Datarella People: Max Gotzler, Basketballer & Entrepreneur

Here is the transcript of the Datarella (DR) interview with Maximilian ‚Max‘ Gotzler at the Quantified Self Conference 2014 in Amsterdam.

DR

At the Quantified Self Conference 2014 in Amsterdam, we’re together with Maximilian Gotzler, semi-professional basketballer and Berlin-based entrepreneur. Max, could you introduce yourself and tell us why you are here at the Quantified Self conference?

Max
First, I’m personally interested in Quantified Self: I want to know what’s new and how everything is evolving. Then, I held a presentation about a self-experiment about testosterone. And last but not least, I have presented my own startup biotrackr in an office hour.

DR
A self-experiment on testosterone – that sounds pretty interesting. Can you tell us more about that?

Max
It all started last year during some sort of a winter depression, when my blood test a relatively low level of testosterone. Since then I’ve tried to enhance this level by changing my nutrition and some aspects of my lifestyle, and I’ve presented the results here at the conference yesterday.

DR
What are the results?

Max
The results show that nutrition, sleep and stress have a big impact on the hormone balance, and especially on the testosterone level. Those three factors massively add to your well-being.

DR
You profit from your experience as a semi-professional basketballer, playing in Germany and the United States in building your startup biotrackr. Can you tell us about that?

Max
Sure. Biotracker provides a simple, easy-to-use process to measure your blood values at home. The user gets a test kit, takes her blood probe and sends it back to a laboratory. They get their results vizsuLized on our online platform.

The idea originates in competitive sports: as you said, I have been playing basketball, and the idea was to optimize performance by measuring several body-related parameters. And now I try to provide everybody with this competive sports concept to optimze health levels.

DR
Your test focuses on measuring a user’s Vitamine D level. What are the effects of the Vitamine D level on the body?

Max
Vitamine D holds many roles within the human body. It isn’t really a vitamine, but it’s a so-called secosteroid which evolves into a hormone. It has a big impact on the immune system, muscle growth, bone strength – and on your mood. In Germany and in other rather cold countries, most people have a Vitamine D deficiency – especially during the winter. And we want to make people aware of that. Since by measuring, you can spir people to change their behavior.

DR
Does that mean we all should sunbathe? I mean, that would speak against conventional wisdom.

Max
You should leave plain sunshine after 10-15 minutes or to put on some lotion. But I redommend to sunbathe the very first minutes without any lotion because then, the formerly inactive Vitamine D will be activated by the UVB rays and then can take full effect.

DR
Here at the Quantified Self conference all discussions are about self-tracking and knowing yourself better by measuring your body data. Which data do you track yourself?

Max
I’m very interested in sleep tracking: every night, I try to measure how long I sleep, how long it took me to fall asleep and how man phases of deep sleep I had. I want to optimize that. Additionally, I track my weight, body fat percentage, and my movements. And whereas I track sleep actively, I track all those other data passively.

DR
Ok, that means that you don’t invest much of your time in tracking. Which is your favorite tracking app?

Max
I really like Runkeeper which also shows your actuall running paths. Then I like an a called Mappiness, a mood app which asks you about your mood twice a day. And last but not least I really like the Jawbone UP app.

DR
Max, thank you very much!

Max
Very welcome!

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