Founder of Scale — a next-generation DTC house of brands — he has created five profitable CPG brands, including Hair La Vie and Tru Alchemy, and launched 120+ best-in-class products in the direct-to-consumer digital space. His personal philosophy: Lead with your actions, not with your words.

Ziv co-created Scale with his childhood friend and business partner, Ben Flohr to create meaningful connections between brands and consumers — and positively impact thousands of lives. With expertise in strategic vision, product development and creative direction, he built a strong organizational and operational infrastructure that quickly positioned the company for massive growth. Always conscious of the ever-changing digital landscape, Ziv is able to anticipate what tomorrow’s consumers want and create cutting-edge solutions that meet demand.

A values-driven leader, Ziv builds relationships based on integrity, honesty, humility and transparency. These values were instilled in him early in his career in the Israel Defense Forces where he leveraged his Media & English studies to be a combat spokesperson. It’s there in the trenches where he acquired problem-solving and crisis communication skills, and learned the values of trust, team building and leading by example. Today, he focuses on empowering his employees by leveraging their strengths, fueling their passions and motivating them towards excellence.

Ziv is fluent in English, Hebrew and Spanish. An advocate of lifelong learning, he studies everything from music and art, to the latest science, research and technologies around health and wellness. Lately, Ziv has had crash courses in fatherhood, navigating life with a beautiful toddler daughter and another baby girl on the way.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Thank you for the opportunity. I think from a young age I’ve always been passionate about bringing positivity change to the world, in a big way. In the beginning of my career, I thought that meant writing and entertainment

Around 10 years ago, I was working in the digital content marketing industry, and had set up a boutique firm. During that stressful time, my roommate and best friend (whom had a background in food science and nutrition) became very interested in optimizing our mental and physical performance through nutrition and supplements. We bought a bunch of different supplements and powders but none of them

ever seemed to work. Yet, when we looked at the clinical studies and data they were touting as evidence, we noticed what was going on. We found out that while these products were making claims around promising scientific data and studies, none of them contained the actual clinical dosages required to obtain the same results as in the studies. Product after product, from global brands to fly-by-night internet brands, we noticed the same phenomenon. So we asked ourselves what would happen if we researched and formulated a set of products that actually adhered to the clinical data. So we did just that and our first brand took off very quickly and we started getting a ton of positive feedback from our customers. That positive feedback became the fuel and motivation to continue growing the business, entering into new verticals like ingestible beauty, hair and skincare, with the same methodology, rigor and passion.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

One of the most interesting stories actually happened a few weeks before the entire country went into lockdown last year. A few weeks before we really understood what we were up against. It was close to midnight and I was exercising my usual bad habit of reading business articles late into the night. I was about to shut off my phone just as I finished the last article but a headline grabbed my attention. It was actually published on Medium that same day and the headline read: “Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now: Politicians, Community Leaders and Business Leaders: What Should You Do and When?” Needless to say it piqued my attention. As I started reading the article (which was a 20-minute read) I became more and more concerned after each paragraph. The author had modeled out the potential spread of the virus in the US and was basically saying it was only a matter of days to a week before it would hit all over and he was making a plea to keep people home as soon as possible. After reading I immediately called my co-founder and we understood that we had to take immediate action. The next morning we gathered our executives first thing in the morning, and put together an immediate plan to have everyone at the company work from home effective immediately. Within two days we were able to facilitate a complete work from home environment for over 100 team members. To give context, as a fast-paced startup, we always prided ourselves on in-person collaboration and a thriving company culture. We always thought working remotely would make us less efficient and would be detrimental to our culture. But much to our surprise, it turned out to be a positive change that has allowed us to provide more flexibility to our team members, while maintaining a high level of collaboration and performance as a company.

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?

I think that one of the major tipping points in the first years of running our business was when I started using mental models. As an entrepreneur, you often find yourself working nonstop for your business and things can get overwhelming fast. Mental models provide a way to quickly make better decisions and better assess how things work. When you apply them correctly, they can dramatically change the way you work and even live your life. One of my favorite methods that I try to use every week is the pareto principle which helps me make decisions and prioritize my actions for the week/month and even year.

The Pareto principle states that for many different events, roughly 80% of the effects are from 20% of the causes In business terms, you yield 80% of the results from 20% of your efforts. To break it down further in the context of a company selling products, typically, 80% of your revenue will come from 20% of your products. So if you invest more of your time and efforts tackling the correct 20%, you will invariably gain better results.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

One of the key factors to our success as a company has been the strong partnership and synergy between myself, my co-founder and our third partner. Each of us brings a unique perspective, knowledge and expertise that has allowed us to grow and prosper throughout the years while remaining entirely bootstrapped. I believe that the spirit of collaboration between us has extended to the culture of our company and really empowered everyone to operate as a hive mind towards our common goals.

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. The beauty industry today has access to technology that was inconceivable only a short time ago. Can you tell us about the “cutting edge” (pardon the pun) technologies that you are working with or introducing? How do you think that will help people?

It was only a few years ago where the relationship between brand and consumer was almost exclusively 2-dimensional. The brand would advertise on TV, print and digital, and consumers would buy their products. There was no real reciprocal and immediate relationship between the consumer and the brand. Today, there is an opportunity to leverage technology to create an unprecedented relationship with the consumer. At Scale, we approach brand building with a 360 degree ecosystem that allows us to create a holistic experience for each of our products. This involves clinically studied products, educational content, and progress tracking tools, all facilitated by technology. Technology allows us to create a meaningful and custom relationship with each of our consumers at scale and drive better outcomes for them while continuously optimizing that experience. One example of this is in our Hair La Vie clinical vitamin, after purchase we provide a quiz that learns and assesses your hair goals. Once we understand a consumer’s specific goals, we serve a 90-day, custom educational course that provides tutorials, recipes and nutrition recommendations, hair tips and tricks, and tracking tools that helps them achieve their specific goal in a holistic way.

Keeping “Black Mirror” and the “Law of Unintended Consequences” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

What has been prevalent in beauty and the media for years is the manipulation of imagery to meet unrealistic beauty standards. Thankfully, in the past few years there’s been strong grassroots resistance against this type of manipulation and many people and brands have started embracing a more natural approach to beauty imagery.

But the more recent emergence and popularity of facial and body manipulation tools and apps have now empowered anyone to manipulate their own faces and body and that garners an unrealistic view and comparison of oneself to a standard of beauty that essentially isn’t real.

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the “beauty-tech” industry?

Transparency — I think that the fact that people can now look up each and every of the ingredients in their products and educate themselves about the quality of the ingredients they are using inside and outside their body is a huge win. This really forces a lot of the powers that be to raise their standards when formulating products and immensely increases the industry’s accountability. I believe that brands

that embrace transparency and educate consumers about their ingredients and product development process are best destined to succeed.

Personalization at scale — I think that the ability to create a personalized experience for the consumer where their individual health and beauty needs are met is going to become the standard in the years to come.

Beauty as nutrition (or Beauty from the inside out) — I believe that we are just at the tip of the iceberg in discovering the full potential the foods and ingredients we ingest have on the appearance and health of our skin. Ultimately, I believe that the combined approach of mind, body and skin garners the best results for health and beauty.

Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest?

I’m very concerned with the continued use of flagrantly harmful ingredients by many prominent players in the beauty industry. It puzzles me how in this day and age with all the free access to information that there are still so many harmful chemicals in use, plainly stated on a label for anyone to see. Since the FDA and other government agencies can take a long time to ban these types of ingredients, I would suggest putting together an industry committee that would advocate for taking action within the industry quicker to ban harmful ingredients and lobbying and/or cooperating with the federal government for faster action.

You are an expert about beauty. Can you share 5 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)

In my opinion, beauty is primarily a perception. If you don’t see yourself as beautiful, then no product in the world will change that. So before products, we need to get our mind straight. What that means to me is meditation and self acceptance. Cultivating a daily meditation practice, ideally in the morning, that includes gratitude and self affirmation is the way to build internal beauty that radiates out and changes our perception of beauty for the better.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

As a company, we are always searching for ways to make a positive impact, whether that’s with the products we create, or the charities we partner with. Given the opportunity to create a large movement that would make significant change I would have to look at it through the lens of a mental model. If we’re using the “first principles” model that states that in order to solve a complex problem, you have to reduce into its basic elements or its fundamental truths and then start solving from there. We know that there are billions of people in the world that are suffering from any number of reasons. One of the foundational elements that can help alleviate suffering on a large scale, is empathy. When you can truly empathize with others suffering, whether that be on an interpersonal or even global scale, you are inevitably drawn to action. So I think that if we could teach empathy and empathetic action across the entirety of our education system as well as our workplace in a very direct way, we would end up with a more tolerant and action-oriented society that works together to solve issues small and large.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I really think that the biggest benefit someone could attain from reading this article is to look into mental models. This has made the most enduring impact on my work.

How can our readers follow you online?

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

The Future of Beauty: Ziv Haklili of Scale On How Their Technological Innovation Will Shake Up The… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.