At Jeeon, the day-to-day often feels like a steep uphill climb, and sometimes we hit a wall and are forced to sit and wonder whether we really are making any headway. But then, almost absent-mindedly, we look back and are jerked with surprise, to realize just how fast we have been moving! At that point, it seems almost crazy to imagine how far behind we were even 3 months ago.
At the end of 2015, we were still unsure if the patient growth we were seeing was sustainable or a fluke, after a seemingly never-ending period when we doubted whether even the baseline level of patient flow was attainable. Since then, we have nailed that primary business model assumption of patients per day, exceeding it by a factor of 2-3X regularly. We have also tested a higher price point, and the unit economics of our business seems solid despite increasing the rates for doctors. The patient demand and income growth of our pharmacists are growing so fast that we are being lobbied by pharmacists in bazaars 20-miles away to launch there. We now need to prove all of this at a bigger scale, and grow rapidly from there.
On the product front, we were struggling to recruit a single engineer to begin development. Today, we have a good team crafting the next version, and we are probably about one-third of the way there before we can roll this out in the field with our pilot. We have also realized that what we were building was pretty much still a MVP, and to build the entire platform, we need a much better engineering team, for which we have received some resource commitments as well.
At the beginning of Q1, we didn’t even realize that that doctors were a make-or-break piece of the puzzle, not until our primary doctor (who had been with us a long time) left us and we were left with a frozen service. In hindsight, he did us a huge favor, and we were forced to solve this piece before taking on the pilot. And we have already made a lot of progress in figuring it out.
That’s not all. In Q1, we met Bill Gates and got a “wow” from him. We figured out how to train our RMPs remotely, and figured out how to bring down total wait time for patient while increasing consultation time and quality. We rebranded ourselves with a beautiful new name and logo. We built a team of solid advisers and expanded our mentor network. We set up and moved into our own office space which reflects our work ethos and culture. We met over 50 people in search of champions and potential future recruits.
Seems like doubt is sometimes a good thing, and forces us to try harder.
(P.S. Just wanted to end this post with an infographic that I came across on Facebook today. While there is of course a long way to go – a print-out of this on the wall should also remind us of how far we have come, and be a cause for celebration and inspiration.