Get Uncomfortable

The Inventive Journey
Episode #334
Get Uncomfortable
w/ Timothy Kelley
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What This Episode Talks About:

Get Uncomfortable

"Make sure you are uncomfortable. That's always the first step. Having a level of discomfort keeps you on track and keeps your focus. With that, I would say read everything you can. I don't mean just about your industry and becoming an expert in your field. There are so many outside things that contribute to your decision-making. It could be baking or learning how certain calls get called in a football game. So many things like that. Those are things that help with decision-making processes."


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What Is 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.

ai generated transcription

  usually start off saying make sure you're uncomfortable uh because that that's always the first step being or having a level of discomfort keeps you on track and keeps your focus and and with that i always say read everything you can and i don't mean just about your industry and becoming an expert in your field but there's so many uh you know ancillary and outside things that contribute to your decision-making making you know it could be you know things like baking and learning how you know why do uh you know certain calls get called in a football game there's so many things like that and those are things that lend themselves to decision decision-making processes [Music] hey everyone this is devin miller here with another episode of the inventive journey i'm your host devin miller the serial entrepreneur that's grown several startups and uh seven and eight figure businesses as well as the founder and ceo of miller ip law where we help startups and small businesses with their patents and trademarks you ever need help with yours just go to we're always here to help now today we have another great guest on the podcast uh timothy uh kelly and uh tim or timothy whichever he goes by um is uh started in high school and was an artist and there was an artist in sports guys which typically doesn't go together but it was it worked out well for him i went to college and started out in pre-med but then decided to switch over to psychology and then started working in the healthcare industry became a pharmaceutical rep and then worked for a company called tki which did cds and vhs and tapes and those type of things made those and the company started to sell products in the medical industry started to create software for radiology and other things also um started to move into hospitals and doctors and start using the cloud to replace the cds and that kind of brings us to work or where he's out a bit today and he'll give us a lot more detail and throughout his journey so with that much is an introduction welcome on the podcast thanks devin appreciate it and uh thanks for having me here absolutely so i just took a much longer journey and condensed the 30 or 40 second version of it so let's unpack that a bit and tell us how your uh journey has started as being a artist and sports guy in high school sure uh well well first uh yeah just call me tim because timothy's only if you're angry with me so um but yeah back in high school yeah it's kind of you know people thought of you as an artist or an athlete and uh it was both and so it's it was kind of a they usually don't go together which if you're playing sports people say you can't draw something but uh it wasn't the case so just kind of a funny thing so now you did that in high school and enjoying the sports enjoying doing after athletics and they say okay now i'm going to go off to college and i think he's mentioned that you started in pre-med and what made you decide as you're going throughout college to go from pre-med over to psychology uh just because uh too much beer and and ladies and it was too much commitment to stay in med school so it interfered with my social life and uh um so psychology was just a fast way to get out so never never let your schooling get in the way of a good time that that's right so uh hopefully if i pass my my learned lessons on to my kids that there's sacrifice involved if you want to get further so fair enough no that's a that's a good it is a reason i was i was going to say that's a good reason to switch i don't know if i would go so far to say it is a good reason but it is a reason to switch to psychology but then you still went down and i think you started so you got your psychology degree coming out of school and i think you started out working in the healthcare industry is that right yeah well while i was in school um got hired by a pharmacy benefit management company um oddly enough called pms which is his own own problem but uh yeah that was it was nascent at that time there was there was a new industry to basically carve out sending prescriptions to people's homes at three months at a time for your maintenance drugs carving out a major medical and then watching the drug utilization review and comparing it to lost work time hospital visits doctors visits and it was found out that if people had more regular maintenance of their you know daily regimen of drugs that they needed for high blood pressure diabetes whatever the disease state may be that they had better outcomes over time oh that and that makes sense and so you're going here coming out of school doing that why school coming out of school and then how did that was that where you got into doing repping pharmaceuticals and kind of going in that direction or how did you make that switch or transition yeah it was understanding i didn't know really anything about the pharmaceutical business at the time of getting into this pbm business but you started to learn things about formularies and what certain drugs did so it gave a broad background and then um one of the smaller pharmaceutical companies hired me to be a rep and then going out and visiting doctors was a lot of fun because i love talking about medical stuff and um and then you learn something that most people don't know is that reps really dictate how doctors practice medicine which was a really interesting thing to learn is that you know most people believe that doctors just know everything but they learn a lot from the reps they're they're scientists by nature and you know their their learning process is part of being sold things from reps from pharmaceutical companies equipment companies whatever products they are using in their practice so but i always found that interesting i'd teach them something about a mode of action of a drug and you know what expected results would be and you know contraindications and all those types of things and then see them practice it in their practice it kind of freaks you out a little bit that you're telling them how to treat their patients and then they do it but that's that's the process so now you're and that makes sense so you transition and say okay i'm going to kind of go into far most pharmaceutical rep and you know teach the doctors or teach the medical industry what drugs they might consider how to treat their patients or at least what options they have and you do that for a period of time now how long were you doing the the farm or in the health care industry and then being a pharmaceutical rep uh well from at that point there was a just a few years in the mid 90s and then was hired by a pharmaceutical veterinarian company actually dermatology veterinarian company which is every time i mentioned that people would say do dogs get zits i mean what are you talking about and um actually they do but there's a lot of other skin issues that dogs cats horses certainly farm animals and so addressing those kinds of issues and from there a veterinary distributor hired me where they carried 10 12 000 different products so all the drugs all the hardware i could even lease them a truck if they needed it so from there that's where i was introduced into radiology products like ultrasounds and digital x-ray and started selling those to veterinarians and then that brought me to um tdk which was the uh the company you mentioned sold tapes and cds and that's where most people know their big seven billion dollar conglomerate but i said one curiosity what made you decide to kind of or move or move between the jobs in other words i get that you know you're in there you're selling some of those products you're aware of them but what made you decide to hey i'm going to go work with tdk directly because it on the one sense i get that you've been you know do work with radiology and they may have some overlap but if i remember right tdk wasn't and i'm not trying to put words in your mouth so correct me if i'm wrong wasn't necessarily uh predominantly or you know in the medical industry or doing a lot in that area and so what was the impetus for saying hey i'm going to switch over i'm going to take on this obvious opportunity or did you see a gap in the marketplace i thought you could make a difference i was a good opportunity what what kind of uh was the the genesis of that change i'd say was combined curiosity they came to me as part of an outsourced management group to say hey why are these hot why are these hospitals buying cds and tapes and dvds and can we exploit that marketplace is there more of a of a place for that so you're kind of uh you know sales and marketing guy and into medical so you know joining this team and and i was curious too what were hospitals doing with these things and it was in the late 90s so 98 99 and found that they were replacing cine film is what they called it in cardiology so back then to record a cardiology study basically a movie of your heart they would record them on cine film like a movie and so it's better to keep them in a digital format and they're recording that onto cds and dvds and uh yeah and that makes it you know makes sense so they they basically came and said hey we don't know exactly why we need or why they're all these medical we're grateful for the sales but we don't know why they're all buying them can you help us figure it out why and then see if there's an opportunity there so now you say yeah i'd love to do it sounds interesting and love to kind of explore that as well you know was it just a straightforward thing it was a pretty quick you could figure out why and you broke into a whole new industry or was it still kind of building out that sector of the company kind of as you're figuring that out and trying to build it and otherwise go or go after it how did that go was it just you know how did that how did that exploration and building gum uh yeah i was um discovering that that's what was happening they were buying them for cardiology and then the video cassettes were being bought for obstetrics recording ultrasounds at that time so when moms would then get the copy of the ultrasound on a video cassette as a keepsake in many cases back at that time and uh with my partner at the time we thought geez you know how much further could we exploit this and so uh we wanted to push it into radiology i thought there's an opportunity to replace film and make radiology into a digital format and at the same time uh there was big companies like ge and phillips and siemens pushing what they call pac systems which are essentially big storage systems for storing all the radiology images and then doctors seeing them on a screen instead of slapping up film into a light box which was the normal you know protocol at that time and um the first couple of trade shows we went to we were laughed at and said hey you guys are boneheads no one's ever going to use these cds and and now 20 years later there's still the predominant format of exchange in healthcare and it's becoming kind of weird that cds will become this bizarre exotic media of healthcare because it's the only industry that still uses disks there's really nothing else and so there's still a few movies left but that's those are fading rather quickly too no so now and that that makes sense and so it sounds like it was one where you know initially it was a bit laughed at and but then it's become pretty well accepted so you build that out and had a hand and billy that uh portion of the industry out now i think is and as you were going through that and it kind of talked a little bit transition to where you're at today or what you guys are doing today but you've been doing that for quite a bit of time also i think you mentioned got into a bit of the software but you're really looking and saying can now you take it to the next step which is where a lot of other people at we're making a cloud base making it so that you don't have to have the physical or tangible cd or vhs or tape or anything of that nature and so i think that's where you guys have now headed today is that right exactly so looking to cannibalize a business once again and eliminate cds and move everything to the cloud it's much more convenient much more secure better for patients you can keep your own personal records in the cloud moving that data is is pretty seamless these days and it and overall like any of these markets when the consumer market starts to drive it the professional markets have to adapt to it and you see more and more consumers just keeping all their videos and pictures and documents in the cloud now and so why not your medical records too and um it's going to become standard practice so now you know kind of the question that arises from that is when you originally went to the cd vhs tape kind of industry and providing that to the healthcare industry you said you know they kind of laughed out of the room so to speak or it took a while to acceptance are you seeing that kind of same pushbacks as you're saying hey there's a lot of opportunity people want to have access to the records you make it more accessible between doctors or between specialists or hospitals and people can discover it on their own and have that record themselves has it been one that's been pretty well accepted and people are readily or you know easy to move over are they more reticent saying hey this is we already made this sleep once and then we're comfortable we don't want to make any transition or have you found that as you've got or kind of started to promote and get that idea out there how's it been accepted yeah i i thought it was going to be a similar process but it's definitely been different where with the cds replacing film it was we were changing a protocol because they were going from essentially analog to digital and in this case they're already all digital they're just using an older method of moving that data so we're just trying to upgrade their their methodology and so it's not adoption now it's adaptation it's a different thought process and the the barriers are different and [Music] back then it could be physical where they just didn't have a cd drive and now that's becoming a problem again because they don't make them in computers but the biggest problem in getting the adaptation is is fear of compliance security um you know who has access to the data if there's a breach who's responsible so you have to cover you know we call the five pillars of security and um those even then once you you can promise them up and down we insure it we indemnify them uh you still have a lot of uh barriers to get through to get that final approval so now and are you starting to see that you know you start to figure you know that that kind of happens a lot of times with in the industry that you're one of the first entrances you're trying to make that shift or that transition people are reticent a bit to change and the unknown and how is this going to affect it is it going to work as well is it going to be reliable are they going to have increased liability and so you have to con or kind of address all those concerns are you starting to see that industry is they're starting to accept it or there's still a bit of an uphill battle or convincing them or kind of gives an idea of kind of where things at today yeah yeah they're definitely starting to um to do it it's been a harder push than originally anticipated and a lot of that just has to do with how we encapsulate retiring that those risks so we one of the first of course is security so if we can retire that the next one is is this easy to use does it integrate with our current systems that we're already using is it fast is there down time and um and ultimately how does it affect their patients and does it make their patients lives better and their outcomes better it all sounds like it's definitely uh fun er exciting time a lot of opportunity and continue to work to change the industry and improve up for the better so well that brings us uh kind of to where things are at a bit today now if you're to kind of look in and it kind of dovetails right onto that question but if you look out into the kind of the next six to 12 months where do you see you know the business headed you guys headed and then kind of what's the next steps for you guys well we're um you know pie in the sky type of guys so we our ultimate goal is to create a global healthcare communications platform where that's oriented around the primary diagnostic tool which is radiology so everything is moving towards let's take a look inside as as the diagnostic tool and eventually will be atomic level imaging where you won't get a you won't get a pin prick to get a blood sample but literally put your hand in a machine and look at the literally the cellular structure and atomic structure of things coursing through your bloodstream and say okay that's h1n1 that's why you're not feeling well and i know that sounds like star trek kind of stuff but that development is already out there so if you look at these images as the primary diagnostic tool for you know could be from a broken bone to a cancer to a virus that's going to be the primary tool radiology surpassed pharmaceuticals as the most expensive aspect of health care back in 2014 and that divide will continue because it actually even decides what your drug regimen is going to be you know certain radiology procedures so with that and you look at your telehealth boom where you're keeping sick patients at home and healthy patients at home for good reasons you and i could be having a consultation where let's say i'm the doctor i say okay devin now i'm going to bring up your results and your images whether it's your pathology or your um your knee that has to be scoped from a sports injury we can have that consultation i can show you exactly what the issues are and with that because i'm showing and sharing the imaging with you it's going to have higher compliance too because once you see what is wrong people tend to do the right thing instead of just when they're told this is what's wrong um because we always crack jokes you know the guy who just had a heart scan and gets a stent put in that day or three stents they're feeling pretty good so they hit the mcdonald's drive-through on the way home why not if you're you just got all cleaned out you might as well uh clog it back up so no that that's funny no but it sounds like there's definitely some good opportunities a lot of interesting things continuing to go in that direction and as you guys continue to make inroads and uh showing people there a better way definitely uh sounds like a great opportunity for you guys as well well as we start to wrap up the podcast i always wrap up with uh two questions so we'll go ahead and jump to those now so the first question i always ask is along your journey what was the worst business decision you ever made what'd you learn from it well geez there are so many bad ones it's it's hard to pick but um you're going back to the beginning of my entrepreneurship uh was turning down money when it was offered to me because you think i can just do this completely on my own and with that was help you know it was help and money and thinking i had all the answers and stuff to terrible decision making process back then and i was i was pretty green at the time and thought i was like a wonder boy and you know you just just not um and then at one point i had an opportunity to sell a technology called the baby cd for a considerable amount of money and again thought i was smarter than anyone else in the room and i wasn't and took a pass on on that sale and it went from worth a small fortune down to nothing so that was a big mistake another one i'd say is uh you know spending too much early on for example going to a trade show and thinking you have to impress the people coming to the show one point we spent a huge fortune at a big booth that was 30 feet tall and we put leather couches in a white wood floor and i can't remember how much money it was but it was like building a small house and uh um we couldn't even man the booth it was too big so it was it was just uh it was just dumb and it didn't help us get a single extra sale well i think that sometimes you know even i look at all those booths and sometimes you think hey we got to spend it we got to make like look like we're successful and sometimes it works out and you know it does it but a lot of times you put in a lot of effort for trade shows you go there and you find out there are 5 000 other people there and there's a lot of boost and it's hard to cut through the clutter and all that extra money you put into them and some of those type of decisions don't always have that reward but it definitely has those trade-offs and so it definitely makes sense on some of those mistakes how you how you make them but also the lessons learned from them yeah second question i always ask is if you talk to somebody that's just getting into a startup or a small business would be the one piece of advice you'd give them yeah you know i get asked those questions certainly by people wanting to start something and i usually start saying make sure you're uncomfortable uh because that that's always the first step being or having a level of discomfort keeps you on track and keeps your focus and and with that i always say read everything you can and i don't mean just about your industry and and becoming an expert in your field but there's so many uh you know ancillary and outside things that contribute to your decision-making um you know it could be you know things like baking and um learning how you know why do uh you know certain calls get called in a football game there's so many things like that and those are things that lend themselves to decision making processes everyone thinks they have one way of answering something my dad used to give me a great line all the time there's no such thing as genius only thinking objectively and you know that's coming at it from all different angles and that helped me a lot another one my dad just said to me don't sell the business to yourself make sure you're able to sell it to other people i think a lot of people convince themselves how great something is which is fine but if you can't convince somebody else you don't have anything oh i think that that's absolutely right and i mean some and that's one that's i think sometimes easier said than done because you always can convince yourself something's a good idea a great opportunity sometimes it isn't it definitely makes sense but other times you're just sitting in there and you've convinced yourself it's a good idea when in reality nobody else would want to pay for it or it's not there's not enough big marketplace or any number of things so i think those are great takeaways and great pieces of advice well as we wrap up the the episode if people want to reach out to you they want to be a customer they want to be a client they want to be an employee they want to be an investor they want to be your next best friend any or all of the above what's the best way to reach out to you contact you or find out more well one is just my email it's very easy tim so t-e-l-e-r-a-y dot and then uh phone number they can call us at 844 for tellaray and uh just ask for me and so pretty easy or just go to our website and you can hit the all right well i definitely encourage people to to connect uh and check things out and make sure to utilize the services especially if they're in the medical industry so with that thank you again for coming on the podcast it's been a fun it's been a pleasure now for all of you that are listeners if you have your own journey to tell you'd like to be a guest on a podcast we'd love to have you just go to and apply to be on the show a couple more things as listeners make sure to click share subscribe leave a review make sure so we can make sure to share all these awesome episodes with everyone that's out there that's looking to do a startup or small business and last but not least if you ever need help with your patents your trademarks or anything else your business just go to grab some time with the chat we're always here to help thank you again tim for coming on the podcast and wish the next leg of your journey even better than the last thanks you

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