Day 81 — Business Model Exploration: Consumers

Building a great product for end users

Since Day 1 of Invincible, I’ve dreamed of building a great consumer product.

To me, the easiest path to a great consumer product is selling direct to consumers.

For years in the type 1 diabetes industry (and healthcare as a whole), Ive experienced bad products be created with good intentions. Why? One of the major challenges in healthcare are incentives: the person who most stands to benefit from a solution (i.e., the end user / patient) isn’t the person who pays for it (i.e., the health plan) who isn’t even the person it’s marketed to (i.e., the healthcare provider). As a result, incentives are mis-aligned, and the end user / patient ends up last, stuck with a product that wasn’t really designed for them.

What I love about the consumer business is that incentives are perfectly aligned: the person we’re building for is the one using the product every day. If we solve their problem, they’ll use it. If we don’t, they won’t.

Building a Consumer Business

In building a consumer business, the best experience wins. End users vote with their downloads, time, and pocket books. If things aren’t clicking, they simply won’t use it. I love the simplicity of the outcome.

But…it’s also really hard and really competitive to make a B2C company work. In the beginning, it’s an uphill grind to convince end users to try you out. Your solution has to be so good that they take a chance on you (and then tell all their friends). And you’re competing with Netflix, Facebook, Tik Tok, and a hundred other amazing consumer products in the market. And in healthcare? Things get even more challenging.

  • Aligned focus on the end user and product
  • Quickest path to market
  • Really expensive
  • Lots of competition
  • A great brand
  • A great product
  • Solves a need
  • High virality
  • High engagement
  • Large user base

What’s Next?

This path just feels right. Building a consumer business gets us out into the real world and puts us in control of our own destiny. It won’t be easy — and we’ll no doubt need lots of partners and help along the way — but at this stage, it also gets us in the game. It allows us to develop the product for the users that matter most: kids.

I’m going to sleep on it for a few days, but I think this may be our ideal path forward. After showing a good friend the app today, he said “this needs to exist in the world.” And maybe he’s right. And maybe the best way to make this exist is to just…make it exist…to build out the content, launch it, and support as many kids as we can.

I have no idea how/if this path will make us money, but I know it gets us closer to our mission. And maybe that’s enough.

Startup founder surviving in his parent’s basement.