Spotlight on Christopher Oosthuisen

Meet Christopher Oosthuisen: Founder of two AI companies looking to change the lives of children and dogs everywhere.

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Tell us about ToyUp and HeyLudwig!

I currently run 2 companies. At ToyUp, We have created a plush toy for 2-6 year olds that can recognize objects and uses AI to create personalized games based on the child’s learning ability and environment. We are planning to take that learning data and bond with the child into AR and VR for older students. The mission is to remove inefficiency in education and to teach college-level applications before a child reaches the age of 12. (Toyupgrade.com)

HeyLudwig was created out of my family’s dog training school which has trained over 35,000 dogs in the past 20 years. HeyLudwig is your personal dog trainer on Facebook Messenger that uses your dog’s behavioral traits and creates personalized curriculums to solve problems, teach tricks, and train obedience commands. The mission is to give EVERY dog and their pet parent an extraordinary education and life-long, delightful relationship. (HeyLudwig.com)

What are your best hacks for productivity?

I’m extremely passionate about efficiency and productivity. I’m actually going to write a book about it one day. 

My life changed when I was introduced to the effectiveness of virtual assistants. I now have a whole team that works for me doing data entry, lead generation, content creation, software development, and any other repeatable tasks I can think of. I simply record my screen and voice going through a task, create a checklist, and add it to their task list. This allows me to work on expanding my companies without getting bogged down in the day to day “grind.”

I use upwork.com for hiring and useloom.com for task creation. Oh, and no, they didn’t pay me to say that!

How do you create work/life balance?

Well, I’m very strange. I don’t really believe in work/life balance. I think when you truly love what you do you will pursue it with such fury and passion that nothing else matters. That’s not to say you shouldn’t spend time on your friends, family, health, or go on a vacation. However, if you are working for the weekend, the clock to hit 5pm, or your annual vacation, something is amiss. 

Personally, work and life are mixed. I enjoy both and even as I write this, I’m answering emails setting meetings, and putting out fires back home, while on a beach in the Dominican Republic.

Words you live by: “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” -Jeff Bezos
Idol: Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk
Best trip you’ve ever taken: Last summer I went to Czech, Austria, Berlin, London, Amsterdam, Dublin, and Italy. It was a combination of absurd adventures, fascinating museums, and food to die for.

Alex Gordon