cured, 3 years in
Friday, May 14th, 2021, marked the third anniversary of Cured. We founders took a moment to step back and reflect on our journey, what we have learned, and what we hope to accomplish over the next several years of Cured.
What was the greatest challenge you faced?
Andrew, CEO: I think the greatest challenge for me has been having to step back from the level of day-to-day involvement within each client delivery effort that I had in the first two years of Cured. I started my career in Implementation at Epic and have a pretty prescriptive vision for how we can help our clients create positive change. So, I can very easily find myself wanting to dig into something at the workflow or configuration level. As we’ve grown, I’ve had to be very purposeful in identifying when that level of engagement is needed. Fortunately, Ro has continued to build an incredible Client Delivery team, which puts my mind at ease knowing that our clients are always in hands of the most capable individuals in the industry.
Ashmer, CTO: Without question, Andrew discussed a major challenge I faced as it relates to relinquishing the desire to be involved in every discussion. With that aside, if I take a view from the product lens, I think the greatest challenge I have faced is realizing that we really needed to adjust how we design and architect our product to meet the needs of our clients. When we embarked on our mission to build this company, we thought that we would heavily lean upon the Salesforce platform as our scaffolding to build our products around.
However, over the last many months we realized that while we have been extremely successful with our clients with solutions atop the Salesforce platform, at the end of the day, the change we want to manifest, and the experience we want to provide, simply cannot be created if we solely continued down that path. I saw that we needed to supplement our Salesforce solutions with our own stack to solve for data scalability, integration, and more meaningful, directed workflows. Ultimately, this meant accelerating finding talented engineers, designers, and product leaders so that we could quickly meet the needs of the market and begin building the product that is best suited for all healthcare clients.
Ro, CCO: I must agree with Andrew and Ashmer. After spending my career in client-facing roles, I strive for Cured to deliver great implementation experiences and continue to earn our customer’s trust. It’s hard to not be deeply involved in every detail of each implementation, but we’ve built an incredible Client Delivery team who are equally as committed, passionate, and talented in delivering customers' success. Further, CRM and Marketing Automation is still relatively new in a complex industry. Our team has always led with a prescriptive approach, but we continue to learn and grow around our recommended workflow design, best practices, and implementation approach to ensure successful outcomes.
What far exceeded your expectations?
Andrew: The caliber of talented team members who have been willing to join us on this journey and the foundational culture that we have been fortunate enough to foster are probably the things that have most exceeded the expectations of all three of us. Lately, as I have been fundraising for our Series A financing and as we’ve been interviewing a lot of folks as we look to scale the team significantly in the remainder of 2021, people have consistently asked me how we’ve brought this team together and how we’ve created the early culture that is in place.
Good fortune has surely played a factor. At the same time, I can offer a few things that I think have helped. The three of us have spent a good portion of our careers at two organizations, Epic and Salesforce, with incredibly strong and (mostly) great cultures. As such, we’ve been really purposeful in thinking about what within those organizations that we wanted to bring forward to Cured — an emphasis on finding well-rounded, high-performing team members, being process-driven from day one, building a deep sense of community, and respect internally and externally. We’ve also been purposeful about what we did not want to bring forward to Cured — prioritizing a sale over providing true value to our client base and the industry we serve, not always putting product and people first, not providing an environment with enough personal and professional growth opportunities. Additionally, the company was started with the right intentions. We saw a substantial need in an industry we care deeply about, we had the right experience to address the need, and we started on this journey with equal ownership (in responsibility and in equity) in best positioning ourselves to build something with a lasting impact. Lastly, candidates, on average, meet with a half dozen Cured team members before a hire is made. That volume of discussions and input into the hiring process allows us to surface a lot of the more subjective qualities we look for that aren’t always represented on a resume.
Ashmer: Without question, the team we have been able to assemble at Cured has far exceeded any expectations I could have even imagined. I am continually amazed at the caliber of teammates we have here… and not just in intellect and aptitude, but also in everyone’s ability to be supportive, conscientious, caring, and empathetic. Regardless of role or team, each and every member of Cured acts like an owner and takes it upon themselves to hold everyone to the utmost standards of culture.
Perhaps some of this has been a “right place, right time” phenomenon, I think this represents how powerful the mission of Cured really is and how much it resonates with people from any background!
To apply another view, I have been blown away by how willing every single one of our clients has been to share the Cured story and tell their colleagues about how wonderful their experiences have been with us. This word of mouth has been invaluable to our growth and has also created an immense amount of credibility in the highest echelon of health systems. We have been impressed, our employees have been impressed, and everyone during our Series A fundraise has been blown away by those references and what they are working to achieve within their organizations and the industry.
Ro: I think this can be quickly summarized as “the team, the team, the team”. In addition to earning our customers’ trust, it’s been equally important to us to earn our employees' trust as they choose to continue their career path with Cured. We knew it would be our full team, and not just the founders, who would help us achieve our goals. I am amazed at all the team members that have joined the ‘Cured Circle’. Not only have they been rockstars, but every single person has been passionate and excited to build something meaningful that really makes an impact in healthcare. I’ve witnessed how our team members are always willing to roll up their sleeves to support one another, and I am so pumped to continue to watch this team in action once we are all able to safely work together in person.
Would you change anything?
Andrew: I think there is always a desire to be able to move faster when building a company. That being said, especially given the reality of the pandemic, I think we’ve been moving about as fast as possible — in a sustainable, informed, and cash efficient manner, which is going to produce the best results for our employees, our investors, and our clients. There is still a lot of education to be done to help industry executives understand the value of CRM and Marketing Automation in the complex and nuanced environment of healthcare. We are always looking for a bigger megaphone and a better way to clearly articulate what the future of patient relationships will look like once we’ve become a staple in the industry. As such, we are very focused on building the right early sales and marketing team to aid with all of the above.
Ashmer: This may be cliche, but I would not change a thing. Every step we have taken, good or bad, has indubitably grown us as founders and has formed the company into the organization it needs to be in order to effect the change we all want to create in the industry — to bring care full circle.
Ro: I feel like we are often our own worst critic, thinking that there was always more that we could have done. However, looking back, I am so impressed with the progress we have made to date, especially while adjusting to the ever-changing requirements of the pandemic. We will always encounter bumps, but I believe our team has had the right attitude to reflect and identify how we can improve across people, process, and technology after every project and milestone.
Where is Cured five years from now?
Andrew: We started Cured with the goal of making CRM and Marketing Automation technology as easy, as efficient, and as valuable as possible for healthcare organizations to adopt. We’ve taken a relatively de-risked approach to building the business to date. In Year 1, we lined up some early paying clients, worked with them to hone our product roadmap, and built iterations of our early solutions. In Year 2, we raised Seed capital, expanded the team beyond the founders, and leaned into the solution areas we thought had substantial market demand. In Year 3, amidst the pandemic, we successfully took a half dozen top clients live, hired more wonderful people, found product market fit, and began to test our solutions in adjacent sub verticals within healthcare and life sciences. We’ve been purposeful about defining our gating criteria, committing to timelines to meet those criteria, and meeting or exceeding those timelines up to this point.
In Year 4, we are transitioning to growth mode. We are raising our Series A, making a substantial investment in the next generation of our platform, and ramping our go to market capabilities. We are putting in motion a plan to become the dominant platform for CRM and Marketing Automation solutions in multiple segments of healthcare and life sciences. In doing so, five years from now, I hope that we’ve fundamentally changed the way in which a significant portion of the population interacts with healthcare. I hope the patients and members of our clients engage with preventative, covered healthcare services at a markedly higher percentage than they do today. I hope that in doing so, they experience lower healthcare costs, they feel confident and informed in their path toward wellness, and they are objectively healthier. Similarly, I hope that our clients have the stickiest and most impactful relationships with their patient base and can better “load balance” supply and demand across their systems to improve access to care. All the while, I hope Cured is still a company in which all of our employees view it as the single greatest place for finding happiness, impact, and personal and professional growth during the work week.
Ashmer: In short, Cured will be the de facto digital growth and experience platform for all health systems. What Veeva is to life sciences, Cured will be to health systems, for profit-healthcare services companies, and digital health organizations.
I think more importantly, however, I hope that Cured has created some real change in how patients and health systems interact with each other — that this becomes an open dialogue between two parties equally invested in the health of their communities.
Ro: I am excited to think about how our healthcare client partners have improved their ability to engage with their consumers and proactively provide meaningful and relevant information to help their customers manage their care needs and questions. We feel fortunate that Cured is a critical component to help them achieve this vision; not only as a result of the success of them using our solutions but as a trusted advisor to help provide best practices in healthcare digital engagement. Similarly, I am so excited to think about the future ‘Cured Circle’, and how our team members have grown to be subject matter experts and leaders in helping industry-leading healthcare organizations in this journey.