This interview was originally published in Czech on IGN Czech and Slovakia
Michal Noga, a person who spent most of his youth playing Unreal Tournament, Warcraft 3, and Dota. He traveled the world and decided to start his own project with a goal to help gamers push their limits, perform better and stay healthier.
Today, the purple MADMONQ tablets are chewed by enthusiasts, as well as veterans, and although it is a product aimed primarily towards gamers, it has found heavy support in many different walks of life.
Hi Michal, glad to see you. Let’s start right off the bat with the first question. Why MADMONQ? How do you distinguish yourself from e.g. „the bull that gives you the wings“?
Hi Oliver, awesome to see you. First, let me say hey to all the readers! Really glad that I can share my story on a portal as reputable as IGN.
There were two main reasons for „why MADMONQ?“. First, playing computer games usually goes hand in hand with unhealthy lifestyle. We usually play at night, eat crap, drink sodas packed with sugar and to add insult to injury, sitting throughout the sessions doesn’t really help. By doing so, we play a dangerous game with both our current and long-term health. My personal take here is that I always tend to look for the small things with big impact that can very efficiently prevent a large number of complications that you can bring about with such a lifestyle with a surprisingly small amount of effort.
The real push that forced me to take action and made me leave my day job for MADMONQ was the news about how CS:GO pros were routinely abusing prescription medications. Although these substances may temporarily improve concentration in healthy individuals (as a side effect), it is crucial to realize that they were primarily developed to treat mental disorders. Definitely not to be (ab-)used by healthy individuals. And what is coming to light recently is the fact that in healthy individuals they can, apart from starting a serious addiction, cause serious damage and influence the proper functioning of the brain. Thankfully they are now illegal in esports, and the situation in pro teams has drastically improved. The health of a player is discussed way more intensely than before and that makes me and my team happy.
At MADMONQ, we wanted to develop an effective, healthy, and natural alternative, which would not only effectively support focus and energy but also contribute to your overall long term health. And based on hundreds of reviews and all the amazing feedback from our customers all over the world, I feel I can be confident to say that we are onto something.
To answer your question about the difference between energy drinks and MADMONQ, well, there are actually quite a few of them :)) MADMONQ has a substantially more complex profile of effects – impact on energy, focus, memory, eye health, metabolism, stress, and also antioxidant abilities of your body. Furthermore, our ingredients are mixed together in a way to create all kinds of synergies, and the slow release ensures a crash-free and stable performance effect. That’s not all. Magic happens when you add adaptogens to the mix – our proverbial superherbs, which have a plethora of positive effects on our health. We added a new set of ingredients to MADMONQ in August 2019 that contribute to the healthy development of our brain and or push your body’s free radical defense mechanisms into completely new levels. This is thanks to Spectra (my favorite) – a clinically studied substance that contains 29 very potent herbs, plants, and fruit extracts. Plus, MADMONQ is without sugar and uses natural sweeteners as a main sweet component.
What we noticed a bit later was the fact that gamers usually drink energy drinks more as a refreshment and for their taste, not really for the functionality. And we don’t really compete on taste.
You have a very interesting logo. Who came up with its current looks, and could you give us a more in-depth analysis of the logo? We obviously recognize the gamepad, but what about everything else?
Hahaha. That’s probably because we made it ourselves. Anyhow, it’s a sitting monk wearing a headset and holding a gamepad. On his forehead, there is the typical „MM“ shape. All of that is slapped onto an irregular geometrical shape (in the office we call it “a triangle” :D)
It is its asymmetry, red shape, and its distinctive looks that make the logo really iconic.
Chewing your tablets resemble the era of the popular vitamins for kids – Minimartians. What personally brought you to the idea to create your own tablets and why for gamers?
With Minimartians, you hit the bullseye – actually not that long ago a few memes got viral, where the main focus was MADMONQ and the gamers‘ sentiment towards Minimartians. We had a pretty good laugh in the office.
Tablets were an obvious choice for me – even though this choice might not initially seem so appealing, there are actually a lot of benefits that come with it. Thanks to the tablet form, we were able to ditch all sorts of preservatives and artificial additives, which are definitely not too optimal for health. Also, the tablet lets us use high-quality pharmaceutical-grade extracts, which extend the limits of effectiveness to a whole new level. And we could also swap sugar for ingredients that provide actual health benefits for the oral cavity. Xylitol and Erythritol (our natural sweeteners) are awesome for proper tooth mineralization, and e.g. Siberian Ginseng is a huge help against bad breath. Yet for gamers, our main purpose was to build a brand. We want to be an inspiration to the gaming community; we want to help them become better, push themselves beyond their limits, and win. Not only in the gaming world but also IRL. That’s why we like to surround ourselves with aspirational who share the same values.
The precise composition of your ingredients is obviously a big secret. Can you at least tell us how did you come up with the recipe?
Sure – in my previous job I had to take care of finding and developing new products or finding various cool and effective ingredients that could be used in our portfolio. And since my personal interest has always been mental performance, I was routinely collecting the most potent and interesting ingredients for this exact purpose. When the idea about a gaming supplement was born in my head, I took my ideas, went to the experts (chemists, biologists, neurologists, doctors, GPS, and others), and together we tailored MADMONQ exactly for gamer’s needs.
The composition is also famous for not having any artificial colorings, aromas, and not even preservatives. So what does it actually contain (for amateurs)?
This is the type of question you don’t want to ask me when we are on a date.
…3 hours later…
It contains adaptogens, amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins, organic caffeine (from organic coffee), and many other natural extracts. It’s a pretty unique combination, which not only boosts your energy but also comes with plenty of other positive effects.
Adaptogens are plants that have been used during millennia by various civilizations whenever they faced some very harsh conditions or important life/death situations. E.g. the Vikings used Rhodiola before the battle, monks in Tibet use adaptogens as an IRL defensive magic scroll so that they can withstand the extreme Himalayan conditions and Bacopa was (and is) very popular in Ayurvedic medicine.
We also have caffeine extracted from organic coffee in a slow-release form, which when combined with an extract from green tea (L-Theanine) boosts the positive and suppresses the negative effects of caffeine consumption – which you get e.g. when you would drink too many coffees or energy drinks.
Our amino acids help the body build various neurotransmitters (or their building blocks), which help with e.g. motivation and a better mood. My favorite ingredient in MADMONQ 2.0 is definitely Spectra, which holds 29 strong antioxidant plants, herbs, and fruits with a ton of other positive effects on your entire body.
And last but not least, Choline is an ingredient, which we can find in egg yolk, and is very important for the correct function of the brain, whole nervous system, and liver.
This mix is also responsible for the very distinctive taste, which not everyone can come to terms with. Are you planning another version in the future that would improve the taste?
MADMONQ isn’t primarily about the taste, but about the functions and efficiency. The fact that we wanted to really pack the tablet with extraordinary stuff, did take its toll; in a way. The sweet, bitter, and acidic combo is really awesome when you get used to it, and many have actually grown to love it! Anyway, the feedback regarding the taste with 2.0 has drastically improved. So, who hasn’t tried yet, we definitely recommend trying for yourself :)) And of course, we will definitely keep on improving our product on the side of functionality, as well as taste. The functionality will always be the primary focus though.
During the makings of the first batch, did you set any interesting goals and have you succeeded in reaching them?
Yes. In the beginning, you couldn’t find anything about MADMONQ on Google. That was because we didn’t really exist in the online world, so Google decided to show everything regarding „MADONNA“ instead of „MADMONQ“. The goal was to change that. Thankfully, it doesn’t happen anymore.
A lot of famous influencers on the Czech Twitch scene are associated with you, like e.g. Agraelus, ArcadeBulls, or spajKK. How does a partnership like this actually start? Do you contact popular streamers directly, or do they contact you themselves?
We choose them. We observe potential MADMONQ streamers for a long time since we have to be sure they fit with our culture and values. We want them to push themselves to be better every day, bring value and inspiration to the community and of course, we want them to use MADMONQ . We don’t really care too much about our logo on their streams. Much more important is integrating well with their community and becoming a natural part of their content.
Since we’re already talking about influencers, you hosted a big party in Prague. Are you planning anything similar for next year?
The party was a real banger! I honestly think that we handled the launch of the new improved version 2.0 in style. For me personally, the biggest win was that we entertained thousands of people on Twitch. I was ecstatic. Even hours after we finished the official event, thousands of people were still having a blast in chat; they were having their very own MADMONQ party. Thank you, again, a thousand times to all of you fans and viewers. The other thing that warmed my heart was that a lot of streamers finally realized what we are trying to build and that we want to intertwine and connect the Czech scene and basically establish a family.
And whether we are planning something more? Well, keep your eyes wide open, you might get surprised…
What about other countries? Any plans there?
So far, we are trying to expand throughout the EU, where we currently have the largest amount of customers; even though a hefty amount is still from the Czech Republic. In the near future, we want to focus mostly on the bigger countries, and we have a few interesting cooperations in the works. All in all, there is a lot to look forward to.
Where would you like to see MADMONQ in 10 years? Will MADMONQ stick only to tablets?
We want to make MADMONQ a global brand. We want to be a partner for gamers, a partner who will help them on their way to better health and performance. And even though I think supplements will always play a key role, I think that we may expand our portfolio.
So, wish us luck!
We definitely will! Thank you for the interview.