fbpx

The Life-Changing Impact Of Mission-Driven Companies with Nick Desai, HeyRenee

November 24, 2021

What are mission-driven companies and why should you create one? Nick Desai, of HeyRenee, sits down with A.J. to discuss how ideas are just a fraction of what goes into products and platforms. And what really impacts people’s lives long term. Listen as Nick, the former CEO of Heal, shares insight into his new venture, HeyRenee, a one-stop healthcare concierge.

About our Guest:
Nick Desai is a successful serial entrepreneur with the mind of visionary and mission-driven ideas that change the world. He is well-known for his role as the Founder/CEO of Heal. Today, he’s creating a new venture with his best friend and wife, Dr. Renee Dua, called HeyRenee, the patient-centric healthcare concierge that will allow people to manage their health through one platform. 

On today’s episode:

  • Meet Nick Desai, Founder, and CEO of HeyRenee – 01:11
  • Where does Nick see himself on his entrepreneurial journey today? – 03:01
  • How he views the opportunity to create something out of nothing  – 04:01
  • How reevaluating your measure of success from a money-only measurement helps you grow (and how Nick measures his success now) – 05:00
  • The realization that changed his entrepreneurial journey – 07:00
  • How Heal transformed the future of primary care  – 07:35
  • Why your incredible idea is one fraction of resolving customer pain points and where your focus should be – 08:43
  • Why “best” isn’t always best when it comes to finding the right fit for your entrepreneurial team – 13:54
  • Why everyone needs a Renee, and how his team came up with the name HeyRenee – 17:06
  • Three things that have helped Nick take the most difficult steps in his entrepreneurial journey – 20:13
  • Lessons from the trenches in the life of a successful repeat entrepreneur – 24:40
  • How HeyRenee is pulling together the pieces of the healthcare puzzle for the most connected generation in history – 28:41
  • The two ways Nick defines his success as an entrepreneur (it’s not about Lamborghinis and mansions) and his definition of using his money for good – 37:31
  • Nick’s advice to any aspiring entrepreneur out there (and how every no brings you closer to yes) – 41:35.

Key Takeaways:

  • Don’t let action get in the way of efficiency. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs often operate out of a jack-of-all-trades mindset. But learning what you are truly good at opens the door to more successful ventures.
  • Entrepreneurship is full of the high highs of “I’m changing the world”, and the lows of “we just crashed and burned,” sometimes all in the same day. Bad times are a part of the journey—don’t let them keep you from taking the next step.
  • Success is all about execution. Ideas are common, but the magic happens when you create an actual, life-changing product, platform, or service. Without execution, ideas are worth nothing.
  • To make the world a better place, you have to get specific about what that means to you. Everyone has a “cause” that is near and dear to their heart. Determining what yours is will help you to create more impact.
  • Listening to your “true partners” is even more important than assembling your team. Advice, guidance, and insight from those who know you best can help you make better business decisions. This is why it is crucial to surround yourself with people who inspire and motivate you.
How do through tough times as an entrepreneur?
[25:55] – “If you assume there’s not going to be bad news, you shouldn’t be an entrepreneur. The bad days are the important days.”
What is the most important thing you’ve learned from failure? Share with us how you grew against all adversities and follow Beyond 8 Figures on social media – we share a ton of helpful content there!

Connect with Nick Desai:

Follow Beyond 8 Figures:

Connect with Insights Lab: 

Transcript

[00:01:31] A.J. Lawrence: And he went and created a new company and he has raised some significant funds. And I’m really excited to dive into HeyRenee, which is a service that will help seniors better take care of themselves and find the right medical services that they need. Really exciting to learn more. So without further ado let’s bring today’s guest on. He’s an engineer, an inventor, an author, multiple successful exit entrepreneur, and a dad. Let’s bring on the CEO of HeyRenee, Nick Desai.

[00:02:07] Hey Nick, thank you so much for coming on the show. This is so great to have you on today.

[00:02:12] Nick Desai: Very happy to be here. I love talking about this subject of being an entrepreneur.

[00:02:17] A.J. Lawrence: Yeah. I mean, as I was just telling the audience just a second ago, you’re a bit of an old hand at this. Five plus companies that you’ve raised money left, right, and center. You had a huge company that you just left earlier this year and you’re right now coming out of coming into Beta or coming out of Beta.

[00:02:38] Nick Desai: Right now we’re coming into. We, we haven’t even launched the beta yet, but we raised funding for another

[00:02:44] A.J. Lawrence: And some great backers there. It’s just going through. So, I mean, yeah, you have some experience here, I think we can learn a lot from you. Would you mind talking a little bit about where you are on your own entrepreneurial journey now?

[00:03:00] Nick Desai: Yeah, look, I think it’s a, I think it’s an interesting question. And one, we don’t get asked that often. I give a lot of talks about being an entrepreneur at local universities and to try to help out younger people and it’s my way of giving back. And they’ll just always want to know what is that secret sauce to build that billion dollar startup. And the first thing I can say is there isn’t a secret sauce, right? There are so many factors: timing, execution, market, reception lock. There are so many external externalities.

[00:03:31] There are companies who have benefited incredibly from this pandemic and there companies who’ve been decimated by this pandemic and none of us could have planned for a pandemic, right. Where I am in my own entrepreneurial journey, I think is I, first of all, I truly enjoy being an entrepreneur. Right. This is what I love doing. There’s a lot of talk now about four day work, weeks and more work-life balance and working less. And I’m not saying any of that is right or wrong, everyone should do what’s right for them. But for me next to my wife and my three beautiful children, this is the greatest gift I’ve ever been given, right.

[00:04:09] So it is the opportunity to create something out of nothing. The courage, the track record, the ability to do it, I have since the age of 24, not taking a paycheck, I haven’t signed for myself and that’s a pretty empowering feeling, right. Now, the other thing I’ll say though, is that the, my own journey and my own desires as an entrepreneur have changed, right.

[00:04:35] When I grew up, since I was, I can’t remember, in my early teens, I used to read the Forbes 400, right? The 400 richest Americans. And back then, it was like only some of them were billionaires, and then you’d get out into the people with a hundred million dollars or whatever. And now a billion doesn’t even get you on the list.

[00:04:56] And I used to read this list and be like, this is it. This is the measure. I got to get myself on this list. Right. Today, I think I look at it very differently, which is, can I build something that changes the way we live our lives for the better? And we being a preponderance that has a meaningful societal impact on making life easier, better. And it doesn’t have to be better in the classical directly measurable I’m helping feed hungry children, but better in the sense of Uber makes life easier and better, or the food delivery services make life easier and better.

[00:05:37] So measuring that,but also going for that triple bottom line where I am building a diverse and inclusive team of highly motivated mission-driven people who get as much out of this as I do. And making sure that the footprint that this business creates on the planet now and the planet in the future in the way of, is my supply chain 14 year olds in Bangladesh stuck in a factory, or is my supply chain sustainable, economically environmentally. These are all things that I care very much about because I want to be able to tell my three kids that I’m doing something good and I’m doing it in a good way.

[00:06:19] A.J. Lawrence: No, that is really important. Yeah. Having three kids half the time, I’m just trying to explain what I’m doing, but then yes, making sure that it’s something that is worthwhile. And I always remember bonfire the vanities, that heart, the great book, horrible movie. And I just always remember Tom Hanks starting Oh yeah. I’m trading, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Swap that. Yeah, whatever. Then everyone was like who cares, you know. There’s nothing to that in life.

[00:06:46] When we create businesses that make people’s lives better, and this is what I find so interesting because you were running, you started and ran an app service that really was bringing doctors to people’s home. You know, something that just sort of disappeared and made so much sense and perfectly hit the pandemic, even though you guys have been around for awhile. And now this with our aging population with HeyRenee, has your ability or your feeling for what is going to be worthwhile change?

[00:07:17] Nick Desai: Yeah, I think one of the most important realizations that I have had that affect my own entrepreneurial journey, obviously with the track record of building Heal, which we grew for from founding Renee. And I grew to her for almost seven years to a very sizable company, right. HeaL is still around, it’s $200 million in investment capital. For almost 400 employees operates in 11 states. We’ve done close to half a million doctor house calls and tele-health visits. Right. Really transformed industry-wide to thinking about how primary care.

[00:07:58] When we started heal, people were like housecalls will never work. And now everyone thinks the home is the future of primary care with digital interactions with in-person interactions, but that last vial of care or home centric care, that’s a future of healthcare in America. Right. And it’s really kind of cool to have created that mean part of it. And obviously that track record helps jumpstart. Right. When I left Heal, I created, we created, HeyRenee. HeyRenee could have been anything reasonable in the health tech space. And we would have gotten customer and investor interest because it was us doing it. And we had the credibility coming from Heal, right.

[00:08:38] But, I think there’s an important evolution that’s happened over the last two decades and a lot now in particular, right, which is the innovation. To make the biggest impact, you sometimes want the smallest innovation in the idea. You want the biggest focus on the execution of the idea, right. I always say this, Uber wasn’t the first ride sharing service, Amazon wasn’t the first e-commerce store Netflix wasn’t the first video streaming service. It wasn’t even a videos, right. It was a DVD delivery service. And even in that, it wasn’t first, right. What these companies did is they took something that was a pain point and they saw exceptionally well in that it’ll gave them a platform to solve more and more problems for that same group of people and then an expanding group of people. Right.

[00:09:38] So I think that when I look at HeyRenee, and I say, okay, we’re a care concierge platform, horizontal integration, right. We’re not the only ones thinking about this problem. In fact, everyone is starting to think about this problem, right? We think that our patient centric view of it is that small innovation forward. But fundamentally, what is going to define if HeyRenee is successful or not, is how flawlessly we execute this as a business and as an end user service for the patients we actually want to help and manage on the platform.

[00:10:16] A.J. Lawrence: I love that because when I was looking at HeyRenee, I’m an angel investor so I was approached by some doctors out of Harvard who had been involved in some research around the benefit for terminal patients around advocates, having advocates.

[00:10:29] They wanted to build a digital platform, but they’re understanding the digital space, their tech team, it was a mess. And like I walked away, but I kept that concept of like, oh my God, having an advocate and seeing the benefit and then in so many different industries, that concept of the support network, just having someone there. I was like, God, someone should do it. And then I see it. And I’m looking and I’m like, oh my God, different approach, different things, obviously. But I was just like, it’s not the idea. It’s the ability to execute and your history on this. Do you feel your ability to bring a team, money, concepts, together has changed over the years as your ability to make it happen?

[00:11:19] Nick Desai: I think there’s a couple interesting points to make about this. You mentioned Harvard when I was 27, when I finished my grad school in engineering at the age of 22, I applied directly to my MBA program. I applied to one program, it was Harvard business school, and I was like, okay, I want to go get the Harvard MBA, right. And they have this, you have to work five years or whatever. And I always thought to myself, if I worked for five years, I’m not going to need the MBA. Right. Well, lo and behold, five years later, I had built a successful startup that while I didn’t attend the university, I was invited there as a speaker to the MBA program.

[00:11:54] And it was a pretty cool validating moment in my life. Right. And at that talk, and at that talk, someone asked me, they said you were spending time in school and what if all the ideas were gone? Right. What if like all the good ideas every time I think of something I find out someone’s already doing it and someone’s going to have the next billion dollar idea, but there are no billion dollar ideas, right?

[00:12:18] This is a problem with the media in America, in particular in the business media and how we canonize the story after its success. But we rarely share this story during the journey. Right. As you said right before we got on, the entrepreneurial journey isn’t this and it isn’t this, it is this. Okay. It’s that feeling of I’m going to change the world, and I’m going to crash and burn and fail.

[00:12:46] But you are both feelings at the same time, every day, all the time. Right? So I mentioned that in the context of your question about team and whatever, that these are the things that matter. Not can I get money, but who am I taking money from? Right. Are they able to help me? Right? Are they able to be there with me in the bad times? Right.

[00:13:09] I have the privilege of being a happily married man. And Renee is also my business partner. And someone asked us a secret to a happy marriage. And Renee said this one, she said, imagine the worst moment in your life, imagine the person you want standing next to you, marry that person. Right.

[00:13:27] Cause it’s everywhere. Everything is fun and games in the good times. And that’s true in business too. Who do you want to be? Your business partner? Who do you want to attract talent? I have never been good. To this day, I’m 51 years old, five startups in, I’ve never been good at hiring. Right. I

[00:13:44] ‘m an optimist. I like people. I hear the pitch or hear the eagerness. I want to give people a shot. Right? I don’t like hard. I’m an impatient person. I don’t like asking the hard questions. I give too much importance to education. I never looked at them. For a lot of reasons, I’m not great at hiring. Right. But I’ve learned that. To the point where I’ve created a process where there are enough checks and balances enough other people from our investors, from my co-founder Renee, from other people I’ve done reading to ask questions, uh, to look at background information, to look at this, to look at that, to find out how to find good people.

[00:14:26] That being said the most important thing is that the success I’ve had at Heal, in this space in the broader health tech space, is a magnet for the top investors and the top talent so that I am able to pick and choose from the best people out there and put them to work. But the other thing I’ll say is that best is not always best, right?

[00:14:53] The New Jersey nets put a team together with James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. And last year, some of them spent time injured and they lost in the Eastern conference finals and everyone was like vicious. Right. Well, who knew Kyrie Irving was going to go off and become an anti-vax nutjob, right?

[00:15:14] Yeah, he’s crazy. Right. But he’s costing the team dearly. So often looking at someone’s previous success but abstracting, in abstract of the chemistry with your team, right? I’m a human being. Renee’s a human being, our chief product officer who is who’s phenomenal and a great find for us., Alexandra Cohen, we have great chemistry together. We want to add a fourth and fifth person to our leadership team. That our work with that alchemy of human chemistry. Right. And not are just great and great for some other group of people, but not great for us.

[00:16:00] A.J. Lawrence: Yeah. We all hear about it. Like the no asshole rule to know this, but it’s fitting people in. I have, I’ve spent a lot of money and a lot of time hiring fancy sales or a successful past salespeople who were system people. When you are trying to get something, you have to find people who can build a system who may not have the success of someone who worked in a system, but they built it so where they’ve come, the age, all those things becoming.

[00:16:29] So yeah, learning that, that experience that you’ve built up is worthwhile. Okay. I love it because we’ve had another guest who named her company, We Are Rosie, after her daughter. So you’ve now given me a trend I now have. So how did you go about naming this after your wife? Because, I mean, it’s a great name.

[00:16:52] Nick Desai: Well, so, so there’s a couple of factors that are the objective ones. And then I’ll tell you the actual story of the specific name, is it one of the reasons people are picking names like Rosie and HeyRenee, and that is that domains are harder and harder to get for anything. We paid a million dollars to acquire.Heal.com. Right. $1 million literally. Now it was worth it. It’s a four letter name. It was the perfect name. The name is the rant, right? It’s just, but with this product, we want it to, can we convey the feeling that there’s someone you can talk to, right? As soon as you put Hey in front of a name, it feels like I’m going to talk to somebody.

[00:17:31] Hey Siri, Hey Alexa. Hey this, Hey that, right. Hey, just something we say. So that was the thing. So as we’re thinking about this idea, And we’re gonna have these parameters, hey, we want it to be conversational, we want it to be approachable to the human being. Right. There are some great names out there that are B2B names, right?

[00:17:50] There’s a company in this space. It’s called Transcarent. Okay. Transcarent’s a cool name, but it’s not for a 75 year old retiree to use to get help with their health. Right. It isn’t what they’re going to think about. Right. I use Transcarent, right? So we want it to create a consumer name. And then during this time that we’re thinking about this Renee, who is a physician, my wife and my co-founder and the actual Renee, she’s a physician.

[00:18:19] She went to her dad who’s 78 years old, went in for what is called, what is supposed to be a routine back surgery. Right. And he went in on a Friday and was supposed to be discharged the next morning, ended up staying at the hospital for four weeks. All kinds of complications, ICU stay this, that whatever.

[00:18:41] And Renee not only had to help take care of him when he was in the hospital, because he was pretty sick for awhile. When he came home, he was pretty disoriented, right? When’s my physical therapy, when’s this, what pills do I take, and he would call Renee, his daughter. Hey Renee, what do I do about this? Hey, Renee, what do I do about this? Hey, Renee, what do I do about this? And we’re like, Everybody needs a Hey Renee. Everybody needs Renee, right?

[00:19:04] Everybody needs this person in their life, right. Now we’re building software to be that person because Renee is not scalable to serve millions of people. But literally as I heard her dad asking that I’m like, this is it. We should call it HeyRenee.

[00:19:21] A.J. Lawrence: I love that. And it is such a good thing and it, and I could associate it’s like I’ve watched five-plus years my parents, well, not so much my dad, but my mother become familiar with Amazon and Hey Alexa da da this and Alexa. So I could so see there being, yeah, something where she could use something that’s supporting this.

[00:19:45] Yeah. I really love that. And I would love to get into HeyRenee in a little bit, but yeah, now that you’ve built up this ability to bring capital, teams, and opportunity, you know problems and opportunity together, what’s something that you feel you either experienced, you change your mindset, tool that has helped you kind of take that next step.

[00:20:07] Nick Desai: I’ll say three things that have made a huge difference for me. The first one is very personal, right? Which is both working with my wife and having children. When we started here, we had just started our family today. I, we have a seven year old, a six year old and my three-year-old little princess.

[00:20:25] We, working with my wife allows me to completely be myself and open. I’m not selling myself to her, right. She already has an impression of me. It is, she knows I’m good at this, and I’m not good at this. And she’s a no bullshit kind of person. Right. So she will call it and say it. Look, stop spinning. She will keep me grounded and real.

[00:20:48] And I know I can 100% trust her. She doesn’t want to steal my money. It’s her money too, right? She doesn’t want to. Her success is mine way beyond the context of the company. That has given me a lot of foundational comfort to be myself and being myself is the best I can be as a business person, right. But where the children have come in, is to give me perspective. And people always say this, but I never appreciated it until I had kids. You have the worst day at work or the best day at work. Okay. And I can go home and my son will run to the door with his Lego and say, dad, I need help with this piece.

[00:21:32] Or my daughter, my 3 year-old will run to the thing and say, TDaddy, let’s go play outside. Right. And none of this matters. None of this. It all fades to black because it’s like, I don’t care. None of it matters. And that is actually makes me very focused and that much more determined at work to make good decisions and smart decisions, because I do have so much joy and blessed to have so much joy in my personal life, right.

[00:22:02] The second big thing that I have learned is to not let action come in the way of efficiency. People will say all kinds of phrases about this, but the point I mean is as an early stage founder and having done this five times, you become a bit of a Jack of all trades, right? I can build a model and I can be do business development and I can raise money and I can do operations. And I can do product definition because I’ve had to. I’ve had to do some of these things at all points in this startup.

[00:22:34] But learning which one’s you’re really good at and doing those things. And sometimes in that early stage of a startup, it feels like we’re going slow because when you’re hiring a product person, as we did with Alexandra, it might feel like, oh, well, why are we not defining the product itself? Right. Why aren’t we not just defining the product? Why are we waiting for this person? But waiting for the person is the right approach. Right? Why don’t I just go into Excel and make your quick model? No. Having someone who knows how to do the FP and a to make a great model is better. Right? So not just that, Oh my God, I’m working so hard and I’m doing a lot of things so I must be making progress. But rather letting progress the foundational pillars of sustained progress develop. Right.

[00:23:22] And the last thing is that I’ve learned for the last few startups I’ve done, really, which is how to communicate with investors. Right? Bad news early. Regular communication. I can safely say that the investors, I have in HeyRenee, those that I had in Heal, they may not have always liked what was going on but they could never say they didn’t know what was going on. Right. There was, they always got every two weeks to the point where they were like, can you take me off the email list? There’s too many. Right.

[00:23:52] But they knew what was going on. Right? The financials were audited. The emails were sent. Everything was done in a way that investors felt the comfort that we’re getting the whole story.

[00:24:03] A.J. Lawrence: Yeah. And it’s so funny as an entrepreneur and thinking back on my efforts, but even more so from an angel investor point of view, the companies that have been successful in my investments, even when things are sideways, even when they had no clue, they were just like, Hey, this happened, we’re just working on our marks. They don’t go dark because I think you can hide.

[00:24:25] Nick Desai: Yeah. Yeah. And you know what? This is an important learning for entrepreneurs. You’re gonna hit that, your boat’s gonna hit the rocks. Shit’s gonna hit the fan, whatever you want to call it, it’s kind of happen a lot. There’s already been a significant issue in the two months that HeyRenee has been around that we had to deal with, right.

[00:24:44] If you want your investors who have given you money, there in. They’re there. They’re with you, they’re in the boat. So telling them the boat is taking, not telling them the boat is taking on water is just not preparing them. And people hate surprises.

[00:25:00] And if you pick the good investors, they can be helpful or at least supportive. I remember couple of really tough days at Heal. And I had investors, people would call me and say, Nick, what can we do for you man? Because you take this stuff very hard. Literally, I had an investor call me. I will never forget this and said, Nick, I’m sending you, you’re going to take, it was a Thursday was the next day, right? You’re not gonna go to work. I refuse to let you go to work. I got, I love going to this spa, right? This was pre-COVID.. I got you a spa day at the Montage. Go enjoy this ball, right. You need to plug out. And whether it’s that or helping you with the actual issue at hand or recruiting the person or getting the deal or restructuring, or more money, if you make them, if you assume that your investors only want to know the good news, you’re making a mistake. If you assume that there’s not going to be bad news, you shouldn’t be an entrepreneur, right? The bad days are the important days, right? What is that famous line from the movie Wall Street, right? You find your character when you’re at the bottom of the abyss.

[00:26:06] A.J. Lawrence: Now that is a good one. And it is true because it is always your ability to build the relationships with the people that are going to matter, investors, your employees, your significant others, your family, putting that effort in. I like that seems consistent approach you’re having to it like put in the time, put in the effort because then it helps across.

[00:26:28] I got there lucky with my last company I sold. We had skyrocketted and we got way too big for where we were. Yeah, for what we were built for. We doubled in a year and it was just like, Yay. And then all of a sudden, everything fell apart and we like dropped the 80% and yes, I regrew it and then I was like, done, burnt, sold.

[00:26:48] I’ve gotten cocky. And I hadn’t put in the efforts to keep the important things around. Thank God, at least my family. But you know, it is a big difference when you consistently put that effort in. It helps because there will be moments where you can’t keep everything up in the air.

[00:27:07] I would love to hear a bit more about where you’re going with HeyRenee, because I’ve looked at things like this before, but even now in my own life, I’m living in Southern Spain and I literally have hired a personal assistant just for appointments and translation and for just coordinating things, family of five, nothing horrible or whatever, but just more of like, okay, how do we do this?

[00:27:34] And healthcare has become highly complex. I would love to hear about where you’re taking this because this is, I know I would love to get from my parents and probably not too far down the road for myself. So I would love to hear more about where you’re going with this.

[00:27:50] Nick Desai: Well look, I think that when we stepped out of Heal, we really, first of all, took the time to think about what we want to do. Right. And then when a lot of opportunities, there are a lot of opportunities, right? We were accomplished people. We could have gone into a large company or another startup. Been hired into a funded startup, work together, work separately. So, we looked at some critical trends in the understanding of HeyRenee. Renee’s father’s experience was obviously a catalyst for the naming and for the understanding of how this product needs to work.

[00:28:26] But fundamentally globally, with the exception of very few countries, we’re living in an aging population where people are having less kids and people are living longer at the same time. Right? So people like you and I are called in the sandwich generation where we typically have had kids later in life than our parents did, right. As in I’m 51 years old, my oldest is seven. When my father was 51, his oldest was 18. When his father was 51, his oldest was 22. Right. So that makes a huge difference. And our parents are living longer. Right? When my father was 51, most his parents were gone. Right. Within the few years plus or minus, right.

[00:29:13] God willing, my parents are doing well and we’ll be around for the next decade plus two decades. Right? So given that, that, so that’s one key trend in America, in Western Europe, in Asia, with the exception of China and India populations, uh, Russia, uh, Japan populations are getting older. People are having less kids later. People are living longer.

[00:29:36] Number two trend, in the world there are 2 billion more people who have used a smartphone than have ever seen a doctor. Okay. Ever seen a doctor. There are 2 billion more people in the world with a smartphone than they’ve ever seen a doctor. So if we’re going to bring health care services to people, it’s going to be here. And we already know, yes, you can end up on this thing on Twitter and destroy our country by doing that. We’ve experienced that here in the US.

[00:30:08] A.J. Lawrence: Amazing what a few characters can do.

[00:30:11] Nick Desai: Yes, but we’ve already seen that the connected mobile device has been the greatest for us over the last 20 years, a billion people have been lifted out of poverty across the world, a billion people and the mobile data connected device is a critical factor in that because everyone’s in the global community.

[00:30:31] Right. And everyone can trade on the global community and farmers in India. This was 15 years ago, farmers in India that were being forced to sell their crop to the bully in the marketplace locally, were then trading their clock globally and getting much greater money for their crops. Right. We looked at those trends and we said, look, there’s going to be a digit.

[00:30:51] And oh, and the third trend was, here in the US been about $20 billion of investments into digital health point solutions, a solution for diabetes, a solution for mental health, a solution for tele-health, a solution for homeless, a solution for labs, a solution for, I could go on and on. And we looked at that and said, okay, patients are confused. They’re older so they’re taking more medications, more chronic conditions. In the US alone, a hundred million Americans have 2+ chronic conditions, take 8+ medications a day and consume 92% of healthcare dollars here. Right. Those people are getting older, low health and tech literacy, they need help.

[00:31:35] How are we going to give them help? That’s where HeyRenee comes in. We don’t want to be your doctor or your mental health provider or your pharmacy or your wheelchair delivery service or anything else you need. We want to be your interface to all of them. So HeyRenee, just by saying, Hey Renee, you can have literally a voice enabled conversation, a text conversation or a human conversation with someone who will put all the pieces together so that your doctor knows what your psychiatrist said, and your psychiatrist knows you didn’t sleep well last night. And the Benazepril that your nephrologist prescribed for high blood pressure gets delivered to your house.

[00:32:17] And then you remind to, to take it. And if you take it but your blood pressure isn’t going down the nephrologist hears about that. So they may move you from Benazepril to Amlodipine because maybe it’s more effective for your particular condition. If you say that you’re feeling fear or depression, then we call you and say, Hey, what’s going on?

[00:32:39] Because if you look at most obese people who have obesity driven type two diabetes, there are mental health issues, loneliness, sadness, depression, anxiety that are preventing them from engaging in their own healthcare. They’ve given up. They don’t care. Right. So we look at all of those parameters and say all of these point solutions integrated on this data, connected universe in an intuitive and delightful interface for the patient and or their caretaker.

[00:33:10] You for your mom and your mom for your mom can be a true revolution in healthcare. And that’s what we’re building with HeyRenee.

[00:33:18] A.J. Lawrence: No, I like it, especially because on the backend with machine learning, just advances in the ability to manage. I know my mom has become somewhat of an expert. Her oncologist gives her one thing to deal with. One thing she’s just had hip replaced and yeah. Oh wait, no, I can’t have that because it deal, you know, this, I have, she has something out. Yeah. And again, and again, these constant things and it is difficult. And I know I’m not looking forward to that. And then being able to have that data behind the app is something that could be amazing being like, okay, yeah.

[00:33:56] If you have this, these are the likely situations. Here, take a look at this, do balance these things, keeping everyone aligned just as you said, just incremental progress executed well. But the longer term I can so see this being so much more like having so much more of the concept of your healthcare behind and balancing things for best outcomes. Long-term

[00:34:24] Nick Desai: I always talk about this, this paradigm in healthcare, it’s sort of humorous, but not, which is, well, the surgery was a success, but the patient died. Right. And it’s this mentality that hospitals and the entire healthcare system are very vertically organized, right?

[00:34:41] Oh, you need back surgery. I’m the neurosurgeon, my job is to come in to do the back surgery. Oh, well the strain from that caused you to have a heart attack. Well, that’s, the surgery was a success. You died of a heart attack. Right. But patients not only want to be looked at horizontally because everything affect everything else, right.

[00:35:01] If I can’t get out of bed because my, of my back pain, I can’t do the stretches that my, that, that will help my diabetes or my whatever. Right. But patients also, you know, what aging Americans want to be looked at as human beings. They don’t want to be, they don’t want to be called diabetics or cancer patients or hypertensives or kidney patients.

[00:35:24] They want to be called girlfriend or boyfriend or grandmother or parent. They’re dating and they’re out there and they want to go to a restaurant, they want to live their life. Right. It’s high time. If we want to truly treat an aging population and all Americans and all people with respect, we can’t look at them as a disease or the sum of their disease, but look at them as enabling the life they want to lead and making their health conditions as much in the background because they’re so well-managed that they actually do get better and be, spend more time being well and less time getting well

[00:36:05] A.J. Lawrence: Watching my parents split old and watching them date is sort of like cringe factor. You know, but it is their happiness and their lives and everything.

[00:36:17] Moving on. It is such a thing that they, both of them health care has become an issue because they’re having to jump through so many hoops that are more about the system, not the case. I really think, yeah, I’m really excited to see what you do with it. And if you’re taking on paid, I would love to get on that list. Get my parents on that.

[00:36:38] Nick Desai: We’d love to have your parents in the, we’re doing an alpha right now and we’d love to have them on it.

[00:36:43] Great. I’ll we’ll follow up on this. Now, you’re a repeat entrepreneur. You’ve built up a skill base. You’ve had successful exits, you’ve hit what many people would consider success, but yet you keep doing this, which is amazing and great. And I love it because there’s a chance that if this works, my parents will have a better life and hopefully then meet on the road. But the idea is how do you look to define your success and has it changed as you’ve achieved other people’s concepts of success?

[00:37:23] Yeah. So I, my concept of success is built on two things, right? The first is building a product or service that really does improve the way everyday people live their lives. Right. And it doesn’t have to be in healthcare. HeyRenee’s in healthcare and I like the space and I feel like I know about this space.

[00:37:46] But Netflix or Uber or Grub hub or seamless or door dash, they’ve all improved people’s lives. Right? Cause I can spend less time going to the grocery store because of Instacart. And my kids can watch separate videos on their iPad because of Netflix and whatever the case may be. Right. So building and building it to a point where it becomes what I call, in the fabric of American society, right? Uber is something everyone knows. Everyone says, oh, just using Uber to go there. Just Google it, right. Just go on Amazon, right. This, oh, Netflix doesn’t have it. Well, it doesn’t even exist if Netflix doesn’t have it right. Now, the streaming wars are heating up and that may be changing, but I want to build a product or service to that place. Right.

[00:38:30] I always used to say this, I don’t go to the grocery shopping that much anymore, but when I was younger, I always used to say that I want to be in a grocery line, behind two people who are talking about my product and how much they love it without even knowing that I’m the guy who made it right.

[00:38:46] That’s what I call the sort of broadly deployed test. And we got, we, we didn’t get all the way there, but we got a fairly decent part of the way there. I used to have a lot of embroidered shirts that said Heal on them with the logo and I’d walk around. And I can tell you an airport, not just in LA here where I live, but all over the country, when I traveled for work I’d see people and they’d be like, Heal, wait that doctor house call thing. I’ve used that. That’s so great. Thank you. That kind of thing. Or how did you get that shirt? Not even realizing I’m the CEO of the company. So, but really to take it to the next level.

[00:39:22] Right? The second definition of success to me is to what my wife says. She said this to me the other day. It was so sweet. She said, you deserve a unicorn. Right. You deserve to build a company that has a billion dollar plus exit sale IPO, whatever. And I’ve had some exits in some sales and she’s like you deserve to.

[00:39:41] And then the third piece of it would be to put that money to good use. Right. And in my opinion, taking actors to the, just above the exosphere is not a good use of that money. It is not. Good for captain Kirk and good for them, but my definition of a good use of money is helping underprivileged children or planting trees. Right. And those are, if they, if the people in the world with a net worth over $30 billion all gave 10% of their net worth, we could plant enough trees to significantly curtail climate change, right? It’s not that much money. And if I ever become into that, it’s not, I think what I want to say is that, it’s not about Lamborghinis and mansions and whatever anymore. I wear polo shirts and track pants to work. I drive a small Chevy bolt. It’s an electric car. I was looking at the other popular electric car until, um, they moved their headquarters to Texas and I don’t think that I support the politics involved in that. So being a good person and using my money for good.

[00:40:49] A.J. Lawrence: Yeah, using it in a way that makes it worthwhile. Now I really do appreciate this. And like I said, I am really excited to see what you do with HeyRenee, because this is something that I think is going to be very important to a lot of people. It is needed. You’ve got that in the target and it’s nice hearing your approach and seeing your approach and going over your history was not for the wild swing, but the get on base and just work the grind.

[00:41:17] Nick Desai: Yeah, just work. You got to love the work. Well, I really had a very nice time. You asked great questions and I love sharing the journey. And I’ll just say one thing to any aspiring entrepreneur out there. When I was in high school, I asked seven girls to the prom. They all said no, and I didn’t go to the prom and why am I sharing that story?

[00:41:37] Because none of them killed me. They didn’t spit on me and they didn’t slap me across the face. And what is the point of that? Don’t be afraid of the word "No". You’re going to hear a lot of Nos from investors, from prospective hires, from customers, so what? They don’t kill you, every no brings you closer to Yes, right? So if there’s one last thing I would say, it’s that.

[00:41:56] A.J. Lawrence: Cool. Well, thank you so much for not saying no to coming on the show and look, Nick, I can’t wait to talk to you again. Thank you so much.

[00:42:05] Nick Desai: Thank you.

[00:42:06] A.J. Lawrence: I love when I get to have entrepreneurs on the show, who in the process of talking to them, I’m just shouting inside my head, had just take my damn money, please.

[00:42:17] Yeah, this was great episode because HeyRenee is such an amazing concept in such a necessary concept in our world right now with the complexities of the healthcare system and so much happening. I am just so excited to try and get my parents in the beta program, but even more importantly when HeyRenee rolls out to have them in the program.

[00:42:41] So I love it when I get to, you know, learn about some product that I just want to give my money to 1, 2, 3, this is the best part. There’s so much to learn from what Nick shared with us today. I mean, such an experience and such a great entrepreneur and I love that sort of doing it because you love it.

[00:42:59] He was talking about how much he loves being an entrepreneur. That it’s there’s stuff for our work. We can all this, but it’s about putting all of your effort, your mental focus, your being into doing it because it brings you purpose. And that was really cool because he really followed it up with not just because he was trying to make money.

[00:43:21] But the two things I found, so cool was one, to make the world a better place. And he had a very broad definition. He wasn’t trying to define it for everyone, but if you look at Heal with being able to have on-demand doctors come do house calls. That’s huge. And during COVID such a great service, but now with HeyRenee, his new company, the value that retirees and senior people and people who are important to our lives are going to get from this is just huge.

[00:43:51] That is creating,you know, from your own entrepreneurial efforts, a better world. So really kind of diving into that. And lastly, just because how important it was to him and just as was the importance of the partnership with his wife. Too often, I think we try and keep up significant others separate from what we do as entrepeneurs.But when I talk with people who are either doing businesses with their significant others, their partners, their husbands, their wives, or just that they’re incorporated in to what’s going on in life is pretty amazing because yeah, that’s something I’m not that great at. Listening to someone who has done and made their business purely around that and found that partnership on top of their life partnership is just always incredible for me.

[00:44:45] So please go check out HeyRenee, down below in the show notes, we’ll have the links. But go check it out. If this is some, if you know someone who could use it, go check out Nick and his book and him on the social. Some great stuff for you to go there. Everything’s going to be down there in the show notes. So please just go and look.

[00:45:05] If you found value in today’s episode, please share it with someone who may learn something from this, let them have it. I can’t thank you enough if you share it. Also go jump on the social and let us know what you think. If there’s something you would like us to cover, if you didn’t like the episode, just let me know.

[00:45:25] Thank you so much for listening today. I greatly appreciate it. I hope you have a wonderful day, can’t wait to talk to you again. Bye-bye.

[00:45:39] This episode of Beyond 8 Figures is over, but your journey as an entrepreneur continues. So if we can help you with anything, please just let us know. And if you liked this episode, please share it with someone who might learn from it. Until next time, keep growing and find the joy in your journey. This is A.J., and I’ll be talking to you soon. Bye bye.

Search Episode
Find Us On Social Media

Dive Deeper With The Newsletter