31 December 2018

December 2018 Startup Update

Month 2: Still laser-focused on writing code and talking to users, but now have found a good potential co-founder, brainstormed a new, bigger problem with him (important!) and received some initial grant funding to take some of the financial risk off my back.

Week 5

  • Could not grow further and missed growth targets again – started investing time into overhauling sunboxlabs.com and a completely new energy app idea.
  • Finally got LLC paperwork and Azlo account from the Stripe Atlas incorporation, and switching app store ownership, sunboxlabs income and soapdictate income to it – seperating church and state.
  • Pivot 1 First working session with a new, smart potential cofounder Mitul, and we had a good groove. Brainstormed and found a “hair-on-fire” problem hypothesis in the medical space to validate: Doctors are filling out 17-page state forms by hand.
  • Our solution hypothesis: Turbotax for medical forms. Built a prototype, shipped it.
  • Had call with Alain (Mentor). He recommended I talk to investors before I need them. Just get their advice. Send them a and monthly update. He will send me a template. Get Feedback from current customers with customer development survey tool: http://survey.io/survey/demo

Week 6

  • 3 clients in pipeline, each with 10s of practices that are struggling with forms and are open to $99/month price point.
  • Received Grant from Emergent Ventures with possible follow-up grant. Worth investing in mission of solving healthcare paperwork.
  • Building out tech demo to actual prototype form automation tool.
  • Second working session with Mitul:
    • Cold-emailed 100s of clients
    • Made landing page
    • Goal to validate: By January 31st we will have 1st paying client – go/no-go.

Week 7

  • Investing time in prototype
  • Had first sales call with LA practice group. Want to wait for further build-out. Hypothesis: they didn’t understand the product.
  • Users generally unresponsive although we know they have this issue —> made 1-min video walkthrough of demo.
  • Had call with Michael (mentor): Likes deck and vision to 100M.
  • Slow before xmas? Not so much.

Week 8

  • Xmas, no go.
  • After followed up with clients with new video heard back and now have a call scheduled: Same client that said hold off now wants demo call in January! Could be our initial client?
  • From now on will post the monthly investor update Alain gave me, and inspired by Can Olcer’s Blog, I will post shorter, less formal posts.


This is the monthly update as described to a friend.

After we talked last I teamed up with another friend and found out a purer version of the paperwork/physician burnout problem is filling out forms (up to 17 pages!) in general by hand, and so we decided to drop the voice part (I thought it was cool but didn’t help solve the problem really…), and create “turbotax for medical forms”. We’ve prototyped a solution and are in talks with 3 practice groups around the country (came up with this with a healthcare software sales guy, so already have some ‘ins’). Hope to have a paying test customer by end of Jan (or ASAP). This will allow us to A) charge $99/customer per month for it, B) is a way more of a “hair on fire” problem for the 230’000 practices out there, which could theoretically bring us to the 100M/y revenue. Also, just got a 10K grant from Emergent Ventures who agreed this was a problem worth solving!