Seek feedback from potential customers and emulate successful businesses.
Co-Founder and CEO at Remedy Inc at 17, 20 under 20 Thiel Fellow
Speak to companies who build legacy solutions and emulate their success.
Always seek feedback.
Lesson: Idea Execution with Noor Siddiqui
Step #2 Process: Seek feedback from potential customers and emulate successful businesses
The very first step was getting Google Glass. We started out and it hadn't been released. And we didn't know any way to get it. So the first step of getting Google Glass--understanding what the platform was like, how do you develop technologies on this, what is the device capable of, what's the battery life--just really basic stuff for understanding the platform.
Then after we got a better sense of that, I think the thing we focused on was getting feedback from clinicians. For example, my co-founder definitely led that effort. She went to the University of Pennsylvania's Medical School. We talked to the CIO, the CFO, Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Financial Officer at these hospitals. We talked to people who have implemented tele-ICU, and tele-medicine in Intensive Care Units in hospitals. We talked to a lot of clinicians who had already rolled-out technology at their institutions. And then we talked specifically to doctors who would be using the product and what use cases they would want to use it in.
And then I probably spent more time talking to Siemens and Cisco and people who built legacy solutions to try and get an understanding of what's the pricing for this? What does the cost structure look like? How do they sell to hospitals? What does an enterprise sale look like? What is software as a service? How do all of these things work? What does security look like? How do you encrypt things? What does it mean to store something in transit and at rest? What are all these requirements that they are talking about? What is a business-associates agreement? Understanding basics of how a sale would work and what a deployment of our product would look like and what existing solutions already have been made and why those existing solutions aren't good enough. What is better about our product that we could offer that's differentiated?
In that process, obviously, you have to start building the alpha and beta versions of your product. We built out some alpha versions and beta versions of our product. We had clinicians test it. They gave us feedback. We were like, “Okay, let's change these things about it.” So we did that and then there is all this technological challenges around, “How do you get video to stream on this device with all these battery constraints and these Wi-Fi constraints?” And then it’s like, “Okay, should you use a third-party service, or should you build your own?”
These are not interesting details, but I think the point is that you just have to figure out a feedback loop around trying to get your product from not that good to medium good to okay pretty decent to sellable. And depending on what market you are going after, it’s easy or hard. Healthcare, I would say, is probably hard because there is a lot of barriers to entry. We had the Chief of Surgery at Harvard really excited about our product and even with such a strong champion who is like a bull in a china shop. It took two months just to get through paperwork through IT, through risk compliance to getting buy-in from all the stakeholders. Who are going to be operators? Who are going to be experts? Yeah, things just kind of take a long time to get through.