Things Did Not Get Any Easier After $1 M ARR.

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That’s me pulling my workout partner. That’ s what cash constraints felt like as the company grew, I thought it would get easier but instead it felt like someone strapped a harness around me and was holding me back. Why am I holding that gigantic phone you ask? I was totally playing Eye of the Tiger.

What You Will Learn in This Post

I will share hard numbers, actual decisions, and strategic reasoning with you so you can learn from what my cofounders and I did and see that it is OK to take risks where you don’t know for sure if something is going to work out. I will not discuss the unique operating decisions or industry dynamics because they are not important to embracing the spirit of our experience so that you may be encouraged to go boldly build your vision. You will learn that there is no clear path to $4 MM in ARR but that it is possible in a short period of time with some luck mixed with good execution and risk taking. I will dispel the fairy tale narrative that abounds where starting and growing a company looks so glamorous. …

How we funded our company and achieved profitability

Building a company is like me building my wife an enclosure to expand and protect her garden from squirrels. I made it up and had no idea what I was doing, I’ve never built anything in my life. The same is true for most founders including me. But that did not stop me from building the enclosure and nor should it stop people from starting companies. Don’t let lack of money or fear stop you from fulfilling your destiny.

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The beginning of a big project (big to me anyway)

What You Will Learn In This Post

My cofounders and I are building a big business that is changing lives and that is growing very fast. Despite all of that, we are laser focused on ensuring it makes money for us, families, employees, and our sole investor ( No one else. So, when we launched in October 2017, we knew that hitting $1 MM ARR as quickly as possible with at least a 40% gross margin was the key to achieving our goals. Hitting $1 MM in ARR in a highly regulated industry with a business model that has a 12-month sales cycle and a minimum annual fixed cost of $750,000* was not easy. I will describe here the nitty gritty of what we did. It is not glamorous, but it will show you that if you put your mind to it, and take on risk, you too can get there** without asking for permission from traditional investors, even if you don’t want to blitz-scale. I will focus on the methods we used to fund the business and less on the operations of our unique business model to make this write up more applicable to a broader audience. …

This is the tale of a technology enabled phoenix. This is the tale of the death of a startup. It is the tale of betrayal and survival. It is long. It is a tale of redemption. It is worth the read.

In the year 2011 I was inspired to start a technology enabled primary care practice that would cut the cost of healthcare in half while 10x-ing the patient experience. I knew a lot about healthcare but nothing about running a clinic. Yet, I knew that I had done harder things and that I could create a better more affordable offering than the then current solutions on the market. In 2011 I was still all talk though, a straight up wantrapreneur. It was not until late 2012 that I made a serious run at starting this company when my friend Pete Kane said to me while walking over the Mississippi — “dude, just start it already”. This was the age of the Lean Start-Up, Accelerators, and Tech Crunch, so my mind was full of the latest startup catch phrases, strategies, and success stories.. The company was called RetraceHealth and the value proposition was simple. For one fixed monthly fee users would get unlimited access to tech enabled nurse practitioners via video or home visits. …


Thompson Aderinkomi

Cofounder at Nice Healthcare

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