Health Innovators
Health Innovators

Episode 108 · 1 month ago

Uncovering problem and solution fit on a startup budget w/ Eric Dai

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

“If you build it, they will come” only works in baseball. The truth is if you build it and they don’t know about it, you’ll never be seen.

Eric Dai from Bio Launch at the University of Pennsylvania knows a few things about establishing problem and solution awareness - and how that works with product-market fit

One of the keys to being “seen” is by helping people first. You’ll never make money if you’re not providing a product or service that fills a need or solves a problem.

Intrigued? We were. So we invited Eric to come on the show and talk to us about the enormous impact transparency, positivity, and balanced relationships have on problem-solution awareness.

If you’re a budding entrepreneur, this episode has your name written all over it!

Here are the show highlights: 

  • Why we need to do the right things for the right reasons (10:30)
  • The positive effects of purpose-driven organizations (12:30)
  • How value propositions and building relationships affect funding (18:52)
  • The importance of knowing your value proposition’s sweet spot (22:17)
  • Do you have problem-solution awareness? (26:55)
  • This HUGE company killed it on co-creation (29:04) 

Guest Bio 

Eric Dai is a venture associate at Pillar VC/Petri and co-founder and Managing Director for Bio Launch, the University of Pennsylvania’s first student-run biotech accelerator.

He’s also co-founder and host of Behind Biotech, a podcast that shares the stories of the innovative science and leaders behind biotech to educate and inspire future leaders in the life sciences.

Eric uses his experience and expertise in technical problem-solving to fuel his passion for bringing people together. He’s out to change the world for the better.

If you’d like more information about Bio Launch, you can contact Eric directly at eric@petri.bio or you can find him on LinkedIn at Eric Dai. 

You're listening to health innovators, apodcast and video show about the leaders, influencers and early adopters who are shapingthe future of healthcare. I'm your host, Dr Roxy Movie. Welcome back tothe show health innovators. On today's episode I'm sitting down with Eric Day. He is a venture associate at pillar VC. He's also the CO founderand managing director for bio launch. Welcome to the show, Eric. Thanks. Were great to have it's great to be here. D Roxy. Yeah, great to have you here. So I always like to start off byhaving my guest share a little bit about your background and what you've been doingthese days, just to kind of give our audience a little bit of contextfor our conversation today. Yeah, so it's wonderful to be here and Ithink I can break myself down into maybe two main components that describe who Iam as a person. The first one is the work I do in sciencein the second one is the work I do in and working together with otherpeople, so connecting people. So I can talk first about my science.I've kind of been a lifelong scientist. I am a PhD student in bioengineeringat the University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and I'm in the labof Robert Mack where I study stem cell engineering for regenerative medicine. And sowhat that basically means is stem cells are these cells with three putency. Theycan turn into many different kinds of cells, and the question that we have inour up is what guides that word pot can see, how do youturn a cell from a naive state into a terminal or differentiated state or afunctional state? And so I'm by answering those questions we can then I'm startto guide cells in a more guided manner, are more targeted manner, towards specificbehaviors to regenerate a lost or damage or somehow misfunctioning dissues in the body. And so in our lob we specifically focus on the orthopedic Muscle scoutial system, so looking at systems like your joints and your spine to take stem cellsand then hopefully regenerate these previously kind of unregenerable, are unhealable tissues. Sothat's kind of the focus of my work in the lab and it's aging kindof yeah, yeah, exact. It's some new joints. Eric I couldn'twe all? Yeah, I'm hitting about age where it's starting to become realto me, you know, joint pain and things like that. So yeah, my parents are definitely there too. So it's something that really affects alot of people. It's probably something that I think it's the second or thirdmost prevalent disease is, behind kind of like heart disease and cancer. Sosuper, super big, super big deals in the unit states in around theworld. Yeah, so the other part of my background is my work inbusiness. Are Working really bringing people together. So I've been really fortunate to domy PhD at the University Pennsylvania, which has the Warton School of business. So we have a really strong community for kind of biotech business on campusand I got involved at that pretty early on my phd when I realize itis something that I could become good at and something I could get excited about. And so my work there has spent a lot of different areas, butmost recently it's been and two main ones, which is in a biotic accelerator.Helped launch at pain, so that's...

...called pen bio launch, and werecently actually became nucleate phillies or part of the National Organisation called Nucleate, whichare really proud of. It's a reganization that brings over a thousand people acrossUnited States, spanning researchers, physicians, entrepreneurs, investors from some of thetop firms and some of the top universities, and we bring them all together tocertain new companies in biotech. So it's something that we're really excited aboutand and we're really passion about building. And the other thing that I'm involvedin is I'm a venture associate ad pillar BC and specifically in the bio armof pillar BC, which is Petrie and and there we invest in a kindof transformational technologies and invents inventors at the interest working at the intersection of biologyand engineering to help solve some really important and impactful questions in healthcare, sustainabilityand other spaces. So so lots of exciting things happen. I can seethe common thread that's woven between all of those initiatives, but each one kindof gives you a different angle on things. Going back to pin bio launch,you know there are so many accelerators and incubators already throughout the country.So you know from your perspective, what's still missing and what is something thatmaybe you know, this accelerator or incubator brings to the market place that kindof meets that on met need or fills that gap? Yeah, that's that'san amazing question. I think it's one that's definitely worth addressing. I thinkwhat pen by a launch and what is now nucleate really serves to address isthat unmet layer between academia and industry. And what I say by that?What I mean by that is that, you know, some of the mostcutting edge innovative science in the world is happening. Happening in our academic universitylabs, and so these are PhD students, these are postdocs from these are physicianswho are going into the lab and doing some incredible research, but becausethey don't have that business training, the they don't have that business backgrounds andthey don't know what's possible with their research when it comes time to take thatresearch and turn it into something that really has a practical impact on the worldthrough through patient care, through new therapeutic discovery, through new dowd diagnostics,so and so forth. They don't know how to answer that question. IsWhat we're finding time and time again, and so, looking at this problemin this white space in kind of the the intersection between academia and industry,we decided to create something that was really targeted towards specifically academics, I.You know, towards those PC students post docs, and then create an opportunityfor them to get involved in entrepreneurship during their PhD are during their post doc, without having to kind of leave their programs. And so they don't haveto make that hunt deer to hundred leap into entrepreneurship and they can tied itout first and and meet, make connections, understand what the process is like andstart to build a company without leaving their PhD A postock. You know, that's that's so important and I think it's a conversation that we don't haveenough is be able to bridge this gap between research and practice. You know, there's a whole lot of very experienced...

...entrepreneurs and innovators out there that,you know, don't always apply the latest in science and business acumen or commercializationexpertise. And then, you know, very often I'll hear you know,Oh, you really don't want to pilot with anybody in academia, because they'rejust trying to publish a paper. It's not something that's going to be commercialized, and so it's nice to you know, kind of think of being able tobridge these two in a more meaningful way. Yeah, absolutely, andit's something that I think has been a long time coming, but at thetime is now. I think what we're seeing with the pandemic is that,first, biotech is more than ever one of the driving forces of innovation andchange in society. Right, the COVID nineteen vaccines or only possible because ofthe cutting edge science that is happening at universities and a big farm of companiesfor decades at this point, and that was just a convergence of all thesethings coming together. You know, the the Maderna and fiser vaccines took lessona week to develop in the lab. Right, they tested less in aweek. Development took just a few months or Pero, which is unprecedented timelines, and I think that's a kind of thing we're going to be seeing moreand more going forwards, when to be seeing unprecedented time lines discovery and approvalfor drugs. I'm not just in invectous diseases, but also in cancer andAlzheimer's. I'm recently an Alzheimer's of Actine, where I was put into face whentrials so so exciting to think of the idea that, you know,in fifty years you could eradicate disease like cancer and Alzheimer's and and heart diseaseand any number of other things that plague us as a as a civilization.Yeah, you know, it really would be incredible to truly transform the healthof the nation of the world. That's the yeah, meaningful way. Italked a lot about the statistic that ninety five percent of innovations that are broughtto market failed. They fail to reach any adequate level of customer adoption orfinancial Roi and and so, you know, that's actually kind of how I gotinto my career path in the last decade is really trying to figure outwhy. What's going on and kind of to your point, is is thatyou've got all these innovations that are going to be brought to market and ifmajority of the of them are going to be unsuccessful, we've got a problem. How do we fix that? And I think this bridge between academia andbusiness practice is definitely a big step in that right direction. A totally,totally yeah. I think what we saw from the Chech worlds in the twothousands up to the mid two tens is such an explosion of startups and thespecifically, it's a very specific kind of stereotype or archetype that you're seeing fromthe start of founders. Generally they're younger, generally they don't they don't even necessarilyhave a batress scree they might have dropped out of Undergrad and they're doingsomething that's extremely bold and extremely visionary, and I think that's the same kindof trend we're seeing now in biotech and the kind of trend that we're tryingto really foster and amplify, which is...

...looking at these bold young founders whodon't have a preconceived notion of what's possible or once not possible in the worldof biotech. Because I'm once you become a season better in our executive ina big farm a company, or I me you've worked in a hospital formany decades, of course you have experience, very valuable experience, might add,but what's missing might be that sense of optimism and that sense of hopeabout what hasn't been imagined yet, and so I think that's what we're seeingin biotech now, is is this new way of founders who haven't been,you know, jaded yet by industry and have a chance to go and dosomething really inventive and unique and innovative. Yeah, and I mean I thinksometimes we just get fat and lazy. Quite honestly, that happens. Imean, you know, we've just we have a lot of success on ourbelt and you know, we just kind of like a coasting along with thestatus quo, and so it's definitely nice to see an injection of new energyand enthusiasm to kind of reignite what can be that that's certainly happening. Youknow, one of the things that stands out to me when we were,you know, talking earlier, you mentioned the word kindness, and that isI've talked to hundreds of innovators, I've done hundreds of interviews and I've neverhad an entrepreneur talk about kindness and in in their it being one of theirpersonal goals or professional goals. So let's just peel that back a little bit. Why is that word so meaningful to you? And how is it playingout in you know, personally and professionally? Yeah, I think kindness and probablymore more descriptive of even goodness, I think, are some of themost important traits that you can have. Is Not so eric, we weretalking earlier and you mentioned the word kindness, and that is a word that Idon't hear very often. I've had conversations with hundreds of innovators and have, you know, hundreds of guests on the show and it's very rare thatI hear someone talking about kindness and how that might fit into their personal andprofessional goals or even in the commercialization process. So just kind of give our audiencea little bit of color around what you mean by that and how that'splaying a role in what you're doing. Yeah, so, Dr Roxey,that's a great question. I think that's so important to dress because it's nottalked about enough, which is the role of kindness or probably more descriptively,goodness, and the value of our work. I think for anyone WHO's out therelooking to make ambitious goals make an impact, it has to come firstfrom a place where you're making impact for the right reasons. And what rightmeans to you is different than it right means to me or anyone else.But I'm defining what goodness means to you. I think it is such an important, important process and for me I can, I can describe my process. I think you know, I've always told myself and told others that I'man ambitious person. I want to make an impact, but you know,I have to do good before doing great, and what that means to me istreating others with respect, treating others with dignity and looking to do somethingthat brightens up other people's days and does some think, good for people firstand foremost, and that comes down to...

...things as simple ast social interactions.It doesn't have to be that I, you know, make a huge differenceby to any good, a lot of money or, you know, creatinga life stuming drug on every single day. Obviously that's not possible, but whatis possible is, you know, treating people, going out of theirway, your way to treat people, to respect, remember the little detailsabout them and and I think these kinds of things have a really strong payit forward kind of positive amplification effect, because when you make someone else's Daya little bit better and you help them believe that they can achieve more tomorrowthan they could have today, then that kind of effects, especially if theygo on to do it for someone else, has such a positive feedback effect thatyou can't measure with, you know, with with any kind of metric it. It's something that it just makes society innumerably better. So I'm allabout it. Okay, so is that a millennial thing or is that aneric thing? I do think it's a millennial thing. I do think millennialsare more and more about keeping a mind on these things in a way thatmaybe previously generations, previous enter nations, weren't. But maybe it's also justa me thing. But I like to think it's a generational thing. Ithink. I'm very positive about our generations ability to the truth with each otherwith respect and think about the positive implications that we can have on the worldaround us. Yeah, yeah, I think you're right. I'm certainly notclaiming that all millennials are like you or all millennials will, you know,have that same kind of mindset, but I do think it is characteristic ofthat generation. One of the beauties of interviewing guests on the show for solong I think maybe about three years now is that you get to chance tokind of step back and see patterns. And I've had a handful of theyounger start up entrepreneurs on the show and those folks are usually building very purposedriven organizations. It's just at the core. So I think very fundamentally about whatyou have, what you're talking about. Yeah, yeah, and yeah,purpose driven. I love that word. I think for anyone who's looking tobe an entrepreneur out there, define your purpose first. I define yourNorth Star, and there everything else will follow because you'll start to see thesteps of what it takes to achieve a particular purpose. And so for meI can tell you that my purpose every day is to mark of the thecutting edge of science, to bring that science to people in a positive waythat impacts our lives and there, through their health or through their families health, or through their environmental health, their mindments health, whatever it may be, doing something to bring science to a positive impact. So are positive results. So yeah, you know, one of the other things that I've kindof noticed over time about millennials is the the ability to or the interest inbeing candid and transparent on the show about about what life is really like whatyou know, wherever you are in your career, just being really candid andtransparent about what that's like, as as been really much more in tuned withthe millennial guests that I've had on the show. Yeah, I think.I think that's such a that's definitely a...

...trend. I think. I thinkpeople in our generation are so much more about sharing things online through social media, so much more open about sharing their own personal struggles with each other inperson, and this is something that defines your generation because, you know,putting on a front of how things actually are might have been great when thingsare generally going better, but things have been progressively getting worse, subjectively inour environment, in our personal health. You know, death rates are goingup, life expectans he's going down. We can see global warming is isa rising problem. Industry is kind of ravaging a lot of what as makesthis makes our planet great, and I think these are things that, objectively, are not so positive think about, but it's something that we can doto counteract this overt negativity. That's that that we've kind of launched into,our thrust into as a generation is to say posit and say open with eachother and think about how he can create purpose driven organizations to counteract these thesethings. Yeah, and I think it just it normalizes the challenges and soyou just don't feel like it's something's wrong with you or something's wrong with mebecause I'm experiencing these obstacles, that we're all in this together. Oh yeah, it's all just part of the process. So I think that it's been veryinspiring. That's the feedback that I get from the community, is thatit's just very inspiring to hear that authenticity and that transparency. Absolutely, yeah, and on that topic, you know, I'm happy to share that I didn'tgrow up as a purpose drifferent organ individual. I'm not someone who grewup feeling like I knew exactly what I want to do with my life andthat I had everything figured out. In fact, most of my life Ididn't have much figured out at all. I just kind of followed what myparents had told me at what society had told me I should be doing,and as a result, I actually fell into a lot of pretty pretty longand pretty serious about to depression, and I think that's something that I'm veryhappy to talk about with people because a lot of people struggle with this andI was able to manage my own struggles to depression by finding more purpose inmy work and finding more purpose and support from the community around me and VIsub versed by supporting people around me and finding other helping others find their purposein their work. And so such an important part of individual kind of accomplishment, but also just communal kind of coming together to bring to do something importantand meaningful. Yeah, absolutely. I mean I think sometimes, you know, we think that entrepreneurship is, you know, just all rainbows and butterflies. You hear these stories like tell a doc or Lavongo or you know somany more that are just kind of cashing out and IPO and going public andyou know, it's sexy and it sells and but it can also be quitedepressing. You know. We also have, you know, theories called the Valleyof death and the Trougho sorrow and, yeah, some of the realities ofthose ups and downs and and so I do think being really candid aboutthat can just encourage and inspire the whole healthcare innovation community and ultimately I thinkthat that type of inspiration just helps us...

...keep moving in the directions that wewere you know, intending to and to have greater commercial success and get thoseinnovations in the hands of the people that need them. That's right. Yeah, I think such an important thing to remember is that we can lose trackof this as individuals, but the work that we do isn't for ourselves,it's for the world around us, and until we can create an impact onthe world around us, you can never become successful in anything that you doright, so anything that you do. If you can create an impact inthe lives of people who consume your content or, you know, take yourdrug or do something that positively impacts them in a way that they'll come thatyou know that they'll pay money for it, then then you start to become successful. Success is secondary to make an impact. Hey, it's Dr Roxyhere with a quick break from the conversation. Are you trying to figure out whatmoves 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. Thepivot kit is a step by step framework that helps you find your best pivotstrategy. It walks you through six categories you need to examine for a threehundred and sixty degree view of your business. I call them the six critical pivotlenses. As you make your way through this comprehensive kit, you'll bearmed with the tools, tips and strategies you need to make sure you canpivot with speed without missing out on critical details and opportunities. Learn more atlegacy DNACOM backslash kit. Isn't that like, Duh, we're in healthcare, butit really is something to still be said, because it needs to besaid. That's right, that's right. Yeah, if you're an entrepreship tomake money, I think, I think you know, you could be successful, but I think going in for make a to make a purposeful impact,is is a lot more of a high. It's a better way to go aboutit, I think. Yeah, yeah, so let's let's switch gearsa little bit and talk about funding. So this is always a very interestingtopic. You've got a lot of conversations about the trends and funding in thebillions and trillions of dollars that's being poured into healthcare innovation right now and andthen you've got, you know, the stories of those innovators that are inthe trenches. You know early stage, idea stage, you know even youknow after several seed rounds that are still struggling to raise money. So fromyour perspective, you know what are some of the things that are happening inthe market place and what do folks need to do to get funding? Yeah, that's that's an amazing question. So we can talk first about what's happeningin the market place right now. So I think it's never been a bettertime to be in biotech. I think we have some of the most positiveoutlooks of by on the industry biotech that...

...we've had in probably decades, asfar as I can tell, and the amount of money going into by acheck at every stage, from the seed stage to series a all the wayto IPO and kind of farm of acquisition. It's never been more positive in termsof the amount of money going in. So things are really exciting and biocheckright now. But the Frank Truth is we have more money going tobiocheck then we have new startups, and so the amount of new starters beingbeing created right now I don't think is is actually changing much from, youknow, five years ago, ten years ago. It's just a more higherinjection of capital. And so to all those would be entrepreneurs out there whoare thinking should I know? I should I or should I not? TryStarting a company? And you've always had you's one of the tip of yourtongue or you've had an idea, now is a better time than any becausethey're more money than there are great startups, and so now is a great timeto go into it. And so I guess, going on to thesecond topic, you know how you would raise money? I think there's there'splenty of people who know way more about this than I do, but whatI can say is that the startups that really do a phenomenal job raising moneyknow what their unique value proposition is, know how to sell it and knowthat every single investor meeting is a chance to build a partnership. It's notwhere you're trying to raise money and then go on to your next round ofraising money. It's trying to build a company light a lifelong partner with theperson that you're talking to. My lifelong partnership, and so think about buildingrelationships over raising money and when you start to build relationships, the money comesafterwards. HMM, wow, why are we missing that? I think we'remissing that because the way that you know, we talked about pitching and raising moneyfeels like you're talking to an institution. But institutions are just collections or organizationsof people, and so you're going to be talking probably to an associatefirst and your first pass of trying to raise money. But if you areto know the partners that are particular firm, then you can talk to the partners, but ultimately there's going to be one or two people at most whogathered together and they're making a decision about whether or not they're going to giveyou money. And so quit thinking about raising money as talking to an institutionor talking to a pool of money and start thinking about building relations with peoplewho want to help you because their partners with you. Yeah, yeah,I mean that's such valuable advice. I can't tell you how many partners thatI speak to that says, you know, they're hearing, you know, fivehundred and ten, fifteen pitches a day and you know half of themthey still have no idea what those folks do. Yeah, yeah, soreally getting clear on that unique value proposition, I think is, you know,such a such a challenge. Why do you think that's a challenge?I think it's a root that USP. Yeah, that unique value proposition.I think it's a real challenge because first you may not have kind of atechnology that really is true unique. So that's that's that's what actually creating anytechnology is really hard, right, if, whether you're a scientist in a labor your a business person who's partnering...

...with scientists like that's that's really reallychallenging, right, or if you're in health tech, you know, comingup with a unique spin towards healthcare deliveries, are interre their pair and the PMPsystem. Right, it's all really really difficult stuff. So first theforemast is just challenging to begin with, and no one, I don't wantto underspeak kind of how difficult this is create a unique product the first place. Yeah, and the second aspect that's really hard is once you do haveunique product, let's say you do have that, you're at that point thenmessaging it. Are Delivering that message in a way where someone understands that thereis a lot of complexity and nuance to your product or to your idea thatyou can go a long way and delivering a lot of value to a lotof people without over complicating yet or getting to the point where they're overwhelmed bythe amount of information you're giving them. Hitting that sweet spot between the twois such a difficult thing, and so when you look at the truly incrediblefounders of a generation, I think they've all been able to do something very, very specifically, which is being able to deliver, e. exactly themessage they have in mind without either underwhelming or overwhelming their audience. And sothat to all, you know, all those aspiring founders. When you canhit that point, then you've really kind of a sense, you know,hit the DOC pot. Yeah, and I've seen you know, I thinka lot of times the conversation that I have with folks is like the chickenor the egg thing, right, like I am a maybe a scientist,maybe an engineer. I have the idea for this innovative tech or this innovativesolution, but I am not an expert at developing value propositions or storytelling orbalancing, you know, what's going to bring clarity versus too much detail.And now I've just like completely board my audience or confuse them at worst.And in so, you know, definitely needing resources, needing funding to beable to develop those core assets of the pitch, but also needing to beable to pitch, to be able to get the funding to be able to, you know, fund the Batter Pitch and and I just see that that'ssomething that a lot of folks still really struggle with. Yeah, yeah,it's you can under the question. Is a great way to put it.And I think you know, the Frank Truth of entrepreneurship to is that thereare a lot of systemic biases that are in the world of Entrepreneurship and fundraising right and so you know, it's a lot easier to raise money ifyou happen to come from one of those institutions, for example as a scientist, where money typically flows towards right. You know, you using a lotmore fun and go towards Harvard and Stanford and m t than you are,you know, at a lot of other greatstitutions that are doing amazing work.And so this is an example of just systemic bias that is extremely hard toovercome and it's just a reality of this is that we live in but whatI will say is more than ever, those assistant those into those institutional barriersthat separate us or, you know, hierarchicized, I sort of like youknow, layer us as individuals, are starting to break down more and more. You know nowadays. You know, previously, if you weren't in Bostonor the bay area, it was extremely hard to get in a meeting withthe top investor, but nowadays anyone can...

...go on as a meeting with anyone, right, and so these barriers are breaking down. So start thinking about, I love to think about how we can continue to accelerate that process ofbreaking down barriers and how people with great ideas get the money they deserve tomake an impact. Sure I you know, I think you make a really goodpoint. I think one of the silver linings of Covid, and youknow there are certainly many of them, is one of them is the breakingdown of those barriers and for us to kind of rethink how we connect withfolks and in this digital or virtual world and in that certainly helps us getgreater access to folks that we might not have come across in those more traditionalfacetoface encounters. Yeah, that's right. Yeah, men an optimal worlds wherethings are more capital flows to the best ideas in the best people to utilizethat capital. I think that's the world that we're moving towards and I'm veryI'm very hopeful about that, I'm optimistic about that and of course you canmake some negative arguments against that, but you know, to me I'm allabout optimism, and so let's let's. I see that trend and I wantto continue to amplify it. Absolutely. So let's talk about problem solution awarenessand that challenge with early stage companies. So give our give our listeners alittle bit of more context about this challenge and then let's talk about it.Yeah, Problem Solution Awareness. It's a little bit different than what you mightnormally here, which is plop problem, sorry, product market fit. Somostly entrepreneurs and vcs will talk about product market fit, but another component ofproduct market fit, which is that idea that you have a particular product thatyou're selling or service that you're selling the market need is willing to pay valueson, pay money for right. A component of that is problem solution awareness. And so and if you're if your market are, your audience isn't awareof the problem they have or aware that a solution exists for a problem theyknow they have, then you essentially don't have what's called problems solution awareness.And so building problem solution awareness for those markets where either your audience isn't awarethat there's a problem that they have or isn't aware that for a problem theydo have there's a solution that exists and they can purchase, is really important, and so that's in a critical component of kind of eventually building product marketfit. It's definitely the key step right before product market fit. And sowhat's happening with that? Like how is that you know from your perspective,how is that being skipped over or overlooked? I think one of the biggest thingsthat's happening is that, you know, for these really large institutional players likebig farm of companies, they spend an Amendu amount of money on creatingproblem solution awareness. Right there's an immense budget that goes into advertising for theirdrugs, but for these smaller startup companies that can be really challenging, andso you have to really understand how to create problem solution awareness and and ultimatelyproduct market fit while engaging customers on a very low capital budget, and soyou have to come up with creative guerrilla...

...marketing strategies, you have to comeup with word of mouth strategies, things that can really stretch your dollar veryfar while still creating that awareness and eventually that market base that you need tocreate a successful company. You know. So I'm sure our community gets tiredof hearing me talk about this term co creation, but in my mind cocreation is the strategy to solve this problem, solution awareness issue, on zero marketingbudget, or ten of the marketing budget and zero advertising budget. It'sinvolving customers in that co creation process really, really early on, and that allowsyou to be able to get your validation and clinical clinical efficacy. Itallows you to be able to get your early buyers and those folks ultimately becomepart of your external marketing team when you when you're getting to the CO launchprocess, and I think that those folks having voice and playing a role inthat word of mouth marketing early on is is really really critical to that commercialsuccess, especially when you're talking about companies like like you had given you know, that are really bootstrapping or really strapped for funds on a big advertising andmarketing budget. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. When your customers become your advocates andyour cheerleaders and they become your partners and Co creating your company or yourbrand or your product, I think you have an immense value out there.You know, I can't I think of Collins examples for that kind of networkeffect has amplified the value of product far, far past, you know, whatcould have happened with, you know, a regular traditional advertising kind of approach. And and one example that comes to top of mind is Tesla.Right, test the spends absolutely serio dollars on over marketing budget or advertising budget. Right. Everything is through word of mouth and through kind of the brandingof the cars themself, providing that you on provides throughs, you know,twitter feed and other social media routes. But that's such a great example of, you know, people who are Tesla owners aren't just car owners, theyare their cheerleaders for Testla. They your advocates. They're like fanatical about Teslaand it's and that's an a great example of, you know, go gettingyour customers as co creators to create extremely valuable brands and companies. Yeah,and I think that that solves for a couple of problems that you had mentioned. Is is one like the the number one reason why we don't get productmarket fit or we don't have commercial success is because there's no need for thesolution anyway. Yeah, sure, right. And and and so being able toinvolve customers that will tell you that your baby is ugly or tell youthat your idea is is not relevant or meaningful, really, really early on, I think, is so critical. And then being able to shape whatthat might look like is also really powerful. So, Eric, this is justbeen a very great conversation. Is there anything else that you would wantto share with our community based upon your experience and observations? Yeah, thelast thing I would say is that believe...

...in yourself and the unique value thatyou bring to the world's and every single relationship you have, because I believethat everyone has something in creible they can do with their lives, and thesooner that you start shedding the mental shackles that we all placed in ourselves andfor whatever reason, or have been placed on us, the sooner you areshutting those mental shackles, the more you can start accomplishing the incredible things thatyou didn't know you could do, and so that's a position I've been verygrateful to have in my life and I hope that everyone can listening can alsowe get to shed their own mental shackles and do some incredible things. Wow, that's great. What a great way to end today's conversation. Imagine whatthe world would be like if we could all shed those mental shackles exactly.Yeah, I can't even imagine it. So, yeah, right, right, oh my goodness, freedom. So how would folks get ahold of youif they want to follow up with you after the show? Yeah, feelfree to reach out to me through my my work email, which is ericat petree dot bio. So that's Eri, see at Petri Dot bioh thank youso much for joining me today. Thank you actually, Dr Roxy.It's great. It's great to be here. Thank you so much for listening.I know you're busy working to bring your life changing innovation to market andI value your time and attention. To get the latest episodes on your mobiledevice, 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 sharedthe show with friends and colleagues. See You on the next episode of HealthInnovators.

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