Q: Why did you decide to join Orbit?
I decided to join Orbit because I knew after business school I wanted to make an impact. I wanted to use the skills I learned and acquired from past experiences to positively impact the people around me. Both my parents suffer from chronic diseases so I’ve seen first hand how difficult it can be to manage. After reading about Orbit’s mission, and speaking with Patty and Franz, their vision for the future of digital health and digital biomarkers and its applications really resonated with me. I left our conversation feeling “Wow, this is such a cool startup with some really amazing people!” So I guess you can say I joined Orbit to help people everywhere like my parents get the treatment they deserve and to work with some really cool people.
Q: Since joining Orbit, what is something that surprised you about Parkinson’s or chronic diseases in general?
One thing I was surprised to learn was how little face time people living with Parkinson’s truly have with their physician and how little visibility physicians have when patients go home. Naively, I initially thought that with a chronic condition like Parkinson’s, patients and physicians would communicate often. I was surprised to learn that most patients see their physician once every three to six months for only 15 minutes with little to no communication in between appointments. This is why I believe our solution, Neptune, is really important. It truly closes the loop in chronic care management and allows patients and physicians to better understand what is happening in-between appointments and creates background for better dialogue.
Q: What makes you excited to come to work everyday?
What excites me most about going to work is the people. One of the things I loved most about business school was working alongside dedicated and passionate people. At Orbit, we have the same passion and spirit. There are no egos. Everyone on the team knows what truly matters is the patient and creating the best outcomes possible. It’s really a credit to Patty and Franz, building a team that is supportive, open to new ideas, and dedicated to solving
Q: How important is an organization’s brand? What are a few things startups should keep in mind when developing a brand?
An organization’s brand is vital to its success. A brand goes beyond the look and feel of the website. It’s more than just the logo or the content that is posted on social media. It is how all stakeholders, both internal and external (i.e. users, partners, employees, etc.) think, feel and ultimately perceive an organization. Having an unclear or bad brand may jeopardise partnership opportunities, make hiring more difficult and even prevent an organization from growing. A clear and positive brand association on the other hand can create clarity within an organization and build trust within the marketplace.
I think for startups especially, they should have a clear understanding of their mission and who they are serving. If your startup is focused on helping college students quickly buy and sell used textbooks, obviously it wouldn’t make sense to publish content extolling why “new” is always better. Another point startups should keep in mind is that their brand is more than just a way for them to present themselves to the world. It can also offer a window to who they are as people and what they stand for. By showcasing their core values, this can not only help drive and retain business but also attract new and inspiring talent.
Q: When should a startup look for a partnership? What do you look for in a strategic partner?
First and foremost, I think in order to form any partnership there must be a clear understanding of the value that each party brings to the table and maybe more importantly, there must also be a level of mutual respect. In terms of what to look for, this can vary depending on the stage of the startup. If your early stage consumer packaged goods(CPG) startup, though you might want to partner with a large retail company like Kroger or Walmart right away, this might not be the best strategy as you probably wouldn’t be able to fulfill their minimum purchase requirements. It really does depend on the stage of startup and what the goals are. Therefore, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your objectives and mission. Why exactly do you want to partner with another organization? Will this partnership really add value to bothparties? A partnership will take a lot of time and resources away from the entire startup, not just the devs or the operations team. The entire organization will have to pull in the same direction to make it work.
Once you’ve identified that a partnership is what you truly need, there are three aspects to keep in mind. Those being: 1) Audience 2) Value-add and 3) Willingness. Does the partner have an audience that is similar to yours? For instance, if you’re in the high-end luxury goods market, then it makes more sense to partner with organizations with a similar customer base. If not, you may run the risk of creating a mixed and confusing brand/message. With that said, your services and/or product offering should also add value to your potential partner’s customers and vice-versa. If the value-add is unclear, it is unlikely that they will even want to partner with you. This leads me to the last point: willingness to partner. Another important aspect to keep in mind is how satisfied your potential partner is with their current processes (e.g. sales, marketing, etc.). If they are already happy with their processes and cannot value-add from partnering with you, you should probably move on.
Now for the really tough questions
Q: What is the one thing you can’t live without and why?
One thing I can’t live without is my gym membership. One of the very first things I did before moving to Munich was look for a gym. I love going to the gym because it helps me clear my mind, gives me energy and helps me to relax. I like going in the morning before work because 1) there are no crowds and 2) it gives me a sense of accomplishment to begin my day.
Q: What is something you spend too much time or money on but don’t regret?
This might be a strange answer but I probably spend way too much time cutting vegetables when I cook. I don’t know why but I always try to cut my vegetables into perfect cubes. Not sure if the food tastes any better but it always takes me forever.
Q: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?
Sushi 🍣. Hands down, I could eat sushi for every meal. It’s the perfect food. You have fish, some vegetables, and rice. What’s not to like?
Meet the Orbiters is a series dedicated on highlighting Orbit team members. To learn why they joined Orbit, what they think is unique about the culture and some fun facts along the way. Find new amazing opportunities on our LinkedIn Page and to learn more about Orbit and our digital solutions, check out our website today. Don’t forget to follow us on Medium and LinkedIn for future updates and articles.