The main goal for the meeting was, at least for me, to find out how we could cooperate instead of competing. I've waited a long time for a chance to work with something I find fulfilling and meaningful, and want to use this opportunity in the best possible way. If someone else is already doing what I'm about to do, I'd rather let them do it and concentrate on something else instead. I've got many, many ideas on how to improve the life of a diabetic. I just need to select the one I think will create the most value, and work on that.
Of course, to find out whether Mendor are planning to do what I'm planning to do, we need to be able to share our plans. But if I have a great idea for a company or for a product, is it wise to share it?
First of all, I would hate to base all my work on just an idea, and the assumption that nobody else has had the same idea. I'll much rather think that our team is exceptionally capable of executing the plan, and will come up with the best implementation of the idea. But the first goal must be to share the work between everyone interested in working in this field, and to collaborate.
Second, you need to think about what a company secret actually is. During the summer, I read Blake Masters' essay versions of his class notes from CS183: Startup, a computer science course in Stanford University, lectured by Paypal founder Peter Thiel. Peter's definition of Secret is that it's the answer to the question What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
It turned out we shared many sentiments about diabetics, but are targeting different user groups. They believe their approach with pair measurements is the winning one, and have their hands full of work to implement Mendor Balance around that idea. I agree that pair measurements are an important first step for a majority of diabetics, but know for a fact that for a diabetic like myself that information alone is not sufficient to get the treatment to the level I want to get it.
We agreed with Mendor to keep in touch, and also already tentatively discussed the technical and commercial aspects of my solution connecting to theirs in some point in the future. It's feasible, but first I need to show there is actual demand and use case for my approach.
For me, the simplified version of the important truth very few people agree with me on is that
- there is a significant group of diabetics that will benefit from seeing the data of all the aspects affecting their blood glucose levels in a single user interface, and that
- collecting all that data can be made easy enough so that these people will actually do it.