Built By Humans
92: Definitive Healthcare CEO Jason Krantz - building the GPS system for healthcare

92: Definitive Healthcare CEO Jason Krantz - building the GPS system for healthcare

August 24, 2022

Jason Krantz started his first company in 2000, which was an amazing year to found a business followed by 3 very tough years for early-stage businesses. That environment forced Jason to build a capital efficient, bootstrapped business from day 1. When considering his 2nd act, Jason identified 3 factors that he felt would reshape the healthcare industry:

 

  1. An explosion of data as organizations adopted electronic health record systems for the first time.
  2. The passing of the affordable care act.
  3. Tremendous market consolidation.

 

Jason decided Definitive Healthcare would be the GPS system for the healthcare universe. Definitive helps customers understand how all the organizations in the industry are related and how patients flow through the entire healthcare ecosystem.

 

Example - Definitive helps life science companies take new drugs to market in a more effective & efficient manner (lower time and cost). 

 

Today Definitive has > $200M in ARR with plans to reach over $1bn over the next 5-7 years. After spending the last 12 years building data sets that are not available anywhere else and investing in data science to draw out detailed market insights from this data, Definitive also has an enviable moat as their product is incredibly difficult to replicate. 

 

Jason joins Scott Britton and Andrei Newman on the Built By Humans podcast. Here are some key takeaways from the conversation:

  • Scaling a business is incredibly challenging. What is interesting is that the challenges are not necessarily related or transferable across stages. Your challenges with 100 employees are different from 200, and different from what you will face at 300. As a founder, you must constantly evolve to be effective in each phase. 
  • Data businesses take a long time to build but the reward can be very large if you aggregate a dataset that is truly unique.
  • Data companies must invest in having strategic (market insights) and tactical (contact info) data if they want to drive high user engagement.
  • Founders who understand the power of capital efficiency and invest in it early will have a ton of leverage in future fundraising conversations. 
  •  It is quite common for companies to drastically underestimate the size of their market. It takes time and effort to properly identify and carve out your addressable market.
91: Brex CEO Henrique Dubugras - the best CEOs are extremely authentic to themselves

91: Brex CEO Henrique Dubugras - the best CEOs are extremely authentic to themselves

August 17, 2022

Henrique and his co-founder, Pedro, started their entrepreneurial journey at 16 when they started pagar.me. In the process of doing so, they learned a ton about what product market fit looks like and how difficult it is to run a profitable business. 

 

Henrique and Pedro went on to stumble on quite the market opportunity: Why was it that startups were raising millions of dollars from VC funds but then struggling to get a corporate credit card with a $30,000 credit line? In short, they identified an underserved market with tons of latent demand and very little actual credit risk. These companies may have been considered ‘risky’, but in reality, they were very credit-worthy. 

 

5 years and change later, Brex has raised over $1.5Bn, employees well over 1,200 people, and is a market leader in the corporate credit card and spend management space. 

 

Henrique joins Scott Britton and Andrei Newman on the Built By Humans podcast as they discuss how to design processes that scale with your company, the importance of focus, and why being extremely authentic is the key to being an effective leader. Here are some key takeaways from the conversation:

  • The best CEOs are extremely authentic to themselves and build a team of people around them that allow them to be the best version of themselves. 
  • Antiquated industry infrastructure can yield fantastic opportunities for disruption. In Brex’s case, banking infrastructure prevented incumbents from underwriting customers daily which turned out to be a key differentiator for Brex. 
  • Calculate the true cost of a new process before implementing it. Many processes make the lives of 99% of your people worse all in the name of preventing the 1% of times where things go wrong. 
  • A CEOs job is to balance risk with speed and decide what types of risks they are willing to take on in order to move faster. 
  •  Doubling headcount doesn’t mean double the output. Many times leadership bandwidth is the biggest bottleneck to productivity. 
  • Focus is imperative. There will always be many strategic directions that have merit and value to your company but it’s important to be okay ceding some to competitors in the name of doubling down on your core business.
90: PointClickCare CEO Dave Wessinger -  prioritize team dynamics over individual talent

90: PointClickCare CEO Dave Wessinger - prioritize team dynamics over individual talent

August 5, 2022

Dave Wessinger started PointClickCare in his garage alongside his brother Mike. They started the company with the goal of improving senior care through software and digitization. What began as a garage startup became Dave’s life work as he has now been working on this mission for 25+ years. Today, PointClickCare has over 1500 employees and powers over 65% of nursing homes in the markets they have entered.  

 

Dave Wessinger joined Scott Britton and Andrei Newman on the Built By Humans podcast to discuss data transparency in healthcare, bootstrapping for 15 years, and why prioritizing growth in a company’s early phases is critical to success. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Achieving data transparency in healthcare is a regulatory challenge more than it is a technical one. 
  • Great team dynamics drive outsized outcomes more frequently than individual talent.  
  • Taking on large customers before you are ready is the only way to grow to a point where you will be able to service them in a satisfactory manner in the future.
  • When evaluating a role, people should aim to identify whether a company is a growth business or a lifestyle business.
  • Prioritizing your people should always be P1. If you do, they will make sure to take care of your customers. 

 

89: Cloudbeds CEO Adam Harris - designing systems of people

89: Cloudbeds CEO Adam Harris - designing systems of people

August 3, 2022

By serving as his father’s road buddy, Adam Harris got significant exposure to the value of travel from an early age. Through traveling to over 60 countries, Adam found that some of the best hotel properties were smaller and off the beaten path. Many of these hotels were ill-equipped to compete with the larger hotel chains in the area, a big reason being that there was a large technological gap between the big players and the independent hotels.

 

 In short, the incumbents did not have much interest in sharing their proprietary software with boutique hotels and decided to use this as a competitive moat. Realizing this, Adam Harris decided to found Cloudbeds, which is a company that provides independent lodging businesses everything they need to run their business more effectively. Today, Cloudbeds powers 2.5 million beds across over 150 countries and is now considered to be one of the biggest players in the hospitality technology space. 

 

Adam joins Scott Britton and Andrei Newman on the Built By Humans podcast as they discuss how to create highly effective teams, the importance of communication, making acquisitions, and the future of travel. Here are some key takeaways from the conversation:

  • A strong team usually has the following 3 people: an operator, a strategist, and a visionary. 
  • Having the most senior person on a team be the first round of the interview process is an effective way to drive alignment from the start and show the candidate that you are serious about them. 
  • Hire people who are driven by passion and interest rather than financial incentives. 
  • It’s okay to be wrong. Just be sure to make a strong bet on your new hypothesis rather than trying to hold onto something that you know is flawed (strong convictions, loosely held). 

 

88: Lendio CEO Brock Blake - saving the American dream

88: Lendio CEO Brock Blake - saving the American dream

June 30, 2022

Lendio is a marketplace that simplifies the process for small businesses to get loans. By Q1 of 2020, they were growing 100% Y-o-Y and had hit their monthly goals 24 consecutive times. When COVID hit, every lender on their platform stopped lending and they went from nearly $100 million in monthly loan volume to 0 overnight. 

 

Rather than pullback, Brock Blake (CEO and co-founder of Lendio) used the opportunity to double down in a big way, hire 250 new people, and re-orient the entire company around PPP loans. 

 

As a result, they helped 100,000+ businesses secure close to $10 billion of loans and saved 1.5 million jobs in 6 weeks. Brock joined Scott Britton and I on Built By Humans to chat about taking big bets, how to keep a team afloat under extreme pressure, and Lendio’s push to add a SaaS business onto their marketplace. Here are some key takeaways:

 

  • Never underestimate a group of individuals that rally around a big mission.
  • It is so critical to have clarity of message and vision. If people feel a lack of clarity or transparency, like when there starts to be doubt about where the company is headed and the message…… that is really the most damaging thing that can happen to the company. 
  • The most successful companies have this combination of marketplace + SaaS + data.
  • Moving from a single to a multi-product strategy is tricky. It’s tough to have all this energy and growth in your core business but then also look at a longer-term opportunity and invest in it properly.  
  • Leaders should re-assess their org’s design as revenue scales up from 0 to 1, 1 to 10, and then 10 to 100 million. 

 

87: Lower CEO Dan Snyder -  building wealth through home ownership

87: Lower CEO Dan Snyder - building wealth through home ownership

June 22, 2022

By purchasing a home at 24, Dan Snyder experienced the value of homeownership at an early age. As a result of that experience, Dan decided to found Lower, a bootstrapped fintech focused on helping people build wealth through home ownership. 

 

Lower raised a $100 million Series A in June of 2021 and proceeded to grow the team exponentially to about 800 people over the last year. Dan joins Scott Britton and Andrei Newman on the Built By Humans podcast to discuss the importance of having strong core values, investing in training front-line managers, and constantly recruiting for new talent. 

 

  • A key part of being a mission-driven company is making sure the people you hire are aligned to that mission. If you don’t believe in the value of home ownership, you probably shouldn’t work at Lower.

 

  • An underrated benefit of raising institutional capital is raising the level of awareness the market has about your product or service. 

 

  • Building and maintaining a high-performing team is always going to be harder and take longer than you think. Companies should always look to keep their bench full by recruiting across all areas of business regardless of need.

 

  • Managing people is very difficult and it is only something you do well when you’ve had the right amount of reps. Make sure to invest early in training your managers (especially newly promoted ones) as they are critical to your ability to rapidly scale out a team.

 

  • Hire people who do more than they think. The easiest way to lose motivation is by making your team feel like they cannot chase opportunities because they need approval before taking action. 

 

86: Superhuman Founder Rahul Vohra - build games not products

86: Superhuman Founder Rahul Vohra - build games not products

June 15, 2022

Superhuman aims to make responding to emails less time-consuming by building a blazingly fast, yet gorgeous email experience. CEO and Founder Rahul Vohra joins Scott Britton and Andrei Newman on the Built by Humans Podcast to offer some untraditional takes on user onboarding journeys, how you can build software products that feel like games, and why productivity and mental health are intertwined. Here are some key takeaways:

 

- When trying to build a quality product, be wary of early customers experiencing bug fatigue -- if

too many users run into the same set of bugs, it can overwhelm both them and your

development team. Instead of risking this with a traditional all-at-once launch, consider a

measured pace of onboarding that allows your team to fix bugs at the same rate they’re found.

 

- Keeping a manageable onboarding pace coincides with a good strategy for developing the

onboarding process. Start by ensuring the founder can tackle onboarding calls, and as long as

you’re retaining healthy customer metrics, transition to shorter onboarding times and specialized

teams to make the process efficient. Nail it before you scale it. 

 

- While ‘gamifying’ your product with explicit rewards can decrease end-user motivation, some

underlying trends of game design can be implemented to create an extremely engaging product.

Consider all your individual features as toys forming a larger game for the user. If each feature

is created as its own engaging toy, the overall product acts as a game that motivates users to

learn all its features over time.

 

- Communication is a major stress point for remote workers: 89% said that responding to emails

and messages was the worst part of their day, while over half said they think their presenteeism

and quick responses are valued just as much (if not more) than substantive work output.

Superhuman’s software largely eases this process, but reworking workplace norms to reinforce

clear communication in remote work can also help improve your employees’ productivity and

mental health.

 

- When building a quality product, it’s best to limit your building to a single platform. Choose a

target market, and build on whatever platform is used most. Going multi-platform can be a

monumental step -- good strategy usually means waiting until your customer requests demand

that you expand into new markets.

85: PagerDuty Chief Product Officer Sean Scott -  Data is king

85: PagerDuty Chief Product Officer Sean Scott - Data is king

June 2, 2022

Sean Scott spent close to 15 years at Amazon where he ran their shopping experience and autonomous delivery product, Scout. In January 2021, Sean decided to join Pager Duty as their Chief Product Officer. Pager Duty is a software company founded by 3 former amazon developers that helps customers move at ‘machine-speed’ in critical moments. Pager Duty’s business has dramatically accelerated over the past 2 years as the rise of remote work made real-time incident response and work orchestration incredibly important to the enterprise.

 

While Pager Duty is mainly known for being an industry leader in notifications and work orchestration, they have recently launched new products for AI ops and automation. Scott joins Scott Britton and Andrei Newman on the Built By Humans podcast to discuss the importance of being data-driven, how the modern product leader’s skillset is shifting, and what aspect of Amazon he made sure to bring with him to Pager Duty. Here are some quick takeaways:  

 

  • Having the right data is paramount. The question is do you have everything instrumented to get those insights and learnings. And, more importantly, are those insights actionable. 

 

  • To understand your customer, you need to break down the user experience and instrument it for all the metrics that matter so that you can truly understand what is happening within your product. 

 

  • When analyzing your product’s performance in aggregate, it is easy to trick yourself into believing everything looks good. When customer anecdotes disagree with the data, the anecdotes are usually right. 

 

  • Companies experiencing hypergrowth need to make a habit of revisiting and questioning the effectiveness of the processes they have in place. They usually grow stale every time the size of your team doubles. 

 

  • Companies need to move away from having separate motions for sales, marketing, and product. You must analyze the entire flow holistically and combine how every team interacts with the end-user to create a truly great customer experience. 
84: Globalization Partners CEO & Founder Nicole Sahin - hiring anyone, anywhere
83: Envoy CEO & Founder Larry Gadea - the people you hire define your company

83: Envoy CEO & Founder Larry Gadea - the people you hire define your company

March 23, 2022

When faced with a global pandemic and social isolation, you wouldn’t expect Envoy, a startup based on improving physical workspaces, to come out alright. But, through a user-oriented mindset, and a willingness to adapt to new situations, they came out not just surviving but with an exponential growth from where they had been.

 

 CEO and Founder Larry Gadea joins Scott Britton and Andrei Newman on the Built by Humans Podcast to offer advice on how to move through situations like the pandemic, what kind of mindset you need in a startup, and some unique takes on the future of workspaces. Here are some quick takeaways:

 

  • When forced to transition through uncontrollable events like the global pandemic, ask yourself how you can build through it instead of focusing on the losses you might face. These events can be tragic, but they also create new customer needs that you can treat as unique opportunities to solve.
  • With advancements like the pandemic and meta, it seems like modern work will only become more and more isolated and flexible. However, there is evidence to the contrary – our current situations may make an in-person workspace even more important to keeping human connections with each other.
  • In a company, people are more important to the overall culture than the physical space they meet in. Because of this, the future might see more coworking/lending of physical workspaces, sacrificing personalization for efficiency and availability.
  • In the startup world, taking constant changes and risks are necessary for long-term success. Make sure you find some thrill in facing the tough problems you’ll have to work through and be wary of burnout. If you and your team get too focused on in-the-now projects, make sure to remind yourselves of the bigger vision you’re working toward – a paycheck won’t always be enough for motivation.
  • The people you hire define what your company will become. Don’t be afraid to hire opinionated people, and make clear paths for your team to voice complaints. The more feedback and open communication, the better for everyone.
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