The ThinkGenetic leadership team was recently interviewed for the RV Radio podcast with Cian Robinson, discussing the origin of ThinkGenetic while giving insight into what it’s like to be diagnosed with a genetic condition later in life when doctors are stumped and existing tools to diagnose are limited.
[CO] Cian Robinson, Host, RV Radio
[TR] Tucker Robinson, Producer, RV Radio
[DJ] Dave Jacob, CEO, ThinkGenetic
[LB] Len Barker, President, ThinkGenetic
[DL] Dawn Laney, Chief Genetics Officer, ThinkGenetic
[RO] Ruth O’Keefe, VP Marketing and Advocacy, ThinkGenetic
[TR] You’re listening to Robinson Ventures radio where ingenuity meets innovation
[CO] Well good afternoon everyone or evening or morning depending upon when you’re listening. Today on Robinson Ventures radio we have invited the senior executive team from ThinkGenetic to come in and talk about not only the company but their origination story and the why behind the ingenuity and innovation that they’ve created that is embedded within ThinkGenetic and so with that I’m going to hand it over to Dave Jacob who, uh, Dave is the origination story I think is the way I joke around with it for things to know so Dave if you could please introduce yourself.
[DJ] Thanks Cian again I’m Dave Jacob so I’m one of the three founders you’ll meet the other two shortly and I’m kind of the poster child I’m the one with the genetic condition that kind of started this whole thing. I basically function in the sales role within ThinkGenetic today and I’ll turn it over to my business partner who I’ve been with since, uh, we’ve been partner since 2006 to introduce what he’s doing in ThinkGenetic.
[LB] Yeah so my name is Len Barker, like Dave said, I’ve been working with him running various business ventures for the last 20 some years. We were IBM software consultants and had a thriving business then we decided that was too easy, so let’s try to solve some of the world’s problems and I went along for the ride as a president of ThinkGenetic where I run the daily operations.
[DL] And if we’re moving on to me I’m Dawn Laney. I’m a genetic counselor by training. I am the Director of Clinical Trials and Genetics at Emory and I also see clinical patients but in the world of ThinkGenetic I’m the Chief Genetic Officer and a co-founder and I got pulled in this all by my dad.
[RO] I am Ruth O’Keefe and I handle the marketing and advocacy efforts over at ThinkGenetic so I have a unique role of working on both highlighting our client relationships but also working with the clinical team to help in any way and capacity that I can as well as get pulled into some of our investment opportunities. I went to school for advertising and public relations before social media and digital marketing was as big of a thing as it is now and I joined Dave and Len in their technology company at that time and was really just focused on traditional marketing tactics and over time I got more and more pulled into digital marketing, website development, and all the things that go along with that over time and so when ThinkGenetic was formed I was lucky enough to be able to pivot away from some of those things and apply those skills to ThinkGenetic and grow that audience and that’s really where I focus most of my efforts now.
[CR] In addition to all the things that you bring to the table for ThinkGenetic you are also related to Dave is that correct?
[RO] I am, yes, he is my papa
[CR] And then Ruth how are you related to Dawn? Obviously you must be sisters
[RO] Yeah she’s my big sister. Yeah so I mean we have a really incredible family a lot of innovators and a lot of hard hard-working folks. Nobody in my family sits on their laurels we all have projects and passion projects and side hustles and all those kind of things.
[CR] What’s the story here and how did we get started with this idea that became ThinkGenetic?
[DL] Uh, we didn’t start out as a genetic family or family that worked in advocacy the advocacy I did was all at work. But when my dad was born and he’ll tell you more about this he was born with a congenital heart defect which they repaired which was pretty experimental back in the day, but around about the time I had my first son my dad was 60 and he came to visit and was really ill and then we got our first clue, well our second clue, that perhaps there’s something going on genetic underlying the health issues that he suddenly was having.
[DJ] It’s true that I had the birth defect and congenital heart failure and that was repaired when I was five. Also turns out that my little sister Carol had the same condition, same surgery, and when I was visiting Dawn for the birth of her son, my second grandson, I got pneumonia and when in the course of the treatment for pneumonia they did a chest x-ray and discovered that I had this large aortic aneurysm – 4.2 centimeters if you happen to be counting – and I thought boy this is kind of odd where did this come from and still didn’t know anything about genetics we just knew “oh my heart’s acting up again” so I called my sister Carol and said sis go get an echocardiogram I’m curious whether you might have the same thing that I do and she she got the echocardiogram it turns out she had the same aneurysm and now when I told Dawn that that woke Dawn to say “this might be genetic I think we better think about this” and then I’ll let her go back to what we did about it
[DL] Yeah, so you know, when you’re looking at something within your family you don’t really think about genetics that much. I mean when you’re going through school right, if you ever have gone to a biology class or if you’ve ever spent any time learning about different genetic diseases or different regular diseases you’re like “oh, I could have that” or “oh, my family could have that” but you never really think about it for real and so I knew that my dad and his sister both had this congenital heart defect. I knew that it was significant enough that they had to wait until they were larger to get it fixed and that it was a life-threatening congenital heart defect and I just thought about all the different reasons that could be: it could be autosomal recessive it could be autosomal dominant, like these are all the different patterns things run in families, it could be because the mom smoked during pregnancy like there’s all these things that could lead to the heart defects that they had. But the fact that two out of four kids had it is a little surprising but they were repaired they were having normal lives my dad was a pilot, my dad was a businessman, he played basketball, he ran, like I wasn’t so worried about it. But when we found this aneurysm and his sister had the aneurysm too I was like “well, you know, you do have really big hands and we can stretch your eyelids all the way out to about four inches from your face, and you do have awfully nice velvety skin I think we need to send you over to John Hopkins to get evaluated for connective tissue disorder” because these kind of features we’re seeing with him, with the type of skin he has, with the elasticity of his skin, with this heart defect in him and his sister, made me think, “okay, this could be an inherited connective tissue disorder.” So I went up and saw world famous Hal Dietz who’s an amazing connective tissue guy and he ruled out some of the biggies – he ruled out Marfan syndrome and he ruled out Loey-Dietz – these are all you know very um they’re not none of these genetic diseases are common but these are all the diseases that you think about when you think about connective tissue disorders. Um he didn’t have the big ones and so we were kind of like okay it doesn’t have the big ones maybe it’s just what we call a “familial aneurysm syndrome” so that’s just our fancy way of saving “you got aneurysms in your family” but we didn’t have a specific genetic cause. Well I was like, “Hey Dad I know you’re really curious why don’t you join an adult congenital heart defect support group, why don’t we think about you know looking at uh just doing looking at everybody’s heart to make sure they don’t also have these giant aortas” um and he was like nope not good enough. He’s like “there’s a reason, tell me the reason, I want to know why” because he’s a seeker and a finder and he’s an innovator and he wants to figure out what’s going on. So finally I’m like, “okay Dad, these giant genetic tests called exomes are much more common now and what they do is look at all the different gene codes that actually connected to disorders or functioning genes that we know at this time.” So what did I do dad?
[DJ] So that year for my Christmas present she came home saying “I took a course at Emory and I can now draw your blood” so she had the whole family sit under the Christmas tree and bear their arms and basically we all got bled out and then she had it tested and they found out that indeed I had a connective tissue disorder but they still didn’t know which one – it took another three years before we finally figured it.
[DL] Yeah the strange thing about exomes is that you read through it once and you get the sequence of the letters but genetic still hasn’t gone all the way to figure out what all those different changes in those genes mean so it’s kind of still art right you look and you’re like maybe this means something maybe it doesn’t and we didn’t find the first real good answer at the first pass. But three or four years later because I worked you know downstairs from the genetics lab they said hey you know we’ve got a lot more data maybe should we analyze your exome. I was like “go for it” so they did reanalyze my dad’s exome and they’re like “hey, we found the answer” which led to a very exciting call between me and my dad which told him that after age 60 he’d just been diagnosed with a genetic disease – he had a mutation. And actually if we were looking at his wall you could see that he then wanted to make sure that everybody knew about it so we did a poster at one of the meetings they did everything from showing him pulling out his eyelid to explaining how it runs in the family and how we then got everybody tested and had testing like Echoes and EKGs to see everybody’s heart was doing. So far, it’s my dad and Carol, his sister, that we’ve been watching most closely and everybody else, knock on wood, has been looking pretty good. We’re all still fairly young, give or take, so we’re still watching.
[CR] So, Dawn and Dave and Len, in that process I mean and that’s like, you know like you said Decades of of moving through this, and then only towards the end when technology caught up it sounded to me like you had identified a problem not only from the standpoint that you know, Dave you have a rare genetic condition, but the fact that you couldn’t find any information on that rare genetic condition seemed to have really irked you and that was the process of the problem identification which was “Hey I’ve got this, but I don’t know anything about it”
[DJ] I would say that that is absolutely, so where’s the business, right? So while this was all going on of course I’m out like most rare genetic patients that don’t know they’re rare genetic out Googling in the middle of the night saying “my doctor doesn’t understand me and he doesn’t understand what I have and I have this aneurysm and they’re going to do surgery someday but I want to know where it came from and why does my sister have it too” so as things would work out Len and I were talking about what should we do next with uh with our business – the Consulting business – and IBM shows up with a super computer that wins Jeopardy and they come to the business partner community, of which we’re one, and say you got any ideas for healthcare and Len and I decided “well let’s see if we can build the business case see if there is a business in here about can we help people get diagnosed sooner and how many are there and is there any money in it and what not” and we found out that there were 350 million people in the world with one of these 7000 rare genetic diseases only about 25% are diagnosed and Pharma is spending five billion dollars a year looking for people like me um so we’re saying well that’s a that’s a business I don’t know how to solve that problem but I know that with our technology background maybe we can build an application that will do that. So but we don’t know anything about genetics we know anything about medical we’re great with search and AI and those kind of things we know technology so how do we teach it about medical and what should we do. So that’s when we decided to call I said well I have this daughter that’s pretty good in genetics let’s see if she’s interested and she decided that she would join us and be the responsible party for figuring out how to train Watson in genetics. So we still didn’t have a business we didn’t have any money but IBM did ask for an application so we sent in a request for a commercial use of Watson, we wrote basically the equivalent of a business plan to them and they accepted it so we’re one of the first 10 companies that got to use Watson for real and they were like “oh now we got to go build this thing and we have no money” so again uh Dawn got involved and we wrote some grants and we got about a half a million dollars in seed money to prove that it could work and this is a good time for Len to jump in and say he’s being dragged into the family business to try and solve this problem and kind of how he takes to that.
[LB] Right, so you know like I said I was just kind of on the sidelines watching this Saga unfold however very very curious being the entrepreneur and IT type person that I was about how we might be able to solve this so we dove right into Watson trying to figure out ground truths and things we needed in order to train it to answer questions and we you know eventually learned that uh there’s more to it than just dumping all the knowledge in the world into Watson and hoping that it can spit out the right answers. So changing our direction a little bit and take that whole process in-house and hire some staff to train it specifically on what we’re trying to do, you know.
[CR] So IBM and Watson were a great place first place to start but then you had to pivot out of that due to perhaps some technical limitations or what was there that you said uh we need to do this on our own and this is why.
[LB] We were under the misconception like I said of just being able to dump information into Watson, get an answer out, but even you know IBM would have told you that that’s not how it works you need to really train it and since Watson was more of a black box to us than it was to IBM of course they knew how it was put together we couldn’t really train it the way we wanted to because we didn’t know how it worked so we decided to say “thank you very much um we will we will create our own engine um to answer questions” we’ve changed a lot about what we’re doing since then but uh we had better success with that but we just still didn’t come up with a business model.
[DL] I would add that training Watson was fascinating because what we would do in the early days is we’d come up with a question and an answer and we would write it in a spreadsheet and then they would upload it into Watson and then we’d see what it would answer but what it was doing was cutting and pasting answers out of the text that we gave it and it didn’t have any intelligence behind it yet and I think that’s when we realized that this was definitely not going to be what was going to solve our problem and our problem was how do we decrease the time to diagnosis for patients who are running around with rare diseases, rare genetic diseases, and I think we learned pretty quick that we could use the same amount of time and the same amount of expertise and knowledge of harnessed from genetic counselors and medical geneticists and develop our own detailed algorithms and then we had to find our use case.
[CR] And so where did that use case come from how did you turn uh okay so you’ve done a why, you have like an amazing why and Dawn, your Y is your dad, I mean right that’s just as as deep away as you could possibly have, as a human and a business person, sometimes they’re not one of the same, I swear to God um but you have this deep why you’ve identified a unique problem which is trying to figure out how to get people information on a diagnosis or to help them on their potential path to diagnosis right? And as Len said, we have the tech but now where’s the business come from ,how does that where did where did the use case pop out?
[DL] Yeah and I think the first thing we determined is we were not there to diagnose people, we were there to support the clinicians making the diagnosis. We were also there to support people trying to find a diagnosis but mostly by opening the dialogue between a patient and their healthcare provider and then giving the provider the support they need to help diagnose things. So we figured that out pretty early – that was where our sweet spot was going to be and then you know, we spent some quality time in startup incubators
[TR] Before ThinkGenetic what was the stand if you could give us just like an estimate of what was the standard diagnosis time, if there was one, did it take on average the same amount of time it took you guys or does it just vary case to case?
[DL] It depends a lot from diagnosis to diagnosis some I you know you do newborn screening for a certain number of diseases so that’s a pretty early diagnosis but the ones that have non-specific syndrome so the ones you can walk around with for a while and there’s a bunch of them, it can be 60 years it can be 10 years, and each disease they’ll give you a different thing. There’s one disease where you’re born and you’ve got a difference in your genitalia we call that having their diagnosis on their bottom you know but other diseases it’s harder, it’s harder to find them and ones like my dad where they don’t necessarily impact daily life for a long time but suddenly like really impact them and say like “Guess what you’re gonna have a surgery, you’re gonna have to be in heart lung bypass, we hope you survive!” like that’s not real comforting because we think about all the people who have aneurysms but have never had anybody ask about genetic testing. At one point, Tucker, my dad I was there in the room with him and his surgeon his cardiac surgeon and he said I said oh he’s got a genetic condition that’s the underlying issue here and he’s like, “oh it’s fine, I can refer you if you want to talk about that” I was like “You’re doing the surgery! If his tissue is gonna like shred like tissue paper perhaps you might care, you know?” And it’s it’s not their fault like early training and medical diseases, you’re not trained to think about the 7 000 genetic conditions that might be underlying what, to you, looks like a plumbing problem so that’s why we had to support healthcare providers because there’s this huge delay in diagnosis that just ranges, it just ranges, but it’s too long because we know that therapy only works better and we’re coming up with all the pharmaceutical companies coming with amazing therapies and you can’t use them unless you do it early so that’s important.
[DJ] Tucker, the most important thing about is a 60-year diagnosis, what’s the most important thing to know, and the answer is you have to live 60 years and a lot of people don’t make it so I was one of the fortunate ones and actually the day I went in for the aneurysm repair I still had no symptoms, that I could still play basketball I could do anything I ever did what I ran was the risk of the aneurysm dissecting, or bursting, and that’s not a not a good thing – there’s no no recovery from that so but it never I had low blood pressure and there was just no indication if I hadn’t gotten pneumonia, that saved my life, by getting a chest x-ray otherwise I would have continued without knowing because I had no reason to know
[DL] And you hear these stories over and over again that people are diagnosed pure serendipity like they just happen to show up in front of the right person with the right rash or they happen to have a giant aorta when they had pneumonia and it it shouldn’t be that way it should be systematically done so everybody’s records are looked at so you can find out if they could have an increased risk for an underlying genetic cause for their health problems.
[CR] So Dawn, that’s how you guys started going and giving birth to ThinkGenetic because you’re trying to solve that issue, problem, you know and challenge right?
[DL] Yeah it’s for sure a passion project, if you think about it, our passion is that nobody else should have to be diagnosed by pure chance with a genetic disease where we know there’s treatments that could really help them. In the case of an aortic aneurysm, depending on which connective tissue disorder, you may just have to take Losartan every day, now it doesn’t mean you may not see surgery down the line, but the longer you can put it off, the better.
[CR] Yeah and then I remembered, Dave you talking about like hey I had my annual I I’ve been with you guys long enough now to hear that “I’ve had my annual exam and the aortic aneurysm is now these many centimeters” right and you know it got to so many centimeters that was like “okay” that’s gone so how could we put it “the plumbing plumbing problem needs to be fixed” – the great thing is is the plumbing problems fixed right? And Ruth, what a deep deep why that you all have right? You know it’s your dad, it’s your sister, it’s you all like it’s it’s this it’s this family that has come together and is now created a “something” to solve a pretty um robust problem that’s out there which is how do you make sure you know Dawn you were so eloquently talking about how do you make sure you get these people diagnosed not just by serendipity but at actual clinical pathways and purposeful so with that I’m going to ask I think it’s Dave to talk about the the business use case and where you guys got the business use case how you got it initially funded and how did you go from there.
[DJ] Sheer Brilliance! So let me talk about the sheer brilliance so what we realized early on is we had technology we had medical expertise and we had no money except a small grant so my job was to go find some money and find some customers so I was wandering around the Cambridge I live in Boston Cambridge is where many of the pharmaceutical companies are headquartered so I’m knocking on doors meeting people and I also meet other entrepreneurs and I happened to meet another entrepreneur who’s a good friend of mine and we decided to go to lunch because we weren’t having the success selling that day, so over the course of lunch, Julie’s her name, she said “uh Dave, you know you really your idea is so great, you need to apply to the MassChallenge, they’re going to like your idea and that could get you started and help you with the funding and raising seed capital and whatnot” and I said “Sounds like a great idea, when does the application due?” She said, “Midnight tonight.” So I ran home and started typing and I had no idea what the MassChallenge was but she said it was a good idea so I thought well I’m going to go for it. So I did I got it in just in time and the next thing I know I’m getting interviewed to become part of the MassChallenge which is a global incubator in Boston accelerator that I didn’t realize was hard to get into I just put my application in. But part of the application process is you get interviewed by companies that are interested in your idea so you basically do speed dating, 10 minutes at a pitch, where you go in a room full of people you don’t know you tell your story they evaluate and you go to the next room and you do it again and I did that I think eight or ten times in a day and out of that came “you’ve been accepted and your first client which is the requirement of the mass challenges somebody has to agree to do business with you, was Shire Pharmaceutical, which is now part of Takeda, and they said “we will work with you to help you make this idea a reality” and that allowed me then with that endorsement to then raise some capital to build the prototype of the system not the real system but the prototype and then we started talking to Shire/Takeda about well where could we apply this in the Takeda business and they chose Taiwan as the first as our first client in Takeda so that’s where we started. Doing the education on a couple of diseases that they happened to treat and care about, and so that got us going with the business case. At that same time, one of the things we did in the accelerators, every Friday everybody every final company there were 30 of us would do a one minute pitch to whoever showed up to talk about what we were doing and looking for additional clients and opportunities and as luck would have it Lafayette’s Accelerator one of their representatives showed up and said we like what you’re doing we would like you to consider joining our accelerator in Lafayette, Louisiana, and I was like “Where?”. And that was the start of the conversation and we decided that it was worth exploring further and so we went to Lafayette and that’s when we met Cian and we met the other people and said “Wow, these guys really are serious about technology and what we’re doing” and so we joined that accelerator and actually we were one of the winners of that accelerator which got us additional funding, got us initial money, got us another client, and in this case, Lafayette General Hospital, to start working with making those records, at the same time, Cian said, “well you ought to pivot from your outward facing client application to looking at Medical Records we’ll let you use Lafayette’s records to see if we have any of these rare genetic patients” and so we pivoted the business to say we’re going to not only educate potential people on the internet, we’re going to look at medical records and see if we can be more proactive in that space and so the through all of that we were able to raise a total of about two million dollars to build the initial product get the clients on board and start growing the business so like I said it was sheer brilliance that I had lunch with somebody that said “go apply to this” and it worked out which I’ve decided in the course of startups is the way it really works, you just keep talking to people and every once in a while you meet somebody that gets it.
[DL] I would just add to that story that Lafayette allowed us to, under a pilot project with IRB approval and a specific protocol and a contract, work with their medical records
[CR] So Dawn, thank you very much for buttoning that up for our listeners because in no way shape or form was this data sent out just willy-nilly it was appropriately de-identified put through an IRB review process right, there was all kinds of goodness in there but that also is barriers to entry right? There are significant barriers to entry to what you’re doing so talk to me about one or two times where you were like “okay what in God’s name are we doing?” or say it another way one or two of your greatest challenges.
[DL] When I think of one of the biggest just barriers we ran into is when we were first pitching to investors, we gave our story, we did our dance we did our pitch, and they loved it and they’re like “but explain to us again who your client’s gonna be?” They’re like “You sound very passionate like you love what you’re doing this is a great problem to solve but it sounds very altruistic and we don’t do altruism we do dollars. ” And so we had a mentor who helped us narrow down our use case and our client because in the early days we were very much like our challenge is that everybody talks to sees our passion sees the why and they but they don’t see our business case so our biggest challenge was trying to get ourselves to the business case the one that’s actually going to bring in revenue and the good news is that actually with Cian’s help here we were able to narrow down two very strong products: one that is consumer facing, one that is electronic health records data facing, and it uses all that big data. So I would say that that was a big challenge that we, you know, we got help with you can’t do this alone when you’re a startup and I think the incubators and the connections we made through our incubators and also our investors have led us through that particular problem so we’re able to solve it and come out really strong and have positive revenue.
[CR] So Ruth I’m going to go to you now as uh what what was that like one or two thing you were like “oh my goodness, this isn’t, we’re gonna, we’re done, it’s like what’s our greatest challenge.”
[RO] Yeah I mean I don’t I think that I’ve always been very positive that we’re gonna get this done I think sometimes I worry how we’re gonna get it done like because like I said everybody involved in a startup has other roles, has other jobs, has other passions going on so even if this is the Our Big Goal or big thing to do uh we’re dealing with just administrative things, scheduling of individuals, finding the right people finding time to do certain things not getting bottlenecks when we didn’t have enough uh revenue yet to hire additional staff um you know getting to that precipice of like “okay well how much harder can we push ourselves before we can bring someone else on to help with this” um and then “how do we make sure we can afford that person for more than six months a year” um that I think for me was always one of the challenges
[CR] Um Ruth what you just described, and you did I don’t know if you knew you described it, is is the Innovation you know curve which is you know you have like bleeding edge adopters really early idea then you have early adopters then you start heading towards what’s called the chasm which is how do you jump the chasm into sort of the mass market you know adopters and right now like I I think of you guys as like you’re the you know if if our listeners are are old enough and remember E.T where you’re the kids on the bicycle that are pedaling yeah like hell and you’ve just jumped and you’re hoping ET sticks his finger out to light up like so you got the other side right. The great part is is like you know with with the growth we’ve seen you go through over the last I would sit there and say two years right you’ve and the recent like like you text about like you just hired your first Vice President of Business Development like she’s out there every day every single day knocking on the doors to get this product targeted towards the pharmaceutical companies who are actually the payers in this thing, they’re the clients right, and so like we’re hoping that Rene lands the the little tricycle that kid’s on right and is moving everything forward but that’s exactly right it’s like you know every single day, every single day, it’s not if there’s going to be a challenge in the startup world it’s like what’s the challenge today like what could kill the company today right? Everybody on this like this call has their own appreciable talents that they’re bringing to the table right? Dave you know worked for I call it Ed’s computers or EDS right and knew Ross Perot right Tucker you probably like maybe need to go look up…
[TR] No I know who Ross Perot is, come on man.
[RO] Tucker, I used to be in your position where everyone would stop the conversation, be like, “I don’t know if you get this reference.” Like I’m informed!
[TO] I had I had a co-worker get impressed because I knew Mary J Blige was the other day and I’m like I’m like on man.
[LB] Kind of the opposites for us, like you could ask us who she. I know who she is.
[TR] What’s funny is Tucker it’s inverse is if it weren’t for like you and Rory I would know somewhere between Jack squat right now what’s going on out in the world in this area. So anyway right so um all right so let’s get back on track because Tucker this is really usually what a ThinkGenetic meeting looks like anyway right so Len greatest challenge that you think you all have faced or like or the quote “What’s going to kill the startup today”, right?
[LB] I think one thing that is much different than when we were running a technology consulting company when you’re a brand new company, venture back company you have to be ever you have to be quite often looking at the direction you’re heading and say “is it right? can we can continue to go down this path if we want to, you know, make it?” And so we started, we we took significantly different paths all along the same mission along the way so first we started out trying to answer all the questions for living with people with the genetic condition we were going to attract millions of people to our website and answer questions for them and when people said how “Who’s going to pay for that?” well “Oh I don’t know.” and so then we would move on to the next one “Well we’ll create a symptom matcher so they all come through there and somehow we’ll get” well that’s that’s a hard pass. Then we changed it a little bit so you can’t change every second but you do have to reevaluate so each one of those inflection points for me, was “Can we make it from here?” and I think we finally got there.
[DJ] Always for me it’s we’re going to run out of money right. “Can I get enough investment?” to go I use the example of we are FedEx when they had one airplane and we we have an idea and we need money to buy 100 more and we can’t get 100 more till we get the money but they don’t know that it’ll work because we only have one airplane so how you’re going to fly all over the country and deliver packages it’s the same idea you gotta You Gotta Buy into the vision and trying to find the right person that shares that Vision like Takeda did like you did at Lafayette General it’s hard and then finding somebody with deep enough Pockets to say I’m going to make the big investment so you can scale a lot faster so I didn’t expect we would be you know this five years into this thing or six years into this thing and we just hired our first salesperson it’s like that should have been the first year you know I’m a sales guy I’m like we need to have somebody out selling even if it’s not quite done yet you got to go get clients or it doesn’t matter what you build if you run out of money so I would say that’s that’s probably where I spend most of my time focusing.
[CR] What’s been brilliant is to watch the balance that occurs between the you’re wanting to out there go “let’s go sell sell now sell sell now” and then I’ll watch like you know Dawn go “but…” and she you know and Dawn your voice was what we had an IRB and we had this right and so there seems to be this this ongoing sort of balance so how do you do that?
[TR] To hear more of our conversation with ThinkGenetic and keep a lookout for part two of this episode of Robinson Ventures Radio, ThinkGenetic and as always thank you for tuning in to Robinson Ventures radio.