Maneesh Sethi

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Maneesh Sethi
Maneesh Singh Sethi

(1987-11-04) November 4, 1987 (age 31)
Alma materStanford University
OccupationFounder and CEO of Pavlok
RelativesRamit Sethi (brother) and

Maneesh Singh Sethi (born November 4, 1987) is an American author and internet entrepreneur. He authored Game Programming for Teens when he was sixteen years old.[1] He is best known as the founder of the behavior modification wristband Pavlok. Sethi is the chairman and chief executive officer of Behavioral Technology Group, Inc.[2]

Sethi launched Pavlok in July 2013.[2]


Early years[edit]

Sethi grew up in Fair Oaks, a suburb of Sacramento, California. He began using computers and writing software in middle school, and started "StandardDesign", a web design company, when he was twelve years old. He tutored other students in programming and video game design, and wrote his first book, Game Programming for Teens, at the age of fourteen.[3] At sixteen years old, he held monthly segments on video game programming on TechTV.[4]

College years[edit]

Sethi began classes at Stanford University in 2005, majoring in science, technology and society under B.J. Fogg.[5] He studied abroad in Florence, Italy, where he read The 4-Hour Workweek, after which he took a two-year leave from his classes in 2008. Sethi took an absence from Stanford, during which time he authored several books and traveled.[1]

Hack the System[edit]

In 2010, Sethi launched Hack the System, a blog on self-improvement and traveling.[6] In 2012, Hack the System was featured on NY Daily News, CNET, Huffington Post, and other news outlets when Sethi hired a woman off of Craigslist to slap him across the face whenever he was distracted from his work.[7][8][9] The viral success of Sethi's experience with aversion therapy led him to launch Behavioral Technology Group in July 2013.[10]

Behavioral Technology Group, Inc.[edit]


In July 2014, Behavioral Technology Group created its first product, Pavlok.[11] Parallel to the interests of Sethi's Hack the System, Pavlok is a wearable device that modifies behavior through operant conditioning, using audio and haptic feedback. Pavlok claims to help users break habits and addictions through courses similar to aversion therapy, and establish new routines by pairing behaviors with positive stimuli.

After having raised funds through angel investment, Sethi launched a fundraising campaign for Pavlok on Indiegogo. He used Bolt, a business incubator, for hardware production, before moving into Pavlok's WeWork office in October 2014. Soon after, Pavlok was accepted into the 2015 MassChallenge startup accelerator program.[12] Sethi pitched Pavlok on the season seven finale of Shark Tank.[13] He was called a "con artist" by Mark Cuban after he could not produce sound studies backing claims about his product.[14][15]

Pavlok has raised funds from Maneesh's contacts in the blogging world including Steve Kamb, Matt Kepnes, Ramit Sethi, John Romaniello, Dave Asprey and more.[16]


  1. ^ a b Boyle, Josh (September 30, 2014), "Boston Tech Startup Pavlok Looking to Shock the World", VentureFizz
  2. ^ a b "Hack the System".
  3. ^ Cengage Learning, Game Programming for Teens
  4. ^ Laporte, Leo. "TechTV Call for Help".
  5. ^ Sethi, Maneesh (2005). Game Programming for Teens. Thomson Course Technology. ISBN 9781592008346.
  6. ^ Sethi, Maneesh, Hacking the System
  7. ^ Roberts, Christine (October 18, 2012), "Blogger hires woman to slap him when he procrastinates", Daily News (New York)
  8. ^ Matyszczyk, Chris (October 18, 2012), "Man hires woman to slap him every time he's on Facebook", CNET
  9. ^ Bennett-Smith, Meredith (October 18, 2012), "Maneesh Sethi, San Francisco Blogger, Hires Craigslist Slapper To Hit Him For Productivity", Huffington Post
  10. ^ "Company Overview of Behavioral Technology Group Inc.", Bloomberg Businessweek
  11. ^ Sethi, Maneesh (May 28, 2014), Pavlok Revealed: Wednesday, Beta Test the First Habit Training Device
  12. ^ "Startup Profile: Pavlok". MassChallenge.
  13. ^ "Pavlok's CEO Explains Why He Rejected Kevin O'Leary's Offer on Shark Tank",, May 24, 2016
  14. ^ Castellanos, Sara (31 May 2016). "Why Mark Cuban called this Boston startup founder a 'con artist'". Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  15. ^ Feloni, Richard (23 September 2016). "The 18 worst 'Shark Tank' pitches ever". Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  16. ^ "Pavlok". Retrieved 2016-01-11.

External links[edit]