Under the Spotlight:

Martin Mayo

We're back interviewing one of our members for Under the Spotlight. We all love a good night's sleep and we're lucky to interview Martin Mayo: king of dreams, master of quantum mechanics and founder of

What was the best bed you've ever slept in?

Our new SleepHack mattress. It's 100% true! Until I started this whole venture, I wasn't aware of how badly I slept. We don't pay attention to the mattress we sleep on, and it's such an important thing. Now, even though I have a young daughter, I'm having the best sleeping experience... and it's because of the mattress.

How can SleepHack mattresses help you get a good night's sleep?

We have put a lot of thought into the SleepHack mattress and it shows in the design. It's not just about giving you the right level of comfort; thats what everyone expects. It's also about giving you the correct support. What makes a good mattress is a combination of the right support with a very firm base layer and a very comfortable combined layer of micro coils and next-generation foam on the top. The design also facilitates airflow to keep you cooler at night, which is something very problematic with foam mattresses. Research shows that high body temperature can be linked to a bad night's sleep. Young people tend to think that a soft mattress is a good mattress, which can be nice for a one-night stay in a hotel, but in the mid to long term, it's very bad for your spine!

Where did the idea for the business come from?

Okay, this is a true story - it's not made up for marketing purposes! 2 years ago my wife was pregnant with my daughter Alma, and she was struggling (as a lot of women do towards later stages of pregnancy) with sleeping. She could never find a comfortable position. Unfortunately we lived in a rented place, so we couldn't change the mattress so started looking at toppers, latex, that sort of thing. So that's how we started. We then asked my father-in-law for some help getting things started as he has a huge business in America with more than 30 years experience and over 500 employees.

How do you feel about the current mattress-buying experience?

We've realised that the strategy retailers use to sell mattresses is mainly based on confusing the customer. There is no correlation between quality and price. Going shopping for a mattress is an annoying experience... and disgusting too, as you have to lie on show-room mattresses! Thats why the concept of a mattress in a box is becoming successful. We then realised that existing companies do very well on the branding side of things, but they focus very little on the technical and scientific aspects. That's another of the reasons we started SleepHack... a year ago now, and in the next few weeks, we hope to be launching the website!

Have you managed to apply any of your background in quantum mechanics to the business?

Actually no, but my background isn't completely irrelevant! As a physicist, specifically a material scientist, I understand materials and construction. And in physics, what you really know is how to solve problems. Even if the problem I'm facing is suppliers, although it has nothing to do with quantum mechanics, the insight I have as a physicist is that it's a problem that needs to be solved regardless; think in a creative way and find a solution! Also, my wife is a bio-engineer, so we have a great combination of skills!

What do you enjoy most about working at Eagle Labs?

At first it was because I needed a lot of help with the business, so I saw the CJBS mentor program as the main pull to start working here. But now after being here a while, I can tell you it's all about the community! I am already getting some help with the business from other members, that is the real added value of the Eagle Labs. Also there's the seminars and lectures, the breakfast networking events which I'm really enjoying. I had planned on doing two days here and three days in the University office as I'm still doing my thesis... now I'm here everyday and my supervisor is asking where am I! It's really a great atmosphere... and the coffee machine, of course!

What was the last dream you can recall?

I think it was something related to my daughter (who doesn't speak yet) yelling at me. You sleep so deep on a SleepHack that you can barely remember your dreams...

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