HealthSparq is a company working to help people make smarter health choices by shopping for health care services online.
My first business was in the middle of the dot.com world. There were two paths I could take the company, one being an established market and the other was a more sexy, new market where we were going to tie together consumers, doctors and hospitals and let them share information.
I made the choice to go down the sexy path. We had really cool technology but the market didn’t quite understand it; there was no market for it. We had to try and convince people that what we wanted to do was something they needed.
I think my mistake was not picking something that you know you can do. I see it all the time; entrepreneurs think they've built something really cool but there is no one there to buy it. That's the mistake, building something without a market.
We had really cool technology but the market didn’t quite understand it.
Go after a real market. Don't try to create one from scratch because it's really tough to create a market for the first time. Try to find opportunities where there is a real opportunity, especially as a startup. I use that filter and lens all the time to hopefully not get myself back into that problem again.
It's the first conversation I have with my team if I am looking at a new business: Who is going to buy it? If we can't answer that, then it is a pretty short conversation.
Follow Scott Decker on Twitter at @scottdeckerHSQ
Pictured: Scott Decker | Photo courtesy of HealthSparq