Health Innovators
Health Innovators

Episode 98 · 4 months 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, apodcast and video show about the leaders, influencers and early adoptors who are shapingthe future of healthcare. I'm your host, Dr Roxy Movie. Welcome back healthinnovators. On today's episode, you're in for a real treat. Weare hosting another executive briefing with some brilliant leaders and great colleagues and friends,Jeff Carlyle, the president of Numa Systems Corps, Howard Rosen, CEO andfounder of life wire, and rent right, the Associate Dean for Real Health Innovationat the University at Louisville. Welcome back to the show, guys.So, as we think about our audience, most of our audience, I wouldthink probably about, you know, sixty percent are innovators, whether theyare an entrepreneur or whether they're an entrepreneur. And you know, we talked alot about on the show about how really it's not the technology that endsup 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 thecommercialization 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 oftalk more about that. I've talked of little bit about bits and pieces hereand they are kind of peppered in throughout every episode of the show that we'veproduced, but never really had one episode that's kind of just dedicated to thistopic, and so I think it's great to have you three here joining metoday for us to kind of get your perspective and just kind of POW wowabout this. Like what are those key steps or stages when you're commercializing andinnovation? Love to hear what all three of you think that when you commercializationyou 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 thatneed or problem that they have and you you'll be able to present themwith the solution. So it's really being the first step is being articulate thatand, frankly being able to confirm that that target customer understands what you're tryingto 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 betterterm, and go what a great idea, I think this is perfect. Butthey really actually never spoke to anybody about it, or the target clients. When he spoke to them, shock in dismay. Oh, we're notinterested. So I think that the key for step is making sure there's actuallyinterest in it, a customer for what you've come up with. How ourthe whole focus should be on the results of what you're doing. It maybe innovative, okay, that's an interesting descriptor, but you're not selling theinnovation. 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 bethe one to talk about the innovation. There's an absolute direct, inverse relationshipbetween the number of times innovation is mentioned in the annual report and the actualinnovation in their company. Not surprisingly, right, if you've got to tellsomebody it's innovative, there's a problem exactly. That's why I keep mentioning how handsomeI you know else, Oh, you know right. Yeah, thiskey steps. We leave it to the academic here, you know, asas 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, andif an innovation equals a solution, then you have a pathway to commercialization thatmaybe somebody with higher order math there, you know, maybe there's a there'sa 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 ofinventors. I mean inventors, you know, consider themselves innovative, but they becometoo wed to their innovation and they don't really see whether or not theyhave a market. They just love what they're doing, they're just passionate aboutthat area and it's more of a hobby or it's it's something that's it reallyis going to be seen more by the market is indulgent, and that's whyit's very difficult to be disciplined and go to the marketing really ask the toughquestions. 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 beginwith the end in mind. I mean the end is a sale,the end is commercialization and having a sustainable business. So really having that disciplineand it and it's not complex, I mean just a clipboard, a pinand a piece of paper. Just talk to people, talk to people whoare your future customers to make sure there's going to be a pathway, becauseyou hate to spend obscene amount of money and then get there and then there'sjust hey, nobody wants what you have. Definitely yeah, because if you investmillions of dollars in something before you do that validation. Now you getsome 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 inthis direction because I'm so vested. Can Go back to my investors and myboard and tell them that up. Well, Nope, I was wrong, notat that stage of that enthusiasm, of course, is selpful because untilyou've shown somebody, not not described it, until you shown somebody the result ofwhat you've done, they can't react to it. Right. Every everyoneknows, right. They people didn't want automobiles, right, they wanted horsesthat ate less food. Yeah, that's what they wanted, a horse dateless food, but they didn't want an automobile. But once they were shownthat, then exactly right. Because many cases, go ahead, go ahead, please, go ahead, go ahead. Jeff, I was in in thecompany that where we were working on a predecessor product that led to theone of the most famous commercial collapses of all time, and that was thesegue. Right. No, no product that ever been pumped and hyped more, no product that you ever been pumped more than that, and all thesecrecy 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 makea difference in any anyone's life. That is the perfect example. I thinkwas WASNIAC lost a lot of money there. But but, but Jeff's point intrim to talk the Clich that you do have that fine line because intalking 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 sometimeshard as well. So there is a line of how you bring that aboutand and a process. It's not just ask once and that's it. It'san ongoing process in from of the commercialization, even in terms of commentary and reactionwith 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 theyheard. Yeah, but it's it is that process of showing them what they'rewhat the needs are and what you're doing, because showing considerably better than and thentalking 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'rein a wonderful high wire act. It just how much you willing to lookas you go forward. So we're talking about customer discovery and testing. Youknow our business ideas that we have what's next? What you know? Whatdo we do after that? Let's say we've got some validation of problem solutionfit. Where do we go from there? We you mean your you? Areyou saying that after the stage, we've actually validated the end user responseand they want it? Yep. Well, then they get into an easy phaseof kind of a make by processing scale. All you know. Cancan you make it? How do you deliver it? Those are kind ofthe mechanical ends of it. But if you've really gotten over that edge whereyou've shown that customers like it, you do the mechanical things and then youhave 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 tohurt? Who's going to want to kill this idea? Is that a competitor? Is it a WHO knows what? Who It is, but someone isgoing to get their nose at a joint if you launch this product and youneed to be very aware of who will be upset by it. And sometimesI pursue those people could be internal to your organization, like if you talkabout digital health and readeploying resources, meaning you'll have less clinical staff or whateverit going to be there. You know the inclination there is, perhaps notconsciously, but it's you. I can get the same enthusiasm as you wouldlike 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 actuallythe implementation process where you're actually working with the entire ecosystem of the company orthe organization to make sure they all buy into what you're doing and actually usethe 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 tobe dealing or in terms of help working with the patients, are they goingto 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 andan 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 totake them less time to use and it's like all those processes because it takemore 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 havethat fully work through beforehand. Throw the playbook out once you get into thereal 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 guystalking is Ai. So as I'm working with clients that are bringing some typeof AI solution to market, part of what the challenge or obstacle that they'refacing is exactly what you just describe. Jeff, was is, you knowthe 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 savesus, you know, millions of dollars, but it also takes myjob away, or it takes my team, in my department's team away, andso we're going to come up with every excuse in the book on whyit 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, howyou position that, is really critical and you can't position it well ormessage it well if you haven't done your research and analyzing those things that youguys just talked about. You know qualifying...

...your customer in the early days isreally critical. So you look for those departments in impediment departments, usually theID department, but it could be anywhere, and legal or it or some otherancillary 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'redoing, go somewhere else because you need critical successes in the beginning and yourrelationship with your client shouldn't be early on a vender supplier relationship. It's hasto be a collaboration right, it's got to be a partnership, and ifone 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 clientsand 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 notgoing to get that treat does a marketing issue. You've got to find anothermarketing you got fun another plan because, yeah, you'd be dead in thewater. So you guys kind of touched on targeting and kind of identifying thecustomer. 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 challengesand pitfalls around that, especially if you can bring your solution to multiple differentmarket segments. And then, you know, how do we identify them? Youknow, how deep do we go? So sometimes we might say, Oh, I sell to the doctor's office, that's my target customer, and thenI've heard clients where they really don't sell to the doctor's office. It'smaybe the referral coordinator or the practice manager that's in the office. So noteven refer to their target customer and the right way. So how are theygoing to message the right person or really understand where to find them online andpresent that offer to them if there's kind of this disconnect between who were reallytargeting? 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 withit? You know, what's really worked for you. Sorry, from myexperience 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 tounderstanding how the client works. And also where are you at? Are youdealing with a national pair, for example, or are you dealing with a state, you know, a more state level provider, or dealing with aclinical group at a local level? Because each one has a very different dynamicand decision process and elements that really tie to the the business decisions that theymake, because each so it's each one is its own complex organism that youhave to really understand. And and again, especially you're starting really specialize, youneed 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 adeep 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 effortgoing 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 theone who's making the decision. WHO's not the one who's paying for WHO's notthe one who's ultimately on the hook for it? Every all the all theincentives are disconnected. So you it becomes very comp very complex as to whoto sell to, because you've done all these different stakeholders. They really don'tcare too much about the other. Yeah,...

I think these comments speak to theschizophrenic nature of healthcare as business model. And you know, when you lookat the as you know, hopefully going forward we're going to be talkinga lot more about the consumerism of healthcare, because the person really at the heartof 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 itis true. It is that it's hard to find the right person to targetbecause being with university, I'll get people contacting me all the time, youknow, 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 toI'm just going to save you your time because I have such a uniquestanding that I'm with the university, but I'm a I'm an hour and ahalf away working in an area that I work and people just look. Peoplejust look at titles and think you're you can help them get into the wholeuniversity, 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 newcategory already just by returning a call. You know, a couple of thingscome 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 thinkabout building a business model just for the user or just for the buyer andnot 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 whotheir target market is, but then when you go to their website or anyof 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 andwhat's that value proposition for who that specific audience is. More pitfalls and challengesalong the way. Well, you have to find people who can support thebuying process of whatever you're selling. But you have to also recognize all thepeople who have veto power. And in a big organization, YEA, itoften takes just one, one entity in a group to veto it, becausethe other ones may not, you know, want to state their reputation or effortor money on something if they think there's going to be a they sayor in the group. So unfortunately it's the wrong ratio. It takes onein one party to kill an idea and at least, you know, almosteverybody to forward them. And how more, how many of our sales strategies areare specifically looking for that blocker? Now they're probably trying to find thethe the champion right or who they're going to sell exactly. It's really getthat champion on board to actually point out all those blockers the extent that theycan. M Yeah, but you know what, the churn at somebody's largeorganizations 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 haveto be additional re education or a pivot somewhere else for a different potential personwho 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 processis a yearlong, which easily can be, in that year, you're going tohave management inflection points. Either the direct champion or more likely their bossor someone else changes roles and then start...

...the process over again. And youknow, I have to chime in on this one. I mean the politicsof 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 peopleto 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 outthere, because if you pick a really good product and that makes that makesthe organization work well, is does well for the organization, you're going toboost your cloud, you know, and there's always going to be people theyare trying to trying to clip you and hate, I hate that. Ireally hate that. But I deal you know, you know at the universityI deal with some young, you know, early stage companies and I really reallytry to position myself and how I bring them in. So I tryto 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, youmay and it's not against the product or the innovation, it's just that there'snot a climate to bring that into and you need to get through some otherissues for the organization that maybe that you know innovator doesn't understand. Rent Twentythirty years ago they had an upper level management meeting at Hospital Corporation of Americaand then talked about innovation and we happened to connect with them like three daysafter that event. Yeah, had we connected a week later, the halflife of that exuberance would have died there literally, literally three days after thisZeminar 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 youthe timing. I have any dead running stories, but that was a goodtime story. If we had come in a week earlier, it wouldn't thatnothing in a week later it probably wouldn't have worked either. So how doyou how do you master that? Is that just experience or are you payingattention to some triggers? There's triggers you got to pay attention to. There'sso many elements. Would, quite honestly, some of the more difficult ones getdependy the size your organization is. Sometimes you have a hater using Brent'swords, because there are a few of those, because they're incentive program forthe corporation. Is You get a double bonus if x, Y and Zhappens. But your solution s you just don't fit in their double bonus planand frankly, you be, you know, maybe not pushed aside, but you'renot 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 seeon 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 maybe rewarded for, you know, following up. Three days later and here'ssomething with the eye word to use. You get fiscal year insanity. Youmay be approaching the fiscal year and someone literally might have, you know,spend, use it or lose it, kind of fund that it becomes funnymoney 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 meansso much different, how many different things, depending on when you are in thatbudgetary cycle. Yeah, it goes...

...back to need for that champion inthat organization, organizations targeted, so you get that heads up. He headsto up. I had a previous guests mentioned the word Trojan. I've neverhad never heard it before. We know, I've heard champion in the blocker andyou know the decision makers, but chant Trojan, and the Trojan wasjust the just the person that no one noticed, that no one really paidattention to, but they saw everything and they were the ones that were goingto be able to tell you all the politics, all the double bonus insights, all the fiscal year, all the you know, all the stuff thatyou really needed to know from a sales standpoint to be successful, but youwould very likely just pass them by in the hallway and not pay any attentionto them and sometimes be the executive assistant for the CEO. That, ifyou'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 importantgateway to knowing what's going on. Okay, Hey, it's Dr Roxy here witha 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. The pivotkit 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 hundredand sixty degree view of your business. I call them the six critical pivotlenses. As you make your way through this comprehensive kit. You'll be armedwith the tools, tips and strategies you need to make sure you can pivotwith speed without missing out on critical details and opportunities. Learn more at legacyand DNACOM backslash kit. What other steps? Anything else that we haven't touched onyet? Key steps in this commercialization process start small. HMM. Yes, prove prove it on a small scale. You know, someone walks into brentsand hey, I'm going to new from a jam at. It's goingto save three minutes and okay, well, let's let's try it and it's halfhour or whatever. Just start small, because innovators think big, right,and grandiose and sometimes psychotic and only sometimes a big think of a trainwork. Guilty and guilty these charged. Well, maybe I was. Iwas looking at now. Do you think that Red Yos and you think abouttransforming the world, you got to start somewhere, all right, and sostart on the smallest possible scale you have, filling in any technological gaps and juststart somewhere and and the and use those results, not the innovation,but the results of the innovation, to pro call you forward. It alsostarting small allows you to deal with, you know, Murphy's lost, youknow something's going to come at about you weren't expecting. When it's a smallscale you could manage it much more quickly, much more easily and probably have aheads up let's going to occur. But also for the clients, orthe perspective client, it's not as daunting for them because it's think you dealthe innovation, the going okay, I need this department. This department hasthis 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 withthe sale cycle. But also the less people involve, the less thing youthe 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 ofhelping to manage those are going to use it for the first time, youhave no idea what they're going to do because again, the clients are personamazing at utilizing a product in a way you could not even have positively fathomedit could be used. They're brilliant that way. Yeah, and so youreally want that kind of means of control just to continue a just for thatinitial role. I think that is so critical and that is one of thosethings that is just overlooked time and time again. We are going on tothe next sale, we're trying to jam everything into the existing sale and settingourselves up for failure and just not doing enough of really being focused small andmaking sure that those early customers become raving fans to be those word of mouthmarketers to help with the next phase of growth in a similar fashion. Youknow, under promise and overdeliver. HMM, that at every step. If youthink you and do sixteen or something, you know, promise from ten andget 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 sortof want, you know, you've got this momentum, enthusiasm trying to keepthat sale going. So you want to be able to please the client inadvance say we're going to do this, this and this. But it's anamazing discipline you need to actually under under promise. So I want to sharethis roxy and this has in regards to this comment, I just was sittingnext to a stranger the other day. I was taking about my daughter andmy wife shopping and I was waiting on them and I was sitting next toanother husband and just in the conversation, it turns out he was young guyand he'd successfully exited a company and it was nothing. We talked about successand what it meant to have success and he said, you know, hesaid, 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 theneeds of my customers relentlessly, and that I mean even when, even whenI talked about I just said, well, you know, what kind of outcomes? This product was making all of the cardboard covering for all of themajor 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 verysuccessful so what kind of outcome measures did you use? Yeah, because Iwas thinking, you know, percentage damage for, you know, return products, things like that. He's like, my customers were happy, that's myoutcome. And I mean it was just it was so simple and he talkedabout his business plan. It wasn't that good. They just put went headfirstinto it. Started, started small, but that relentless focus on pleasing thatcustomer and I think it's to the point of making sure that they're just ravingabout the quality of your work. And do you think that's something that we'remissing? You know, I mean, are we missing just some of thefundamentals and basics? Yes, yeah, yes, absolutely. And Healthcare.Healthcare, ironically, paradoxically, they're the worst because our solutions are solutions andhealthcare are so lucrative and if you look... it's so lucrative. It's easyto you know, create something that's, you know, hundreds of thousands ofdollars, tens of thousands of dollars per unit. Yeah, and forget aboutthe people who are going to be service in it, implementing it, monitoringit or receiving it. So I think mental. Yeah, yeah, sowe're talking about a lot of different steps in stages and I think, youknow, it's evident just in this continent, in this conversation, that there's somany moving parts, there's so many things that we have to, youknow, get right and we decisions that we're making. You know, whatare some strategies for success? You know, we're thinking about as you all beingleaders. You know whether you're an advisory role, whether you're leading yourown organization. You know what are some of the things that your guidance thatyou're giving to the the leader, right, the CEO, the founder, tohelp them navigate that? I think rent story just now is the bestone. Hug Your customer, know them very, very well, listen carefullyto them and make them happy. There's a boutique software company in Cambridge thathas a sales budget of zero, a sales budget of zero, and theysimply 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 comein 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 simpleof just relentless enthusiasm for making your customer happy. That is a beautifulI want to know the name of that company. Yeah, yeah, this, share it later. But there's also both in both things. It's aguy I know who runs a Business Club in here, en Portsmouth, NewHampshire, 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 theyown the place. That entail, well, untails everything, but it's as simpleas it can be and feel like they own the joint and it's it'sa magical experience. Wow again and and it's repeating with him. But itis. No, it is really is. Know your customer and treat them.Don't run and dump. There's many companies I know we experience, infact the had maybe been the beneficiary of business following, who really run anddump. 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. Theydidn't follow through. There's no support. The customer feels now what do wedo? 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 backto if they feel they're important to you, they'll also be more invested in workingwith with your solution, your product, whatever that is, just because ofthere'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 theirsales forecast this month. Hey, Brent, your follower is in print, yourcardboard magnet, your cardboard buddy. Yes, I bet you could drophim with any visions she could imagine. And he do quite well as there'sno doubt. I mean he just had.

He just tell about the look inhis 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 gladto 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, becausehe 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 andyou know he was talking to me about health and I'm like, whatdrives 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'rerunning to successful business, they think, well, health care is not mychannel, it's not my light. But I think we need more people likethat. 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 thepatient as a consumer and a few certain more. You understand that more youconsider to zero in on that whole process because you've got the patient, you'vegot 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 yourother point in terms of the extra stages. The value proposition maybe a little differentfor 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, inin so get making sure that you've got the value proposition right for each differentcustomer segment and then being able to make sure that the people that are onthe 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, butyou 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 deliveringvalue. But when you look at their communications, when you look at theirpitch, when you look at anything, whether it's written or verbal, itis a word salad, it is a word vomit. It is it istelling about their solution right, leaving about it. Whether they're using the terminnovative 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 delivervalue, 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 allof 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 notrocket science. It's just like best practice around business. And so there's twothings 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 goingto be able to see what you can't see and be able to guide youto that, because no matter how amazing we are, I mean no mattereven how amazing the card cordboard guy is like, he would have still hadto have people around him to go hey, what about this? Oh, didyou see this? You know, because we just can't see it whenwe'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, wecan't just bring them in and they're going to like solve all healthcares problems becausethey don't know, they're stand the intricacies. We've got to have both on theteam. No question, having advisor, a group or one or who whatever, to have to run ideas by are is invaluable. Fact, myfirst Kim know, when I first came up with this idea, it wasnot from the industry and I was convinced as being done before. So Iactually had three people who were industry, who advisors. Their soul job wasto spend two years to convince me that is already being done and that Ishould just stick with my day job.

Sadly, they sadly they weren't effectiveand I got into it having but having that sound and they continued on itsadvisors. But having that sounding board is a great thing to have just tothrow ideas out, if nothing else that they're familiar enough of the business thatthey know what you're trying to do and to be able to bring inside fromoutside, because you can't at some point you can't see the force from thetrees. 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 thesong, played it on the piano and he thought for sure that hehad stolen it from not knowingly, but he spent weeks and weeks and weeksgoing to every musician you could playing and saying, where did I steal thisfrom? Because I know, I know, I couldn't have come up with itmy dream. But that's funny. I never heard that before. Oneother one other idea in terms of customer, in guiding your vision of the customer, take a look at competitors, training films for customers, for patientsin particular. They're more often than not you walk away thinking I don't knowanyone who could follow these instructions. Particular thing, looking at training documentation ortraining films or whatever tools they have is a really, really good way tosee opportunities for improvement. Definitely. And a couple of other things that cameto mind was just the NPS survey or satisfaction surveys. Again, these arethings 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, youknow, building out those experiences, that kind of customer experience and support muchlater on in the growth of the business, but I think that's a missed opportunityfor us. Yeah, so, as we wrap up here, whatis you know, just in closing, we've talked about a lot of pitfallsand challenges and the results were looking for and steps and and strategies and tacticsto be successful. You know, what is your you know, kind ofparting wisdom for today? What's one thing that you want to say to ouraudience that they need to be mindful of when they're trying to figure out theirpath to profit? And we have one one thing to say that you doanother thing, I know, being fair, not being fair at all to anyof us, I think. And and start touching what we've talked aboutand actually calling a little bit for Jefice has said. Another piece is understandyour competitive set because invariably when you describe what your service is, you'll beusing buzz words, as you sort of said, innovation or otherwise, andthe go oh, it's just like x or I've just used. Why thatthere's reference point. are going to be someone in your competitive set for themost part and you really need to understand that competitive set to be able toeither say word like that or we're different from that you. Sometimes it's goodhave 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 youdifferentiate yourself? And need need to understand that as well. You know,seeing the training videos actually very good to get insight on your competitor. Butyou really need to understand that competitive set and sort of choose a few keyones because they will be reference points to perspective clients if you talk to withoutany question. Definitely. So I just combine a couple of the elements wetalked about find a champion with your target market. Start Small and care alot. I'm not end resolved if you do that, picking your clients carefully, and then you know you ultimately,...

...though, you really you have tocare 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 somuch. 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 getsdown to some fundamental principles, and that's you have to get have good relationshipswith people, because even though you're dealing with technology, I mean it's stilla human world and we've got to work with one another and I think ongoingrelationships often times paid dividends, not just through contracts or cheaper prices, butthrough more productive, more efficient business strategies and business outcomes. And you knowthe Cliche they oh cles say, I think plays well. Timing is everything, okay, and I think we heard a lot of timing examples, andyou 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 iseverything. I it reminds me the example of the tablet computer. You know, remember right before the big announcement of the IPAD, people were saying itcan'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 talkedabout market entry or market entry timing enough. There's so many different pros and consor 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 marketplacein know what kind of entry we're doing and to the market, then we'renot 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 marketwhen my products ready? Well, that's strategic. Well, it's alwaysa joy to have you guys on the show. Thank you again for sucha great conversation and for joining me, and I look forward to many moretogether. Thank you very much. All right. Thank you thank you somuch for listening. I know you're busy working to bring your life changing innovationto market and I value your time and attention. To get the latest episodeson your mobile device, automatically subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast APPlike apple podcast, spotify and stitcher. Thank you for listening and I appreciateeveryone who shared the show with friends and colleagues. See You on the nextepisode of Health Innovators.

In-Stream Audio Search


Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (111)