I talk to Product Managers all the time that are considering building products or features that would move them into the Healthcare space. This post is for them.
As you venture into Healthcare, you are embarking on the most TLA filled space imaginable. Talk to other Product Managers that are veterans in the space and you’ll barely be able to follow along. They are not trying to sound smart, it’s simply that the TLAs get ingrained so deep that it takes real effort to not use them.
You’ll also come across a few big topics like:
- How regulation impacts business models
- Selling into large Healthcare organizations
- HIPAA and GxP
- Healthcare and Life Sciences are very different
I began my first 90 days as a PM in Healthcare on a beach in Florida with my wife and kids on Thanksgiving break. I lounged around reading/listening to these 3 books:
- America’s Bitter Pill by Steven Brill
- The Lucky Years by David B. Agus M.D.
- Reinventing American Health Care by Ezekiel Emanuel
Doing this gave me an understanding of the ACA, Pharma and all of the problems especially in the US Healthcare system. I was beginning to understand some of the TLAs.
My next step was to talk with other Product Managers. I had to ask a lot of dumb questions in these conversations but everyone was super nice and helpful. #givefirst These conversations helped me build a list of news, people, podcasts, blogs, etc that now make up my daily healthcare and biotech information pipeline. On a daily basis I found myself reviewing the Healthcare Top 100 and thinking about the business models of these companies. I subscribed to daily healthcare industry news from Becker’s Hospital Review, STAT and Modern Healthcare. I followed Zdogg and David Chase on LinkedIn. I listened to podcasts from Catalyze.io and a16z.
At this point in my first 90 days I was back in the office, still under a nice “you are still new” grace period and learning from everyone I could. The next step was to talk to Techstars Alumni, Denver-based Founders and friends of mine that are running Healthcare Startups. I had 50 conversations in two weeks and summarized most of them in a shared Box folder the team uses. For a handful of the conversations, I summarized and sent an email to entire team to raise awareness. This quickly established me as the expert for our “Healthcare Startup Developer” persona.
In the first 90 days:
- Tell stories to build empathy about the people the product is trying to help.
- Establish yourself as the voice of the customer on your team.
- Show you are passionate and curious about the problems to be solved and the people you are trying to help.
It’s been one year since I began my journey as a Product Manager in Healthcare. I am once again sitting on the beach over Thanksgiving break pondering our Product Roadmap, Industry trends and reading everything I can about AI in Healthcare, Big Data Analytics use cases, Serverless Compute, how the ACA may change in the next Administration, CRISPR and more.
If you want help with your first 90 days, please don’t hesitate to reach out….and good luck!
Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/@joaosilas