Jill Gilbert, the producer of the Digital Health Summer Summit’s agenda bio says that she is “a modern day digital alchemist, bringing together expert speakers, cutting-edge topics, the latest trends, and the most engaged audiences. The resulting match of industry leaders, high-tech disrupters, startup, academics and the just-plain curious is always innovative and unique.”
Jill certainly worked her alchemy at the recent 2014 Digital Health Summer Summit held South of Market in San Francisco this June. There were many interesting speakers, many of whom we had a chance to interview on camera at the event (the videos can be seen on The Doctor Weighs In Youtube channel).
Along with the speakers, the panels were also fascinating – our favorite was a panel of CEOs of failed companies. Even though, startup experts and mentors tell you failure is good, you can learn from your failures they say, no one really wants to talk about them. It’s much more fun to brag about your successes (after the fact). Somehow Jill, with the help of Lisa Suennen (the Venture Valkyrie), was able to get three digital health CEOs to talk about the failures of their companies during a session titled, “Sometimes You’re the Windshield, Sometimes You’re the Bug: Lessons Learned From Broken Businesses.” The CEO’s that participated were David Dickinson, former CEO of Zeo, Rick Lee, Former Founder and CEO of Healthrageous, and Zack Lynch, Co-Founder and CEO of HealthRally. Each of these guys shared what happened to their company and what were the lessons they learned. Unsustainable business models or misunderstanding your market, pushed to scale too fast are all potentially controllable reasons why companies fail. Bad timing – launching an expensive product right before the great recession, is just bad luck. This was a terrific session moderated by none other than Lisa herself.
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