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Capital, Courage, and Creating Impact: The CEO’s Winning Formula

Author: Casana CEO, Austin McChord

Published: December 19, 2023

I’m a true believer that success can be achieved in many ways. However, if there’s one takeaway for success in this article it should be this: you have to be resourceful and unafraid to try new things. 

Back in the day when I was hustling to grow my first company, I practically lived at trade shows. While checking out innovative products at booths, I’d dash back to my hotel room to test similar ideas on our own product. It was a trial and error dance—some wins, some misses. I just kept trying.

This habit of constantly trying new things taught me a valuable lesson: humans tackle problems in a way that doesn’t always make sense on paper. If I couldn’t document the ideas, that was fine. But turning them into a successful product? That’s where the magic happened.

1. Lead and Leave the Drama Behind

Being a CEO is a bit like being a Bravo housewife—dealing with business politics and the people who bring the drama. The best skill I picked up? Step aside and let the product lead. When you keep the product and its purpose front and center, the drama becomes mere background noise. But again, you’ve got to get out of your own way.

2. Produce a Powerful Product

Crafting a powerful product is an art. In my previous gig, we sold something that worked best when forgotten about. In a world bombarded with constant noise, creating a product that adds real value, especially by eliminating an existing annoyance, is when you’ve created something important.

When our Founder, Nick Conn, pitched the Heart Seat, I believed in his vision and knew I could help him see it through. With his brains as the science, the effortless product, and finally my business acumen – we had a recipe for guaranteed success. Never forget, it always takes a team to make something truly great.

3. Solve a Big Problem

Most founders create a cool gadget and then try to figure out what it can solve. Not quite. 

It’s simple – supply and demand. You can’t scale the supply of a product if there isn’t equal demand for the solution. The business of Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) has exploded in recent years, creating an absolute monster of noise. The largest obstacle? It’s not convincing people your product is useful. It’s getting people to use it.

When it comes to cybersecurity, one of the most critical components for operations is a router. It’s responsible for internet connectivity, network segmentation, traffic management, and security. It’s the central hub in a local area network. However, the router is the most passive piece of the process – it simply sits in the background while billions of pieces of information flow through it. 

The Heart Seat mirrors a router’s utility, effortlessly integrating into a user’s daily life and transmitting important clinical data to the appropriate care teams in near real-time. So, while Casana plans to break into the RPM market, our medical device is guaranteed to solve the largest obstacle with a product people already use every day.

4. Don’t Forget Your Facts

Don’t let initial success blind you. Even if your product is as passive as they come, don’t rest until you’ve proven its power.

In tech, you can beta-test and iterate. Healthcare, especially the medical device realm, plays by different rules. FDA clearance is the holy grail, and any changes to your product can be a regulatory marathon. Our most recent 510(k) submission? Thousands of pages.

It’s important we have such a highly regulated process to ensure medical products are safe to use for the public. That said, companies pursuing clearance or approval from the FDA should know it is no easy feat.

5. Raise Capital Before You Can’t

I’m a firm believer in entering a fundraising cycle from a position of strength. It’s always best to raise money when you don’t need it, never leaving you in a period of desperation. 

Access to capital allows for both proactive business expansion and a financial cushion to weather economic downturns without compromising operations. All of these components can be advantageous for long-term planning and capital structure optimization without breaking a sweat.

It’s pretty incredible to think we’re finally in the fourth quarter. Our team has spent nearly a decade building something to change the world, and we’re ready to finally cross the bridge to start doing just that.

**The Heart Seat will become commercially available only upon future clearance of non-invasive blood pressure.

Disclaimer: All of the material provided above is for informational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.