Health Innovators
Health Innovators

Episode 98 · 1 year ago

Steps to Increase Your Likelihood of Commercial Success w/ Brent Wright, Howard Rosen & Jeffrey Carlisle


Building a successful business can sometimes feel like climbing Mount Everest - daunting at best and impossible without the right gear.

Understanding the steps and strategies to build a successful business is a bit like following a trail. Sure, it takes skill, but it’s not rocket science - so long as we don’t get lost in the weeds.

Jeffrey Carlisle, CEO at Pneuma Systems Corporation; Howard Rosen, CEO and Founder of LifeWIRE; and Brent Wright, Associate Dean for Rural Health Innovation at the University of Louisville, join me again for another roundtable discussion on how we can cultivate the right gear necessary for getting back on track and building more successful businesses.

From cardboard magnates to mega-stars, we discuss how to recognize opportunities and capitalize on them while sticking to the basics - and still coming out on top (or better). So, come join us!

Here are the show highlights:

  • Is it innovation, creativity, or simply basic improvements? (1:00)
  • The language of innovation (8:11)
  • Are you an entrepreneur or an intrapreneur? (9:59)
  • 3 key steps to innovation (15:35)
  • The trench warfare of innovation (23:20)
  • Back to basics - the best practices around building a business (51:38)

Guest Bios

Jeffrey Carlisle is CEO at Pneuma Systems Corporation. He earned his ScB in Applied Math/Biology from Brown University. 

If you’d like to get in touch with Jeffrey after the show, feel free to reach out to him via LinkedIn at Jeffrey Carlisle or via email at

Howard Rosen is CEO and Founder of LifeWIRE Group. He earned his HBBA in Economics and Marketing and MBA in International Finance/Marketing from York University, Schulich School of business.

If you’d like to get in touch with Howard after the show, feel free to reach out to him via LinkedIn at Howard Rosen or via email at

Brent Wright is the Associate Dean for Rural Health Innovation at the University of Louisville. He earned his BS in Human Studies from the University of Kentucky and his Masters in Medical Management from the University of Southern California  

If you’d like to get in touch with Brent after the show, feel free to reach out to him via LinkedIn at Brent Wright or via email at

You're listening to health innovators, a podcast and video show about the leaders, influencers and early adoptors who are shaping the future of healthcare. I'm your host, Dr Roxy Movie. Welcome back health innovators. On today's episode, you're in for a real treat. We are hosting another executive briefing with some brilliant leaders and great colleagues and friends, Jeff Carlyle, the president of Numa Systems Corps, Howard Rosen, CEO and founder of life wire, and rent right, the Associate Dean for Real Health Innovation at the University at Louisville. Welcome back to the show, guys. So, as we think about our audience, most of our audience, I would think probably about, you know, sixty percent are innovators, whether they are an entrepreneur or whether they're an entrepreneur. And you know, we talked a lot about on the show about how really it's not the technology that ends up being the problem with successfully commercializing something. It's most often not even funding, although we you know, we know that there's some obstacles sometimes with funding, but it's usually not funding and it's not the technology, it is the commercialization strategy and all those decisions that are made along the way. So I, and you know, invited you guys here today for us to kind of talk more about that. I've talked of little bit about bits and pieces here and they are kind of peppered in throughout every episode of the show that we've produced, but never really had one episode that's kind of just dedicated to this topic, and so I think it's great to have you three here joining me today for us to kind of get your perspective and just kind of POW wow about this. Like what are those key steps or stages when you're commercializing and innovation? Love to hear what all three of you think that when you commercialization you really dealing with coming fundamentally having to understand your customer and the customers needs, because you got to build the commercialize, you you got to be satisfying that need or problem that they have and you you'll be able to present them with the solution. So it's really being the first step is being articulate that and, frankly being able to confirm that that target customer understands what you're trying to solve and that there's interest for it. Because as many times that you know, innovations and solutions and developed in a garage, for lack of better term, and go what a great idea, I think this is perfect. But they really actually never spoke to anybody about it, or the target clients. When he spoke to them, shock in dismay. Oh, we're not interested. So I think that the key for step is making sure there's actually interest in it, a customer for what you've come up with. How our the whole focus should be on the results of what you're doing. It may be innovative, okay, that's an interesting descriptor, but you're not selling the innovation. Right, you're selling the results of what you do. And okay, somebody else may make an observation that it's innovative, but you shouldn't be the one to talk about the innovation. There's an absolute direct, inverse relationship between the number of times innovation is mentioned in the annual report and the actual innovation in their company. Not surprisingly, right, if you've got to tell somebody it's innovative, there's a problem exactly. That's why I keep mentioning how handsome I you know else, Oh, you know right. Yeah, this key steps. We leave it to the academic here, you know, as as Howard and Jeff are talking, I'm sending here trying to write a formula, you know, using using them, using the terms, you know, and these are the three terms that I...

...focused on. We talked about innovation. That's given and we're we're moving towards, how the stage is too, commercialization. But but I'm working with the terms solution, you know, and if an innovation equals a solution, then you have a pathway to commercialization that maybe somebody with higher order math there, you know, maybe there's a there's a derivative or some sort of calculus equation there that we could come up with. But really what I've heard described is the the dilemma of a lot of inventors. I mean inventors, you know, consider themselves innovative, but they become too wed to their innovation and they don't really see whether or not they have a market. They just love what they're doing, they're just passionate about that area and it's more of a hobby or it's it's something that's it really is going to be seen more by the market is indulgent, and that's why it's very difficult to be disciplined and go to the marketing really ask the tough questions. I hate you know. This is what we're thinking. Is that? Is that the right style of thinking? Because you know this the phrase begin with the end in mind. I mean the end is a sale, the end is commercialization and having a sustainable business. So really having that discipline and it and it's not complex, I mean just a clipboard, a pin and a piece of paper. Just talk to people, talk to people who are your future customers to make sure there's going to be a pathway, because you hate to spend obscene amount of money and then get there and then there's just hey, nobody wants what you have. Definitely yeah, because if you invest millions of dollars in something before you do that validation. Now you get some feedback that tells you you're wrong or you don't want to believe it. You're like no, no, no, I have to keep moving forward in this direction because I'm so vested. Can Go back to my investors and my board and tell them that up. Well, Nope, I was wrong, not at that stage of that enthusiasm, of course, is selpful because until you've shown somebody, not not described it, until you shown somebody the result of what you've done, they can't react to it. Right. Every everyone knows, right. They people didn't want automobiles, right, they wanted horses that ate less food. Yeah, that's what they wanted, a horse date less food, but they didn't want an automobile. But once they were shown that, then exactly right. Because many cases, go ahead, go ahead, please, go ahead, go ahead. Jeff, I was in in the company that where we were working on a predecessor product that led to the one of the most famous commercial collapses of all time, and that was the segue. Right. No, no product that ever been pumped and hyped more, no product that you ever been pumped more than that, and all the secrecy and all that. Then when it came out it was a utter, utter flaw. And so that's a great example of something that was very, very well executed, had lots and lots of innovation and absolutely did not make a difference in any anyone's life. That is the perfect example. I think was WASNIAC lost a lot of money there. But but, but Jeff's point in trim to talk the Clich that you do have that fine line because in talking of them versus showing is most people don't know what they don't know, so asking them, with certain growd not understanding the bigger pictures, is sometimes hard as well. So there is a line of how you bring that about and and a process. It's not just ask once and that's it. It's an ongoing process in from of the commercialization, even in terms of commentary and reaction with prospective clients, because it is they don't know what they don't know. They know buzz words. Many cases you're asking, what do you need? That's likely the last thing they need because it's the most recent buzzword they heard. Yeah, but it's it is that process of showing them what they're what the needs are and what you're doing, because showing considerably better than and then talking about it. And that's a...

...balance between investment and not investment. How do you far do you go down that road? As you know, Jeff was talking earlier. Yeah, it's entrepreneurship, isn't you know? You're in a wonderful high wire act. It just how much you willing to look as you go forward. So we're talking about customer discovery and testing. You know our business ideas that we have what's next? What you know? What do we do after that? Let's say we've got some validation of problem solution fit. Where do we go from there? We you mean your you? Are you saying that after the stage, we've actually validated the end user response and they want it? Yep. Well, then they get into an easy phase of kind of a make by processing scale. All you know. Can can you make it? How do you deliver it? Those are kind of the mechanical ends of it. But if you've really gotten over that edge where you've shown that customers like it, you do the mechanical things and then you have to spend a lot of time asking yourself who is this going to hurt? All right, that WHO's going to help? Who is it going to hurt? Who's going to want to kill this idea? Is that a competitor? Is it a WHO knows what? Who It is, but someone is going to get their nose at a joint if you launch this product and you need to be very aware of who will be upset by it. And sometimes I pursue those people could be internal to your organization, like if you talk about digital health and readeploying resources, meaning you'll have less clinical staff or whatever it going to be there. You know the inclination there is, perhaps not consciously, but it's you. I can get the same enthusiasm as you would like and so and that's what we always talk about in terms of innovation. And the hardest process we actually found is not finding the customer. It's actually the implementation process where you're actually working with the entire ecosystem of the company or the organization to make sure they all buy into what you're doing and actually use the product. Is someone who lets because you get the sea suite into it, you get this senior VPS, get the VPS. It's down to okay, the war, the trench warfare. So by those are actually going to be dealing or in terms of help working with the patients, are they going to use it and they're going to help encourage the patients to use it, or whatever the solution is. But you do everyone to buy into it and an implementation process. To Brent's point, we've talked about this in previous discussions, that it can't take them any more time to use. Is got to take them less time to use and it's like all those processes because it take more time you're going to get again, I don't have time for this. So it actually gets rather complex at that stage. But you have to have that fully work through beforehand. Throw the playbook out once you get into the real world working with them, but at least you're prepared for that entire process. Yeah, the one thing that comes to mind when I hear you guys talking is Ai. So as I'm working with clients that are bringing some type of AI solution to market, part of what the challenge or obstacle that they're facing is exactly what you just describe. Jeff, was is, you know the people that you know. Yes, this is innovative, it's great, it solves a problem, it's more efficient, it's more productive, it's it's saves us, you know, millions of dollars, but it also takes my job away, or it takes my team, in my department's team away, and so we're going to come up with every excuse in the book on why it doesn't make sense and we can't do it. And you know. Yeah, and Vhi, no doubt about it. So how you message that, how you position that, is really critical and you can't position it well or message it well if you haven't done your research and analyzing those things that you guys just talked about. You know qualifying...

...your customer in the early days is really critical. So you look for those departments in impediment departments, usually the ID department, but it could be anywhere, and legal or it or some other ancillary group. You need to walk away. If you've got a client, an early client, and you've got a powerful person who's against what you're doing, go somewhere else because you need critical successes in the beginning and your relationship with your client shouldn't be early on a vender supplier relationship. It's has to be a collaboration right, it's got to be a partnership, and if one of those entities within that partnership isn't working for you, go somewhere else. That you clear as part of that process. You need that referenceable clients and those recognizable referenceable clients to be able to help move that piece forward. And if you don't have that or if there was not a good experience, particularly as you're to just points, someone's fat, powerful, powerful there. You don't want them talking anything about you except glowing terms. If you're not going to get that treat does a marketing issue. You've got to find another marketing you got fun another plan because, yeah, you'd be dead in the water. So you guys kind of touched on targeting and kind of identifying the customer. You know, this is something that I think seems really easy, but it also can be very difficult and I think there's a lot of challenges and pitfalls around that, especially if you can bring your solution to multiple different market segments. And then, you know, how do we identify them? You know, how deep do we go? So sometimes we might say, Oh, I sell to the doctor's office, that's my target customer, and then I've heard clients where they really don't sell to the doctor's office. It's maybe the referral coordinator or the practice manager that's in the office. So not even refer to their target customer and the right way. So how are they going to message the right person or really understand where to find them online and present that offer to them if there's kind of this disconnect between who were really targeting? So you know, what's your experience with that? You know, do you find that something that's really easy to do? Have you wrestled with it? You know, what's really worked for you. Sorry, from my experience it's actually very difficult process because, like everything else, who's go into? Well, it's clear this is my client, but then goes down to understanding how the client works. And also where are you at? Are you dealing with a national pair, for example, or are you dealing with a state, you know, a more state level provider, or dealing with a clinical group at a local level? Because each one has a very different dynamic and decision process and elements that really tie to the the business decisions that they make, because each so it's each one is its own complex organism that you have to really understand. And and again, especially you're starting really specialize, you need to understand those local clinical groups off that's what you're specialty is, or how the national works or how you know it's under it's really getting a deep sea understanding to your point, because you could be targeting the wrong person, the wrong decisionmaker, and then you've put a lot of time and effort going the wrong direction. In health care it's almost impossible not to target, impossible to target the right person, because they end userve recipient is not the one who's making the decision. WHO's not the one who's paying for WHO's not the one who's ultimately on the hook for it? Every all the all the incentives are disconnected. So you it becomes very comp very complex as to who to sell to, because you've done all these different stakeholders. They really don't care too much about the other. Yeah,...

I think these comments speak to the schizophrenic nature of healthcare as business model. And you know, when you look at the as you know, hopefully going forward we're going to be talking a lot more about the consumerism of healthcare, because the person really at the heart of health care is the patient and and they're they're the end user here, they're the recipient, they're the one we're reporting outcomes on. So it is true. It is that it's hard to find the right person to target because being with university, I'll get people contacting me all the time, you know, wanted to sell into the university, and I'm just very quickly say, look, I'm not making that decision. You know, I'm just going to I'm just going to save you your time because I have such a unique standing that I'm with the university, but I'm a I'm an hour and a half away working in an area that I work and people just look. People just look at titles and think you're you can help them get into the whole university, and I just try to save people's time. That's so true. You understand. You turning to copy, brant, but but, Brent, sounds like you actually return calls, though. That puts you in a whole new category already just by returning a call. You know, a couple of things come to mind to write. So, yes, I agree. You know, healthcare is being a multisided market. It has so many layers of complexity. When we think about building our business models, sometimes we might think about building a business model just for the user or just for the buyer and not really mapping out all of the different components for each different target segment. I find that that gets really tangled up and interwoven. Or, you know, you go to a website and so like on paper they're really clear who their target market is, but then when you go to their website or any of their communications and collateral that they're using to present themselves to the world, it gets twisted and so it's like really not clear who they're talking to and what's that value proposition for who that specific audience is. More pitfalls and challenges along the way. Well, you have to find people who can support the buying process of whatever you're selling. But you have to also recognize all the people who have veto power. And in a big organization, YEA, it often takes just one, one entity in a group to veto it, because the other ones may not, you know, want to state their reputation or effort or money on something if they think there's going to be a they say or in the group. So unfortunately it's the wrong ratio. It takes one in one party to kill an idea and at least, you know, almost everybody to forward them. And how more, how many of our sales strategies are are specifically looking for that blocker? Now they're probably trying to find the the the champion right or who they're going to sell exactly. It's really get that champion on board to actually point out all those blockers the extent that they can. M Yeah, but you know what, the churn at somebody's large organizations is so amazing it's helpful for you got a good six month run. After that, expect there's going to be a churn over somewhere and you have to be additional re education or a pivot somewhere else for a different potential person who maybe they say, or an additional champion, but it's it's happening. For more often than not I've had, you know, if the sales process is a yearlong, which easily can be, in that year, you're going to have management inflection points. Either the direct champion or more likely their boss or someone else changes roles and then start...

...the process over again. And you know, I have to chime in on this one. I mean the politics of it all. I mean the sea sweet politics, the organizational politics. I mean really, I think what did term you used roxy the blocker here. You really have to have that blocker and that pathway open and get people to support it, because you not only are you going to get Nice Sayers, but you also also we're going to have to deal with the haters out there, because if you pick a really good product and that makes that makes the organization work well, is does well for the organization, you're going to boost your cloud, you know, and there's always going to be people they are trying to trying to clip you and hate, I hate that. I really hate that. But I deal you know, you know at the university I deal with some young, you know, early stage companies and I really really try to position myself and how I bring them in. So I try to remove some of the bureaucratic curdles until we get some early success or, I to until we can sort of find the right time need to move forward, because sometimes it's it's just not the right time. You know, you may and it's not against the product or the innovation, it's just that there's not a climate to bring that into and you need to get through some other issues for the organization that maybe that you know innovator doesn't understand. Rent Twenty thirty years ago they had an upper level management meeting at Hospital Corporation of America and then talked about innovation and we happened to connect with them like three days after that event. Yeah, had we connected a week later, the half life of that exuberance would have died there literally, literally three days after this Zeminar which have nothing to do with they said, oh, that's innovation, I'm allowed to do that, and they did it for them. Telling you the timing. I have any dead running stories, but that was a good time story. If we had come in a week earlier, it wouldn't that nothing in a week later it probably wouldn't have worked either. So how do you how do you master that? Is that just experience or are you paying attention to some triggers? There's triggers you got to pay attention to. There's so many elements. Would, quite honestly, some of the more difficult ones get dependy the size your organization is. Sometimes you have a hater using Brent's words, because there are a few of those, because they're incentive program for the corporation. Is You get a double bonus if x, Y and Z happens. But your solution s you just don't fit in their double bonus plan and frankly, you be, you know, maybe not pushed aside, but you're not going to be a priority for this year until there's a double bonus. And sadly that's part of what you know. I you know you see on the pretty large organizations. So there's many reasons why you've got those blockers. So it's the point that triggers and entered. Jeff's point was, yeah, this whole conference said, you know, use the word innovation. So yes, for three days it was still resonating, going okay, I may be rewarded for, you know, following up. Three days later and here's something with the eye word to use. You get fiscal year insanity. You may be approaching the fiscal year and someone literally might have, you know, spend, use it or lose it, kind of fund that it becomes funny money at the end, at the end of the fiscal year. Now, those are those opportunities are not predictable and are not particularly public, but boy, today have an impact. I mean the time value of our money means so much different, how many different things, depending on when you are in that budgetary cycle. Yeah, it goes...

...back to need for that champion in that organization, organizations targeted, so you get that heads up. He heads to up. I had a previous guests mentioned the word Trojan. I've never had never heard it before. We know, I've heard champion in the blocker and you know the decision makers, but chant Trojan, and the Trojan was just the just the person that no one noticed, that no one really paid attention to, but they saw everything and they were the ones that were going to be able to tell you all the politics, all the double bonus insights, all the fiscal year, all the you know, all the stuff that you really needed to know from a sales standpoint to be successful, but you would very likely just pass them by in the hallway and not pay any attention to them and sometimes be the executive assistant for the CEO. That, if you've a friend and genuinely for friend, the people who are surrounding the CEO, maybe with that grand titles, but that that can be a very important gateway to knowing what's going on. Okay, 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 and DNACOM backslash kit. What other steps? Anything else that we haven't touched on yet? Key steps in this commercialization process start small. HMM. Yes, prove prove it on a small scale. You know, someone walks into brents and hey, I'm going to new from a jam at. It's going to save three minutes and okay, well, let's let's try it and it's half hour or whatever. Just start small, because innovators think big, right, and grandiose and sometimes psychotic and only sometimes a big think of a train work. Guilty and guilty these charged. Well, maybe I was. I was looking at now. Do you think that Red Yos and you think about transforming the world, you got to start somewhere, all right, and so start on the smallest possible scale you have, filling in any technological gaps and just start somewhere and and the and use those results, not the innovation, but the results of the innovation, to pro call you forward. It also starting small allows you to deal with, you know, Murphy's lost, you know something's going to come at about you weren't expecting. When it's a small scale you could manage it much more quickly, much more easily and probably have a heads up let's going to occur. But also for the clients, or the perspective client, it's not as daunting for them because it's think you deal the innovation, the going okay, I need this department. This department has this whole grand scheme of all the departments to involve and again creating this barrier. If you keep it contained, keep... tight, keep it small, you're able to sort of keep that whole perspective small and get it helps with the sale cycle. But also the less people involve, the less thing you the more control you could actually manage how your products going to be used, because that's the other part of it is. You've got it, got the sale, you've got the utilization, but if you don't have some means of helping to manage those are going to use it for the first time, you have no idea what they're going to do because again, the clients are person amazing at utilizing a product in a way you could not even have positively fathomed it could be used. They're brilliant that way. Yeah, and so you really want that kind of means of control just to continue a just for that initial role. I think that is so critical and that is one of those things that is just overlooked time and time again. We are going on to the next sale, we're trying to jam everything into the existing sale and setting ourselves up for failure and just not doing enough of really being focused small and making sure that those early customers become raving fans to be those word of mouth marketers to help with the next phase of growth in a similar fashion. You know, under promise and overdeliver. HMM, that at every step. If you think you and do sixteen or something, you know, promise from ten and get all repped up when you do when you do twelve. MM. And that's harder to do than because it's it really gets hard because you sort of want, you know, you've got this momentum, enthusiasm trying to keep that sale going. So you want to be able to please the client in advance say we're going to do this, this and this. But it's an amazing discipline you need to actually under under promise. So I want to share this roxy and this has in regards to this comment, I just was sitting next to a stranger the other day. I was taking about my daughter and my wife shopping and I was waiting on them and I was sitting next to another husband and just in the conversation, it turns out he was young guy and he'd successfully exited a company and it was nothing. We talked about success and what it meant to have success and he said, you know, he said, I work my way through college as a server. He said. I worked as a waiter, he said, and it when I got into business. At every point I looked at myself as a server and serving the needs of my customers relentlessly, and that I mean even when, even when I talked about I just said, well, you know, what kind of outcomes? This product was making all of the cardboard covering for all of the major appliance corporations. That's where they grew this business to m and in Tennessee, and I what kind of fun to do it. Somebody's got a very successful so what kind of outcome measures did you use? Yeah, because I was thinking, you know, percentage damage for, you know, return products, things like that. He's like, my customers were happy, that's my outcome. And I mean it was just it was so simple and he talked about his business plan. It wasn't that good. They just put went headfirst into it. Started, started small, but that relentless focus on pleasing that customer and I think it's to the point of making sure that they're just raving about the quality of your work. And do you think that's something that we're missing? You know, I mean, are we missing just some of the fundamentals and basics? Yes, yeah, yes, absolutely. And Healthcare. Healthcare, ironically, paradoxically, they're the worst because our solutions are solutions and healthcare are so lucrative and if you look... it's so lucrative. It's easy to you know, create something that's, you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars, tens of thousands of dollars per unit. Yeah, and forget about the people who are going to be service in it, implementing it, monitoring it or receiving it. So I think mental. Yeah, yeah, so we're talking about a lot of different steps in stages and I think, you know, it's evident just in this continent, in this conversation, that there's so many moving parts, there's so many things that we have to, you know, get right and we decisions that we're making. You know, what are some strategies for success? You know, we're thinking about as you all being leaders. You know whether you're an advisory role, whether you're leading your own organization. You know what are some of the things that your guidance that you're giving to the the leader, right, the CEO, the founder, to help them navigate that? I think rent story just now is the best one. Hug Your customer, know them very, very well, listen carefully to them and make them happy. There's a boutique software company in Cambridge that has a sales budget of zero, a sales budget of zero, and they simply make sure that every single customer uses their product is happy. Right, they spend all their money on customer service and customers just kind of accidentally come in the door, but it's like a spider web. Once they come in, they're not going to let him go. And so I think it's that simple of just relentless enthusiasm for making your customer happy. That is a beautiful I want to know the name of that company. Yeah, yeah, this, share it later. But there's also both in both things. It's a guy I know who runs a Business Club in here, en Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and it's a magical place and I said what's the key to it? And he said, well, we just treat every single client like they own the place. That entail, well, untails everything, but it's as simple as it can be and feel like they own the joint and it's it's a magical experience. Wow again and and it's repeating with him. But it is. No, it is really is. Know your customer and treat them. Don't run and dump. There's many companies I know we experience, in fact the had maybe been the beneficiary of business following, who really run and dump. They make the sale, they go here's the product and go, you know, they kind of we're able to push a sale through. They didn't follow through. There's no support. The customer feels now what do we do? which is the lot the a polar opposite what he need to do. They need to feel that they're important to you and because it goes back to if they feel they're important to you, they'll also be more invested in working with with your solution, your product, whatever that is, just because of there's a lot to be said for that. Just that feel good. Okay, we we're a value. We're not just a number to help their sales forecast this month. Hey, Brent, your follower is in print, your cardboard magnet, your cardboard buddy. Yes, I bet you could drop him with any visions she could imagine. And he do quite well as there's no doubt. I mean he just had.

He just tell about the look in his eye, the spirit, that the way he talked about things. Now there's things he didn't like about being responsible for the business. He's glad to move on because he's at a different stage of bus life. But yeah, absolutely, he's the type of guy you want to be on your team, you know, being advisor, be a board member. ME, because he just eat. You could tell. He broke things down, you know, very simply. And I even asked him about health care. You know, I'm like, I love interviewing people. You know who I just made and you know he was talking to me about health and I'm like, what drives you crazy about healthcare? So just great insight from people like that. But oftentimes we don't bring individuals like that into healthcare because, even though they're running to successful business, they think, well, health care is not my channel, it's not my light. But I think we need more people like that. As was mentioned earlier, that innovation comes from oftentimes, you know, different disciplines. So I think we need to be more open to that. And that's back to your comment you still before about consumerism. Understand the patient as a consumer and a few certain more. You understand that more you consider to zero in on that whole process because you've got the patient, you've got the provider, but it's satisfying all of them. Yeah, right, and understand any they'd be satisfied and providing value. Now the complication to your other point in terms of the extra stages. The value proposition maybe a little different for the patient than it is for the provider in your solution set, but they all have to make sure you're satisfying those pieces. Yeah, in in so get making sure that you've got the value proposition right for each different customer segment and then being able to make sure that the people that are on the team that are actually there are communicating that. So I can't tell you. I mean I don't know if you guys face this or not, but you know every time, I mean it's like eight times out of ten, whenever I'm working with a sales team or sales leadership, they talk about delivering value. But when you look at their communications, when you look at their pitch, when you look at anything, whether it's written or verbal, it is a word salad, it is a word vomit. It is it is telling about their solution right, leaving about it. Whether they're using the term innovative or not. It is. Let me tell you about my thing. It's not let let me learn about you, let me build rapport let me deliver value, value, value, before I ever even ask for anything. And it's like it's like this disconnect because fundamentally, intellectually, we know it, but then we actually get into the mode, it's like we forget all of that and we just go into heart, cell, hard, direct sell right. And there's so many things that we're talking about here. That's not rocket science. It's just like best practice around business. And so there's two things that come to mind. Is One that you guys already touched on is, you know, having an advisor like the cardboard guy or someone that's going to be able to see what you can't see and be able to guide you to that, because no matter how amazing we are, I mean no matter even how amazing the card cordboard guy is like, he would have still had to have people around him to go hey, what about this? Oh, did you see this? You know, because we just can't see it when we're in it. And then being open to what other industries are doing, because they are light years ahead of us and healthcare. So yes, we can't just bring them in and they're going to like solve all healthcares problems because they don't know, they're stand the intricacies. We've got to have both on the team. No question, having advisor, a group or one or who whatever, to have to run ideas by are is invaluable. Fact, my first Kim know, when I first came up with this idea, it was not from the industry and I was convinced as being done before. So I actually had three people who were industry, who advisors. Their soul job was to spend two years to convince me that is already being done and that I should just stick with my day job.

Sadly, they sadly they weren't effective and I got into it having but having that sound and they continued on its advisors. But having that sounding board is a great thing to have just to throw ideas out, if nothing else that they're familiar enough of the business that they know what you're trying to do and to be able to bring inside from outside, because you can't at some point you can't see the force from the trees. It's impossible just because you're so deep into it all. You know, when Paul McCartney Dreamt the song yesterday, he woke up, he knew the song, played it on the piano and he thought for sure that he had stolen it from not knowingly, but he spent weeks and weeks and weeks going to every musician you could playing and saying, where did I steal this from? Because I know, I know, I couldn't have come up with it my dream. But that's funny. I never heard that before. One other one other idea in terms of customer, in guiding your vision of the customer, take a look at competitors, training films for customers, for patients in particular. They're more often than not you walk away thinking I don't know anyone who could follow these instructions. Particular thing, looking at training documentation or training films or whatever tools they have is a really, really good way to see opportunities for improvement. Definitely. And a couple of other things that came to mind was just the NPS survey or satisfaction surveys. Again, these are things that are not like rocket science here, but I think they're often overlooked, especially when we are in an earlier stage. We think of, you know, building out those experiences, that kind of customer experience and support much later on in the growth of the business, but I think that's a missed opportunity for us. Yeah, so, as we wrap up here, what is you know, just in closing, we've talked about a lot of pitfalls and challenges and the results were looking for and steps and and strategies and tactics to be successful. You know, what is your you know, kind of parting wisdom for today? What's one thing that you want to say to our audience that they need to be mindful of when they're trying to figure out their path to profit? And we have one one thing to say that you do another thing, I know, being fair, not being fair at all to any of us, I think. And and start touching what we've talked about and actually calling a little bit for Jefice has said. Another piece is understand your competitive set because invariably when you describe what your service is, you'll be using buzz words, as you sort of said, innovation or otherwise, and the go oh, it's just like x or I've just used. Why that there's reference point. are going to be someone in your competitive set for the most part and you really need to understand that competitive set to be able to either say word like that or we're different from that you. Sometimes it's good have a competitive set to say okay, there's a that is a valid solution. Other Times is there's so much traffic in the area. How do you differentiate yourself? And need need to understand that as well. You know, seeing the training videos actually very good to get insight on your competitor. But you really need to understand that competitive set and sort of choose a few key ones because they will be reference points to perspective clients if you talk to without any question. Definitely. So I just combine a couple of the elements we talked about find a champion with your target market. Start Small and care a lot. I'm not end resolved if you do that, picking your clients carefully, and then you know you ultimately,...

...though, you really you have to care about the about the results of what you're doing and how you're doing that. Whether it's innovation or work harder or whatever it is, doesn't matter so much. It's really what did you achieve that change the process for your client? The results? Yeah, I think that's really important too. Bright. Yeah, I think once we achieve that innovative solution, I think it gets down to some fundamental principles, and that's you have to get have good relationships with people, because even though you're dealing with technology, I mean it's still a human world and we've got to work with one another and I think ongoing relationships often times paid dividends, not just through contracts or cheaper prices, but through more productive, more efficient business strategies and business outcomes. And you know the Cliche they oh cles say, I think plays well. Timing is everything, okay, and I think we heard a lot of timing examples, and you know, I wrote this down and underlined it all my notes today. Timing is everything and you can have a great sand and think about timing is everything. I it reminds me the example of the tablet computer. You know, remember right before the big announcement of the IPAD, people were saying it can't be a tablet because the tablet was tried and it didn't work. Well, look where we are and I think that it's an element of time. I think you tisrment a timmy. You know, I don't think we talked about market entry or market entry timing enough. There's so many different pros and cons or advantages and disadvantages of being first to market, second to market, being a late entrant, and if we don't have a sense of that marketplace in know what kind of entry we're doing and to the market, then we're not going to be leveraging those advantages or kind of being prepared for those disadvantages. And most of the time I here, what are you entering into the market when my products ready? Well, that's strategic. Well, it's always a joy to have you guys on the show. Thank you again for such a great conversation and for joining me, and I look forward to many more together. Thank you very much. All right. Thank you 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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