A new company was brewing in Silicon Valley. It had its eye on being disruptive with its new product in telemedicine. The owner was a young doctor and had never run a business, but he was smart as they come and determined to start up without venture money. He brought in the best people he could find because he knew they would have to hit the ground running and need little support from him. He didn’t have time to train or wonder – he was still working part time at the hospital to keep money coming in to the young enterprise.
Back then, Bowie Fox was just me and I was brought in to do marketing, but also created and managed processes in sales and operations. Starting from scratch has some fun benefits – there is no past to clean up! Everything was fresh and ideas were pouring out of the whole small team of 5 people (me in marketing, an expert in medical equipment sales, a technology genius for both hardware and software, the finance guy, and the owner). Together we were one coordinated team. I was pushing out marketing materials and designing a booth for the RSNA in Chicago and other trade shows. I was also working with PR people, creating materials for sales and graphic diagrams for new customers on how to assemble and work with our product (a Mac computer with our software that would transmit CT and MRI scans anywhere that had a modem within minutes).
The take away: Problems? Not with our team, but we had to learn along the way how customers would manage and use the equipment on the other end. Sometimes there is no other way to make things work – but you need a highly professional and experienced team that functions as a whole.
Six years later this company was bought out by Kodak Medical Imaging without one dollar coming in from a VC firm.
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