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Why Every Innovator Needs a Framework: Key Checkpoints and Tips for Success w/ Jon Warner

 

It’s no secret that innovating in healthcare is a completely different beast than other industries. That’s why it’s so important for innovators to work inside a framework, making sure they’re covering the most important considerations on their path.

And inside that framework lies a series of checkpoints and critical needs that innovators can’t afford to ignore.


On this episode, we’re joined by Jon Warner, CEO of Silver Moonshots and author of 40 books, most recently “SLAM: Build your startup idea or early stage business with the Startup Launch Assistance Map.” We cover some huge topics for innovators, including:

  • How to make sure you’re accounting for upstream and downstream issues, instead of creating a single-point solution that’s never adopted
  • Having a deep understanding of your market so that you can hyper-target the people whose “hair is on fire” — the ones who really need your solution the most
  • The critical need to get as much traction and velocity as possible so that you can rise above the noise

 



Guest Bio

Jon Warner is the CEO of virtual startup accelerator Silver Moonshots. Silver Moonshots works with entrepreneurs who are focused on solving for older adult issues, allowing Jon to focus on his passion of making life better for the 50-and-older population.

As a serial entrepreneur, he has several other roles, including Co-Founder of BetterLife Remedies and Adjunct Professor and Mentor in Entrepreneurship at the University of Redlands.


Jon has been in the healthcare industry for more than 30 years, where he started his career on the business side, helping healthcare organizations build more efficient systems and processes.


To learn more about SLAM and buy your own copy, check out his website www.slamprocess.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn.

 

Episode Transcript

00:00:01:23 --> 00:00:25:08

Speaker 1: Welcome back to the show, COIQ listeners on today's episode, we have Jon Warner with us. He is the CEO of Silver Moonshots. And let me make sure I get this right. He is also a professor of business and entrepreneurship, the author of 40 plus books, including his most recent publication of the book slam. Welcome to the show, Jon.

 

00:00:25:18 --> 00:00:27:10

Speaker 2: Thank you very much Roxie. It's great to be here.

 

00:00:27:24 --> 00:00:41:17

Speaker 1: Thank you. So I always like to start off by, you know, having our guests tell our listeners a little bit about themselves and um, so if you don't mind sharing a little bit about what you do and um, some of your background.

 

00:00:42:08 --> 00:01:29:07

Speaker 2: Okay, well let me start with the background because that's easy in terms of how I got here. Um, I had a corporate career for a long while, um, until I was in my early thirties. I actually worked in the oil industry of all places, um, but got bored with that. And so I just felt type is waiting for a whole bunch of jobs that I didn't want. Uh, so when I went into management consulting for a little while, and that's what got me involved with healthcare, uh, very early on I started working in those days there was a lot of business process re-engineering. So I was working on the business side of healthcare, trying to help major hospital systems, insurance systems, pharmaceutical companies, biotech for that matter, um, get, uh, to more efficient processes and systems. Um, and that led me into the entire healthcare system.

 

00:01:29:07 --> 00:02:06:04

Slowly but surely, uh, and I've been in it now for the best part of 30 years. Um, and then within that space, my passion is for the 50 plus population. Um, I just think there's a ton of unmet needs in that population that we don't solve for. Uh, entrepreneurially. Um, and as my career has gone on, I've been swimming from very large systems in the healthcare side to smaller and smaller companies. So these days I work mainly with startup companies, nerdy stage companies who are trying to disrupt healthcare in some way. And in particular, I focused on that 50 plus population and how to make their lives better. So that's the quick summary.

 

00:02:06:21 --> 00:02:12:00

Speaker 1: That's wonderful. There's so many problems out there for us to help solve. Right.

 

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Speaker 2: There are, there are just a Legion of them and we don't spend enough time focused on it. You know, I know the older adult population, um, accounts for most of the spend in healthcare, but it certainly doesn't get to anywhere near the equipment attention.

 

00:02:26:20 --> 00:02:47:21

Speaker 1: Yeah. Yep. Absolutely. And we'll kind of dive in a little bit later on some of that market segmentation and how important those nuances are. So, um, can you explain from your perspective what, how would you describe what's happening in healthcare innovation right now in 2020 and kind of, um, and you know, in the past year

 

00:02:49:03 --> 00:04:01:08

Speaker 2: yeah. And even a little bit longer than that, I think we, we had a major change really about 10 years ago with a couple of things. I think the internet became ubiquitous and I think that was led largely by smart devices, uh, being made available, uh, you know, in 2007, 2008 and then beyond it. Um, so I think digital health is, has got a lot of potential in all of its forms. Um, so I think we're starting to see in roads into healthcare, uh, particularly in terms of rendering solutions and innovations that make, uh, patients' lives easier, better, uh, and even cheaper. Uh, the problem is it's a slow ship to turn. Uh, we have a healthcare system that's 150 years old. Um, and it feels like it's creaking and, um, you can't change it all at once. We've got to do it progressively. So this is a revolution from below. Um, and I think you'll, you'll start to see a lot of these smaller companies become big companies over time. Um, and they will ultimately disrupt, um, the larger players in the space or displace them if they don't move fast enough themselves, which is why you're now seeing adoption, um, in, in the larger systems as well.

 

00:04:02:06 --> 00:04:32:19

Speaker 1: yup. Yup. Absolutely. So I talk a lot about this statistic that's really, um, that I came across years ago that really was kind of a catalyst for everything that I do. That 95% of the innovations that are brought to market fail to reach any adequate level of customer acceptance or financial profitability. So from your PR, I mean that's, that's alarming. Right? Um, and so the odds are, are not necessarily in our favor. From your perspective, why do you think some healthcare innovations fail and why some succeed?

 

00:04:33:19 --> 00:05:37:04

Speaker 2: Yeah, that's a good question. So it's even worse in healthcare than those statistics and you know, sadly, because healthcare is such a regulated industry, um, and of course you're playing with people's lives. So, you know, it's rightly so that it's got more regulation than others, but it does make it run slower. Um, I think the, the big thing that I notice is that although there's a lot of innovation around healthcare, uh, I think the worry that I have, and I'm, I'm not alone in this, is that we see far too many point solutions. Uh, so in other words, a problem that's very narrow that gets sold but doesn't solve for the flow around it. So an example with that would be saying, well, I can solve a particular chronic condition in a patient and without thinking that all the way through from beginning to end and all the touch points that are necessary in terms of rendering that solution to be, uh, effective and efficient, um, you can't just fix one problem. Um, you've actually got to go and think upstream and downstream and then solve for that. Uh, so I think that's where innovation has to go.

 

00:05:39:05 --> 00:05:55:01

Speaker 1: and so it sounds like you're saying that you think that that's like a pretty big gap that we're thinking about it in terms of a single point solution. Um, why do you think health innovators are missing that? What's missing for us to be thinking about that upfront?

 

00:05:55:19 --> 00:06:46:06

Speaker 2: Yeah, I think partly it's, I think the healthcare system is a little abstruse in terms of, you know, a pay cut in terms of understanding it and all of its complexity. We built a very complex system with all sorts of weird rules, not the least of which are pricing by the way, really don't understand how value is transferred. We have a, you know, a deliberately difficult system to understand, but it's difficult to understand the systems level. So I think a lot of entrepreneurs aren't necessarily from the inside and think they can disrupt something but don't have the insight and knowledge. Um, and then it's complicated to go and think upstream and downstream. Um, you know, you might think I can solve the diabetes for example and go all in on that. But you've got to go and understand that the people that are rendering care for diabetes are rendering care for many other things at the same time. So your solution has to take account of that.

 

00:06:47:21 --> 00:07:07:01

Speaker 1: yup. Um, and I would imagine that it's also somewhat difficult for an early stage company to think about that from a resource standpoint. Yeah. Right. Having the time and the capital to be able to address all of those different layers of the problem.

 

00:07:07:07 --> 00:07:46:06

Speaker 2: That's right. And so what it does is extend your customer discovery process a, it makes it more complicated because you've got to get to a lot more people. Um, but you've got to go deeper. So where if you and I were just doing some software solution in a, in a say a B to C market, we might be able to do this very simply, you know, talk to 40, 50, 60 customers quite straightforwardly, do so in three months and really be quite long way down the road of understanding product market fit in healthcare. You can double, triple, quadruple that time in terms of number of people you have to talk to and to understand what's going on. Um, very different worlds to navigate versus a lot of other industries.

 

00:07:46:11 --> 00:08:03:22

Speaker 1: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Um, I always say that, you know, commercializing and innovation in is in any industry is really difficult, but it's especially challenging when it comes to healthcare. It's just so many more nuances that we have to face and overcome.

 

00:08:04:11 --> 00:09:04:14

Speaker 2: Yeah, and I'll give you a good example just because it's illustrative. Uh, I know I'm a startup, um, in California and Northern California, uh, thought they had a very elegant solution to deal with within continents, uh, and spend all their time talking to the end customer, the incontinent adult. And not because they thought that's how it monetized. But as they dug in and it took them a year to do it, they finally realized in the end that it was the nurses in care facilities. They're the ones that needs to use their solution. And if they didn't go and build it into their work routines, it didn't matter. They weren't deliberately trying to go and leave patients in beds in their incontinent state. They were just overworked. So what they needed was a solution that solved for their issues at the wider level in order to go and say, yes, we're not with you. We want to solve this problem. And they'd finally get there. But it took them a lot longer than they thought and a lot more effort than they thought. Even for that simple issue, even though everyone was saying, yes, this is a good idea.

 

00:09:05:10 --> 00:10:06:09

Speaker 1: So there's two things that come to mind. Um, you know, that you, you talk about in your book, um, that I think can help overcome that. So one is a framework, a framework for making those decisions when they're developing, when health innovators are developing their, you know, commercialization strategy or plan and you know, making sure that some of those steps don't get overlooked. And then having, um, an expert like you, um, to walk them through that process, to kind of give them some push back and help them to think deeper or, um, you know, kind of stick with it a little bit longer of, you know, you've kind of sat down with 20, um, target customers, but we need maybe 30 more whatever that would look like. Kind of speak a little bit about what the importance of having a framework and then the value that an external advisor or consultant could offer.

 

00:10:06:18 --> 00:10:55:17

Speaker 2: Yeah. Okay. So I, I think, uh, the framework's critical because I think the startup founder needs to make sure they don't miss steps out. There are critical things that can be catastrophic, really problematic if they are not covered. Uh, call this risk. And there's a ton of risks that you have to mitigate in order to get from HIV. So I think the framework's important and I think the lean business startup movement did us a huge favor, you know, more than a decade ago now in helping us start to go and make a frameworks available. Um, what I've done with the slam model is really, uh, done something that's, uh, just extending that model a little bit further, perhaps simplifying it a little bit further so that people can cover those things in a sequential fashion. I think they can do a lot by themselves because my frame was an exploratory one.

 

00:10:55:17 --> 00:11:30:22

It basically says, ask these questions and ask them to have as many customers as you possibly can, but then you're right, it does need a certain amount of guidance. So I think bringing advisors on, uh, both to, uh, advise the startup and actually being involved in the process is crucial because you need people to push back on your assumptions and that's the great problem. Um, individuals think they've got a handle on what it is they're solving for and ultimately that, uh, you know, may not be true. Um, and you don't want to fall in love with your own ideas very early on because there in lies disaster.

 

00:11:31:08 --> 00:12:00:04

Speaker 1: Absolutely. Um, and I, I think that, you know exactly what you're saying is correct, that you know, that that third party person, no matter who it is, can help you not fall in love with your own product, um, and help you overcome some of those internal or inherent biases that you might have, um, of, you know, two people said they love it, so therefore I must have a successful business model or I must be solving a real problem.

 

00:12:00:15 --> 00:12:17:21

Speaker 2: Absolutely. That is a very nice book out there called the mom test, which is, you know, it says that Baba found founders go into the house, mom or dad and say, what do you think? Well, mom and dad love you. So for the most part, so they're going to say, you know, well, yeah, that's a great idea. I love it. A lot of feedback you need.

 

00:12:18:01 --> 00:12:39:01

Speaker 1: Right, right. Absolutely. And you know, even if it's not your mom and dad, you know, who really wants to tell someone that their baby's ugly. Right. Well more professional advice for sure. Can you think of any examples of when you've worked with health innovators and you've had some of those difficult conversations and what that was like?

 

00:12:39:20 --> 00:13:29:17

Speaker 2: Yeah, so for me, it's a regular affair. I run a little virtual accelerator every quarter, uh, in which I have six companies that are trying to solve for something in the healthcare space. And typically it's an aging as well. Um, so every one of those companies, in fact, we only invite them in when they have a mental readiness to accept Frank feedback, not only from me but from the mentors in the group. So that could be peer mentoring. Um, and it's your ID baby comment. It's just where you all agree that we're not going to be precious about what we're putting forward. If we can't see it, we don't get it. We're going to say as much. Uh, so every company gets that kind of feedback at the beginning. Um, if only to test the, the, you know, the, the hypotheses, uh, tell me why. Get deeper.

 

00:13:29:17 --> 00:14:04:04

Tell me more. So that and then test that. Now show me that you've got 10 customers that said there has on fire, um, um, in terms of wanting that product or service that you're rendering and if you can do that, you're going to get along way if you can't think again. Uh, so again and again and again. And in fact in the, in the cohort, every time I do a cohort, I think someone's going to sort of emerge without a pivot. But they end up with mini pivots, um, at one level and in some cases, very major ones, usually at the end of a six-week sprint. Um, so,

 

00:14:06:10 --> 00:14:51:18

Speaker 1: um, you know, I think that even for myself, I can think of advisors and consultants that I've worked with and you know, when they push back on my ideas or my plan and say, I need a little bit more detail here. You know, sometimes it's so frustrating cause I just want to be done with it and move on to the next thing. And I think a lot of entrepreneurs, um, are really fast paced and either, um, often want to skip strategy altogether and just get to the tactics or kind of develop the strategy as quick as possible and get to the tactics. And it's, it's a frustrating, uh, wrestling kind of experience, but it always ends up richer and better, um, for that process. Yeah.

 

00:14:51:20 --> 00:15:26:20

Speaker 2: Agreed. And I think the problem is that people, apart from falling in love with their own idea, there's a legacy cost, right? So the further end you get, uh, the more you're, you've got the investment of all of the effort that you've made into your one hypothesis that you've assumed is correct. It's really hard to go and say to anybody, why don't you go back and throw away what might be a year or a year and a half or two years worth of work? Because it's foundational. So I call it the unmet needs, that one on the slam map. Um, and, and just wrapped that up. Um, it may not be right. Um, and, and that's tough for a lot of people to do because that's something invested.

 

00:15:27:08 --> 00:16:20:22

Speaker 1: Yeah. Yeah, I'd rather just throw another million or two added and, and feel like I'm heading in the right direction then to realize that I've wasted a million or two and start over. Right. Yeah, definitely. So I want to, um, you know, kind of take the conversation a little bit deeper and to some of the nuances of a commercialization plan and some of the strategies and tactical decisions that are in your slam a framework and say, um, you know, let's look at targeting. What are some of the strategies or best practices around defining a market that they're, that a health innovator is going to target, choosing between one or, you know, another one. And then also if you could just kind of speak to what are some of the, the barriers or the obstacles of, of getting that right that you often see.

 

00:16:21:07 --> 00:17:13:05

Speaker 2: Yeah. Okay. So, uh, I mentioned it in passing. Um, step one in the slam map actually has got at least five times more the power of any of the others. Um, and the reason for that is because people need to know what problem they're solving for. And it's got three sub parts for it. And I'm going to go all in on this. I'm going to use my space, the aging space as an example. And I know you and I have talked about this Roxy before, that the older adult market, the 50 plus, it's 115 million people in the U S right now. So you can't really treat that as one monolithic whole. It's not a pejorative hole. You know, giving them labels like boomers and seniors doesn't help. Um, it reduces it a bit, but it doesn't help. It makes them gigantic. So the trick I always think with the unmet need is to understand how a hypothesis about something, there's a pain point out there or something that people need to gain.

 

00:17:13:24 --> 00:18:06:05

But the real question is which people, which tribe within that population is the one that cares the most? And you can define that demographically or psychographically or in other ways. So it could be, I'm just going to focus on females. I'm going to focus on people in their seventies, I'm going to focus on people, uh, that, uh, uh, tall or short, it really doesn't matter, but have a basis to go and reduce the size of the population so that they're reachable. Um, and hopefully they're the ones where their hair most on fire. To use that same phrase again so you can build a customer persona around that person going all in on that is the game of entrepreneurship for me because I think getting to a, a small tribe and counter-intuitively the smaller it gets, the better it is, um, is going to help you so much later because your capacity to sell to it's going to be so much easier.

 

00:18:06:20 --> 00:19:05:14

Um, and as you get later in terms of the slam map, step two is build your team around that. Well, you're, you're recruiting your team on the basis of that particular beachhead market, that particular persona and their knowledge of that and how to reach it and how to engage with it. And then your value proposition in step three is going to be completely aligned them with what their needs are and not just today, but in terms of your product pipeline as you're building out how it's going to iterate and improve. Uh, as you get further down the path, you can add markets to it later. Uh, it may well be, you know, taking something like the Facebook story, uh, that, you know, you can get to the world and get 2 million, 2 billion people on your platform. But I don't, I can't think of a single startup that ever got there that quickly, even if it was a fairly viral growth curve, like always started with a narrow segment. In Facebook's case, it was a first year Harvard males. That was it. And they spent their first six months doing nothing but that, I'm not trying to boil the ocean.

 

00:19:06:04 --> 00:20:37:10

Speaker 1: Yeah, yeah. And I think, excuse me, let me drink something here at this tickle in my throat. And I think that what we're talking about now is, is so obvious, but yet it's really often overlooked. I was just having a conversation with someone. Um, a couple of weeks ago and they had three markets that from their perspective they could pursue. Um, the, the, there was the problem that they were looking to solve, um, three different market segments where we're experiencing. And their approach was, you know, I have a few relationships here, a few relationships there, a few relationships here. And, and so it really wasn't strategically looked at like what are the competitors in each one of those segments? And like you said, which one of these have their hair on fire? Which ones are like really looking for a solution versus the ones that I'm going to have to go and try to persuade them and convince them that they have a problem that we can solve. And then, you know, they're early stage startup and so they were burning through cash like crazy, doing a little bit in these three different markets, right? Because they've got different messaging and positioning and I mean, just so many different things. And I just thought like, this is a, this is a red flag. This is one of those pitfalls that again, seems so obvious. Um, but are our real problems for that help us, um, that prevent us from, you know, changing the odds of those successes?

 

00:20:37:19 --> 00:21:43:15

Speaker 2: That's right. And I think it's, uh, it's fundamentally a, you need to think about it in resource constraint terms. You've only got so much time and bandwidth and money or other resources available. When you're a startup, you're not a big company. You can throw a lot of money at things typically. And even if you can, you don't want to sort of spray your bullets everywhere to use that analogy in the hope target. So for me, the greatest frustration is someone that says, you know, I think everyone's going to love this. Or even worse, I'm going to go B to C and B to B at the same time, completely different marketplaces. And then if you put B2B to C in the middle of though, that's a different one. Again, it's not only getting narrow, it's actually saying, well, let's try and do this in a sequential fashion so we can get conversion in the end. What investors want out of companies in any industry, not just healthcare, is customer acquisition. So saying I've got a lot of targets, sounds like it's attractive, you know, look at all the targets I could reach. It isn't, most investors say no, go to an incredibly narrow target and convince me you've got a hundred customers and I'll invest in you. It's that simple.

 

00:21:44:00 --> 00:22:20:00

Speaker 1: Right, right. Yeah. Oh my goodness. I have that conversation too because I work with folks that say, Oh, the market potential is 1 billion and all we need is 3% and they, you know, like that's going to be the persuasive story. And it's like, no, that's where we're running. Uh, um, so let's talk about what are some of the, what are some of the other strategies that you, um, recommend for health innovators that are in the trenches right now that are building out those go to market and commercialization plans? Okay.

 

00:22:20:12 --> 00:23:10:04

Speaker 2: So later on, once you've actually got so, and when people look at the, uh, the slam map, they'll see those first three steps. I mentioned unmet need. The team that's going to solve for the problem and the value proposition are the three things that are in product market fit. You spend all your time on those, the rest is really understanding the market you're entering. So what customer discovery is doing for you in, in a de-risking sense is making sure you've done several things. So number one, you've got to size your market. Uh, how big is it ready? You mentioned, you know, there's $1 billion market out here. I rarely believe those kinds of numbers. Um, because that might be what a total market is at a, at a total addressable market level, what's your reachable market is a very different number and that needs research. Um, so people should be doing a little sizing and Kathy doing so, um, go to market is then obviously very important.

 

00:23:10:10 --> 00:23:54:06

I can't believe how many startups tell me that they're going to big things up on Facebook or use SEO to solve this in markets where people aren't even searching on Google or not even looking at Facebook. Um, there are multiple marketing channels. You've really got to go and pick the few that can reach your customer tribe. And that takes work and research of course. Um, and then you're going to be diving into your customer acquisition costs in those channels. And then your long-term value can create and making sure that those numbers are available. Well, pricing is then really important. And that's not just sort of arbitrarily just slapping price on your product or service. It's about the value you're adding and then what share of that value you're going to take in order to render the service you are. That is a lot of careful work.

 

00:23:54:19 --> 00:24:32:24

Um, and then finally it's about for me getting into the ecosystem, understanding the market you're entering and how are they gonna react to your entry to it. Um, so in some cases that's obvious. Competitors are gonna be, um, making, um, you know, moves, uh, against what your doing and you should know who they are and what they're gonna do, or at least predict, try and project it. Um, but there are influences in the market that's buyers in the market and there are, there are other sort of influences that are around. So you really want to map all of that. I love to draw the ecosystem in a very detailed fashion. So we could understand it. And that's particularly important in healthcare because it's typically so complicated.

 

00:24:33:01 --> 00:24:54:13

Speaker 1: Yeah. Yeah. Um, and, and that makes so much sense to overcome the challenge that you mentioned earlier in our conversation about, um, you know, I'm targeting one group and as I dig into it, I realize that those aren't going to be those decision makers and, and I could have had an entire robust plan, um, for the, for the wrong market,

 

00:24:55:15 --> 00:25:37:03

Speaker 2: wrong market, and you make a very good point or wrong decision maker in healthcare. Uh, there's a couple of things that often calls many pivots. One is we, we're targeting a particular customer, um, and that customer isn't the buyer. Uh, they're an influencer, but at somebody else who's the boss or who actually holds the money until the final decision, or it might be a team buy in healthcare, I find half the time it's a team buy and you better understand that how the team plays together. They recommend to each other. So if they're going to go and adopt a system and pay you a SAS fee, $1,000 a month for $10,000 a month, you might have to get to five people. Um, so it's really important to understand who those five people are in a, in a given industry for sure.

 

00:25:37:08 --> 00:25:44:07

Speaker 1: Yeah, absolutely. And those five people might have different point pain points that they're looking to solve for, right? Different messaging.

 

00:25:44:20 --> 00:26:13:18

Speaker 2: Yes. Well, and if not different pain points, different criteria by which they make a judgment. So if I'm the CFO as opposed to an executive director as opposed to achieve a medical officer, I've got completely different criteria that I'm using to judge what I get out of this. So then it's about the differentiators. It's about the value proposition and making sure it's pitched in such a way is those different stakeholders in the decision, ah, this is going to give me a real benefit here. So I'm prepared to go and, you know, write my signature on the purchase order.

 

00:26:14:01 --> 00:27:01:05

Speaker 1: Yup. Yup. Absolutely. So we talked earlier about this explosion of innovation that's happening in healthcare. Um, in, in what I find to be one of the challenges is, is rising above the noise, right? You know, there, there, there's innovation taking place in, in a lot in other and all other verticals, but in healthcare it seems to be so concentrated, right? So instead of, you know, knocking on someone's door and it being kind of the third solution that they've seen this month, it could be the third pitch that they've had in the last hour. Um, so really being able to rise above the noise is extremely critical. Do you have any, um, guidance on how health innovators can rise above the noise?

 

00:27:02:00 --> 00:28:08:18

Speaker 2: so for me, that's really simple because I think the best thing you can do is to get as much traction and velocity as you can. And that sounds difficult, but it's not as difficult as you think. It's about getting your beachhead customers on platform, on your product, in your service. Now that can be a gerrymandered solution. It really doesn't matter. Um, as long as you've actually got real large people using the service, that's the best credential or of all. So as I sit and I, you know, I, I actually work in the investment community, uh, both at the angel level and institutional level. Uh, I'd say as many as eight out of 10, uh, and pitchers that, that I see, especially in early stage ventures, say we've got customers coming soon. Um, I'd rather them tell me they've got 10 customers, even only 10, and here's what we've learned. Um, or I've got 30, but that they happen to be all my friends right now, or what have you learned from those friends? That's a better outcome than I've got a ton of money in the bank, but I've got no customers. So I think that's the biggest de-risk or a hole.

 

00:28:09:04 --> 00:28:58:18

Speaker 1: Yeah. Yeah. And I think you kind of alluded to this idea of, um, you know, eventually we get to the whole product configuration, but in the early stage, you know, going back to lean startup, this MVP, right. Um, and it's interesting, I feel like this is a very lively topic in healthcare because, and I, and interested in what your perspective is on this, but you know, when you talk about MVP and other industries, everyone's like, yeah, that makes sense. Let's do it. And then in healthcare they're like, Ooh, what, what we're talking about patients lives so we can't do minimum viable product. We need to have the whole enchilada. And, and so just kind of talk a little bit about that. You know, um, what is an MVP and how can you do an MVP in health care and still not put people's lives at risk?

 

00:28:59:02 --> 00:29:45:02

Speaker 2: Yeah. So the one thing we've got to be careful about in healthcare is that you're right, this is a complete defense mechanism to go and say we deal with people's lives. Well, 90% of healthcare doesn't deal with people's lives. Um, it's a giant industry. We've spent three and a half trillion, at least 90% of that is spent on this systems that render care to patients. At the end. Not everything is a life-threatening event. So I think we need to understand what we're talking about. Um, but even when it does, even when there's patient outcome, I don't think MVP means terrible quality and life-threatening. I'd be looking for that very early. So if we're going to go and do something MVP doesn't mean we're going to put something in a surgeon's hands and, um, they're going to be killing patients in order for us to get to ATB that too clearly.

 

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So I think in the world of medical devices, I'm thinking that the world of biotech and pharma, it's why we do so much research and testing very often starts on animals and so on in order to get to humans. That's just a given in the healthcare industry. But I think it's a, it's a, it's a crutch elsewhere. I think 90% of the time healthcare is no different to any other industry. Uh, I think it's one where we can understand the risks we're taking and still get an MVP to market that's high enough quality to be acceptable.

 

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Speaker 1: Yup. Absolutely. I couldn't agree with you more. And I, and I do that pushback, um, of, you know, what we're talking, you know, about what the MVP is, something that's safe. It just doesn't have every bell and whistle every feature and functionality that's going to make you feel really good about what you're bringing to market. And, and from a like an ego standpoint, but it's going to be to your point enough to get some customers to validate the business model.

 

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Speaker 2: Yes, absolutely. And in big industries, just to give you another example, inside the healthcare payer space innovation there is largely around the payment model. Uh, it's got very little to do with anything other than thinking about insurance in different ways or thinking about how data is, uh, is presented or how population health is, is best understood in terms of apologize Roxy. Um, so, uh, so I think we just have to understand which particular bit of healthcare we're talking about. It's a giant industry. I read a nice article recently saying, and had 127 sub-industries and 60 of those are over $1 billion. So we shouldn't really talk pejoratively about healthcare as if it

 

00:31:27:19 --> 00:32:01:24

Speaker 1: my goodness. Um, that is so true. Right. Um, no different than the aging population kind of being lumped together. Um, and kind of lumping healthcare together. Yeah. Yeah. That segmentation is just so important. Critical. Yeah. So let's talk a little bit about pilots in healthcare. Um, what does a health innovator need to know to make sure that they are getting the, getting a pilot, getting the right pilot, and making sure that they're getting the results of that pilot relationship that they're looking for?

 

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Speaker 2: Yeah, it's a really good question. So pilots have had an interesting history and we've got a little bit of tiredness around pilots on both the startup side and on the, uh, the pilot take aside these days because there's so many, you know, test the idea and it looks as if it's a safe way to go, but it can be problematic. So first of all, make sure your pilot is with the tribe you want to test it with. You don't want to say yes to everybody. If it doesn't fit your persona doesn't fit the market you really want to serve. Don't do it. When you do. I think you want to try and do it on a paid basis. If you can, you know, if it's not fully paid, you want to try and make sure that it's paid and your costs are covered, it'll play better if you're looking to seek outside investment.

 

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Free pilots I think are a problem all the way down the line and we'll come back to haunt you. And then I'm a big fan in pilots of actually writing a pilot agreement that says here's what we're trying to achieve. So we've got clear objectives of the pilot. We've got what the um, the startup company will be doing in terms of its core responsibilities, what you expect the pilot entity to be doing. And then what are the metrics by which we're going to measure that. And if we hit them, um, that we've even got a mechanism to say we're going to convert it into away from pilot into a full operational sale. So you can bake that in really at the a, at the beginning when you ride your good agreement doesn't need to be a long agreement. Our team, very good agreements on two pages, uh, objectives. Uh, here's what we're going to do. Each of us responsibilities on both sides of the fence. Uh, the metrics by which we're gonna measure and the conversion mechanism. If we hit these targets, we'll agree this pricing for example.

 

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Speaker 1: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Um, so we're talking a lot about best practices when it comes to commercializing an innovation. Who are some companies out there or leaders that are doing it well? Do you have anyone that comes to mind that you're saying, Hey, innovator, you're in the trenches right now. This is somebody to, you know, you might not have the same business model, but this might be something to somebody to at least look at because they are either beating the odds or they're destined to beat the odds.

 

00:34:12:06 --> 00:35:00:11

Speaker 2: Yeah. There's actually a, almost too many to mention. There are companies that are getting their customer Ry and are, uh, going in a very good direction. I mean, it's not constrained to healthcare of course, but you, you've only got to go and look at the high velocity companies. They're actually growing their revenue line, not their investment lines. And when I see headlines, the robo, I raised 20 million or 50 million or whatever the number, I'm not impressed because they raise money. I'm impressed because their revenue numbers look good. So if you think about the fast growth growth companies that choose Oscar health as a good example of that, um, they found a need in the marketplace and went after it and chase revenue very hard. Um, you know, within that sector. And I don't mean to single them out particularly, but I think a good example of being very customer acquisition focused.

 

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Uh, and I think it's the companies in healthcare that are doing that. There's a lot of them in the social determinants of health area, in population health, in health, uh, AI, uh, that I think we've got the same model. Um, that's well worth emulating when you're at, you know, a tiny company trying to start up in this space again, I'm sorry. It keeps anchoring back to it. It's back to customer acquisition and the revenue line more than how much capital do I need to go and survive for as long as I need to in this difficult industry. That's the wrong mentality for my money.

 

00:35:32:00 --> 00:35:49:08

Speaker 1: yeah. So, so John, I, I think we're getting to the end of our time here today and I want to just kind of throw out one last question for you. We've got so many of our listeners that are in the trenches right now. Is there anything else that you would want to share with them?

 

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Speaker 2: I'd like to go back to find that paid point. I think that comes down to being aware. So if you're working in healthcare and you might be a nurse, you might be a trainee doctor, a doctor or someone else on the business side, it doesn't matter. Or maybe usually I've had some experience of the healthcare system who don't work in it, but you have one of your family members, for example, use it. Pay attention to the pain points that you've experienced. Um, make notes, carry a book around with you and try and think about those because there are new and better ways of doing things and the careful identification of those big pain points that you see, uh, can be incredible opportunities, uh, to, um, start a company, pivot towards something, uh, or just get, you know, from a to B very quickly, uh, to job industry free with fantastic opportunities within it, but you've got to pay attention. Um, so that, that would be my one piece of advice.

 

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Speaker 1: Okay. Excellent. So how can folks who want to maybe follow up with you after or get a copy of your book, where do they go?

 

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Speaker 2: Sure. So the books on Amazon, it's on Barnes and noble, it's elsewhere, you know, all that stuff about good bookstores. Um, it's available in the Kindle version as well as a physical. Um, the, uh, there's a website dedicated to it. It's uh, it's www.slamprocess.com. Um, my contact details are there. I'm on LinkedIn. Um, I'm Jon without an H. J. O. N but, uh, I'm an elsewhere on social media, so people should be able to find me. I'm not hard to find online.

 

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Speaker 1: Well, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with our listeners today. I know that there are many golden nuggets that have been peppered in throughout our conversation that folks will be able to pick up on and implement into their own strategy.

 

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Speaker 2: Well, thank you very much, Roxie. I've enjoyed it very much.

 

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Thank you.