Stas Gorbunov of AURA Devices: “Ups and downs, Ups and Down and one more time Ups and Downs”

Ups and downs, Ups and Down and one more time Ups and Downs — If you’re starting a startup, be ready for a kind of roller coaster in terms of your work and results. You just need to analyze your falls and continue your journey. Try to enjoy everything you do! For example, we had some problems […]

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Ups and downs, Ups and Down and one more time Ups and Downs — If you’re starting a startup, be ready for a kind of roller coaster in terms of your work and results. You just need to analyze your falls and continue your journey. Try to enjoy everything you do! For example, we had some problems with manufacturing at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, but finally, we’ve delivered everything, and now we’re delivering without any delays as the situation is stable in China. Never panic, and don’t give up. I know that it sounds cliche, but I really would like to know about that beforehand or just take some advice more seriously.


New technologies have changed the way we engage in and watch sports. Sensors, Wearable Tech, Video Assistant Referees (VAR), and Instant Replay, are examples of new technologies that have changed the way we play and watch sports. In this interview series called, “The Future of Sports; New Emerging Technologies That Are Disrupting The World Of Sports,” we are talking to sports leaders, athletes, sports tech experts, and sports equipment companies who can talk about the new technologies that are reshaping the sports world.

As a part of this interview, we had the pleasure of interviewing as a part of this interview, we had the pleasure of interviewing Stas Gorbunov, CEO and co-founder of AURA Devices. Stas is a wearable industry innovator developing devices with bioimpedance analysis to monitor the human body more precisely. He wants to change the attitudes toward the wearable market.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

It is great to be here doing this interview, so thank you.

I’ve been doing my best to transform the wearables market into a more health-oriented one for more than five years. We started from bioimpedance analysis in 2016 — the technology allows us to monitor fat/muscles percentage and hydration levels. Studying bioimpedance intensely, I’ve understood that this technology could evolve the wearable tech world and help people achieve their sports goals faster and more efficiently. I’ve always wanted to make something that would change human workouts perception and health as a whole. The entire AURA Devices team brings its best to develop the life-changing experience. That’s why we’ve started the company!

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

The most exciting story comes from all these years of working with our users. We’ve understood that no matter how many numbers about their body you’ll give, no matter how scientific your company is, no matter how innovative you are, finally. The most crucial points will be how you explain all the data you give, the UX of your mobile app, and the user’s general feelings while using your product. That’s why we’re focused on our community thoughts today, as sometimes the best decisions regarding your product go from your users.

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

I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t say I like quotes and all this stuff, but the best point I’d like to share with others is:

Dream big, but be honest to yourself. Blind dreams are the worst driver as it leads to dissatisfaction.

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

I can not choose one particular person as our entire team is the key to the company’s success. Many people are still helping me become a better leader and lead the company to success. I’d definitely like to talk about my father. He helps me every step of the way and does everything he can without any unclear motivation or hidden benefits. That is invaluable support that leads me where I am now.

Is there a particular book, film, or podcast that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

There are almost millions of books I like and even reread sometimes, but I’ve got one that I want the world to know about as it impacts me very much. The book I’ve talked about is ‘The Hard Thing About Hard Things’ by Ben Horowitz. This very book has changed my approach to crisis management and explained that hard times are regular if you know how to solve them. The author tells very frankly and honestly about problems every business leader meets and analyzes them and gives personal insights to solve all your problems faster and without significant losses. Great book to take everything you’re going through with a smile and humor.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

  1. Be honest with yourself — We’re always trying to be strong and take a stand, but sometimes we should be honest to ourselves as it may secure us from vital losses. Always analyze what you’re doing to understand that you’re still moving in the right direction. It isn’t easy to admit to yourself that you were mistaken and have to change the route. But believe me or not, the earlier you understand it, the fewer losses your company gets.
  2. Never give up, if you believe that you can change the world — You’ll meet lots of downs and ups. Sometimes you’ll have to say no to your ideas or transform them into something that you’ll not entirely like. But you shouldn’t give up, as even after transformation and lots of changes, they are still your ideas. Development is never easy. You will go through blood and tears before creating something big. There are many success stories, but there are many more unsuccessful ones. If you’re sure that you’re moving in the right direction, never give up, as it’s your opportunity to tell the success story.
  3. Respect your users and team — Your users and your team are key points to your success. It is essential to hear your users’ desires and give them not just an App and device but a service they will love and be eager to use daily. But you never develop such a service without a strong team. That is why your team are people you should respect and be with them on the same wave.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I am always ready to help. It’s fantastic if you can bring benefits to the world. As my most relevant experience is developing and producing hardware products, I often advise younger projects to avoid mistakes that are obvious for me today but hidden for those just starting.

Ok wonderful. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. Can you tell us about the sports technologies that most excite you at the moment? Can you explain why you are passionate about it?

The most exciting sports technologies for me may improve athletes’ performance and results without bad health problems. Over the years, people in sports overtrain to achieve better results. At AURA Devices, we have come a long way from a fitness tracker to a service improving your sports and fitness performance. We understand that the device itself means nothing but clear and accurate data, along with a device is everything. And I’m sure that wearable bioimpedance technology is essential when you want to track your results and achieve your goals faster.

How do you think this might change the world of sports?

Hydration and body composition tracking are great markers when we’re talking about an athlete’s body performance. Moreover, we’re sure that there’s more to come in the next few years. The technology will evolve and get widespread across the fitness and sports community. AURA Devices mission is to adjust such a great tech and bring it to the masses. We want to make continuous hydration tracking and on-demand body composition measurement the same massive instrument as heart rate tracking.

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

We collect, manage and securely store pretty sensitive data about our users. Every year people think more about the data they give to the companies. On the other hand, companies try to provide as much freedom as possible to their users, like choosing the information they’re ready to share. That’s why we allow our users to decide what information they are ready to share with us.

What are the 3 things that concern you about the sports industry today? Can you explain? What can be done to address or correct those concerns?

  • The first thing that concerns me much is regarding the long-term health of the athletes. To perform better and stay in sports as long as possible, they train more; to achieve better results, they train harder. Sometimes, such an approach brings dramatic health issues. Tech is trying to solve this problem, but we still see that many athletes have to retire early due to their injuries. Their injuries are a matter of various reasons such as overtraining, the big ambitions of young athletes, and as a result, uncontrollable training. I’m glad that technology companies help athletes monitor their bodies and training to avoid harmful consequences.
  • The second point is some kind of ageism. It isn’t a secret that younger athletes are more valuable, but sometimes older ones may perform even better than their younger colleagues but are forced to leave the team or sport itself and finish their career. We know that some sportspersons find themselves in coaching, but it’s still a problem that should be overthought. We should start looking at a person’s performance but not age.
  • The third important point is usage of performance enhancement drugs in competitive sports. According to studies regarding the anabolic steroid androgen, even much lower doses than athletes use, can improve muscular strength by 5–20%. Most athletes are also relatively unlikely ever to undergo testing. Elite athletes earn tens of millions of dollars every year. The lure for cheating is huge but the penalties are small. Athletes should be controlled better to avoid a climate of cheating and sports fan skepticism.

Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

  1. Ups and downs, Ups and Down and one more time Ups and Downs

If you’re starting a startup, be ready for a kind of roller coaster in terms of your work and results. You just need to analyze your falls and continue your journey. Try to enjoy everything you do! For example, we had some problems with manufacturing at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, but finally, we’ve delivered everything, and now we’re delivering without any delays as the situation is stable in China. Never panic, and don’t give up. I know that it sounds cliche, but I really would like to know about that beforehand or just take some advice more seriously.

2. Be passionate on what you do

It’s simple, but it’s true, stay with yourself till the end. Yes, your idea could be transformed, or you could look at it from another angle, but it’s yours, and only you could go with it till the end. Thoughtfully choose the base idea of your company, don’t follow hype themes as they die fast. Trends are coming and going, but your views stay with you.

3. Hardware is hard

If your product contains a piece of electronics, then prepare for delays, lots of unreliable counterparties, and long periods of implementation of new changes. You should be very patient, have skillful people in your team, and stay cold-headed, or all these staff will make you mad! During the production of our devices, we’ve changed many manufacturers and lost a lot of time to get a really quality product. It would be best to remember that each iteration will take much more time, and some mistakes could cost you tons of money. Try to hire experienced staff even if you’ll pay them a much higher salary as they’ll help you to save time and money finally.

4. Make solution, not just product

There are many great cool-looking products that nobody wants to use. Think twice before starting a product-oriented company, build a solution-oriented one. Almost nobody needs useless beauty, and everybody wants something to solve their everyday problems and pains. That’s why start solving something urgent and then add a good design. I’ve considered this before starting AURA Devices, and as I see it, this point is one of the most important.

5. Your community is your best friend and advisor

Never forget that your existing users are your best advisors. Some people will always be ready to give you feedback and improve your product. Remember about it and try to stay in touch with your community to make your product better and understand that you’re still on the right track. We’re constantly talking to our community. It saves us from lots of mistakes and money losses.

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. 🙂

I’m considering myself a tribe of inventors and engineers. Thus, I want to ask everyone who’s working on something to keep on rolling. Try, fail and repeat till success. Learn from the one who is one step ahead of you and make your dream come true.

We are very blessed that very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I’m amazed by the great Alexander Ovechkin and his career. I think it’d be cool to chat with him as we’re trying to change the sports industry, and he is an excellent sportsman.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

You can follow our work on our web site or on my Linkedin page, or just visit our Instagram account: @auradevices.

Thank you so much for these excellent stories and insights. We wish you continued success on your great work!

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