HOW DO YOU MEASURE SUCCESS IN A START-UP?
In May, we celebrated National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, including World Asthma Day. For HCO, it’s been a month of many milestones, one of which was the initial production run of our first product – ADAMM-RSM, to be used for our customers engaged in clinical research. By far our most significant milestone in May, though, came in the form of a seemingly innocuous comment on one of our posts on Instagram. One person commented – “FYI – since I began following you guys and reading your posts I have been making more of a conscious effort to take meds on time and not allow a lag or gap. Thanks for all the helpful info!” In short, our content helped someone become more aware of their condition, and they’re working on better management.
When we took that first, terrifying, but exhilarating step to form our start-up, I was often asked what success would look like. For me, in addition to all the obvious metrics around return on investment for our investors, my answer has always been – having people say we helped them. That’s driven in large part by my experiences with my asthma, and an understanding of what my loved ones went/go through because of it. I’m happy that HCO has co-founders and team members who also see that as a primary measure of success. That mission-central focus is reflected not only in our product feature set, but in how we chose to build our team. It speaks volumes that the second person we hired was Latika, the creative genius who develops/finds all our great content on social media. We were intent on delivering value through helpful information from inception.
During this month, our team talked again about our mission, ensuring we all agreed, and deciding whether we were still on track. Overwhelmingly the consensus has been that we help people with chronic respiratory illness better manage their condition, empowering them to take control and live their best life, despite their condition. While doing that, we provide peace of mind for their loved ones.
The next few months promise to be exciting. ADAMM-RSM will be deployed in studies across a wide variety of pulmonary diseases and other applications – so even there, the response from the research and pharmaceutical company has exceeded our expectations. We know that this will prepare us well for our first consumer product ADAMM, which addresses asthma, with other respiratory conditions to follow soon thereafter.
It’s sometimes very easy to get caught up in other issues in business – there’s the minutiae of day-to-day running – supply chains; accounts; emails; conference calls; manufacturing; product development; content development. So, having the team step back and still identify with the mission and reaffirm that our activities actually support that, was refreshing and inspiring. The comment listed above isn’t the only one we’ve received like it;feedback from our various platforms and from your emails continue to inspire us.
Are we a confirmed success story yet? No. But, are we on the right path, I would say yes, if only because we’ve started to help people. We never expected to get that kind of feedback before even selling one product, and we love and appreciate all our potential ADAMM-RSM customers, fans on social media, and those of you who email us, who are engaged, give us great feedback, and cheer us on. We couldn’t do any of this without you, and, wouldn’t do any of this if we couldn’t help you. For all our supporters out there – keep doing what you do; it really helps us to keep doing what we do!