With 1,000 employees since he co-founded health technology firm Modernizing Medicine in 2010, CEO Dan Cane spoke to Boca Chamber’s PULSE business professionals younger than 40.
How did he start a business that grew so successful? Here’s Cane’s advice to their questions.
Q: How do you know if you have a good enough product to get paid for it?
A: You’re better off getting something out there, even if it’s just a prototype.
Q: Why did you stay in Boca Raton once the company grew?
A: Florida is the third-largest state for hi-tech and Boca is the epicenter. We moved to BRiC, [Boca Raton Innovation Campus] a unique asset to Boca Raton with its original IBM history.
Q: Have you found enough experienced people to hire?
A: Boca is 45 minutes to Miami and Jupiter, so we have a talent pool.
Q: Can you attract people from other states?
A: On average, wages may be lower, but the buying power is so much higher. You can do so much more here. Comparing costs, we’re the best in the country and we’re seeing more companies relocate here from New York. Lower taxes is not the only reason.
Q: Are you satisfied with your growth?
A: Our company is growing at 20% profitably for the last eight quarters. We’ve added more than 100 employees this year. We want to hire 200 more.
Q: What do you consider a given?
A: You need to involve customers in the journey. Understand what’s appropriate in the moment and articulate it. Amazon has banned agendas. You tell a story. We need the skills for collaboration. Luckily, tools have come a long way like Grammarly [the free grammar and punctuation site].
Q: Are entrepreneurs natural risk takers?
A: You’re born with an instinct to take risks. The ability to understand other people’s emotional state. What needs to get done and make sure you go for it.
Q: What’s the worst mistake an entrepreneur can make?
A: Not letting go of their ‘baby.’ This country is unique because you can talk about your failures. You can still be successful raising capital.
Q: Any lessons learned?
A: We were methodical expanding one project at a time. Identifying our markets. We let the markets dictate where to go. Focus is key. How are you going to differentiate yourself? Where to get third-party research.
Q: What was your worst advice?
A: Never start a business with your friends. We put it to a vote and immediately divided up the equity. Everyone got the same share [he said about a previous venture]. Michael is my friend now, [he said about Modernizing Medicine chief medical officer and co-founder Dr. Michael Sherling].
Q: What do you want to emulate?
A: We’re fixing healthcare to make sure doctors can spend another five minutes with a patient. Have a mission and build a company around it. https://www.modmed.com/
Q: What do you attribute to your best hires?
A: That’s always core values. They have to match up. Do you really care about making healthcare better? They have to be a cultural fit. We can teach them the other skills.
Q: What’s one of your habits we can learn from?
A: My in box is zero. I answer in batches or a group chat or message. I do a 10-minute video.
Q: What excites you the most?
A: Getting back to in-person. We used to cater breakfast for the whole company. We had events that brought all our kids together.
By Marci Shatzman