The storm hitting The Danish Heart Foundation after their new youth campaign ‘PS I Love You’ was criticized for endorsing – to put it mildly – un-scientific approaches towards a healthier life style for young people holds a crucial reminder for every entrepreneur operating in or trying to do something in the health-space:
Dealing with people with serious conditions is not something that should be taken lightly. Quite the opposite; it demands the utmost care and respect for those you’re trying to make a difference for and the value, you can bring to them.
Furthermore, it is near impossible to get a second chance to make things right. Once you have disappointed it is super hard to come back and convince people that you actually have something valuable to offer to them.
Yes, our personal health is that important. And rightly so.
This offers a stark contrast to most of startup life, where it’s all about getting out there with what you have, fail, learn, iterate and come back stronger. It is a super approach in general – just not in this space.
Of course it doesn’t make the particular case better that it is actually the foundation itself that goes out and miss the mark completely. But entrepreneurs should still take note;
for all the potential of doing good and building potentially great businesses in the health space, you also need to be very aware of all the other things that comes with entering that particular territory.
I am an avid fan of the hit series “Homeland”. And watching Episode 10 of Season 8 yesterday, something resonated for me:
In the episode Carrie asks a helicopter flight mechanic, why the crew of the chopper that crashed with the US president aboard didn’t clearly articulate that they were going down and crashing due to a technical malfunction. And the mechanic answers referencing to the order of battle for an inflight emergency: “Aviate, Navigate, Communicate” – or in other words: Focus on the situation at hand and managing that first.
It resonated with me because I believe it goes for innovation as well; it is not about how much we talk about what we do. It is all about what we do in the moment, what we learn from it and then – only then – how we communicate about those learnings.
Truth be told it is also what makes working with innovation so much fun; that you’re in it neck deep, learning to fly as you go along and trying to always do one better through the learnings you acquire underway.