Health Innovators
Health Innovators

Episode 86 · 1 year ago

How to build a better lemonade stand w/ Dave Whelan

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Product-market fit can sometimes seem like an exotic term that no one can really define with any level of simplicity - until now.

When asked for his take on the subject, Dave Whelan, CEO of BioscienceLA brought a “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” approach to the table.

Using a simple lemonade stand as a metaphor for startups, Dave breaks down product-market fit using target markets, pricing, and product solutions in an easily digestible example.

His decades-long experience in many branches of the healthcare industry has helped him hone his unique and effective understanding of how product-market fit and commercialization work.

And on this week’s episode, he’s bringing that expertise to our viewers.

If you’re an entrepreneur and product-market fit has eluded or confused you - or you’re just not sure how to begin commercializing your innovation - this is your episode!

Here are the show highlights:

  • Why product-market fit is mission-critical (15:05)
  • Are you wasting time or money doing this? (23:15)
  • Myths, barriers, or pitfalls of commercialization (24:13)
  • How to run a successful “lemonade stand” (31:54)
  • This is what product-market fit looks like (36:37)
  • Next-level marketing strategy (37:53)

Guest Bio

David Whelan is CEO of BioscienceLA, a company with a passion for nurturing a vibrant ecosystem that will create new opportunities for all stakeholders.

A seasoned strategy, business development, and general management executive, Dave inspires entrepreneurs at the intersection of technology, health, and wellness.

His experience spans genomics, wearables, digital health, consumer health, wellness and nutrition, enterprise health services, and healthcare providers, among other areas.

Dave earned an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School, a BS in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University, and has studied at London Business School and Carnegie Mellon University.

If you’d like to reach out to Dave, you can find him on LinkedIn at Dave Whelan, on Twitter at @djwhelan, or visit biosciencela.org
 

You're listening to health innovators, a podcast and video show about the leaders, influencers and early adopters who are shaping the future of healthcare. I'm your host, Dr Roxy Movie. Welcome back health innovators. On today's episode I am sitting down with Dave whalen, who's the CEO of Bioscience La. Welcome to the show, Dave Ray. Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited. Awesome. So let's get started by telling our audience a little bit about who you are, what you do, what you've been innovating these days. Great so for for many years I've I've said that I am a consultant who basically inspires entrepreneurs at the intersection of technology, health and wellness, and that's been a journey that I've been on for many years. I think of myself as a technologist. I studied artificial intelligence once upon a time, a long time ago. He came a business for it was cool, so so much before it was cool that I ended up becoming an it guy for a venture capital firm and then becoming an executive recruiter and eventually going to business school. So technology guy turned business guy, turned turned health business guy. got into that through the the wearable space and then spent some time in the world of genomics and before I knew to it, I was building businesses and inspiring entrepreneurs at this intersection that pulls in health data and new health technologies, sometimes on the biotech side, sometimes on the Medtex side, sometimes on digital health, and so over the years. I'm based in Los Angeles. I've lived in La for twenty years, but a lot of my time over over the past twenty years has been working with organizations and ecosystems and other places. So a lot of time in New York, a lot of time elsewhere, they area, things like that, and every time I came back to la I would say, or my wife would say, it's like hey, why aren't you doing more of that kind of cool stuff here in Los Angeles? And thankfully a group led by Los Angeles County a few years ago was was kicking off initiative that became this organization by a Science La, and so I joined last year as the first permanent CEO of by a science la to really lead the charge to grow the life sciences and help innovation ecosystem sort of the innovation ecosystem in the Greater La region, which to me is growing funding, growing space, growing talent and then growing the entire messaging around that to create awareness. So what's happening in La? You know, are there's some different trends that are happening maybe there in that pocket or market compared to some other their places across the nation or across the globe? Yeah, I mean I think there's there's, you know, I Aliso, there's both a lot and still not enough. And part of part of what we have in Los Angeles is, you know, we, along with New York, as a lot of similarities and since I spent time there, I tend to draw those. You know, we're both massive metro regions, huge populations, hugely diverse populations and you know, diverse from a from a you know, ethic, you know, racial, socioeconomic background, but also diversity of industries. So I would say, you know, I always point to La and New York is sort of the two places in the in the US for sure, where you quite literally every industry exists here. So, you know, people think of Los Angeles as being entertainment, and it is, you know, it's also aerospace and it's also apparel. And then you go a little further afield, it's it's manufacturing of all kinds. Los Angeles has actually the largest manufacturing hub in the US and so and we're also a huge transportation hub. And so...

...you take all of those other industries and you layer this growing life sciences innovation economy which is not just about biotech. So what I always would I always caution people, especially my board, is that, you know, we're not trying to create a biotech hub or, you know, Biopharma only that rivals the bay area or evils Boston. I think there's a lot of depth there. That's that's not what we will become. Our goal is, I do we become a better version of the La that we have, which is this amazing mix of biotech and Medtech and digital health. We have arguably the the greatest talent and technology around AAR and V are for digital therapeutics and again, part of that, presidentally ties back to the media entertainment industry that we have here. We've got great ai around clinical trials and then we've even got some really, you know, interesting leadership around you know, immunotherapies, the your Carti to kite your kite was founded here and now part of Gilead, and so we've got some amazing sort of not just pockets but sort of threads of innovation, along with some amazing academic institutions that produce some of the the greatest minds in the in the country, and now we have an opportunity to really help move them into some companies. Yeah, I like how you mentioned this potential convergence between the creativity of the entertainment industry in converging with the healthcare I mean that's so needed. Yeah, it's I mean it's you know, we and you know part of it. You know, I certainly use it for from the Los Angeles story standpoint, because what I one of the other messages I've been sort of sharing within the community is if we want the world and all about what's going on in Los Angeles, we have to make sure that Los Angeles knows what's going on in Los Angeles first. And how do you tell your story so that your your neighbors know what you're doing? You know, how do you tell a life science story here such that those aerospace people and government people at academics understand what's going on? But broader broader story about media. I think is so important and you know, we've certainly seen you know, the the past. Obviously we've seen so many things over the over the past year, but I think one of the threads that is very apparent there is this idea of communications and engagement and awareness, and it's you know, I we talked a lot about access to healthcare, but you don't even get to access to healthcare until you get to awareness to healthcare, which comes from the right messaging and communications around healthcare. And if we could channel the media and entertainment industry is to actually be more partners in that, there's a huge opportunity not just for La, not just for the US, but for the whole world in terms of how new innovations are shared, new challenges are shared and people actually take action. So let's talk about that a little bit. Let's just jump right into the meet of it right we talked a lot about commercialization here. How important, like what's happening from your perspective, around the communication in the media, in the awareness, in the messaging and value props and all that stuff, and in what do we need to do about it? Yeah, yes, I use a couple a couple of examples and one is sort of, I'll call it, more on the the the consumers, the consumer side of health and wellness, you know, more on the wellness side. So if you look at the past, I'm gonna said the past ten years, the companies like Netflix have been, I think, very active in the in the documentary space. And you know, if you would add, you know, if you'd ask me fifteen years ago, do people want to see a documentary about nutrition, I would have said I don't know, maybe, maybe one right. And you know Netflix. Netflix has produced...

...like twenty five documentaries about nutrition over the past, you know, several years. Hone last night and said he's no longer eating seafood because he just watched this documentary on seafood. Last tip with Netflix. One one of the one of the companies of advising just recommended I watch that documentary. So it's very good. They're working on a cell cell based, you know, cell based Meat Technology, for for Bluefin Tuna, and they're developing this here in Los Angeles. Okay, so it's that's in that space. Is another interesting we could we could talk about synthetic biology too, but on the media side. So you've got you've got communications, sort of from that consumer media side of thing, but you know, we also continue to be in this mode of as as much as I think everyone thinks about, you know, we affordable care act and sort of you know, acts like that's been here forever, and sort of consumer consumer access and awareness to healthcare has been around forever. You know, we're still in the early stages of that and it's continues to evolve. And so the more that we have consumers making decisions about healthcare, asking questions about healthcare, the more we have consumers with access to you know, with access to phones with data, with access to wearables with data, whether they're consumer facing tools or more like diabetes technologies, things like that. The more those are out there, the more there are questions coming from both patients and consumers, whether it's family members or just, you know, other consumers. The more we need to find ways to get information in a timely fashion, in a in a sort of packageable fashion, to individuals so they can understand it. And some of that is some of that is how do we, you know, embrace tick tock or snap or whatever the you know, whatever the new technology the day is. You know, some of the here in La we have a few companies, you know, one called impulse mobile that works a lot with text messaging, so text messages that come from your physician or text messages that come from from a company like Medtronic to a to a physician or to someone within a hospital. That's helping to guide them and what they should be doing. We have companies that are producing video content for for patients, a company called mody spark that's really about, you know, sharing these what they call sparks, basically these little bursts of inspiration or birthts of guidance that will help people do the right thing, which, you know, might be how do we eat today? It might be how do we exercise? That also might be, you know, did you take your meds or did you remember to go back for the second vaccine shot, or things like that. There's a lot that we can do just in terms of connecting with people where they are, in the voice that they're expecting, which again is, as we talked about diversity in Los Angeles. You know, that voice is is many, many languages, it's many many approaches, it's being, you know, it's being in the right place at the right time with the right message and approach to help people make a better decision. Yeah, so, Dave, how important is this to the commercialization process? And we're where we getting it wrong? Like where is it? You know, what are we doing incorrectly that we need to like recalibrate or reset? Yeah, it's a great it's a great question then, you know, especially here in La because I see both. If you look at sort of the traditional called by a Biopharma is kind of the traditional side of life sciences innovation, and then digital health is, you're, clearly the newer side. Yeah, I think it's, you know, not black and white, but I would say, and you know, in some ways, you know, in some ways the Biopharma space is more of the old model, which is clearly trying...

...to solve a problem, trying to solve a problem in the end user, but not necessarily for the end user. So it's trying to trying to tackle a disease or something like that, but not necessarily understanding who that end user is, how they will respec you know, how they will relate to it and stuff. You know, some things like cost come into that, certainly, and you challenges around that. But I think if you look at as things go more digital, we see companies that are taking more of this design, you know, design thinking viewpoint, is user centered viewpoint, and and that's not always that's not always right, because I think sometimes we end up with the complete other side of the pendulum, which is we have technologist sort of working on you know, working on the user and really understanding the user, but then somewhere in the middle they've missed you actually solving the problem. Right, so it's like we're miscomponent. You got the bus is correct. Yes, well, customers says they love and they'll buy, but really they not going to. I right, right, not priable or feasible for the business. Yeah, yeah, exactly, and so I think, you know, clearly, clearly were we understand where we want to go with that. What what I think is great, that I'm seeing more of is some of those traditional companies, whether they're by a Farma, whether they're big device, you know and companies, are teaming up with the digital companies and finding ways to use some of the data coming from digital help to help inform the development process of things. Clinical trials is one where we've seen huge tries, huge strides in recruitment of clinical trials. And you know, companies like apple is involved in clinical trials through through their research kit product, and companies here like science thirty seven are involved with getting a better population of clinical trials faster, or even even virtual lot, you know, virtualized patient data, randomized patient data, things like that. All of that can help to move that process forward faster and start to start to get dissolutions faster and hopefully again. The past year so many examples there, you know, whether it's the move into telehealth, tell a medicine finally, or patients understanding that if they have if they have some kind of data, you know, and that data might just be temperature, might just be how you're feeling. But now there's finally ways for a patient to take something happen to them and get it to their physician that doesn't involve a fact machine anymore and that's that's pretty exciting. That's that's a huge, huge boost of productivity. I hope that's a whole nother episode day the whole facts channel. What happened to the facts machine, or what's still happening the facts machine? Yes, it's ludicrous, but in some ways it can still be effective. It's just embarrassingly effective, right right, without of course, and now now the biggest challenges on the consumer side is, well, how do you where do you find a fact machine to actually fact something to the doctor? Right exactly? Um. So what if, from your perspective, what do you think is the the number one strategy that's really missing mission critical for commercial success? Yeah, I think this is this is maybe the maybe the easy answer, but I always go back to that early stage of you know, how do you understand, how do you get to product market fit, which is really how do you understand who that customer is, who the customers are, and that you know, again, that could be from on the enterprise level, you've got the financial customer, you've got...

...the, you know, executive decisionmaking customer, you have the customers actually using it and maybe you have the end user patient. But really taking the time to understand who those individuals are, who those personas are, really understanding what their individual pain points are, and they're probably different across those, and then making sure that the product that you're developing is eventually going to address a lot of those. But it's also not going to address a lot of those on day one, because if you try to do that, you're never going to launch this product. So where do you want to go? And then, you know, move it back to whether you call it, you know, minimum viable product, or call it the you're you know, you're you know early, you know, early data, you know, pilot sort of opportunity, but making sure that there's there's a real storyline there. Where do you want to go, where do you start and how do you know that what you're building is actually going to help doing that? And I think that, you know, I work with, I work with a lot of companies that are sort of in the I'll call it the the venture or want to be venture future, venture backed world, and then I work with companies that are going through NSF and Nih, you know, Sbi r grants and things like that, and you know, interestingly, the the NSF and particular, really has a strong process around that. Early data gathering, understand the market, you know, interview customers, things like that. And if you're going through a an accelerator program, a text ours program or something like that, why combinator? They do a really good job with that as well. Sometimes, when you're an entrepreneur or three entrepreneurs working on a text start up and you know where you want to go, you think you know where you want to go and you start building it. Those are the groups that sometimes forget to talk to the customers, you know, until they're in front of the venture capitalists asking for, you know, asking for an investment in the DC. Says, well, how many, how many customers? Have you talked to? And they sort of look around and say, well, I I mean, my brother would really love this product. Right, right, exactly. Oh my gosh, we talked about all the time on that on this show. That is like one of my soapboxes. So I'm going to ask you, so I face this more than I would ever want, is that you have the innovator. They are so committed and somewhat obsessed with the innovation in the configuration that they will leave. They want that, they want to bring to market and you know they've had some conversations with people. Like you said, people say they love it, people say they will buy it. This people right, but no hard data to validate the demand for it and they skip to you know, can you help build a go to market strategy and plan? Can you help with digital advertising so we can build awareness? What do you say? To, I'll tell you what I say, but I want to know what you say to those folks that really want to skip all of these really key steps. What do you say? Yeah, well, set and first of all I have a I have a little a side story, because I just I remembered this with someone I was talking to a week or so ago. I many years ago, when I was graduating with my artificial intelligence degree and trying to figure out what I wanted to do, I was interviewing with an educational software company for, you know, it was for a product, product manager, you know product, you know assistant, you know manager or whatever role, and I remember sitting across from the the interviewer, who was like the head of product for the company, and, you know, we're in the heat of the interview and he says, he says, you know, Dave, if I you know, if I gave you a piece of paper, you know, could you, you, can you map out a product plan for a new a new piece of software, you know, a new APP WE WANT TO DO? And I of course, you know, I was I was twenty one years old, and like, Oh, this guy watched I need to know how to do this. So...

I'm like well, yeah, I would, you know, and I started to like do something and he's like, it's like, Dave, no, you could not do that, like you do not have any of the information to do this, so do not jump into that. And I feel like that's what he's entrepreneurs are like sometimes, and so I really do, you know, tell them to stop, slow down and, you know, let's again. You know, understand. You know, do we know where we are today? Do we know where we want to go, and do we know how we eats? Think will get there along the way, especially knowing that ultimately, even if you have a really good plan based on data, based on customer feedback, invariably you're going to take a turn along the way because they're going to realize that something that you even if you plan it really well, something you thought was correct, is not there. So, even if you plan really well, you're still not going to take a straight line. Clearly, if you don't plan at all, you're absolutely not going to take a straight line and maybe your line or maybe your line is going in the wrong direction. And so, you know, I do know you in good or something that nobody wants right right, I do you know, I do send a lot of people back to the drawing board and I was talking to some entrepreneurs recently where they're in again very, very passionate and they're they're talking, and this is all over hume, of course, so it's a little harder, but you know, they're talking about what they're doing. And then I was I was just like look, there's there's clearly an opportunity. I know there's a need and what you're talking about, but like, I don't think you even have a product here yet, like, like let's figure out, like we know there's a problem. Now let's figure out what we're building that's going to address that problem, not just hey, there's a problem, let's get in there because we can, you know we can fix the problem. And I think that's the difference between sort of, you know, if you are a if you are a technology. Just sometimes there is that I guess it's the mechanic versus the engineer, sort of sort of mindset, right, and like sometimes technologists act like mechanics and like we we need mechanics. There's great, you know, there's lots of places where mechanics are needed, but you don't tend to build a company based on being a mechanic. You build a company based on being an engineer, even if what you're engineering is actually something that other people use as a mechanic for their problem. But you still need to engineer a product, engineer a business, as opposed to trying to fix someone, you know, someone's individual product, product or yeah, probably, yeah, absolutely. So, you know, two things come to mind. One is that, you know, just acknowledging it's hard. Right. So it's so much easier for us to give that wisdom to other people than to take it for ourselves, right. I mean I have, I mean like literally, or maybe not so literally, but like left a presentation that I gave on how important it is to co create with your customers and then went into the rd room and started innovating the strategy product that no one had ever validated, but I was so passionate and so sure that everybody was going to want it. And it's like, oh my gosh, it's just hard. Yeah, yeah, as I like to say, I'm very good at giving this guidance to people because I've had had lots of personal failures where I've totally missed that. So I definitely know what happens when you fail. They're right, right, exactly. You know. The other thing is, you know sometimes, you know when, and I'm sure you face this too, is that when you you get people that are just digging their heels in and they're so strong, you know, you just have to say, well, then, I'm not the right consultant, I'm not the right strategist for you, because I am not going to I won't be able to sleep at night if I'm a if I'm part of you pouring money into building an awareness campaign for something that I really think is has no chance of success,...

...and I'm sure you'll be able to find someone else that will waste your money, but it won't be me. Right, I've definitely used that before. Then, of course there's the ones who that like they look at that as reverse psychology and they say, Oh, wait, okay, wait, no, I will change my ways, I want to work with you. So sometimes it actually works in the end. Yep, YEP, exactly, you're right, it does. Sometimes it does it, and sometimes I'm like, all right, come back and see me in two years. Yeah, 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 DNACOM backslash kit. Let's talk about some of them and you can kind of pick which ones you want to talk about. But what are some of the myths, barriers or pitfalls of commercialization that we haven't talked about yet? HMM, that's a very, very, very good question. So I think I touched I touched on a little a little bit, but I think it bears it bears repeating this idea that you, you know you need to understand what the fully what the fully baked products, and not even silly big PRIGUC I feel like a lot of a lot of entrepreneurs feel like they have to understand what version three, point Oh is it going to be, exactly before they've even launched, you know, Beta, zero, point one, and so I think is and again part of that might come from people like us talking about understand the customer and plan and make sure you have this whole thing and they sort of take it to the extreme. And so part of it is you nobody knows what version three point out is going to be, absolutely and so you know have a North Star, which might be version ten. No, but then you've got to work back and you're really focusing on how did you get from, you know, pilot to Beta to to launch, and so dream, you know, think big, but then plan, plan, small and incrementally. I think that's one of the things that gets the guest people hung up. Yeah, you know, funny that reminds me ahead of Frank Recatta on the show a couple of months ago and he was getting a lot of feedback, not necessarily from customers, more so probably from his board and his investors. And after several years in he just he was looking at like his original business partner and said, you know what, this is really not even the business that we want to be in, like, what happened? How did we get here? So they were listening, but listening to maybe some of the some of them, I don't want to see the wrong people, because they'd absolutely should have a voice. And then he completely pivoted about a year ago and said no, I'm getting back to my North Star, I'm getting back to the dream and the vision that I had originally, and he's beent doing tremendously well the last year. Yeah, exactly, and I think those taking taking time to realize those and sometimes taking time to scrap what you've been doing for the past month or the past year. It's it can be hard, but it's also essential art. I think we know one of the other one of the other myths, especially with with early stage companies, is that competition is bad or when you you know you're working, you're kind of heads down, working on something that you...

...think is, you know, this innovative new mouse trap, and then you put it put your head up and you're like, oh wait, they have a new mouse trap and they have a new mouse trap and some people look at that and say we're done, we shouldn't even be working on this. And you know that sometimes that's true, but I tend to use that example with with entrepreneurs, to say, well, first of all, this clearly means that there are people out there who are looking for better mouse traps. So we are we're in the right business, like this is the right thing to be working on. And I know. And then it comes down to, you know, maybe they're not in exactly the same market, maybe they aren't even going to execute on this. You know, maybe they've just, you know, announced this vaporware thing that will never come out. And so if we can actually build this and do what, you know, do it the competition has now just gotten the the public excited about, then we're going to be huge winners here. And so that whole idea of like don't quit just because, even if it's exactly the same thing, because sometimes exactly the same thing never comes to market, doesn't actually work, or eventually people don't like it and they like your product. Yeah, I mean that that is so true. I mean, look, McDonald's, burking and windy's some kind of way they carved out their mark, their space, their market, customer and a very commoditized market. Yeah, exactly exact. I think there's even more, and you know that, and that's that's a great example, because you've got those, but then you've got then you could put in like the chick fil a or KFC or whatever, and so there's these. Yeah, you know it. Are we talking about competing with restaurants? Are we talking about competing with the kind of food product? And so it's like the you you look at, especially in digital health, we have, you know, a huge number of product disease management, you know, tools, platforms, resources out there and more every day, and so that looks like a crowded market, but it's also there's continuing to be new entrance and obviously a lot of you know, Ma and shifts going on. And then, you know, are we talking about chronic disease management or are we talking about a solution for diabetes, a solution for obesity, a solution for living with cancer? And so you can take any one of those. You could take the top level, you could take one of these niches within it. You can take that for a certain population, you could take it for you know a certain geography. I think there's there's massive opportunities if you find your right you know, find that right niche in a very big market. Yeah, you know, I'm so glad that you brought that up because I do think that that is a strong myth. I talked to a lot of people that think that being first to market is there is the winning strategy and they really overlook a lot of the advantages of being a follower or even being a late follower. I mean one of the advantages that comes to mind is you get an opportunity to see what worked well and what didn't work and then carve out your competitive advantage in that space. Or you might even had someone that was first to market, that went through all the expense of creating that new market category that you don't have to fork out now, right now at absolutely and I think you know I'm a big a big apple user and apple fans a business and you know, sort of apple for as in it as innovative as people always talked about apple being. You know, in some ways apple is most famous for taking five or ten technologies that are already out there, already proven, they package them together, they add a little bit of, you know, magical pizzazz around it, for sure, and then that's that's their product. And and and I think so many times, you know, the Apple Watch and that, you know, the iphone before it, and things like that were examples of this is already out there. It's just nobody cares because it doesn't work quite, you know, quite well enough. And it's about that, you know, repackaging it with a certain you know, with a certain brand to it. And I do think there's there's opportunities there where there's there,...

...there are products, their products that are out there that are perfectly serviceable. Nobody is really complaining about them, or not loudly complaining about them. You can look at it and say, you know, if we just if we just added this little piece which is missing, but nobody even realizes that it's going to open up a whole new market. And I think those are the kinds of things where, as you said, you know you can. You can look at somebody else's example, you can make sure you don't make the same mistakes they made or even like you can, you know, ride on there on their marketing dollars. I mean there's a lot of metals out there of just being able to. This company is spending a lot on marketing and they're making the the public, the consumer, the user, aware that this is an opportunity and that we come in with a slightly better product if we don't spend any money on marketing and people love us because they now they're looking for a solution. Right, right, exactly. Yep, let somebody else put the bill for creating the demand. Exactly. So you mentioned product market fit and one of the things that I don't think we've ever really done on the show is really talk about like what is product market fit? How do you get to product market fit and how do you know that you've gotten there, because, you know, it's kind of a real popular buzz word and these incubator right in the communities that we are in, and I don't know that there's a real clear understanding of what that is and how to get there and how to know that you're there. Yeah, and that's you know, it's and you you kind of hit on all the key questions and challenges around it. And and I actually do think that sometimes there are probably investors who are sitting across from entrepreters saying, you know, you've got to get to product markets fit and they don't even necessarily know what what that means. And I mean in my mind, you know, in my mind it says it's as simple as you've got something or you're building something that works, that needs a need and that the the person that WHO's needed meats will actually pay for it. And Yeah, that's kind of I think that's the you know, the simplest term. I mean go to like a you know, a super simple business, you know, a kids you know, a kid's lemonade stand, right. I mean so like do you actually have the product? Like? I mean if you know you have a lemonade stand and you're selling iced tea or selling water, you know you don't have the product, right, and then you know, is there is there a market for it? Are People going to be walking by or people going to see it? You have neighbors, you have friends. And then even if you do, like if you have the lemonade stand and the lemonade cost ten dollars, nobody's going to buy it, but if it costs the dollar, people are going to buy it. And I think when you kind of make it in those simple terms, I mean clearly it's a lot harder when, again, I think, to the point of what is the product supposed to be if the customer doesn't even know what the like, what they're missing? So you still just figure out what the product is. Yeah, the you know, is there a customer? Again, in the world of healthcare, hugely complicated, because you have patients and physicians and administrators and you know, the CFO and you have the the payers who are potentially involved in this. You have the government regulators, who are not necessarily the they're not just starily the customers, but they're part of that. You know, the launch thing and then there's the you know, will they will they pay for it and how much will they pay for it? And, especially when you're creating something that's that's brand new, it's it's a real challenge, you know, especially, you know, especially in healthcare, when I've worked with the Cedars Sinai accelerator here in La you know, the the easy the the easy advice I always remind all of these entrepreneurs is, you know, a hospital is going to hospital is going to look at something and ultimately buy it if it's going to save the money...

...or help them make more money, and making more money is by, you know, delivering, delivering quality care more efficiently, more effectively, so that there's there's more of that. Right. So there's not. That sounds really simple, right, either make money or save money. But then, you know, what does that actually mean when you're trying to insert something into an existing system and maybe, you know, maybe at scale, if everyone in the organization is using it, it will save money for the organization. But how do you even get someone to look at it? When? And the only way for it to get to that point is to be installed across the entire organization, you know, to be in use in every department or to be in use with every physician. And so that's where that's we're piloting can be so important. And finding, finding some early adopter, you know, find you know it. Does the the Ed want to look at this, or does you know, your ology want to take this on and, you know, and and test it? And if they get resolves there, that can lead to one understanding that product market fit. Sometimes understanding like your example a few minutes ago. Wait, we're in we're in completely the wrong business. Or you know, we the problem is what we thought. But like what we're trying to do is is completely you know what's completely wrong. Let's let's change dramatically and I think there's a lot of opportunities if you get into the right accelerator program work with the right advisors. They can help guide, especially in health care, help guide to those solutions. So you're not out there trying to sell something that ultimately you know nobody's going to buy because you know nobody wants to pay for it. There's no customers out there and in fact the product isn't even the right thing. Yeah, yeah, exactly. You know, I love your eliminate analogy because I think it really breaks it down and like I mean simple terms, right. You know, the whole idea of reality of healthcare is just so complex. But you know, thinking back about the eliminate analogy, I go back and go, okay, well, if you shut down the lemonade stand, does at least forty percent of the people in the neighborhood care? If, if nobody cares that, you shut down the limmerids lemonade staying, you really lemonade stand not staying, you really don't have product market fit. Nobody cares whether you right, that's right, that's that's that's that's the best addition to that. Yeah, do people? Do People show up in the morning before you can set the stand up because they want it like that? Right? Yeah, and going back to your apple story, you know, you think about product market fit and all the people that were standing in line for days for the next iphone and just, you know, man talk about product market fit and being able to confirm that you have it. Will say as that I'm a huge Apple Fan, but I've never actually stood in line for an iphone. So I guess I'm maybe I'm not. Maybe I maybe I shouldn't say that I'm not. I guess I'm not as big of an apple fan as I lead people to believe. Right, yeah, me either. I'm actually probably what I you know, I think that that diffusion of innovation curve, we can kind of fit on that continuum based upon different, different scenarios that we're talking about. And when it comes to I mean, I'll be candid, when it comes to the apple phone, I'm a lagguered because I just got one like a year ago. I mean, I've been a droid fan, like a staunch droid fan, for so long. The only reason why I even converted it and I haven't, I hadn't've had a map act a laptop for years. But the only reason why I got the iphones because I wanted the Darn Apple Watch, and so I had to finally give in. that. See that, and that's that's that's the kind of that's the next level sort of marketing thinking that apple does, because you know, there there are and like you know, and there are. You know, in fact, you're right, and there are people who have who have bought Max because they started to use an iphone or something like that. Scally, I have a great way of doing that. It's a great product strategy, right. So, before we wrap...

...up, I want to just kind of give you a little bit of time to talk about bio futures and what's happening there. What you know? What should our audience know about what's happening with that program that you've want, that you're launching? Yeah, and that's I'm very, very excited, and we just actually just in a major announcement around so in with within by a science la, within the La region especially. You know, long term, the the biggest driver of success in industry, I think, is is people and having having talent who can not just help develop your products, but help build them and market them and sell them and fix damage, the entire kind of talent spectrum of an organization and so and that's even more important. Again, I'm going to use my service, my third time, to use the example of over the past year, because you know, we've gone from a healthcare crisis which has led to an economic crisis, is which has been exacerbated or amplified by multiple social prices, and especially in Los Angeles that is so visible and so interconnected, and especially around healthcare. And so last fall we announced a program called bio futures, which is a subsidized internship program whereby we're we're connecting with students from underrepresented populations, community college students, for your college students, bringing him through an application process, helping to connect them with life sciences health tech companies in the La Region for summer internships, and then we are subsidizing the the majority of the internship, because there are still a lot of companies that either, you know, don't or won't pay for interns, and especially start ups where you know every dollar is precious. You're like, we need help, but we can't. We can barely afford, you know, desks. How can we or we can't afford it. That S for an intern, but that we want to make that we want to make that easier. And so we we have students supplying. Right now we have, I think, students from almost twenty colleges in the La region who are part of our database down and we just open the database up to companies in you know, here we are in mid April that we just introduce companies the database and there are already started to interduce students and our goal is to be able to bring hundreds of students through a program like this over the coming years. With this idea of every dollar we're spending on this is it's an investment in the student. Certainly it's also an investment in their school, because the school is sort of getting credit for having the student. Yeah, that's kind of the workforce talent development side of things, but it's also an economic development program because we're also investing in the companies. And so I was talking to someone yesterday and said, you know, if we you know, if we're spending you know average of you know, fivezero dollars per per intern, if we have you know, if we have a hundred companies that are, you know, that are doing this over, you know, over the summer. That's like bio science. La has made, you know, five hundred thousand dollars of investments into the start up ecosystem. Yeah, and so super excited about that. It's, you know, this is obviously very la focused, but we're you know, certainly there are a lot of companies who are outside of La with operations here, and so if they if they end up hearing this, we're certainly happen it's happy to talk about how we can maybe get an intern in there. Yeah, yeah, okay, so you heard it here. If you're listening, you're watching, and your company is based out of La, reach out to Dave and see how you can get it all expenses paid. In turn. Very excited about this. And if just one of many programs were launching around sort of the the entire commercializations back drom that you mentioned, which is all about how do we go from academic innovation to start ups, to early stage funding to later stage funding to, you know, ipl...

...or acquisition or, I guess back we should we should throw spack in there now, like everyone has their spack dream, but whenever it whatever it takes along the growth spectrum. Right, right. Okay, so I would be so we're at the end of our time here, but I feel like I would be remiss if I did not give you an opportunity to share this fun fact about yourself that has to do with shark tank. HMM. Yeah, so a few minutes ago we talked about I said a lot of the guidance I give entrepreneurs is, you know, from from failures and so, yes, so, so, several years ago I was working with an entrepreneur. He was in an advisy and I ended up becoming a cofounder and we had this amazing consumer health tech product and this was a case where the market was clearly there's out the product was not there. So we had we had a market, we have the story, we just didn't have a working product. Yep, as I so learned eventually. But we we pitched. I actually pitched pitched shark tank in Las Vegas during the consumer electronics show and made it through that round, made it through a couple more rounds and we actually went to we were in dress rehearsals for shark tank, which meant that like like the following weekend we would have potentially taped for shark tank, and even if you tape for Shark tank doesn't mean you actually end up on the air. But we were super close. I even have my my now ten year old son, who I guess was like five at the time. He was going to be on there with us because this was a you know, it was it was a wearable thermometer, and so my side I got was put in the thermometer on my son and yeah, yeah, so we made a super, super close but did not. And so this is kind of like the fish, you know, talking about the the fishing trip or the fish that got away or whatever. Right, right, right. The fish was this big and I'll tell you exciting. It's so exciting. It was so close. But thankfully I've worked, I've worked with some companies in the ensuing years who actually have, you know, have made it onto shark tank, and there's some very cool, you know, health healthcare related companies in La that have, you know, been a shark tank Latin investments on shark tank in those episodes. Yeah, that's great. Yeah, HMM, it could be, like you said, it could be the ones that they did it and it just maybe didn't air. Yeah, and I'm not watching every episode either, but they do some good stuff there. They do you do? You do learn a lot about like there's a long, a long document that I probably shouldn't talk about. The basically says, you know, if, if you, if we tape you, you might and might not make it on the show. Like you could get an investment and not end up on the show. You could obviously not get an investment and end up on the show because ultimately it's television and they're looking for good guys and dad guys and winners and losers and know everything. So it's a fascinating process. Man. That's awesome. So I'd love to have you back on the show. I think there's so much we can talk about and maybe we'll be able to dig into more some of those learnings and that shark take journey. So, Dave, how can our audience get ahold of you, if anybody wants to follow up with you after they tune into the show? Sure, so, definitely check out by a science la dot O rg, which is the my organization's website, and then on social I am Dj Whalon, Dj Whela, and on pretty much everything except for snapchat where. I didn't get that and it's okay because I've never use snapchat. So do not, do not contacting on snapchat because I will not find you. So thank you so much. It's been a great conversation today. Thanks for your time. Thank you, thank you so much. A lot of fun and looking forward to coming back. Thank you awesome. 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 attention. To 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 shared the show with friends and colleagues. See You on the next episode of Health Innovators.

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