Health Innovators
Health Innovators

Episode · 1 year ago

Are messaging and branding really important for a healthcare startup? w/ Lonny Stormo

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Stepping out of a 30-year career in the world’s leading medical device company takes more than guts - it takes a solid solution and a plan to bring that solution to market. 

After building a three-decades-long career at Medtronics, Lonny Stormo took a chance. He parlayed his diverse experience into action and started a new journey as a startup CEO. 

But going from a large company with near-limitless resources to a small company was no cakewalk. Add in a saturated market and things get even more sticky.

But Lonny and his co-founders believed in their idea, so they applied some solid co-creation fundamentals and did not skimp when it came to messaging and branding.

The result? Five years of planning and building translated into differentiator status for his startup and partnerships in the making. Not a bad turnabout.

In this episode, Lonny shares the story of how his company of engineers got a crash course in marketing that turned the tide in their favor. 

If you’re trying to break into the market, these insights and tips might be exactly what you need to help break away from the crowd! 

Here are the show highlights:

  • The importance of focus groups and customer discovery (1:30)
  • Why it might not be a bad idea to bring in a 3rd party for co-creation (4:34)
  • How to guard against infused bias (6:51)
  • Why your product should be more beneficial than a burden (8:08)
  • Saturated markets and how to stand out in them (11:59)
  • Your product won’t sell itself: the importance of branding and messaging (14:15)
  • A good story can be a game-changer for your solution (17:06)

Guest Bio

Lonny Stormo is Co-Founder and CEO of POPS! Diabetes Care, Inc., a leader in the democratization of healthcare via an AI-driven virtual coach that helps users self-manage diabetes.

After 30 years at Medtronics, Lonny left in pursuit of a vision that would set healthcare on its head - that vision is POPS!

Lonny earned his BA in Engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and his MBA from Arizona State University

If you’d like to reach out to Lonny, you can reach him on Twitter @LonnyStormo, on LinkedIn at Lonny Stormo, or on his website at Popsdiabetes.com.

Welcome to Coiq, where you learn how health innovators maximize their success. I'm your host, Dr Roxy, founder of Legacy DNA and international bestselling author of how health innovators maximize market success. Through candied conversations with health innovators, earlier, doctors and influencers, you'll learn how to bring your innovation from idea to start up to market domination. And now let's jump into the latest episode of Coiq. Welcome back toiq listeners. On today's episode I Have Lonnie Stormo with me. He is the CEO for Pop ditty beats. Welcome to the show, Lonnie. Thanks for having me. Appreciate me in here. Yeah, it's good to chat with you today. So tell us a little bit about your background and what you've been innovating lately, just to kind of give our listeners and viewers of some context for our conversation today. Absolutely. So, I'm an engineer by background, so I love creating things and spent thirty years at Mettronic, the biggest implantable medical device company in the world, and you can imagine, over thirty years I did a lot of different things, you know, from designed and development operations and let a business unit for a number of years, but I left metronic five years ago as one of the CO founders of pops because we saw different view of healthcare and where healthcare is going and really we wanted to kind of flip healthcare on its head and enable people to take care of their own health using a technology platform. So that's what we're working on, is kind of democratizing healthcare. That's exciting. So where are you in the innovation process right now? Yeah, so we are. We went through development of a product, we got at the a clearance of a product, we got clinical studied data on our product and about a year ago launched our product into the market place. So we're just at that point of, you know, helping people understand who POPs are, get our visibility out there, make sure our product market that is corrected, and that's kind...

...of where we're at the process today. That's great. So so, Lonnie, as you kind of think back in these last five years, what were some of the decisions that you've made so far that you think have been gain changing decisions or really pivotal decisions that's led to the success that you've, you know, accumulated so far? Yeah, I would highlight probably two or three. So the first one was when we started, we held lots of focus groups and we literally talked to hundreds of people in focus scripts, people with diabetes, people that are helping people care for diabetes, and what we were trying to really understand is, so, why is it the diabetes is not being managed so well? Today, over fifty percent of the people with diabetes don't meet the eighty a recommended goals, and makes diabetes the most expensive chroduct condition we have in the United States. And the number of people with diabetes is not shrinking, unfortunately. And so what we were trying to understand is, why is something not working? Because there's lots of different APPS and tools and so forth out there, and what we really wanted to do was land on the right spot in terms of how to enable people to manage their own ideas. And so when I talked about flipping healthcare on a set of democratizing healthcare, what we started with was this idea that what we wanted to do was give people a technology platform that's a simple, consumer oriented type of product, just like we have democratized travel through simple technology platforms in your phone. We wanted to do the same thing and healthcare, and so reaching that kind of sweet spot of really create any experience that people would actually use but at the same time, could actually be helpful to them and managing their healthcare, you know, has been one of our key things that we talked about every day. You know, is is our virtual coach who we have? Is Who? MENA? Is Her name in the APP? Is Mina? Doing this thing now going to essentially drive people away, because now we'd become too heavy handed healthcare and we're not thinking like a consumer anymore. So kind of...

...reading that kind of sweet spot of creating and experience people actually use on a daily basis and still help them. That that's one of the key things that we needed to land on. And then the biggest one that we needed to, you know, think about all the time over the last five years, the business side, is what's the right business model here? Right, people ask us all the time, while this look feels like a consumer product, are you selling this direct to consumer? The answers no, one not. And then traditionally, in like the diabetes space, what companies like US would do is market to positions, to have positions prescribe this product to their patients or market the hospitals and clinics and so forth, and we're not doing that. So what we decided to do was really focus on selling this as a subscription service to help plans and or to the employer clients for those health plans, and so it becomes more of an employee benefit in that way and we saved the employers money. And so looking at what the right business model was and looking like with the right product that it was. Those are the two biggest key decisions that we've made over the last five years. HMM. So, so kind of just kind of peeling the layers back of what you're talking about. The first thing that I think you mentioned was around co creation and in really integrating this entire product development, product management process, integrating those stakeholders. What was that like for you, because I have conversations with people all the time that, you know, maybe are a little bit more resistant to it than others and you know, sometimes it goes really well and sometimes there's a lot of myths or pitfalls of including those stakeholders in the process. So what are what was your experience and maybe some lessons that you learned along the way? Yeah, the biggest lesson I learned. What I think about, you know, you say lessons learned and I start smiling, is because what we did was we spent a lot of time talking to people with diabetes and, as we were developing prototypes, testing it with people with diabetes and so...

...forth, and then we thought we had this product and we had the labeling around the product and everything and we were ready to start a clinical study. But before we did we wanted to maybe do some more formal human factors testing, and so we hired a consulting agency to work with US and they have the two way mirror or whatever, and we're sitting behind this to a mirror while the people are starting to try to use the product by themselves in the other room and it I just wanted to pull my hair out. It was a frustrating experience because they didn't get what we've done and, you know, for us, as being part of that co creation, we were like, how can they not see this or how can they not understand this? But and I think what we learned in that process was us being part of the focus groups and so forth. Is a really easy way to skew the results of what you're seeing. There and when you give something to somebody kind of, as we say now, in the wild, you know, you never know what people are going to do, and they do completely unexpected things. And so there was a learning for us and something that we continually remind ourselves even when we make a small change in our APP or whatever. Now we know, okay, now we have to have somebody test this and make sure that, you know, it really works the way we think it's going to work, because we're never not surprised when we do that. Yeah, yeah, out probably our biggest learning in the CO creation process. Yeah, and I think that that's so important that you just mentioned about having a third party involved, and because one of the things that I see happen really often is when the innovator is doing that kind of co creation themselves without including an outside entity, it's really easy to infuse all of the bias that you have and and kind of set it up in such a way where you're just really getting your participants to validate what you've already developed, are the ideas that you already have, instead of really teasing out that rejection, you know, and those...

...things that they don't like and that they don't understand. And and so, you know, we're only hurting ourselves if we, you know, infuse our bias, and I think one way to do that is by having the third party company involved in that. Yeah, I totally agree with you. It is so hard to remove yourself from an innovation that you're creating. It's like your baby, right, and you want everybody to love your baby and tell you how beautiful it is, and it's really difficult to hear when it's not right and and to do that removed from it. A step is is an important step in the process and we continue to learn that all the time and value that all the time. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So the other thing that I want to talk about here is I get the sense that what you're doing is is although it's day to be's management and, like you said, there's a lot of solutions that are on the market that you use the CO creation to really figure out very deeply and intimately where the unmet need was, so that way, when you were going to market, that you were bringing something that had a market need for it instead of a met product. Yeah, that's exactly right. I mean. So, as example, when we did a focus groups to begin with, there were more than a thousand apps out there for diabetes management in the APP store, and so we started talking to people about using APPs to manage their diabetes and one of the things that we found was so, you know, astounding, is that we actually worked with the position to publish a set American Diabetes Association, because what we found was ninety percent of people said they wanted to use an APP manager diabetes and we're like, okay, great, there's a thousand apps out there, which one are you using? And what we found was only ten percent of them were actually using an APP to manager diabetes. and was how can it possibly be that there's a big gap between ninety percent and ten percent? And the reason is is because the APPS don't really meet the needs of what the people are doing. And so it's one thing to say, Hey, I'm...

...making an APP to, you know, help you people with diabetes, but then you kind of quickly find out we're not actually meeting the needs of people. And what one of the themes we found across that was that the APPs created more burden than they did benefit. And so what all these APPs were doing was asking people to log information and track this and enter this and do this and the benefit wasn't really for the person that was actually putting the effort into it. It was for gathering data for somebody else or to send it to a position or something. And so then people do that for two or three weeks in a row. While I'm not getting anything out of this, I'm just going to quit doing it. And so one of the Mantras we've used from the very beginning is more benefit than Birdie. So anything we asked the person with diabetes to do, they're better be some resulting ro I benefit from that for that person to do that action. Otherwise it's not worth it to do it. And so you know, one of the things that we're trying to roll into our product, as we think about it, is one not everybody's the same. There's going to be super motivated people to manager diabetes and people that aren't motivated, and you can't have one APP that kind of addresses everybody. Just doesn't work. So we try to have men our virtual coach personalized based on motivation and kind of what you're doing. And the other thing is try to and we have much more road to cover in this area, but try to use artificial intelligence to create more benefit without always asking the person to, you know, do more things, and so that's that's going to be. I think the challenge for healthcare as we go forward in general is we need to always be thinking about what benefit are we creating for a person versus just what are we asking them to do, which doesn't seem like rocket science, but it's really important to part out in remind ourselves. Right, I agree, it is a rocket science, although the I will say, you know, when I talked about like using artificial intelligence, I think one of the things is artificial intelligence becomes more and more use in the health care industry. You know, so far a lot of ai kind of talk...

...has happened about terms of how do we make doctors more efficient, or how do we take a an x ray and point out to the position, this is the area you should look right. That's how AI has been used a lot. Yet we need to do more and more of is start getting ai to help individuals like ourselves take care of ourselves better, and I think that's happening right. I mean we're one of the companies that are trying to do that, but other companies are trying to do that to it. That to me is going to be in wait ai really becomes useful for individuals like us. Sure, yeah, yeah, absolutely so. So what was it like for you pitching your story to the investor market, or even to the market that's pain for this solution, when you're you're you're going into a market that is already seems to be saturated and trying to differentiate what you have to offer from the you know, let's say, the thousand of APPS that are, you know, kind of cobwebs right now. Right. Yeah, that's a really, really good point and it's one that we've been thinking about and battling, you know, for the last five years, because as soon as you say diabetes, I've heard it five years ago and I still hear it today. There's a lot of things out there for diabetes already. You know, how can you possibly be any different? And sometimes, unfortunately, and that this is just more work. I need to figure out how to do better. Is Even after I make the pitch, sometimes people say to me, well, if you boil right now and what you have, you really have another sense or another APP that's and everybody has. And and it's like yes, if you boil it down to that low point, that is true, but you need to look kind of at the you know, the essence of that. And so what we try to do is always kind of work on our messaging of how can we make this easier to do? So is an example. You know, we're doing all of our pitches, whether investor or sales pitches, today virtually and so one of the things we've done in doing that is we've added a Webcam so we can actually show people directly the difference between kind of the traditional test get that's out there and our device to get...

...a blood googles cross measurement. And when people see that, we've actually gotten feedback from people. That's really valuable when you do that. And so when people can see the difference, then they start to think, okay, now it's different, rather than just seeing it on a slide, and then, you know, the whole more real. Yeah, becomes more real and then the whole idea of you know, what we do is we ask a person. So like if I was pitching to you, I would ask you, would you rather have a live coach connected to your device kind of watching you all the time, or would you rather have a virtual coach in your phone giving you feedback kind of, you know, when it's when it's appropriate, and more up in than not, people say, yeah, I don't want somebody kind of watching me and so forth. Then we're like, well, that's the experience you're giving your people with diabetes today. Is that what you want to give them? You know they mean so. It's how do you make it more real to you as an individual? Yeah, yeah, so I know that you've your story and your brand has evolved and those are such fundamental pieces to the commercial success. So take us through that journey, you know, and I think for any brand there's an evolution process, but is a CEO with an engineering background, you know, kind of help us understand what that was like in the beginning and then what with the results of that first approach and then what you did differently and kind of now how you're getting different results. Yeah, I absolutely smile and you ask that question because you know, you see this open an innovation companies right where you have three engineers, which is our case, three engineers get together and come up with this idea and at the same time we're branding it. That's a terrible idea, but it happens all the time. Dangerous and you know, we did come out with a very engineering branded, you know, you know, name and logo and colors and and our website and so forth. We're very, very fundamental, basic kind of engineering kind of stuff, and so that's what we ran with for a while and that work fine for our early investor conversations and...

...so forth. And I think investors early, you know, as they're looking companies like ourselves, realize that, okay, this is the commercial lies brand yet and then when we get closer to commercialization, we hired a marketing and brand director and she just completely came in and changed everything that we'd done and and it was fantastic. Every time she showed US something we're like, Oh, we love it, you know. So we knew what we wanted, we just didn't know how to create it. It's a wearing something in with that kind of point of view and that expertise and and that thinking completely transformed what we wanted to do and she did a good job by saying, well, what is it we're trying to do? You know, what are we trying to be? You know, and I talked about things like democratizing healthcare and putting healthcare in people's hands, you know. So she came up with the tagline on your life right, which, as soon as she showed it to us, we were like that's beautiful, we love it, you know, kind of think, because that's exactly what we're trying to do, is you own your life. You know, we're not going to manage you. So she got it in. So that transformation really helped, and I can tell you one of our board members who was the lead investor in our series a. They told us after the fact. I didn't know this at the time, but they said after, you know, Tamra came in and kind of rebranded everything and stuff. They said, yeah, actually, one of the things that's almost stopped us from investing in your company was your website and how you guys looked and so forth. Brand wives. We decided to go ahead, but and it was actually their investment that allowed us to actually make that transformation right. But so that does matter to people, whether it's investors and so forth, and now today are we get great feedback from our clients and from the people that use our system and so forth that they love our brand. Hey, it's Dr Roxy here with a quick break from the conversation. Are you trying to figure out what moves you need to make to survive and thrive in the new covid economy. I want every health innovator to find their most viable and profitable pivot strategy, which is why I created the covid proof your business pivot kit. The pivot kit is a step by step framework that helps you find your best pivot strategy. It walks you through six categories...

...you need to examine for a three hundred and sixty degree view of your business. I call them the six critical pivot lenses. As you make your way through this comprehensive kit, you'll be armed with the tools, tips and strategies you need to make sure you can pivot with speed without missing out on critical details and opportunities. Learn more at legacy type and Bacom backslash kit. So do you feel like you're gaining more traction in all of the different in the conversations, in the work that you're doing, because of this new story that you're telling? Absolutely without a doubt. So I'll give you two examples. So one example that we continue to get great feedback on is so when our competition signs up a person with diabetes to use this system. They call them members or they call them participants. And what we decided to do with the tagline on your life. When somebody signs up and use our solution, we call him an owner. Now that may sound like nothing right, but when you actually say that to a client, they're like, Oh, I love that and you know I mean it. It'll really gets crossed how you're coming at this differently than other people are coming at it. And so those little things really really do matter as you're kind of pitching out the company. And and then the second thing I'll mention is so one of the focuses that we put and as we talked about, kind of our sales fun all the way down to an individual, you know, kind of call to action. We put a lot of effort into our digital presence, and so we want what is pops to be, you know, what is our brand is, over to be known, no matter what your favorite thing is, if it's instagram or linked in or our website. And and so we get feedback regularly from people that, Oh, I love your website, I love the kind of, you know, the casual language you use and things like yeah, and and are, you know, Seos you know, ratings have gone, you know, skyrocket in the last six months. We have ten thousand social media...

...followers, you know, things like that. And so yeah, that kind of work is it's really cool to see that happening. And what's cool about it is I have no idea how to do that, but it's fun watching our team figure out how to do it. So so I think that what you're describing here is, you know, the messaging, the branding, the packaging, and how critical that is to commercial success, that even if you have an incredible technology, that it is not going to sell itself, and you know, we know that, but that these things are just fundamentally important. And I want to point out what you said in casual language. So time and time again, I you know and I think we've made progress as an industry, but there's still a tremendous amount of work to be done with speaking to patients and practitioners like regular people and instead of the the corporate healthcare speak that doesn't resonate with that, with the head and the heart, and it doesn't establish that relatedness and that could deeper connection from person to person. It's more like I'm in healthcare institution and you are the member or the participant, and so it's just brilliant. Great job. Thank you, I appreciate that. I and some of that stems from my own personal bias, right. I mean, I know I always say nobody strives to be a patient. NOPE, that's nobody's goal when they wake up in the morning. I'm going to be a patient today, and I personally hate it when the healthcare industry calls people like me that are living with diabetes a patient. I'm not a patient, I'm a person. Yeah, right, right, live with diabetes, but you know, that's a condition, justlike if somebody has eyeglasses, you know, and they need those to see better. Well, they're not on with all of a sudden a patient, they're just a person that words eye glasses. I'm a person managing my babut's and so I think the industry in general needs to make a shift and start thinking of people like people and not like patients. MMMMM. So there's two other things that I want...

...to talk about. One is your business model. So you have a unique business model for a healthcare company. Any so what were some of the things that you wrestled with and kind of determining where you would land and how you would introduce yourself the business model into the market place. Yeah, so one of the last things that had fallen place for me personally before I decided to leave my job at Medtronic, which I had a great career there. So why lead was the business model because, you know, we thought we had a great idea and great concept, but I knew that going and getting reimbursement and kind of the traditional healthcare industry would be a huge mountain. I did that at medtronic with all the resources of Medtronic, and here we were going to have no resources. How are we going to possibly do that? Yeah, so when we kind of find figured out that, you know what, actually most of the healthcare payments in the United States are happening out of private commercial employers, why not go ask them to pay for this, because they're the ones that are going to benefit from it when these people are healthier and happier and so forth. So why not ask them to? And so switching our mindset from Oh, you have to go get pair reimbursement and stuff the way healthcare traditionally things to let's go ask the people who really are banking this pocket book you know, was a key milestone for us. That was just like light goes on and we're like okay, now let's go do this. But the challenge of doing that, obviously, is getting everybody to start thinking like that. And at five years ago, you know, we weren't selling yet, but in kind of telling people this is what we were going to do, people are like what you're going to you're going to ask employers to pay for this. How is that going to possibly work? The good news is is that employers started to actually take a more active role in trying to find solutions like ourselves, and so now, you know, when we have FDA approval now in the last year and so forth, it's a little bit better position than if we would have been breaking into this and trying to get those employers to, you know, pay US five years ago. So that's the good news for us, is that we made progress in that area about how employers could actually start to pay and benefit from this. Hmm Yeah,...

...so you've got some great news. You've got some exciting things that have happened recently and, you know, I want to make sure that you have an opportunity to share with us. You know, those things and I think it's incredibly important, especially in this climate that we're in right now. You know, we're hearing a lot about the obstacles and the barriers and the challenges, and so what's happening? What are some of the new highlights that you have going on? Yeah, like everybody, I think everybody saw basically just a slowdown or a stop or a pause, you know, kind of starting in February march when covid nineteen hit, because everybody's trying to reassess what does that really mean? And we saw that too. But the good news overall for you know, I think solutions like ourselves in the digital health space or digital therapeutic spaces. At covid nineteen's actually elevated those things to be more important and we're starting to actually realize that and see that now in actual things. And so, as an example, we've signed regional health plan recently that has one and a half million members to offer POPs out to their commercial clients. And so what that does for us, and we always knew kind of our model of selling, was to go from asking employers to pay for this directly to asking their third party administrators or their Asos to pay for this and offer it to them, because that's a more scalable model. So now this contract, with the the health plan that we have in place, they can go out and offer that to their employer clients without us and we're having to talk to the employer clients, and so that's just a much more scalable way of doing it. And they also just launched us in a new insurance product that's out there for their fully insured clients and they're putting pops as the only vendor featured in that product because they see us as one way to differentiate that insurance product away from other ones that are out there, and so we are really proud of that that that's really clear that we're getting held up as kind of a differentiating feature. The other side out besides the commercial health plans is the partnering...

...opportunities that were starting to see, because different companies are looking for digital health solutions to partner with. And so we just recently won the Zurich Innovation Challenge Regional Round at the Asia level and we're now one of eight companies globally that Zurik is evaluating for a final, you know, global winner, and Zurich is a life insurance company. People would say, well, why are you in talking to a life insurance company? But interesting link companies like that are interested in offering out digital health to their customers as a way of different sad themselves, and so that's pretty cool and we know likewise we have, you know, some other partnering opportunities that people are reaching out to us, and I think that's both the credit of, you know, digital health rising due to covid nineteen, and credit to kind of our digital presence that we have out there. That pops, kind of rises up when people are saying, well, what ELP, what's out there for diabetes management? So so that's great. Congratulations in what a what a better position? There's no better position for you to be in then for different organizations or partners to be able to see your solution as the tool that they can use for differentiation. That's really powerful. Yeah, absolutely, we're proud of it too, and you know, it helps it rise us out of that pack of all the diabetes things that are out there that we talked about a while ago. So do you have plans to go beyond the US? Yeah, we actually do. So we have our regulatory croupal see mark. That is basically outside the United States. That's already done, and so we have some partner conversations going on with different parts of the world that could open up doors. Specifically, as we talked to Zurich, as I mentioned you, we're talking about a pilot in Australia and that's kind of a next easy place for us to go because of the language and the culture and so forth. Yeah, and so we'll look for other opportunities like that too. Okay, Great. So one of the thing that I want to talk about is you came from a really big organization...

...and it sounds like you've had a number of different roles that helped you really get a very diverse experience in medical device and so how how did that experience transition or translate into you being an entrepreneur and starting your own company? And you know, just highlight I'm sure there's tons of them, but just highlights some of the differences between being part of a large institution and then starting your own small company from scratch. Yeah, so it is a big transition. And so what I've often said two people, when I had thirty years of ventronic and able to do all these different types of roles that I did, from operations to quality to clinical regulatories. I didn't know it at the time, but I was training to be a CEO of a start up, because as a CEO of a startup or a founder of a startup, you need to know how to do all those different things, and so that was fantastic experience for me. And interestingly, I thought when I left mentronic as an older person, you can imagine, you know, I'm in my s leaving metronic after thirty years, that this was going to be a deficit to me. You know, that investors would never invest in this person that, you know, it's only worked at a corporation and he's, you know, not this, you know young, twenty year old, hungry person. But it turned out that I quickly found out that actually having that pedigree of thirty years as a corporate life of Mentronic is my biggest asset. So I never go now without starting by saying I spent thirty years of Mentronic, because people like listen all of a sudden because, okay, this person knows that they're talking about so. So all the lineal startups found start up founders that I talked to always say, and I hope you don't get offended by this, but that the advice that they always get is they need to have some gray hair on their board and their advisory team to get the credibility that you have. Yeah, I'm believing. I'm not a bitter by that. I'm just going to you to see I have hair right right. The other example I will give you that I think is always interesting is so I went from like the...

...biggest medical device company in the world, Eightyzero people, to when we first started, it was three of us, right and yeah, and I we joke about it now, you know, is there was three of us sitting in a garage and we're all sitting around looking at a computer screen trying to make some decision about a product or a vendor we were going to use or something, and I remember joking at the time as we were trying to figure it out and I turned over my shoulder and I said, okay, who's going to make this decision? Because you know, in a big company they're always seems like there's one more person over your shoulder that's going to make the final decision. But yeah, in our case it was like, I guess we're going to do it, you know, and and even though none of us were experts in this particular area, as a small startup company, you just need to decide, okay, let's do it and you know, jump in into it. And so that's the biggest difference that I saw is there's so many great resources around. You had a big company, all this expertise you can call on for the specific topics and so forth, and you just don't have that as a founder in a startup cony and you need to take some risk and make some bold decisions and you don't always know, but you maybe try to ask a couple people and then you decide. So, as we wrap up here, in continuing that conversation point, what advice do you have for your peers, your innovation piers that are in the market right now, in the trenches, you know, either earlier stage later stage. You know. What do you have to say to them? I'd say two things. One is absolutely put focus on your brand and your messages and your key selling points, not just your product, because your product won't sell itself, it doesn't matter how good it is, and so that's one key thing. Is You need to think big and broad about how you're selling in that whole sales funnel. And then the second thing is, I would say I always talked about it like building a staircase. You can't jump to the immediate top stare and I think a lot of people try to do that and then they fail, they get frustrated and they quit or whatever they you know. You know, think about building your momentum. So what is that first stair step...

...you can get? Maybe it's a win and an accelerator programmer, maybe it's a pilot program or something. But once you get that traction, then you build on that one and you take the next step and you take the next step and you make the next step and it's a hard journey. And I've often told other entrepreneurs that I've talked to you since I've done this is if you're doing this for the money, just stop right now. Don't even do it because it's too hard for that. It needs to be something you're passionate about, whether it's an idea, whether it's your personal to you or you know, just changing the world is what's important to you. That's passion you need to happen because it's really tough. Yes, it is. You need that to be the energy that helps you persevere and stay determined right for the cause as you go through all of those challenges and get knocked down and have to stand back up a million times. It's ride. Yeah, definitely. Well, thank you so much for joining me today. I really appreciate your time. And how can folks get a hold of you if they want to follow up with you after the show? Yeah, so the easiest way overall to get a hold of us is go to our website, pop stabetescom and if you want to get hold of me specifically, twitter might be a good way at Lonnie scarbl perfect. Thank you so much. Thank you very much. I appreciate thank you so much for listening. I know you're busy working to bring your life changing innovation to market and I value your time and your attention. To save time and get the latest episodes on your mobile device, automatically subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast APP like apple podcast, spotify and stitcher. Thank you for listening and I appreciate everyone who's been sharing the show with friends and colleagues. See You on the next episode of Coiq.

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