Helping Doctors Stick to Their Day Jobs — Full Transcript
Doctor.com Founder and CEO Andrei Zimiles discusses the disruption healthcare professionals are experiencing today and how technology is helping and challenging them at the same time.
Key takeaways from this episode of StartUp Health NOW can be found here.
Unity Stoakes: [0:05] Welcome to “StartUp Health NOW!” the weekly webcast that celebrates the healthcare transformers and changemakers reimagining healthcare. My name is Unity Stoakes. Today, we’ve got a special guest, healthcare transformer Andrei Zimiles who’s the Cofounder and President of Doctor.com, one of the great domain names in healthcare today.
[0:26] We’ve got a diverse conversation today. We’re going to dig into all things SaaS, the power of a great name and open versus closed platforms in healthcare. Stick around. It’s going to be a great show.
[0:41] [ad and music]
Unity: [1:19] Welcome, Andrei. It’s great to have you here at “StartUp Health NOW!” Super‑excited about the conversation today.
[1:25] I thought we’d kick the discussion off. Let me hear about the mission of Doctor.com. What is it? What are you guys trying to do with Doctor.com?
Andrei Zimiles: [1:35] Sure. First, thank you so much for having me. Great to be here.
[1:39] When we think about our mission, we really think about the fact that today doctors, especially those in small to medium sized practices, are really at a disadvantage. The world has changed around them. They went to medical school, they’re great clinicians, they worry about their patients, they worry about clinical care, but they didn’t necessarily spend a lot of time studying technology, even studying business.
[2:04] What’s happened is…
Unity: [2:05] They studied medicine.
Andrei: [2:06] They studied medicine, exactly. What’s happened is everything that was the status quo, how people found them, how patients researched who to go see when they came in the door, what their expectations were, that’s all been flipped on its head in the past few years. A couple of factors contributing to that.
Unity: [2:25] What are some of those factors?
Andrei: [2:27] One is a proliferation of high deductible health plans with the healthcare changes, Affordable Care Act, et cetera. People are now paying a lot more out of pocket, or at least the first portion of their healthcare spending is hitting them in the wallet whereas before it was just covered magically by some payer entity.
Unity: [2:46] They’re shopping around, and having to find their own providers, and paying attention to cost, and those types of things?
Andrei: [2:52] Exactly. If you think about it, when it’s your money, not some insurance company’s money, you’re going to do a lot of research. It’s always been the case with the cosmetic procedures, elected procedures, where people would really compare and shop.
[3:04] But now, even more general procedures, if the first thousand dollars, if your healthcare spending is coming out of your pocket, or some cases, the first $10,000, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re really going to the right person for you who has expertise in your specific area of concern.
[3:19] That’s one factor. Another factor is just also the proliferation of peer‑to‑peer feedback. The same way that people, if you’re going to a restaurant, you’ll probably go on Yelp or OpenTable. You don’t just need to ask your friend, because you have 500 friends who’ve left reviews, or even, they’re not your friends. They’re still…
Unity: [3:37] You want the social proof of what’s good and what’s not.
Andrei: [3:40] Exactly. Those two factors alone, and there’s many others, have create a climate where people now, when they go to find a doctor, even if they have a referral…There’ve been studies about this. The American Medical Association, I think, sponsored a study. Bunch of other agencies have done studies, did research.
[3:57] Even when people are getting referred to a doctor, very often, their first stop is Google. Tying that back to our mission, recognizing that paradigm and recognizing that a lot of the innovation, a lot of the technology companies entering this marketplace, are looking at the patient side of that.
[4:16] Saying, “Great, let’s give patients more information. Let’s help patients be better informed, let’s help them make those comparisons.” Which is all great, and we’re very supportive of that. We looked at it from the other angle. We said, “Well, who’s looking out for the doctors? Who’s looking at this through the lens of someone who’s may have been in practice 10, 15 years?”
[4:34] Or maybe they’re starting their practice, entering this, and they need to maintain a patient base, grow a patient base. Maintain their online presence, their reputation, et cetera. All of those are really important.
Unity: [4:44] So you’ve created an online platform to make it easy for every doctor to do that?
Andrei: [4:50] Exactly. With Doctor.com, effectively, we take all of the fear and all of the expertise that they may not have time or the ability to acquire on their own, and move that all from the equation. We’re one trusted partner, it’s pretty much a do‑it‑for‑you service.
[5:09] Meaning, they hire us, they get on our platform, and we take care of things like making sure that the 50, 100 websites they’re listed on all have their right, correct address information, their correct insurance affiliations, a beautiful photo of their practice, et cetera. Making sure they have a strategy to be proactive about patient review.
[5:26] So, instead of a negative review coming out of the blue, because somebody had a billing issue with their insurance, and that being this really scary event, they don’t know what to do and it’s hurting your reputation, we now put the power back in their hands to be very proactive about getting positive feedback from the happy patients, which is usually the overwhelming majority.
[5:45] We don’t have a single client who has more unhappy patients than happy patients. It’s just, usually the deck is stacked against them in that respect.
Unity: [5:52] A couple of interesting things to unpack here. From what I understand or what I know, your platform is open. What are the differences between an open versus a closed platform, in terms of being able to really help these doctors manage their reputation online or do what you’re talking about online?
Andrei: [6:18] It’s a great question, and I appreciate you asking it. Because it’s something that actually comes up when we’re speaking to doctors. They’ll, for example, say, “Well, how are you guys different than someone like ZocDoc?” ‑‑ which is a great question, by the way.
[6:29] ZocDoc is a great company, I have a lot of respect for them. But ZocDoc is a great example of a closed platform, a walled garden. It’s its own ecosystem. The patients on ZocDoc are people who are going to ZocDoc to find a doctor. Doctors who are listed there are listed only on ZocDoc.
[6:46] When we say we’re an open platform, it’s Doctor.com exists outside of any one website or any one app or any one ecosystem. What we’ve done is connected our solution, which is the layer that the doctors interact with, to an entire network of health and local business sites.
[7:05] To illustrate this very specifically, if a doctor updates his or her information one time in our system ‑‑ again, that could then be just calling their account manager with us, their practice consultant, and that person would actually do the updating ‑‑ that update then is multiplied out across 20, 30, 50 sites. Where they may be listed.
[7:26] Because we have built connections to all those different sites.
Unity: [7:28] All those different channels that people find when they go to Google, there can be dozens of different review sites, dozens of different listing sites. You guys work to update many of those?
Andrei: [7:41] Exactly. The simplest way to think about it from a visual example, if you Google a doctor or a dentist or any medical practitioner, you will typically see, of those 10 results that show up, usually between 7 to 9 of them are partners that we work with. Not always, but most of the time.
[8:01] So we’ve gone out and said, “Who’s out there that is a real player that has a scale audience of patients, that are going there to get information about who they should go see for care?”
[8:13] We’ve worked down that list, starting at the top with very large partners, like Vitals, for example, is one of our big partners. Gets, I think, more reviews and one of the highest amounts of patient traffic, versus anyone else.
[8:26] We started with the largest sites and worked our way down. Each one of those relationships is very unique. It’s both a technology connection, which really sets us apart, because we’re not just doing the stuff by hand. We actually have proprietary technology that connects into all these sites.
Unity: [8:40] So you’re very much a technology company?
Andrei: [8:41] We are a technology company. Although, to get these relationships in place happens on the business side. They really are relationships with our partners. Because it’s one thing to just have the technology connection. But beyond that, we have to facilitate partnership where they feel like they’re getting great trustworthy, authentic content from us, about our clients, doctors.
Unity: [9:06] You have an interesting model that’s a SaaS model. What does that mean to a provider, to a doctor who may not even understand what a SaaS model is? I think it’s a very important business model that a lot of great companies are employing today.
[9:27] What are the advantages of a SaaS model? What does that mean to your customers out there?
Andrei: [9:33] It’s a great question. Just in case anyone wanted to know, SaaS is Software as a Service. What that essentially means is that, rather than paying one large lump sum upfront, and getting a box of software or a solution in a box, that you then use and eventually use up and re‑buy years later, SaaS is run by Software as a Service.
[9:55] Everything is in the cloud, remotely managed. It takes IT out of the equation, and it’s ever green. It’s always delivered, it’s always up‑to‑date, it’s always current. Someone essentially buys it like a magazine subscription, except it’s a service.
[10:10] So, for us…
Unity: [10:11] Do you pay every year, every month? How does that work?
Andrei: [10:14] We actually are far more flexible than most who sell in the medical industry. Where, typically, it’s prepaid for the year, and we have one to three‑year contracts with clients. But depending on the circumstances, the size of their practice, et cetera, we will have quarterly billing cycles as well. And sometimes, even month‑to‑month billing cycles.
[10:36] What we found that really is of value with this model is unlike traditional software where, again, if you buy a boxed EMR software, for example, to manage a practice, the difference would be you’re maybe paying $20,000 upfront. For some boxed software. Then five years later, you buy…
Unity: [10:55] That might need to change in a year and all of a sudden you’re stuck with this legacy package.
Andrei: [11:00] Exactly, and if your office burns down and your computer gets melted, it’s all gone. Now, that industry is also mostly gone into a SaaS, or a software as a service based model. It all lives in the cloud. Your desk computer at the doctor’s office is basically just a terminal that accesses that data remotely.
[11:20] For us, to deliver our service that way, it means a couple things. One, it means you don’t need a tech guy or a web guy, an IT person to deal with it. Even when you actually have a physical device in the doctor’s office, which is part of our service, even that, it just pulls everything from the cloud. They literally plug it in and put it on their WiFi network.
Unity: [11:38] Does this mean that a doctor can now focus on medicine and helping their patients instead of search engine optimization and fixing reviews and inaccuracies online? Is that basically what you’re saying?
Andrei: [11:53] Absolutely. Not just a doctor but often it’s their staff who are really…Usually, what happens is the doctor spends just enough time to be very concerned about this. They recognize it’s impacting their practice. They often lean heavily on their staff to help sort through it and figure out what to do.
[12:13] Again, these people who are working with us are usually very busy. They’re hard‑working people. They’re overburdened. They’re dealing with patient incoming phone calls. They’re dealing with insurance.
[12:23] It’s not ideal for it to be on their shoulders, either. What this means is instead of them having to figure out how to get a piece of software set up, and maintained, and deal with IT and all that, and have to puzzle through it, they simply sign on with us and it all magically happens in the background.
[12:42] What we’ve also found is because folks are so busy in doctor’s offices, they don’t like to have to go hunting for information about how well the service is performing for them. We learned early on…we actually built this beautiful dashboard where clients could come, and log in, and get all this information, run all these reports.
[12:58] It’s actually very underutilized. It wasn’t nearly as popular as we thought. We realized it was because people were so busy. They’re just so busy.
[13:07] What we have now done is become increasingly better at pushing information to our clients when they need to know it. If they get a great review, we let them know. If a negative review popped up somewhere on the web, we may not be in direct control but we detected it. Let them know, “Hey, watch out. Somebody just put a bad review on Yelp. Here’s what you want to do respond to that.” Similar types of notifications. We get a call and an appointment request, et cetera.
[13:34] Building that platform to push the right information at the right time to the right person in the office has been very helpful in our clients being able to get the most out of our service.
Unity: [13:42] Push versus pull being one lesson learned. Is there anything else that might be helpful to other entrepreneurs out there that might be thinking about their business model, considering SaaS, or software as a service, model.
[13:57] What have you learned? What nuggets could you share with other entrepreneurs about what works or what doesn’t work in terms of the SaaS model?
Andrei: [14:06] Sure. It’s a great question. I think with SaaS in particular it moves very fast. More important, this is always important but I find that particularly in the industry that we’re in with the clients that we have and the speed at which everything is moving, having incredible people on your team is really, really important.
[14:30] One philosophy we’ve always had at Doctor.com, which has served us really, really well, is in any given position we try to find someone who is hungry for that role, who has been ready for it for a long time ‑‑ this is particularly true in management roles ‑‑ but who has probably been bumping up against a ceiling in their current role.
[14:51] Meaning we see it, for example, in our customer service. It’s someone who’s been a rock star account manager or a client service specialist somewhere else. They’ve been ready to build out a team under them for two years…
Unity: [15:06] They’re ready for varsity. They’ve been on the bench or JV for a while and ready to break out.
Andrei: [15:11] Exactly. We would rather hire those people than someone who’s done it for years somewhere else. What we’ve found is they bring a level of passion that far outweighs any ramp up in terms of the main expertise someone may need to have entering the role. So moving up the latter rung.
[15:31] Whatever we may lose in prior experience we gain tenfold in passion, and enthusiasm, and dedication. That, as a philosophy…
Unity: [15:40] Is that so they have the agility to keep up with the pace of what a SaaS model requires? It’s constantly evolving.
Andrei: [15:49] Absolutely. The thing about SaaS is every time a billing cycle renews, you need to re-win the trust of your customer. Unlike you sell a box of software. The day you sold it, you have no further obligation other than whatever is in the fine print that that person’s committed to, you’ve committed to when they purchased the software.
[16:12] For us, if someone is paying us quarterly, or yearly, or even, in rare cases, monthly, every billing cycle, depending on their contract terms, every several billing cycles, we have to secure renewal. We have to get another vote of confidence from them.
[16:32] That means that the work of service never ends. When you get to a large number of clients, as we have, it is ever more important that the people who are responsible for taking care of those customers are the best in the world.
[16:46] I really feel one thing we’ve done, we’ve paid up for the best talent and we’ve sought out those people who don’t bring a lot of preconceived notions to the table, who may not have the mile long rÈsumÈ of prior experience but who are incredibly passionate and incredibly talented.
[17:02] I would encourage any other entrepreneur when they think about hiring, don’t necessarily go for that person with the shiny burnished rÈsumÈ who’s done it before for years.
Unity: [17:12] Go for passion.
Andrei: [17:13] Very often, yeah. Passion and someone who’s aspiration has been to that job for a while.
Unity: [17:22] One thing I wanted to ask you about Doctor.com. You’ve got a great name. What is the power of a brand like that? How do you shepherd that? What does it do for your business? What are some of the lessons learned in terms of how a name can be leveraged as you’re building your company?
Andrei: [17:47] Something interesting that we’ve found is the power…It’s a natural brand, and the power of that brand is such that we always have to live up to it.
[17:57] What I mean by that, when we call and we talk to an office, “We’re calling from Doctor.com,” there’s an immediate assumption that if we have a domain name of that caliber we’re a company of a certain level, achieved a certain amount of success, that’s gotten to a certain point.
[18:12] It’s funny, people often think we’re a much larger organization than we are. They often think…what is really funny, we’ll talk to a client. They’ll lump us in with companies that have a thousand employees. We don’t even have a hundred yet.
[18:27] Knowing that, it’s a positive pressure on us and on the entire team to live up to that and to, when it’s a good thing, deliver the big company service, the level of polish, and level of rigor, and process, and being on top of everything that you’d find with a larger company.
[18:50] For us, the internal challenge is to maintain our agility. It’s a bit of a challenge.
[18:54] The brand really is a force. It’s creating an expectation in every conversation that we’re providing a certain level of service.
[19:02] It’s a positive for us.
Unity: [19:03] What about any tips you recommend to other entrepreneurs that may be trying to get a good name, think of a good name, create a good name? There’s a lot of different philosophies on this.
[19:19] Is it one of the most important things you guys decided from the beginning? “We want a great name.” What should entrepreneurs be thinking about?
Andrei: [19:31] I think, in our case, it was somewhat opportunistic. We had the ability to acquire the name. But that said, it was something that we knew would serve us very well given how we planned to grow the business.
[19:44] In the case of other entrepreneurs, I really don’t think you honestly have to have a premium domain name. I would not recommend that someone getting started spends their first million dollars buying a world class domain name. There’s probably a better use of that capital.
[19:59] With that said, I think the name that one chooses must be chosen very carefully because you don’t have any chances to change it. It’s almost always a bad idea to change your brand name, to change your name. You’re pressing the reset button on whatever you built up over time.
[20:17] I personally have a pet peeve against all these cutesy named…anything that ends in a .ly, it’s sort of, to me, why lump yourself in with a convention like that when you could be more creative and be different? I would encourage people don’t be scared to be different. Be creative.
[20:35] It has to be memorable. It should either speak to what you’re doing, and you have to know…if you’re going to be as specific as a Doctor.com or FindaDoctor.com, or something that is descriptive of the business in the name you are locking yourself in. There’s only so much you can pivot within that.
[20:57] I would say if you haven’t yet figured out what your final business model’s going to be, if you’re going to sell to insurance, or hospitals, or whatever, maybe go with something more like a Google or a Yahoo that’s not necessarily hyper‑specific because you have a lot more ability to change the business model and not have to change the name.
[21:16] You don’t want to be Dentist.com and decide you’re better off selling to plastic surgeons than dentists in six months. Just as a note on the name and specificity.
Unity: [21:28] Got it.
[21:29] You’re a serial entrepreneur. You’ve been an entrepreneur for a long time. Why did you become an entrepreneur? Was there an aha moment where you knew this is how you were going to spend your time and energy?
Andrei: [21:47] That’s a question I appreciate. For me, I think I knew when I figured out how much I hated school that I would probably not be a very good employee anywhere. I bounced through seven schools and dropped out of high school.
[22:02] Along that journey, it became pretty apparent that I was going to have to blaze my own trail to be happy and to make the most of my abilities. I’m not someone who typically does well being a cog in a very big wheel. I think there’s many people for whom that works, and more power to them.
[22:21] I actually, sometimes, in times of my life, have been envious of the ability to fit into that and excel within that. For me, I’ve always been someone who…I have to learn it the hard way. That usually means diving into it and figuring out how to either sink or swim.
[22:36] I knew very early on that I would need to go on my own path, so to speak.
Unity: [22:41] Was there a mentor or something that happened in your life where you understood what the entrepreneurial opportunity was? What guided you there?
Andrei: [22:55] It didn’t happen by choice. I got laid off from my first job ever. I had three months of severance pay.
[23:03] I had dabbled before. I had started some small lifestyle businesses on the side. I had built some income streams separate from the day job, which was very helpful during that time.
[23:13] But really, that moment I told myself, “I’m not going to put blood, sweat, and tears into something else that is ultimately out of my control and I’m up here again. I’m going to take this little bit of severance pay. I’m going to take the position that I’m in now. I’m going to go and build something of my own that’s probably going to hopefully lead to multiple things of my own after that and get started down that path.”
Unity: [23:40] How did you feel? Were you scared? Were you exhilarated? Were you happy to be free? What was the feeling going through your mind at that point? Did just being laid off…?
Andrei: [23:54] All of the above, maybe. Seriously, there’s obviously the fear. Living in Manhattan is not inexpensive. I was 21, 22 at the time. I was young. It wasn’t like I had a bunch of immediately available opportunities. There was that natural fear.
[24:17] There was an incredible sense of liberation. It was almost like that was an inevitable moment. I knew it was going to happen. It was the kick in the butt I needed to jump into doing my own thing sooner.
[24:28] Obviously, it is very easy to get comfortable, especially when you live somewhere with a high cost of living, whether it’s the Bay Area, New York, wherever. It’s very easy when you have something that pays the bills that you don’t hate, that you feel like you’re getting value from, even if you have that entrepreneurial drive welling up, to say, “I’ll put it off a year. I’ll put it off two years. Wait for this to happen. Wait for that to happen.”
[24:49] Sometimes, and I’m not the only one who has a story like this, sometimes you need that kick that you didn’t see coming to push you to say, “All right. I’m just going to take the plunge.”
[24:58] There’s never really going to be the right time, necessarily.
Unity: [25:02] Do you think more people should take that plunge? We’re living in this golden age of entrepreneurship where it’s easier to become an entrepreneur, to take those kinds of risks. You don’t have to go to college the way people thought you used to. There’s things like the Thiel Fellowship where the whole point is to support that way of thinking.
Andrei: [25:24] Which is awesome. I’m a huge fan of that, by the way.
Unity: [25:27] Should more people become entrepreneurs? Who do you recommend take this plunge, take this journey?
Andrei: [25:40] I do think that it’s generally something that if someone feels it in their heart that it’s a way of life, it’s an aspiration they want to try, that everybody should try it who has that feeling. What I think is very important is people are honest with themselves if they’re ultimately cut out for it or not.
[25:59] What I say is not everyone is built to handle the level of stress that comes with it all being on you at the end of the day. Some people are made for it. Some people, they just aren’t. They actually find that it’s a very uncomfortable way to live versus the clock strikes five. You’re done. You don’t have to think about work until nine the next day.
[26:19] I think people have to be honest with themselves, but everybody should give it a shot because it is one of those things. There’s no amount of books you can read, or blogs that you can follow, or whatever that are going to prepare you for actually just doing it.
[26:32] I also think that it’s very important. This is a clichÈ, because many people say it, but I think it’s very important to have an outlook that you don’t beat yourself up when things don’t work. All the successful entrepreneurs I know have had stumbles on the way, myself included. Some of them have had epically terrible stumbles and then have gone on to do great things.
[26:54] I think one of the qualities that is almost ubiquitous amongst entrepreneurs that I know and respect is that they…
Unity: [27:00] …Embrace failure, accept that is not the end of the world.
Andrei: [27:05] Yeah, you have to balance…I think resilience would be the number one…If someone said, “What’s the one word you would say that an entrepreneur needs to have?” I would say it’s resilience, because things will not always go your way, no matter how brilliant or creative or whatever you are.
Unity: [27:18] They almost never go your way.
Andrei: [27:19] They almost never do. You get to a point where you’re expecting that eventually something bad is going to happen. When it actually happens, it’s almost part of the challenge. It becomes part of the game and you actually feel yourself challenging yourself, and how you respond to that, and how adaptable you are, how well you saw it.
[27:39] The problems no longer are scary, because you know they’re going to be there. The thrill is in, “Here’s another one. How do we get over this mountain? How do we get around it? How do we blast through it if we have to?” Whatever it is. You learn to love it.
[27:53] Again, not everybody wants to do that. That’s totally fine. The world wouldn’t work if everybody was doing that. You need some people who love the stability and consistency of a really nice job.
Unity: [28:05] I wanted to wrap up with a speed round, some fun questions. You mentioned there’s no book you can read to learn what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. Do you have a favorite book? Do you have a book that you recommend to other entrepreneurs that’s helped you along the way?
Andrei: [28:24] I don’t know if I have a book, necessarily, that I would recommend to other entrepreneurs. I think there’s a few things that I can recommend.
[28:32] A book that I read way before it was as well known as it is now is, “The 4‑Hour Workweek,” by Tim Ferris. At the time that I read it, it was more than anything validating. I was going down that path. This was before there was nearly as much chatter around the building lifestyle businesses, and going out on your own, and breaking out of the corporate mold. It’s now a big, buzzy thing, but 10 years ago, it wasn’t. It was a little less than 10 years ago.
[29:00] Having seen that book and seeing someone articulate it as well as Tim did, the framework for that that actually matched up very closely to what I was doing was an awesome moment. “I am not alone. Someone who’s very smart has given a lot of thought to this.”
[29:15] Another book, totally unrelated, that I’ve been recommending broadly is a book called, “Shantaram.” I can’t possibly begin to describe it. It’s a book about travel, adventure. It’s pretty closely, apparently, a true story. It’s one of the most remarkable true life stories I’ve ever seen.
[29:35] I think anybody who is entrepreneurial in nature, who appreciates the adventure, and the peril, and the risk, and the high highs and the low lows of entrepreneurship will appreciate the wild ride that is this book.
Unity: [29:45] We’ll put links to both of those in the show notes.
[29:51] What do you do? It can be stressful, tolling on your body being an entrepreneur. What do you do to stay healthy?
Andrei: [29:58] Very important. I make people crazy at the office, because I’m a bit of a…I will tend to preach about these things. It’s the classic diet and exercise more than anything. I think it’s very important to be physically active. Countless studies have shown that exercise is not just for your body, it’s for your mind. I would somewhat argue also for your spirit, for your confidence.
[30:21] I’ve always felt that if you’re not sound of body, if you’re not physically confident in your physicality, in your tangible being, it’s very hard to mentally bring all that you have to bear. You never want to have a weak link anywhere.
[30:40] For me, the one thing I’m terrible with is the sleeping. You should get sleep. I’m not very good at that but it’s recommended…
Unity: [30:46] Is that because you’re working late?
Andrei: [30:48] I think it’s the entrepreneurial disease that many have. I think the workday never…again, it’s why not everyone is cut out for it. If you need your nine hours of beauty rest, don’t become an entrepreneur.
[31:02] Exercise, I think. Really intense.
Unity: [31:03] Do you have a daily routine or weekly routine?
Andrei: [31:07] This may be strange. I love violent sports. I love combat sports. I do Muay Thai and jiu‑jitsu, boxing, MMA stuff. The reason that I really love these sports is, because I think when you’re in a ring with an opponent, even if it’s a very friendly opponent ‑‑ which is most of the time, it’s not like I’m a professional fighter ‑‑ there’s a level of truth that you have. It strips away everything.
[31:31] There’re two things that happen in those sorts of environments. The combat gym, so to speak, whatever the martial art is. One, it attracts all walks of life and all normal social barriers are gone, because it’s very pure. You’re with somebody else across from you.
Unity: [31:45] Just you and your opponent in the ring.
Andrei: [31:46] You have people from Wall Street. You have people from the corner block in the Bronx. You have everything in between. It’s awesome because you’ve got groups of people who would never cross‑pollinate. All pretenses and all social hierarchies and statuses stripped away. It’s very pure. That part is beautiful.
[32:05] Two, it’s incredible task. It forces you to be very, very honest with yourself about your limitations, your abilities, your thresholds in a way that very few other things do. I feel like those experiences, it goes beyond the exercise piece of it and you actually learn a lot. I’m not saying it’s the only way to get it. Some people find that through meditation, yoga, and whatever. That happens to my chosen field [inaudible 32:26] .
Unity: [32:28] Wonderful. Thank you very much for all you’re doing. Where can people find out more about Doctor.com and you? It’s pretty easy to figure that out.
Andrei: [32:39] They can go to Doctor.com. It’s in the name. I appreciate the question. We have not had a very strong social media presence today. [inaudible 32:50] change over time. We’re on Twitter. We’re actually @Doctor on Twitter. We didn’t stop the domain name. We don’t fit the…
Unity: [33:02] I like it.
Andrei: [33:04] You can follow us there. Eventually, we’ll actually be doing more than that.
Unity: [33:08] Congrats on all your success, and congrats for going on that journey of entrepreneurship. It’s a wonderful journey for those who’ve been on it and understand the joys of it and also how to manage the challenges of it. Thank you.
Andrei: [33:29] Thank you so much, Unity. It’s been a very pleasure. I really appreciate you having me here.
Unity: [33:32] Great. Thank you very much. We’ll see you next week.