Day 84 — Sprint 11 Retrospective

Addressing the elephant in the room: how Invincible makes money

This week I put the product down for a week to focus on how we’ll make money. I ended up doing a good amount of research and thinking about various channels: including direct to consumer, industry partners, payers, and healthcare providers.

In the end, we have no shortage of opportunities. These opportunities are a blessing and a curse: at times this week I felt overwhelmed by the potential number of paths. But most of these paths are really hard to actually validate — and since digital health is still in its infancy, there just isn’t a very clear roadmap to revenue.

And so, in the end, we’re just going to put ourselves our there. Our app is way beyond MVP stage already and there’s only one real way to find out whether it solves the problems we think it can solve.

The general path is this:

  1. We launch as a direct to consumer company so we can stay front-and center with our users and build a really great product that solves real end user needs.
  2. With the confidence of a great product, we partner with healthcare providers to demonstrate our outcomes and tie to cost/revenue numbers that matter in healthcare.
  3. From there, we seek reimbursement — most likely from payers.

Of course all of this is subject to change, but isn’t that what a startup is all about? The key to this approach is maximizing learning as we go: we’ll start to build the muscles that will be necessary regardless of the path we choose. In execution comes opportunity, and I’m hopeful that getting something to users now vs. waiting will help us achieve our mission even sooner.

🎥 Highlights of the Week

💡What I Learned

  • Anything but direct to consumers is a long, hard road. These paths are all very tempting because that’s where the money is in healthcare, but getting real validation is a major challenge.
  • I’m better at execution over strategy. I won’t sugar coat it: this week didn’t play to my strengths. I’m not sure if I should bring in a partner to help on the business model strategy side or get better at it. Most likely it will be a combination of both.

👍 What Went Well

  • Taking the time to think about how we monetize. Overall, thinking about our business model was super useful. It allowed me to take a step back and think about the road going forward.
  • Talking to experts. This week I spoke to 3 different trusted mentors that all gave really interesting feedback and input into our approach. I was inspired by their enthusiasm and it made me realize the importance of stepping outside the day-to-day once in awhile to get outside feedback.

👎 Opportunities to Improve

  • Compared to Sprint 10, this week I lacked a clear plan. And without a plan, I lacked execution. I’m learning it doesn’t even matter so much what the execution plan is, as long as there’s something in place that can clearly outline successful outcomes vs. failure. This week I’ll get back to executing on a set schedule.
  • Speed of Learning. This week prioritized “research” over “iteration” and “learning”. We need to iterate faster if we’re going to be sucessful.

⏭️ Action Items

  • Get after it. Launch the Invincible App in 7 days.

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