The story behind Pavlok

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the pavlok team
The Pavlok team

Behind the Pavlok wristband is the company Behavioral Technology Group Inc. The company was incorporated in 2013 and is based in Boston, Massachusetts. Founder and President is Maneesh Sethi. Maneesh is really a very interesting type of person, and I have met him in person in 2011 in Berlin. Next to being a bestselling author and ‘life/system hacker’, he has lots of experience himself when it comes to changing his own habits.

Because of the fact that he is very easily distracted (and even more because of his wits), he became somewhat of an internet phenomenon over night when he decided to take some more drastic measures against being constantly distracted easily. Instead doing productive work while sitting on his laptop, he browsed Facebook, etc. way too often. So he decided to hire and actually pay a person who would slap him every time he did unproductive aspects. The short ‘Slapped by Craiglister’ video which he put online went viral within a few hours.

Here is the video:


But next to a viral video, the experiment also led to an increase in Maneesh’s productivity:

maneesh sethi craiglister slap


Long story short, this experience opened his eyes that there might be actually a valid business idea hidden in this experience.

The result: Pavlok.

The breakthrough, if you will, was probably his chance to give the keynote speech at the Royal Medical Society in London in 2014, where he talked about forming habits and how Pavlok can help achieve that. After that appearance in a highly scientific environment, Pavlok was also talked about in scientific circles, thus gaining access to a very important group of influencers. If you are interested in Maneesh’s 30 minute presentation, you can watch it here (just hit play on the below embedded video).


In July 2014 (still months before the official launch of Pavlok) the fitness social network Fitocracy added Maneesh to its list of 30 under 30: The Young Professionals Changing the Face of Fitness

“Sure, it might sound crazy to involve electricity.
But sometimes crazy works.”

 – Maneesh Sethi, Inventor of the Pavlok wristband

the story of the pavlok activity tracker for habits

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