Emotional Security in the Face of Rejection

Emotional Security in the 

Face of Rejection 

Laura Gardner

Devin Miller

The Inventive Journey


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Emotional Security in the Face of Rejection

"You have to be emotionally secure enough to face what feels like a lot of rejection from the market..." Listen to the podcast for entrepreneurs, businessmen, businesswomen, startups, inventors, and small businesses. 

The Inventive Journey

Starting and growing a business is a journey. On The Inventive Journey, your host, Devin Miller walks with startups along their different journeys startups take to success (or failure). You also get to hear from featured guests, such as venture firms and angel investors, that provide insight on the paths to a successful inventive journey.


you have to be emotionally secure enough to face what feels like a lot of rejection from the market everybody this is Devin Miller here with another episode of the inventive journey as a reminder to all the new listeners I'm Devin Miller I am a serial entrepreneur as well as the founder and managing partner Miller IP law where we help startups and small businesses with patents trademarks and copyrights so the inventive journey takes us through different journeys of inventors and businesspeople and CEOs and founders and all everybody else has involved with business and their journey and what they're doing and we gonna hear a little bit about their past so we have a great guest on today Laura and excited to have her on tell a little bit about her journey and where she's at so with that Laura rather than me give the introduce induction I'll let you do that yourself because I'm sure you'll do a much better job than I would so maybe introduce yourself a little bit and what you're doing okay well my name is Laura Gardner I have been out on my own either consulting or for a brief period of time working at a startup now I have my own startup and my journey has been a very interesting one I started out in life wanting to be a doctor I did actually become an MD I practiced women's health for a while general practice and that I decided I wanted to have a bigger impact and I was having one patient at a time so I went into public health and from there I got persuaded by the head of the department to stay on and get doctorate in health economics and since then I've been doing a lot of healthcare analytics and building health care suite of products that I've invented okay so yeah so let's dive into it so you were kind of a lot of good things in there so you started out with the the healthcare industry and a lot of doing that and becoming a doctor and what you know needs to mention a little bit about you know I can either make that impact on you know one person at a time and doing that or I can shift gears a little bit and have a much broader reach or help out more people at for any given time what made you decide to make that jump or make that switch how did you decide hey I want to jump over from a doctor being you know women's health and and helping those people out to doing more of the business side and entrepreneur and making more and helping out more people well it really was a function of timing because at the time the healthcare industry was just getting used to the introduction of a new what was then a new type of payment system called er G's in the hospital and everybody was very concerned about dr DS and what impact they would have and there was a lot of money flowing for research looking at the impact dr G's and for that for the listening audience what's a Dr Dee year that's just so they know that nomenclature so it was a new way of payment hospital paying hospitals based on the diagnosis related groups so that's what DRG stands for diagnosis related group okay and it involved instead of paying every bill every six hundred dollar aspirin the hospital payments for inpatients this is would be lumped into one one flat fee payment depending on how complex and and intensive the DRG was okay no but that's that's a good explanation so kind of with all of that and he's jumped into that and there was a matter of timing I know one thing we talked a little bit of previously is me also you got into machine learning before machine learning was cooler before it was kind of the bad word or either or the fat you know as far as everybody always likes this now say machine learning your AI or anything about but you know maybe are touched a little bit on that so as you're kind of going more into the consulting role and getting or moving on or looking to more of helping people out on a larger scale how did that all mix in with mission machine learning well when I transitioned from general practice into public health and I studied at this School of Public Health at UC Berkeley part of the curriculum was learning this relatively new field of data exploration and analysis and at the time it was just called statistical analysis and what we did was we built models looked at an existing data set to see what it would tell us what it would teach us about what to expect in an untested dataset and the methods that we used were all statistical analysis options including linear regression logistic regression forecasting and you know various other statistical procedures that were not called anything special they were not called machine learning at the time but over the years people began to see the potential for these models which were built and run on data and they began to see that the me putting the data in hands of the machine to extract information was turning out to be far more effective and efficient than trying to extrapolate from hand analysis what might be going on so that's when it started to become machine learning and what what I was doing was definitely a part of machine learning but it wasn't the whole thing there's a whole side of machine learning that looks at learning from each new record that comes through and that would be more like what we would call a neural network where each new piece that comes through resets the parameters and that that's not what I was doing but I was learning about that and so I feel like I've been in the field since before it was a thing oh that's the a you were very forward-thinking maybe to give and I think you know we touched on it a bit you know one of the applications are kind of as you're doing what I would call it you know what we call today at least the aspect of machine learning I think you mentioned one was kind of looking at employee injury or if somebody got injured and whether or not you know what that might cost or how quickly they'd get back to work or some of those things maybe give a bit of an idea or background a little bit more on what was one of the applications when so you jumped over from women's health started doing some machine learning and then you jump you know as you applied this give it maybe a bit of background on that well so I I did some consulting shortly after I left school and then I was offered a very exciting project in the workers comp field so I transitioned from the general health care sphere that I had been focusing on in grad school and I started building up some expertise in workers compensation which is the field health care that takes care of injured workers and also not just delivers the health care but also delivers the wage replacement that they need when they're out of work for an extended period of time so I found that a very rewarding area to be in and I the first project I had was to build an outcomes-based provider network and by that we meant looking at the injured worker their course of injury their ultimate outcome how much was paid to them and how well they did and building a predictive model that could help us decide when the doctor was performing well and when they weren't that was one project and it gave me the skills to do that kind of work but the Bell didn't ring for several years I found myself do doing that project as well as the one you mentioned where I forecasted how expensive and injured workers claim was going to be and both of those things were in pretty high demand low that workers comp clients that I was meeting and I was getting a lot of work to do those projects but I was finding myself dissatisfied with how my work was being utilized in that I would do the project it would take a month or two months or whatever and then I would hand the clan a report with some graphics that showed some combinations of doctors and specialties and injury types and crosstab tables basically that gave information about the data and the results and I found myself very dissatisfied with what happened to my reports which is that the client that had requested the project would read the report maybe circulated to their team and then we'd get put on the shelf and nothing would it be would ever be done with it because mainly they didn't have the tools to change practice at their at their place of employment so while they found my report on my findings very interesting they didn't know how to put them into practice and I realized very early on that I was going to have to find a partner who could help develop these standalone projects into standalone software products that the clients could then use over and over again to find the high cost claims or find the efficient doctors or whatever they were looking for find a doctor with the specialty of orthopedics in the Reading area you know that's how fine-tuned the my micro analyses on my projects could get with a computerized version that's what I set out to do was to find a partner who could help me do that oh yeah so you made then you made a product or project or product based on that if I remember our kind of our previous conversation that you then licensed out and then you started to generate income and otherwise have a bit more control is that right that's right so and tell me so in the Wynn self bias or that I introduced at the beginning I'm patent and trademark attorneys so what did you license out because that's you know a lot of times you have companies or businesses and wanting to get a licensing or sometimes they really dislike the innovation part or the part that you get to create stuff they don't always want to take it all the way to market or have to be the business site of it so how did you get into licensing or how did that work or give me a bit more of a give us a bit more idea of how that played out okay well I so I found myself doing these two projects over and over again for different customers and I was trying to think of a way that I could automate the part of developing the data that was similar across all clients rather than me doing all of that analytic work over and over again when it was essentially the same model the same analysis just different data so really what came to mind was something a friend said to me which was I would I really wish I could be helping people in my sleep you know build something that yeah would continue even when I wasn't involved with it anymore and that really stuck with me and I started thinking how can I turn these consulting projects into software that would be available to people whether I was there or not whether I was updating their product or not so I I luckily hooked up with a colleague of mine who was very interested in helping me and had skills to build a rudimentary but functioning software as a service product for each of my two products and so I had help building them into SAS products but once I had done that I was then able to license the use of the algorithms and what the machine had learned so with Mussina had learned became knowledge that fed back into the customers database and that's why it's called machine learning is because there's a feedback loop and so I built these two products and I quickly found customers that were very interested in licensing them including one of the customers that had done it with me as a consulting project and now was he was very excited to get it as a software product so these two products lived on as rudimentary software products for about five years and then I made the acquaintance of a gentleman who was working for a startup that was focused on the hospital sector and they were finding themselves very busy with that but interested in branching out and [Music] building some products for the workers compensation market and he found me through a LinkedIn search and asked me if I would like to be involved in that and when I told him what I was doing and the two products that I had invented and that I had already started licensing them and he got he actually got anxious about that and he said you know it looks like what you're doing is exactly what we want to do and so we're gonna end up being competitors so maybe we shouldn't talk anymore and I thought about that for a day or two and then I called him back and I said look if what I'm doing is so close to what you want to be doing and you folks have a software development team that can do what I need to have done we should just team up and it was my reaching out and proposing that that really changed my life because he liked the idea he made me a job offer on the spot to come on board as vice president products and help them build out my two software products and so that's what I did I joined their team I worked on my two products as VP of products for a while a couple of years and then his team got spun off from that original company and it became its own company and I continued to work for them and I got promoted to chief scientist and I was in charge of the data science team that was working on my two products and it was just very exciting because I felt like I had given birth to these two babies and they were being well taken care of by this company and I was very happy to be there and be part of it and that's that's a good way it almost seems like you know that's almost a commented analogy is hey it's almost like birthing and raising a child and going through the full process of seeing it from birth all the way to growing up sometimes old Asia sometimes it doesn't quite make it there but it's always a lot of analogies with that so maybe jumping now because I think that's it pretty interesting so now you did that you did that for a while with that company and then correct me if I'm wrong then you jumped over to what is your current project or your current so now when it sounds like you made an exit or you know you decided that you that one kind of wrapped up and you decided to go on to your next project of what you're doing now so maybe give me an idea of how you made that transition or made that that switch to where you're at now well after couple of years of working with that company I felt that I again began to feel that there were other horizons I wanted to see and encounter and one of those things that was really calling to me was the desire to start my own company specializing in machine learning and artificial intelligence analytics and I I also had a very strong interest in doing something that would improve the pharmaceutical sector because I felt that in health care one of the areas that was just not working well for people was the pharmaceutical sector there were many layers of middlemen many layers of added cost many ways that patients were being blocked from getting the medicine their doctors had prescribed so I wanted to do something in the pharmaceutical sector and I wasn't exactly sure what so the first thing I did when I started my own second company was I hosted an internship for three young people with expertise in market research and it was a paid internship last ten weeks I had three interns and it turned out to be a very good experience for all of us I had a speaker every week I had reading assignments I had weekly goals and they put together a survey they they did all their assignments the internship itself went extremely well but at the end of it we were all in agreement that the pharmaceutical sector was somewhat impenetrable for a small start-up and so we wanted to carve out a small piece of it that we could manage that wouldn't be taking on more than we could chew and so the idea that we came up with myself and one of the three interns who stayed around after the internship was over he and I came up with the idea of developing resources for people who are new to this country who are looking for the medicines that they are accustomed to taking back home in their home country but they can't find them because they're called different names here and I'm talking in particular about over-the-counter medications so I don't know if you know this but what we know of as Tylenol which is the chemical name is acetaminophen it's not called that in Europe or in India but the name of the chemical is called paracetamol and people who come here and want to find something in the drugstore for headache they're looking and looking looking for paracetamol and they can't find it because it's not what things are called here so we decided to come up with a mobile app that would allow people to either put in the name that they were looking for from their home country or choose from a set of 10 or 12 common conditions like headache joint pain insomnia diarrhea skin rash all kinds of things that people would treat with over-the-counter medication and so they could put in either the chemical name or the condition that they're trying to treat and this product will bring up all the choices and what they're called in the US and a qualification of how similar the US product is to the one that they had in test oh that is really cool I mean that I can definitely see what the need would be there hey I'm coming from you know I and I spent a couple years in Taiwan and you know language is completely different you don't even have a similar alphabet you don't even have similar expelling or anything if you coming into the country saying hey all all I want is and ask for their Thailand ilex I have a headache and you don't even know what you're supposed to find at the you know the drugstore and compound the interest if your language abilities or you certainly silly learning English or don't know English or that makes it all of them work so I can definitely see for those that are coming into the country from you know even foreign countries whether it's english-speaking or others why that would make sense I do think is also interesting so you paid interns or you create a basically an internship saying hey I want to help out in this area of the market or we want to maybe jump into this and I'd love to come up with some ideas and have some or have some ways enter into it so why don't we go and hire a few interns to see what they can come up with they'll do some market research and they'll and they'll see kind of what ideas they can come up with and then based on that you know we can move forward and if I remember when we talked to you know kind of a before the interview originally you actually talked about house you'd pace on the interns and they hadn't come up with any good ideas and it was until a little bit after that they you know they kept thinking on it but the one internship you're working with now it was came back and said here's a one idea that I think might work or that you know Lisa pain point and that was that this kind of just it's an interesting idea a way of going about figuring out new or new ideas and new come businesses for a given market yes yes I was very helpful because I was tapping into the best and the brightest that I could find who had just completed a course of study and market research which I have never studied on that one of the few things I've never studied and it was it was unfortunate that the trio of interns did not come up with an idea that we could have immediately started working on but the one who did come back to me a few months later he had this very solid idea so it was not a waste well that's cool that's interesting both that you hired them and originally you thought oh man I put all that you know hired the best best and the brightest type of a thing and Bob for sure they've come up with a good idea then when they didn't this guy I'm sure is a little bit of a letdown they're at least thinking okay that you know now what do I do but then even more fortuitous is that they later came back with an idea one of them did that later Jen are created or Caton became one it's now your company today so fairly are a very interesting journey so we're kind of hitting up against um the end of the episode but I want I always end the episode with a couple you know couple of questions that I want to ask each at each guest and so one of them is what is the worst business decision you made and the reason is is you always get to here being all the highlight reel so recently I was reading a book it was you know that will never work and it was by marc randolph which is one of the cofounders of netflix and it did a good job and it went through and you got to hear all kind of the i did you know how he came up the idea how they actually you know brought up and uh you know and brought netflix sure what you hear today everybody always just sees netflix it's all over the place and great success but that book kind of walked you through you know one of the other co-founders which is hastings which is you know the first you know he's here for netflix told him that you know that idea will never work when he originally pitched it off of him so is it you know it's always interesting to hear not only the highlight reels and how everything always works out but some of the decisions that we wish we had made or that we could change so with that what is one decision or what's the worst business decision you ever made well that's not a hard choice because it's really the one thing that i regret in my whole professional life and that is when I saw the IP to my two product ideas to this company that I was very excited about having them build out the products as full-fledged software software as a service I made a deal with them that was you know mutually favorable but generally hit the and hit the high spots on my checklist in terms of a job with the company of decent salary some equity and I really thought that was a good enough deal and what happened was the company that I sold to originally that built a division 2 to build my products about a year and a half later they spun off that division and I had in my ago she ations with them I had totally neglected to take that into account as a possibility of something that might happen and so when the division was spun off they put a corporate governance structure into place that did not include me and my bit my worst business decision was not to not do something about that right away and ensure that I got on as chief analytics officer or at least on the board so here was this company's new company Mis spin-off that was running to market with my products and I had no real control over and I would do that differently if I had to do that again No so lesson learned is is to make sure that when you're forming a partnership or a joint bench or anything of the like make sure that that you get be able to make in control or to be part of it and I think of that you know that's a lesson I think that a lot of people that you don't you always going into a new adventure and you always excited if they go there will be a great experience and we're all in pulling it together but you never know which way will things will turn whether somebody will leave whether the business will be spun off whether things will change and so it's you know and this is probably the attorney coming out maybe always want to kind of anticipate what was the worst case scenario and if I can live with that or if I'm okay with that than anything about that is great so I think that's certainly a good thing for people to hear and understand is that you want to make sure that the worst-case scenario is hey I'll still be a part of the company or can there continue to be controlling it or have input into it and so that you're not if as things maybe change down the road that doesn't become an issue so second class question if you're having somebody that's wanting to get into a startup wanting to start a small business and maybe it's in the medical industry or maybe it's in machine learning or something of that nature what's one piece of advice you would give them take a deep breath it's quite a roller coaster ride it's feast and famine you you're up when you have your idea you're down when you learn how complicated it's going to be to develop it then you make some progress you develop something you get a client you're off then you lose to clients who think you're your software is not the right fit for them and it's just something that you have to be first of all financially secure enough to do to face a period of time with no income coming in and you have to be emotionally secure enough to face what feels like a lot of rejection from the market until your product actually hits and so you have to go through some hard times financially and emotionally before things start to click and clients start to spread the word of mouth about your product and if you have a good product and you have confidence in it then it's worth going for for sure but just be prepared for the ups and downs I like that simple and easy take a beat deep breath because it's gonna be a good journey so well awesome well with that kind of coming to the end of the episode and it's been a pleasure I always every episode I get on there's about 20 more things I want to talk through and a whole bunch more interesting points that we never quite have time for but thank you for coming on and it's been a great great to hear your journey has been it's certainly an interesting one for those that want to get involved whether it's you know venture capitalist angel investors whether it's somebody that's a partnership or just wants to reach out and hear your experience a bit more what's the best way to get in contact with your get a hold of you or to find out more about your current business so I'm on LinkedIn I use all the letters that come after my name so there are other Laura gardeners but they don't have the MD MPH PhD FAC PN that comes after my name so if you look for Laura garden with all those letters you'll find me and I accept direct messages I accept connection requests I'm happy to mentor people who have questions and you feel free to contact me through there and also every LinkedIn message I think it's a setting I have put on my account gets sent to me by email as well so if we are going to be in a long conversation I'll switch us to email by telling you how to reach me perfect so anybody's looking out they'll connect up with the on LinkedIn we'll put that at the in the show notes as well so they can find where your Linkedin is and connect up with any any for anything that they any advice they may need any mentorship they need or if they want to get involved otherwise well again Laura thank you for coming on it's been fun to hear your journey it's always an interesting journey and yours is by far no exception and I look forward to seeing your product out of the market and helping all those that are coming into the country and looking for how they can find the medications they need for those of you that are new the episode you're always welcome to come on be a guess on the the podcast you can just go to the inventive journey and you'll get some details as to how to apply to be a guest on the podcast or for those that are needing a help with your patents trademarks or copyrights you're welcome to go to our website which is Miller IPL so Miller is an intellectual opium property Ellison law calm and we're here to help any business any way we can so thank you again Laura been a pleasure to have or have yann and hope to talk with you soon thank you very much you English (auto-generated) All Recently uploaded Watched

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