about this episode
TWiST Episode #146 with Cyrus Massoumi of ZocDoc
Fed up with the slow-moving healthcare industry (who isn’t?), Cyrus Massoumi turned his appointment angst into a successful startup. ZocDoc, now in its fourth year of operations, has over 500,000 monthly satisfied patients using the system. On this episode of TWiST, Jason talks to Cyrus about how he’s disrupting the system, while a lean, sharp sales force is key and what Cyrus does to keep his own staff of over 100 people nationwide healthy and happy.
1:00 – 2:00 Welcome and introductions.
2:00 – 6:30 Trada ad.
6:30 – 6:45 Introduction of Cyrus Massoumi and his company ZocDoc.
6:45 – 7:45 When was the last time we saw each other? Cyrus talks about the initial demo rehearsal for TechCrunch 40.
7:45 – 8:00 Tell us what ZocDoc does.
8:00 – 8:30 What are the seven cities you are in?
8:30 – 10:00 Jason walks through the ZocDoc site.
10:15 – 10:45 How many days a week do dentists work?
10:45 – 11:15 You are creating transparency in the medical industry.
11:15 – 11:45 How does the signup process work when you go to a doctor’s office?
11:45 – 13:15 Cyrus tells about sitting in a waiting room for five hours and how the sales process has changed over the years.
13:15 -13:30 Are you the OpenTable of doctors?
13:30 – 15:00 What is the process for adding a new doctor?
15:15 – 15:45 How do you make money?
15:45 – 17:45 Jason picks a psychologist for Tyler. Talk about the badges/game mechanics.
17:45 – 18:30 How do you rank the doctors?
18:30 – 19:15 Jason talks about how it is impossible to game the system.
19:30 – 20:30 How do you mediate bad reviews with the doctors?
20:30 – 24:15 iStockphoto ad.
24:15 – 24:45 How many people are at ZocDoc and how much have you raised?
24:45 – 25:45 How much time does it take to bring a doctor online?
26:00 – 26:30 Do you have a large sales team?
26:30 – 27:15 How do you get outside sales people?
27:15 – 28:30 What is the attrition rate?
28:30 – 29:00 How many doctors/dentists are in the system now?
29:00 – 29:30 How far out do doctors book appointments?
29:30 – 30:00 How much are you making a year right now?
30:00 – 30:30 Do you have competition yet?
30:30 – 31:00 Executive Producer Greg Barry asks, how did you build the sales team in the beginning?
31:00 – 32:00 Do the doctors that originally said no and escorted you out of their buildings now use the system?
32:00 – 32:15 Your sales team can’t BS you, since you used to be the sales department?
32:15 – 33:30 Executive Producer Geoff Clapp asks, do you do everything in-house or outsource?
33:30 – 37:30 Mailchimp ad.
37:30 – 38:15 How much do you think an ad costs on this show?
38:15 – 39:15 Insight from Tyler: A movie critic with cataracts.
39:15 – 40:00 Mo3000 says, “They said it in Forbes. Sales is the truth.”
40:00 – 41:30 What is the Forbes “boost your business” video?
41:30 – 42:15 What is the hardest part of the business today?
42:15 – 43:00 How do you maintain the culture?
43:00 – 45:30 How important is focus, and what are the marching orders to the troops?
45:30 – 46:30 Jason talks about the problems with health care in the U.S.
46:30 – 47:30 Will there be a way to do elastic pricing?
47:30 – 48:30 Are you testing this model, and not telling us?
48:30 – 49:00 Have you thought about expanding this to sharing medical records?
49:00 – 49:45 What happens when your system gets hacked, and Tyler’s psychology appointments are exposed?
49:45 – 50:45 Jason talks about resiliency and persistence.
50:45 – 51:00 Thank you to ZocDoc.
51:00 – 52:45 Email firstname.lastname@example.org to join the star search.
52:45 – 53:00 Jason goes on record stating that ZocDoc will double Mint’s exit.
53:00 – 53:15 Thank you to iStockphoto, Trada, Mailchimp.
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Background on Cyrus and ZocDoc
- Got the idea for ZocDoc when his eardrum ruptured on a business trip
- Used to work for McKinsey, where he met ZocDoc co-founder Oliver Kharraz, MD
- Started an e-commerce software company OneSizeFitsAll that failed
- Learned from earlier startup experience to set expectations for employees correctly
- ZocDoc Investors helped them keep a macro-economic perspective during the recession
- Says ZocDoc has been successful so far because they are are hyper-focused
- Says health care tech is 10 years behind consumer tech
- Earned BS from Wharton (University of Pennsylvania), MBA from Columbia
- Allows you to book doctor and dentist appointments online 24/7
- Other founders are Oliver Kharraz, MD (COO) and Nick Ganju (CTO)
- Company debuted at the TechCrunch 40 event in 2007
- Named best place to work in NYC in 2010
- Won $100K Grand Prize in the Forbes Boost Your Business competition
- Started with dentist appointments in New York City, where it’s based
- Now has doctors in about 30 specialities
- Large hurdle was learning to integrate with 1,400 scheduling systems doctors use
- Available in 7 cities: New York, Washington DC, San Francisco, Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston
- Announces a new market every 1-2 months
- Free for consumers; doctors pay a $250/month subscription fee, regardless of location
- 2008: Raised $5M in Series A led by Khosla Ventures plus Bezos Expeditions and Marc Benioff
- 2010: Raised $15M in Series B led by Founders Fund plus Ron Conway and Series A investors
- More than 4 million appointments available; ZocDoc doesn’t reveal number of doctors
- More than 500,000 people use ZocDoc each month
- 40% of appointments take place within 24 hours
- Also works with hospital systems – ZocDoc is their enterprise solution for online scheduling
- Has 110 employees nationwide
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Special Thanks to the members of the TWiST List Producer Program!
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