185 The Longevity Economy is Product Management
This is product management. We feature the brightest minds across the numerous disciplines that fuel modern product teams. Join over fifteen thousand weekly listeners to learn from product leaders authors, and founders from companies such as Spotify under armor Intuit strikes base camp and Airbnb they'll share their insights and best practices for experimentation user, research leadership corporate innovation and more to receive updates on the latest episodes subscribe to our newsletter at this is product management dot com. Hey, I'm your host Mike fish by. Welcome back. This episode. You'll hear from five entrepreneurs who are building products for aging consumers, I met them all at demo day event that AARP hosted at their headquarters Kerry shop founder of embodied labs to vote co-founder of Omni labs, Renee king, founder of tech your elders Brian Ganden, founder of loop and David Owen COO of my wound. Doctor discuss their approach to building products for aging consumers and the opportunities for innovation in this large and growing market. This is product management is produced by alpha the world's leading companies use ALPHA's on demand user insights platform to make data driven decisions about users products and new markets. Request a demo at alpha HQ dot com slash t I p m. My name is Kerry, Sean, I'm the CEO and founder of body blabs embody labs is immersed platform. That drives improved outcomes in elder care. So we harness the power of immersive technology like virtual reality, and augmented reality to train caregivers and to offer solutions for the elders that triggers, sir. My personal connection to the company. Started for me when I became a caregiver myself when I was in my late teens, my mom got diagnosed with early onset, Alzheimer's disease and in my mid twenties. I was her primary caregiver alongside my dad. And he started needing some help from people like home health aides because my dad, and I were really struggling. So as I was hiring her care team. I I was just my eyes are really open to what professional and family caregivers do and some of the challenges we face in being able to. Really understand who are carrying or and how to best meet their needs. Hi, my name is and under seal and go found only labs and at Omni labs, we make home robots that can have improved a quantity of live of us. A and one of the votes of we've been focusing on C kit, and so I'll robots allow can't give us or family members to in remotely over internet. So they can be anyone would and they can drive the robot around into home have two way video and audio communications with the CIA's today. So they can spend time together watching movie cook together or even take a walk together. My name's Rene, the company name is called tech your elbows, and we're technical service. We are we help caregivers who are carrying or an elder find technologies they can use to help lighten their caregiving burden. So whether it is a financial platform or disease specific technology may be some assistive technologies some apps somewhere Ables some isolation. I guess you can say devices smart home devices different things, we essentially listened to the caregiver via if they text us the our chat or some of them prefer to call or Email or redo a lot of zoom calls. We just listen to what's going on what's their caregiving story. And then we start to make some recommendations as for what technologies they could integrate into their caregiving to help them. Get a little bit of. A break from the stress of caregiving. My name is Brian Gannon. And I'm the co founder and CEO of loop based out in San Francisco and loop is a two things really. It's a private social network for families. And we also sell a piece of hardware a display based product that's kinda similar to digital picture frame. But much more advanced generally, people communicate through pictures and sending pictures videos in today, they do that through you know, sometimes you sent through emails as here's how you follow my life. Sometimes you do over social media text messaging all these forms in with respect to though call aging population. Sometimes even though they might have a phone or an ipad. Sometimes it's just a little more challenging to open up. These sort of we still call hand-held compute devices and go searching in digging for all these pictures and content. So by adding in this piece of hardware this display if you're. You know, obviously, our website is joined Luke dot com to look at with this gadget looks like almost resembles in old school TV radio from the fifties or sixties in it actually has channels. And so, you know, as Fender from me to my mom, for example, on the sender of picturing videos of my kids, I can create a channel like, Alex, which is my son or another channel like Catarino to my daughter, Emma, brother can do the same thing. These channels are than on this digital picture frame slash TV and my mom can literally scroll through like TV in turn the channel knobs in tune in to pictures videos of my son, Alex or Catarino, my brother's kids, and in addition to that this picture of video-sharing system, we also video chat. And so my mom through just turning dial can dial into my family, and my loop in it'll just direct connect in a way instead of video chat in similarly, I can on my son could even dial turn a knob in the dial. My mom. All as alternately, wrapping all this together. What we've done is create a family communication system and made it really easy for everyone to stay connected. I'm David Owen. I'm the CEO of my wound. Actor my background is in product management, primarily in healthcare pretty much, mostly and technologies of speech recognition, natural, language processing, but always in healthcare after the last company apart of we sold to nuance and spent a couple years working on the integration of the company there, and then left for the next thing. And I really wanted to get closer to patient care. I get a lot of satisfaction out of knowing that you're helping patients and even as a vendor where you're three five steps remove it was satisfied by thought. Wow. Could I get involved something where we have direct patient care? And actually a prior investor that invested in prior company, I had called me up. That's Dan, Hannigan, the CEO of my wound doctor and told me about the idea for my wound doctor and as all explain we do provide direct patient care. So it was perfect timing for it. I was. Interested in the history of the company is the chief medical officer companies top rated plastic surgeon in Nashville, Nick, see king. He had been providing for about a seven year period he'd been providing consults to emergency departments throughout the greater Nashville area on wounds, and he was using today considered low tech, Email texting pictures, and so forth to provide those consoles and Dan met up with him and said, hey, this sounds interesting. This doesn't have to just be Nashville. If you're doing something like this. It's Telehealth, and it could be provided nationwide. And Secondly, we could bring technologies to bear. That would make sure it's compliant, and scalable, and that's where I got the phone call with my background in product management to come in and help with that. So what my wound doctor offers is a app that allows you to securely take a picture of the wound. The picture is encrypted. It's not. Out of your photo album. It's actually encrypted and sent encrypted transport to Amazon web services and store there in the cloud from there. We employ a team of certified wound care, nurses, and our chief medical officer in his team of physicians are all as well as their specially in plastic surgery, they're certified in wound care, and they look at the pictures. Their algorithms have actually automatically nurtured the circumference of the wound more accurately than manual measurement. So from there, they in our our cloud server, they're looking at the wound. And then they decide treatment plan. We have standardized clinical care protocols that have written instructions on how to care for the wounds, and then also short ten to twenty second video links on each step of the care. We message that back to the patient or the provider who's taking care of the patient through our application, and then we ship out a supply pack. Of all the supplies. They need to care for that wound for a two week period. Well, everyone seems to be talking about products from Eleni eels Kerry to Rene, Bryan and David are using technologies such as augmented reality and robotics to build products for aging consumers, according to report by AARP and Oxford economics or more than one point six billion people in the world over the age of fifty in two thousand fifteen and this number is projected to double by twenty fifty what -tunities is the growth of this age group present for innovators. The aging care market is huge just between on segments like residential care. Home hair on how nursing care, man. Some of the other elder supporting services any gets a three hundred thirty seven billion dollar market growing your over your about six and a half percent. The market opportunity is definitely there. I think as a technology company in the elder care space. One of the big things I've learned is technology is it's not a panacea or a solution in and of itself. It's really important that that the human factor is integrated in the N ten use of the technology and in other care, specifically think most businesses tend to run a little bit on the the less adopted side when it comes to being tech forward. So repotting sampling really had an impact on the radio Bill out. Are end to end, I really make it user friendly. So that you don't have to feel like as our healthcare provider us Mer that you need to be a the R A our expert or who unquote nerd to approach the technology. We really try and make everything really turn key about the solution. And not about the hardware or on the almonds. That are more on the tech side. What's fascinating is that, you know, everyone in some ways we were wondering at the beginning is like us in our own problem are people just gonna start sharing more pictures on social media than everyone's who's going to be on Facebook in you know, that's really going to be the facto way. So we made a bet right? That we thought that for the family base stuff that there's going to be this sort of deeper need for a level of privacy and intimacy. Let's call it that we could carve out for ourselves into her like, you know, here with these guys in San Francisco may be east coast based and we have a unique problem, but we get people from across the world. Now that are coming in asking us in. They have the same sort of problem. Call and we do think that loops not a need or want. It's a need people. Have this need to stay connected with your family in they generally don't live near their parents and that pattern exists whether in Europe your Asia or South America. Whether you're in San Francisco, or if you're in the middle, Oklahoma, we talk with these customers is always the same thing. My mom lives over here. My brother sister live over there were struggling because we have these variety of ways to stay connected, but none of them really work, all that great sky kind of breaks on me. Sometimes I don't see the text message pictures. I don't like to eat it like it's been credibly fun. I should say as you build something with a notion of an idea, I pastas, and then to see it play out on sort of global scale where everybody gets it. It's growing. There is opportunity in the space. It's just pinpointing. What's the right opportunity trying to build these little separate silos of things? I see a lot of like people go through an experience in the create a solution. But the solution is integrated with other solutions seemed to be really mindful of that. 'cause it's like how many of these solutions are we gonna create that like how many where are we going to put on someone how many different apps going to that are not all connected to be the one platform that a caregiver can use like how many things are they going to have to incorporate win. So I think you have to be mindful of that coming in to try not to create something that already isn't Lexa ble enough to be living on something that already exists and flexible enough that it can integrate with other things. So you definitely if you're building with blinders on thinking, this one segment is this. One solution solutions. All you need to do that. I think you're going to be limited. Carey says that aging care is the three hundred thirty seven billion dollar market, and Brian has found people all over the world that have a need for new technology. However as Rene said building products for these consumers doesn't come without challenges. It's been fascinating experience. The CIA's is they have very unique concerns and needs. And also the have a lot of interesting take on technology on contrary to the believe that is sometime they don't use new technology but received a lot of seniors actually van excited to trial robots even drive the robot around and pick a food from the dining hall that has been very interesting speier's fuss one interesting angle is that as we work with a c- we actually uncover a lot of the concerns that kind of novel us a target segman. Wound have news, for example privacy is the biggest concern. And even when we say, okay. You know, no one is watching you. No one is using the camera. They would not be comfortable with that, Stu. And so we have to. You know, have different design changes to incorporate the feedback. So the end result is for for our robot. When is not being in used when charging we actually have facing the the wall, and that actually peace of mind for use it. Our customers in elder care are businesses like senior living communities or home health agencies end by being a carryover myself for over a decade in working with these kinds of organizations. I really feel like I can empathize and understand the voice of our customer really understand that unique needs of the aging care market. It's not one that I think is is simple to crack. So I do feel like it's it's been really a unique experience to have been in some of the places where now serving the products that we create. We really always had this idea that looked which is wanted to be so damn intuitive that virtually anybody could use it for, you know, things like most products have touchscreen, and we've found that we really didn't need to have a touchscreen. Because really all we wanted to do when we found when we prototype. It was people generally wanted to kind of navigate through content. And so that's where we got this idea of why don't we use the old analogy of TV 'cause everyone's sort of familiar with channels, and how to, you know, a channel is different subject matter in a move through channels, and I'm gonna move through stations in jail or something like that. It was a bigger challenge. Because we couldn't just say, oh, this is a one product, and I just need to get this constituent right of older people generation we kinda had a get for everybody. Tuke says as long as you're mindful of their concerns seniors are actually quite excited about using new technology personal experiences. Caregiver helped carry empathize and understand the needs of her customers. Brian stresses the importance of making the product feel so familiar and intuitive that virtually anyone can use it what other product strategies and techniques have helped them grow their companies. I think the most interesting aspect to product management, and my name role is the decision making how to decide what's a priority to have as a feature and then managing against other priorities. One of the sayings in product management is you have all of the responsibility, and none of the thirty. And a lot of product managers will come to me and say, you know, how do I ensure I have credibility when I go and talk to the developers because they seem to be very skeptical of the requirements. I bring to them and my background actually in college. I majored in anthropology, and what I found is applying the skills of anthropology is been very helpful and product manager, and what was unique about anthropology say compared to psychology and sociology is you surveys sociology loves using surveys. You do research research prior researchers, of course. You do interviews psychology very on doing interviews. But one of the things is really emphasized in anthropology is observation as well. And I've brought that to product management. So I'll do research all talk to customers and interview them, and we'll also do, you know doodle poll or whatever survey for questions going in serving them what often happens in the surveys? And the interviews is people will tell you the ideal of their job or what they know their boss expects them to do their job. But if you sit quietly and observe them, especially if you embed yourself for a couple of days, you'll see their actual behavior. Mentioned in virtual reality. Are, you know, new new in the sense that there is now commercial hardware available to use them as solutions to our everyday problems? I think the question of why immersive is always really important to answer. So I think a lot of what happened with the our early on that it was really cool and really flashing exciting. But the UAE has taken some time to really take root. And when we think about the why for what we do immersive technology lets us do something really well that we can't do with any other methods day. So that things like from a training standpoint, you can actually embody someone who is maybe a different age or gender race in you are and culture, even and you can embody these different scenarios and have different perspec-. Taking opportunities in you insight into things that you otherwise wouldn't be able to have insight for the one example of that is needed a repeated a training program for caregivers around end of life decisions on. So you got to embody someone who is a fictional character. But is based on a lot of research design that we did in our pre production process through interviewing he bull that had ended life diagnoses and people who worked in hospice care or did research in space, and is you embody this man named clay. He gets terminal cancer diagnosis from his doctor in then he has made some decisions about how he wants to leave the out the final days of his life, and he decided to go on home hospice in the new actually experienced the end of your life through this perspective as clay. But then on the flip side we've created a caregiver role playing engine. So that you can actually embody the roles of your future. Care practices, and you can practice doing things like having the difficult conversation with place family members about respecting his wishes. That's a great example of why we allot of can't face end of life. I mean, we can't face that until it's our time. And so in this kind of simulation, you're actually able to develop skills end, Nick, proactive behavior changes that could impact the way you move out your life. Because this is a very unique news segment. A lot of the things that we learned is we have to observe them first hand to interact with them to see how they use the product and really spent on Indian by him. And they are auto is hard for engineers, especially in take to understand the news. You have these in home, visiting senior living facilities just kind of sit and observe how to interact, you know, how they talk to each other. How they walk around things that. One of the interesting thing about how robot is that we manufacture them owing house in California. So as a truly made in USA, so we three print the part and combine them, and so is the three printed robots, but this allows to either very quickly. So we can incorporate the feedback from us a modified design and wow, new motto. So for the last two years we had retentions robots. So injection moulding. Right. Then you had to make the more you had to send it to, you know, like Asia, for example, it would take a couple of weeks before you can get the new robot. Plus, we use a three apprentice. And so we send a model to the printers and printer the machine will print out the parks, and we can assemble them play. We can do this low volume and deployed test them see how they work and from day. I think the key really for us was making sure your prototyping testing. And you're not really designing for yourself. And maybe that's kind of what I was getting at were. There was a question of okay have listened to our customers enough or we kind of just building for ourselves. And the way you figure this out in is much as possible you try to build a prototype in get people's reaction to it in. This is kind of wear leg is an example. We regionally had a touchscreen our product and we delivered that prototype to people. We just noticed that seems obvious but a touchscreen, but people would kind of scrunch down and try to get their face close to the screen because that's how you use a computer. That's how us phone put the screen right next to your face. But if device is sitting on the counter top you've got almost kneel down to do that. And we saw people just kind of intuitively need to like lower themselves and recent wall. Well, that's not right. What you wanna do? I wanna get back to that picture to my friend who just came over the house until. So we just rethought in reciprocate. Let's say and have to use touch twenty. What would be the right user interface, the fastest and easiest one to solve the problem. And so in that case, we came up with these knobs, which now has begun our signature, and that's really a lot about how people can look at us in it signifies, everything or similize almost everything we stand for which is about simplicity. And so anyways that by doing the right thing and just listening to our customers and kind of watching how they do things. We're able to create a pretty cool innovation when we started out. This probably was a lot more about the simplicity angle in. How do I keep people connected? But now, the broader theme that people are bringing to us in the benefit that they see they're getting from loop is that there's an element of privacy to it inherently. Right. This is like your own private social network. You know, this is your own private Facebook. And that is why this has become kind of a bigger bigger idea. I think this is why AARP has partnered with us. You know, I think AARP as a much broader mission than any one thing. They I think there you can see them being very modern with way, the approach things holistically, and he gets tracked into as we're building something very broad, but has in terms of connecting families, it we just do it. Great way that's relevant to the world is privacy angle. And that can really help people in change your lives. You know, so Fleiss Latian. Just simply saying connected is super relevant in one of the top in call issues facing people. Just remember that what we're building. You just have to treat it like, it's a hypothesis. That's what it is. And you're just gonna constantly iterating rate rate and validate about eight validate until you really solidly proven your hypothesis to be correct. David Carey to Brian and Renee have shared their approach to building products for the long jetty economy. Observe your users firsthand build prototypes in based on feedback. And be mindful of the unique needs of your users. Learn more about carries company at embodied labs dot com, David's at my wound doctor dot com. Brian's at join loop dot com. Brenes tech your elders dot com and to at Omni labs dot com. You can find links to their websites linked in profiles at this product management dot com. That's our show until next time. This is Mike fish buying from alpha.