I see a lot of possibilities for startups in healthcare. I have a lot of discussions with people on healthcare startups. I want to share a few things, here, from those discussions. I love technology and understand why it is essential to move forward with technology in every domain. But how healthcare startups go about it leaves one to desire a lot.
Dont jump in
1. If you have an IT background and have worked with a healthcare client and had done back-end building their product, it does not mean that you can do a startup and just launch a variant of that product in the market. First you have to understand that IT is just an enabler. It is not going to change the way an industry operates that easily, especially healthcare.
2. Even beyond point 1, if you think your idea fits and has a market, the best way to evaluate it is having someone from the domain validate it. You are not going to become a healthcare person. You are just thinking that your idea/product/service can be beneficial for them and in turn you can have a good market for your venture. The industry people think completely different. They are healthcare people. They evaluate it with a completely different mind set. Actually their thinking is what should bother you or drive you and also validate your findings or claims. But if you have a revolutionary idea that the domain experts are not able to see it functioning, it could be an exception. In that case, you know where you are going and can go ahead. Otherwise mostly such a process will tell you where you are. More often than not, your product is not a game changer.
3. When healthcare startups come for a discussion I generally ask them
a. Do you have a domain expert as part of the team?
b. Have you been with the industry people in their daily work and observed what goes on? Have you tried to fit your product/service there and seen it working?
c. Do you have opinions of industry experts?
d. Do you have people who have given you reasons why this will not work? Mostly startups dont even have reasons why it will work.
I talk a lot about “buddy system“. What is it? As a technology guy you know a lot. You think you can bring good things to the benefit of an industry.You are most welcome. Make some buddies in the industry first. Work with them for sometime to understand the domain. This will allow you to do matchmaking and mapping of what you want to do to the domain better. You will learn a lot more about the domain and your passion will get fueled. May be, you will see that it is prudent to find a co-founder from the domain and both can learn without any clash in expertise and also with lots of synergy. Each can bring in resources needed in a much better manner. Your startup will be seen in a better way as the team will be more balanced.
Once this happens, I think a lot of healthcare startups will create success stories for more of them to follow.
There are wonderful opportunities in the healthcare sector. One can do wonders there.
Let me know what you think.