Bar Malik Of Barcode: “Be authentic”

Be authentic: become content with who you are and constantly aim to become the best version of yourself instead of trying to be like others. As a personal trainer and the New York Knicks former Director of Performance, Bar Malik has over 12+ years of experience working with professional athletes in both the MLB and NBA. […]

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Be authentic: become content with who you are and constantly aim to become the best version of yourself instead of trying to be like others.

As a personal trainer and the New York Knicks former Director of Performance, Bar Malik has over 12+ years of experience working with professional athletes in both the MLB and NBA. He’s recognized as a leader in the industry and co-founded Barcode with NBA star Kyle Kuzma to disrupt the performance beverage space. Malik obtained an Entrepreneurship certificate from Harvard Business School.

Thank you for joining us in this interview series. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory? What led you to this particular career path?

As the former NY Knicks Director of Performance, I was surrounded by top-tier athletes and took notice of the beverages that were saturating the industry. The Gatorades of the world, which are packed with fillers and sugar, were putting tons of dollars behind sponsorships. I was committed to the health and wellness of every single athlete I trained and began paying close attention to what they were consuming for performance and recovery — I was inspired to create a healthier alternative to those methods.

That’s what led me to Barcode. I would literally develop formulas in my kitchen and have the players test them out. My Co-Founder, Kyle Kuzma, was one of the first athletes who benefited from the beverages I was creating. Once I saw how my creations were positively impacting everyone, I knew I was onto something and launched Barcode — a product that is formulated with good for you ingredients to ultimately help consumers reach their optimal performance, according to what that means for them.

Whether you’re a professional athlete, or you like to move by going on daily walks, Barcode will work with your body to not only help hydrate, but will also provide benefits to boost your immune system and decrease stress and fatigue. Barcode is made for everybody, and strives to bring together a vibrant community of game-changers, culture-makers, and everyday performers, creating the future of whole-body health.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

Historically speaking, the performance beverage industry has been dominated by drinks that are high in sugar, artificially flavored, and low in nutritional value — Barcode is the opposite of that. As the first plant-based, adaptogen-powered, vegan performance beverage, our products are all-natural and very low in sugar and calories compared to other drinks on the market. Barcode is developed with meticulous research and science-backed expertise. We’re dedicated to being a source of truth within the performance beverage space by providing thoughtful, functional and transparent ingredients for optimal health. We’re bringing the level of attention, research, and dedication once reserved for enabling professional athletes to perform at game time, to the average consumer performing in their daily lives.

Most brands in this space only think about game time, but Barcode takes a 360 approach. Our products are there to benefit your body throughout the entire day from the minute you wake up until it’s time to go to sleep. Beyond that, Barcode is changing the way we think about and interact with beverages from a packaging standpoint. Each bottle is equipped with an AR-enabled customer experience that is reinventing sports beverages for today’s consumer. Users can scan the QR code on the bottle and receive curated content from the brand. Everything is moving in a tech forward direction, and I wanted to incorporate that into Barcode.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Way back in the day, I used to drive around to gas stations and just drop my drinks off and tell them I wanted my product sold there. I literally thought that all you had to do was show up and give them a few boxes of product and then they’d start selling it. I had no idea that you actually needed a distributor and or broker to properly go about the sales process. What can I say, I was eager!

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

My father is my mentor. He introduced me to sports at a very young age and taught me what it takes to be excellent. Because of him, I know how important it is to prioritize my health and wellness. He instilled drive in me — he always told me to put my all into the things I love. My dad is the reason I had the confidence and passion to launch Barcode, and I’ll continuously strive to make it the best company that it can possibly be.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time?’ Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

When you positively disrupt an industry, you find a way to impact the lives of others with a product or service that will truly benefit the masses. You’re able to identify a gap in the market and penetrate it by creating something that’s better for consumers. That’s exactly what we’re accomplishing with Barcode. We have a credible product that’s improving the health of athletes and the average consumer alike. With our products, we’re pushing the world forward.

On the other end, there are plenty of brands negatively disrupting industries. They’re opportunistic and jump onto a market trend without the intention of enhancing a consumer’s experience. Most of the time, they’re making a replica of a product or service as a way to capitalize on others. There’s no emotional attachment, they’re just trying to make money. We constantly see this in the performance beverage space — brands are convincing their consumers to buy and drink their product that is filled with sugar. They’re not educating anyone about the chronic illnesses that can result from extreme sugar intake, they’re just trying to become lucrative at the end of the day.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

Be authentic: become content with who you are and constantly aim to become the best version of yourself instead of trying to be like others.

Be honest: if you’re a truthful person, you’ll garner respect because others will believe in you.

Be audacious: when it comes to your goals, be bold and have the courage to take risks.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

We’re constantly working behind the scenes to bring unique, better-for-you beverages to the industry. We recently launched a limited-edition Pinot Noir flavor with our Co-Founder, Kyle Kuzma, which is just the beginning. We’ll continue to unveil new flavors and products that will have a deep level of attention to detail as it relates to ingredients and quality. We’ll also be ramping up our partnerships and significantly growing the company — exciting things are coming!

Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?

One of my favorite podcasts is REAL AF from Andy Frisella, the founder of 1st Phorm. Andy came from nothing and suffered a horrific accident when he was younger. None of that stopped him from pursuing his dreams and becoming the successful entrepreneur that he is today. He’s a great example of an underdog who started from scratch, and I try to follow that same mentality.

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

“Why be good when you can be great?” It’s easy to be good at something, but in order to be great, that requires effort and discipline. I always keep that in the back of my mind when running Barcode when it comes to my team members, flavors, ingredients .. everything. I’m also aware that in order to be the best, rest is required. This day and age, everyone is quick to burn out. If I have to take a break and recharge, I’m fine with doing that if it means I’ll be better as a result.

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 I mentioned earlier, Barcode is already sparking a movement within the performance beverage space. We’re creating the future of whole-body health by bridging the gap between health-conscious consumers and elite athletes. We’re also building a vibrant community of game-changes, culture-makers and everyday performers. It’s so important for society to have access to the proper resources that can enhance their overall wellbeing.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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