One year ago, I received the first call on our business number. It the daughter of a gallbladder cancer patient. They didn’t have insurance and she had already spent a lot on her mother’s tests. So, I recommended she consult a surgical oncologist. The oncologist was practising in a small 50-bed hospital nearby, and was qualified and experienced. He offered cancer treatments at affordable prices.
India has many such stellar doctors who are serving the majority of patients in 50-70 bedded hospitals and clinics. They know these patients can’t afford the frills of high-end clinics. They keep their costs low. So, patients can afford to be treated by a qualified specialist.
Over the course of last year, I learnt that most Indian patients need good quality care that is also financially accessible. We’ve been building an online ecosystem through DCode Care that helps patients understand where and how to access this type of care, and get the right treatment at the best price.
What started out as an experiment almost a year ago, turned out to be an idea that has legs. Through DCode Care, we’ve helped hundreds of patients find high-quality cancer care at affordable prices. We’ve been doing this for seven months now. The phone still rings often and keeps us going.
In November 2020, we were accepted into the 100X.VC, Class 03. We’ve since been training on many concepts that are helping us iron out the details. Our experiments have transformed into a business, thanks to the mentorship from 100X.VC.
Here are my learnings from the 100X.VC masterclasses for startup founders and entrepreneurs:
- Clarity of purpose: Why you do is more important than what you do and how you do it. Every business must know why they exist, and the problem they are attempting to solve. In the business world, this is called Demand.
- Clarity of thought: There are many ways to solve the problem you have identified. You need to test and discover what works best. This is what you do and how you do it. For example, build a product or a service, hire a team, build partnerships etc. In the business world, this is called Product.
- Clarity of business model: The only businesses that survive are the ones that can monetise demand. Others die, sooner or later. It’s okay to temporarily buy growth, but one must always know how the business makes money. There is only one simple formula: Costs < Revenue. In business, this is called Profit.
Over the last two months, I learnt several other things. I met amazing mentors, founders, and investors. While I try to incorporate what everyone has taught me, here are the top things I have taken away from being a part of 100X.VC:
Every problem creates friction. If you are a business that can remove that, the market will reward you with adoption. Find friction and go after it.
There are many ways to solve the same problem. Failing often is the only way to find the most effective solution. Be ready to fail, but be quick.
You will be tempted to solve many problems, but you have to resist that temptation. Stay razor-focused on one problem. Remember, Amazon started by just selling books.
You know you have the product-market fit when you can consistently spend more and get more customers. Chase repeatability.
Eliminating friction will win you customers, who are the only real fuel a business needs. Investors follow customers in the long term, and never the other way round.
Disclaimer: Views represented in this article are that of the author and do not represent the views of YS. This article was originally published on LinkedIn.