Sramana Mitra: Did you sell for stock or cash?
Chris Miglino: We sold for stock. We were fresh out of school. This was the first big business transaction that we had done. We had learned a lot about the stock market. We owned a lot of stock in this company that was having a very successful run on the NASDAQ exchange. The stock came out at $7 a share. It went to $3 and then to $65 over a two-year period.
Sramana Mitra: Did you sell at the right time?
Chris Miglino: I was always trying to be a team player. I didn’t get to sell as much as I would have liked to have. You never do when you’re senior management at one of these companies.
Sramana Mitra: Which is where my question comes from.
Chris Miglino: At that time, we were not in the C-suite of that company. We had rolled our company into theirs. We weren’t sitting on the C-suite level. We weren’t involved in a lot of the decisions that were going around. We had more flexibility in selling our stock than some of the C-suite executives did. It could have been better but it was still good.
From 2001 until around 2004, I did two things. I traded. I would trade my own accounts and wrote some algorithms that were doing automated trading inside of the markets. I got really into trading the futures market in a programmatic fashion. I also got into doing a lot of yoga. I would spend the morning trading.
My algorithms ran until around 7:30 in the morning. I would spend a good part of the rest of the day doing yoga. Then I ended up deciding to go travel around India for a while. I ended up studying a lot of eastern philosophy in India.
Sramana Mitra: What eastern philosophers did you study?
Chris Miglino: I went to two places. I spent a lot of time at Parmarth Niketan which is an Ashram. I made a movie about that teacher there. I also spent a bit of time in Pune. Then I saw that there was a lot of this eastern philosophy that was coming back to the United States. A lot of the yoga studios were starting to show up in the United States. In 2001, there wasn’t as many yoga studios around. It was a fringe thing.
There were a few really good yoga studios, but they were more niche. I saw this happening so I started a bunch of websites that were all geared towards green healthy lifestyle living. We had an online yoga streaming channel called monthlyyoga.com. We signed up all the most famous Yoga teachers in the country. People could subscribe like Netflix to watch the yoga classes wherever they went. This was around 2004. I started that.
That company went on until we sold it to another big NASDAQ company called Gayum which is a big health and wellness company. They make lots of videos. They sell a lot of products for yoga. They were doing $400 million in product sales. They bought our company in the hopes of getting into the video streaming business. That was in 2007. It was good timing for us.