Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.
Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.
Below is our interview with Sebastian Seiguer, CEO at emocha Mobile Health:
What does your company do?
emocha is redesigning the way patients take medication. Half of patients do not take medication as prescribed, which leads to $100 billion in avoidable costs. emocha uses mobile technology to facilitate Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) - the practice of watching a patient take every dose. DOT is the most effective way to ensure medication adherence, but can be costly and burdensome if done in-person. emocha's technology makes DOT more accessible and scalable.
Patients use emocha's mobile app to video record themselves taking their medication. Adherence coaches and providers use emocha's web platform to engage with patients and track dose-by-dose adherence. This helps patients take their medication as prescribed and gives providers assurance that their patients are supported and successful in treatment.
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
As CEO, I am ultimately responsible for making sure that customers love our product by committing our internal experts in marketing, sales, design, and technology to a vision that values the end-user experience above all else. We serve providers and their patients with a revolutionary technology that can saves the lives of those with severe health problems.
The best part about my job is that I get to work at the intersection of healthcare, business, and technology to make a real difference in the lives of patients and providers. Data recently published by the CDC demonstrated that emocha's video Directly Observed Therapy platform helps ensure high rates of medication adherence. This is significant because high adherence means fewer hospitalizations, lower healthcare costs, and healthier patients. It's incredibly gratifying to know that someone's life may have been saved because of emocha.
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
Our concept is clinically validated but nevertheless presents a radically different approach to how medication is managed. We have to educate the market, and encourage our core of high-profile customers to advocate on our behalf. As a startup, we have fewer resources than the established market players. In other words, we have a greenfield opportunity and need to move at the speed of light to do things differently and better than the rest of the market. I have handpicked a brilliant team of public health experts, designers, software engineers, and business professionals to make video Directly Observed Therapy the standard of care for medication adherence.
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
Surround yourself with an incredible team. Seek team members with complementary skill sets who support, challenge, and encourage one another. Outsourcing is increasingly easy, but if a particular aspect of the road to success is critical, have the expert on your team.
Keep things simple. Our job is complex, but our software must remove complexity. This is especially important to keep in mind as a mobile health company. We have to put ourselves in the shoes of those who use our technology -- patients and providers. By designing around our users, we create products that actually achieve the desired outcome: improved medication adherence.
Be a reasoned and objective contrarian. Every time you are told that something cannot possibly succeed, listen carefully to the reasons, but attack the opportunity even harder. The fact that something sounds impossible means that either you are completely wrong, or that you have identified a massive opportunity. An entrepreneur exists to discover novelty, which is by nature non-obvious.