We recently sat down with Ari Tulla, CEO and Founder of BetterDoctor, at their office in San Francisco’s SOMA district.
Here is a transcript from Ari’s thoughts on proper execution. You can view the entire interview here.
Ari Tulla: Tips on Proper Strategy Execution
Hoala Greevy: Okay so another thing I keyed in on, was you being laser focused on execution. I’ve also heard you say that you agree with Peter Thiel in his book Zero to One, that competition is only in your mind.
Can you share some tips or things you’ve learned along the way about proper execution?
Ari Tulla: Going back to the fact that you know, when you’ve been doing this stuff and building things for last 20 years, you have done a lot of mistakes. The mistakes are the only things to learn from.
I think for me, it’s really easy to come with an idea. And anyone of us, you know we can go into the room and we can have a whiteboard and you know stickies, and we can come up with 25 ideas. But then the value of those ideas is limited without the good execution. And in the end, it’s all about can you get it to the market. Even if you get it to the market at the best quality, it might not still do anything because people don’t know about it.
It really is about putting together engineering, putting together marketing, putting together sales, as a one unit and trying to build something valuable. So often people think that you know, “my unit, the engineering, is the key.” Or the design is the key, or the marketing is the key, or whatever, or sales. But no, it’s really the holistic view on this.
As a CEO, I think you have to be able to help the company to understand and people to understand, that it’s not about you only or your department, it’s about working together. Those are, I think to me, the key points about execution. Not just about getting something done, but getting something done holistically so it has an impact in the marketplace. And then of course you know, the faster you go to market, the faster you see people’s feedback, the faster you can iterate and become better.
The whole idea about the Lean Startup I think is a very good idea. It might not apply to big companies or bigger companies but in the beginning, it’s a critical point. When it when it comes to Peter Thiel’s idea about on the Zero to One book, it’s not about you know, get fast into something, do something fast. Start on things that are hard and and that people haven’t solved before. Talking about you don’t want to focus on incremental innovation, incremental improvement only, but you want to focus a little bit at least, on the fundamental problems that are in the marketplace.
Today at DetterDoctor, I mean we work in very, very deep down in the healthcare bowels and we try to work on these fundamental problems like, “How do we get data moving better? How do we make data more accurate? How to make the system more transparent.” Those are fundamental things that are really difficult to solve that nobody has been able solve before.
Hoala Greevy: From the Silicon Valley tech CEOs that are successful that I’ve talked to or heard, there seem to be only two things in common: They make a lot of mistakes and they’re practically obsessed with execution. You’ve got em both man, so I really, that to me, that’s a success indicator.
Ari Tulla: I think the quick bite on this stuff is that, it’s with everything. Even if you are at home, you go home tired at 9 p.m. and you go to your kitchen and it’s dirty. If you look at it and you walk away, it’ll be dirty in the morning. If you’re go in and you take one plate, you put it in the dishwasher, you are on your way to doing something.
So the key is to start something quickly. Most people suck at it. They just don’t start. I mean people like, “let’s mull around this, think about it.” No let’s do something quickly and put something on the table, on the wall, on the paper, and then you know iterate.
That’s the key thing, always start doing something quickly and that will lead into improvement. Or, finding that you don’t want to do it in the medium term.
Hoala Greevy: 100% agreement, 100%.
BetterDoctor helps patients find the right doctors when they need them.
It starts with helping health plans, provider groups, health care systems and health start up companies get high quality data.
They build tools to bring trust, confidence, and transparency to the process of finding a doctor.