When we started Zeumo about three years ago, we believed “we can do better.” And, we still believe that we can do better at communicating with and engaging high school students than P.A. systems, posters, flyers, and emails they never check. We believe we can do better than having all of a student’s in-school and out-of-school activities using different communication platforms, leaving a student with 6-8 logins and passwords just to remain up to date and involved.
After a few pilots and a year-and-a-half struggle to turn interest into contracts in a crowded, “freemium” education technology market, someone in the healthcare industry saw our product. “Hey! We need this for physicians!” As a startup trying to survive and build a viable business, we thought perhaps “we can do better” in another industry. (Anything is better than dying slow death.)
We spent 8 months navigating a joint venture with a large healthcare company. Days before rollout, and with the joint venture not finalized, things began to devolve as the details of their go-to-market plan and pricing became clearer. This wasn’t going to be a good deal for Zeumo. So, our team had to step away. Even though we were burning cash and still trying to make a full pivot into healthcare, we had to believe “we can do better.”
And, after many more months, some additional investment, and several pilots of our own, we understood more clearly the challenges of the healthcare market. The sales cycle is long. The bureaucracy is deep. The leadership dispersed. Not to mention, no one on our team is a healthcare expert! We believe in our technology and still believe that with the right healthcare partner “we can do better.”
For that reason, I am pleased today to share that Zeumo is now part of the Advisory Board Company whose healthcare expertise, consulting, and other technologies mean we will do better.
It is funny how this refrain has resurfaced to summarize the moves and the motivations that have driven our little startup, now 7 people strong, hustling every day trying to make it, trying to do better.
And yet, as I consider it further, this belief that “we can do better” is surely core to all innovation and a driver of critical thought and creativity regardless of context.
It is the belief that sustains persistent, decades-long legal battles for justice and equality.
It is the belief that drives the teacher who transforms her classroom from a space for education to a laboratory for learning.
It is the belief that gets you up in the morning and says that there is something new to be accomplished today.
It has been a crazy three years. Exhausting. Stressful. Eye opening.
And, I still believe we can do better. I hope wherever you are and whatever you do, you believe it too.