Five WHYs Early-stage Healthcare Entrepreneurs, Founders, & Innovators Must Ask Before They Start

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Ayinla Daniel Avatar

(Chief Editor)

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Healthcare entrepreneurs must deeply understand their why if they want to make a lasting impact in the healthcare ecosystem. They must be ready to give their all and their priority must be centered around how to serve their clients, users, customers or consumers.

We’re in the startup era, and the ultimate catalyst is the explosion of technology in all its forms—technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain.

This era is predominantly driven by a youthful generation brimming with a hunger to solve problems, a passion for creating and innovating, and a determination to change the world.

In recent years, the healthcare ecosystem has seen a historic upsurge in innovators and founders who want to disrupt healthcare with their ideas.

In order for innovators, founders, and entrepreneurs in the healthcare ecosystem to formulate strong value propositions, attract investors, and guide their startups and companies, they must know their “WHY.”

I recently revisited Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle Principle, which helped me do a bit of ‘recalibration’ and strengthen the principles behind my why as an innovator, leader, entrepreneur, and founder.  

Sometimes, as entrepreneurs, innovators, and founders, we may wander away from our whys, maybe due to excitement, lack of focus, too much work, confusion, or other personal issues.

Revisiting your why helps you navigate your way back to where you started or found your purpose, inspiration, or muse!

This article will explore the five whys for early-stage (and even veteran) healthcare entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders.

The first why:

Why Do We Do What We Do?

As a healthcare professional, understanding the “big purpose” of your startup, business, or company is paramount.

What’s your vision?

What’s your mission?

What are your goals?

If, for example, you want to improve drug adherence among patients using digital technology, start with your why, which will help people understand your mission.

A well-defined mission helps attract team members and keeps you focused.

In today’s world, people want to connect deeply with brands and companies they interact with. This desire is even more pronounced in healthcare because of its delicate and private nature.

Suppose you haven’t discovered your why as a starter. It’s wise to do so before starting this journey.

It might be exciting and interesting at first, but as you progress, you’ll reach certain determining points/stages that will require a strong why to get you through.

Without a strong why, you’ll definitely give up.

Trust me.

The second why:

Why Now?

Timing is a powerful resource wise leaders and innovators use to dominate markets.

If you start building a powerful company or startup at the wrong time, it will might fail.

Imagine if you were trying to build digital health technologies in the early 90s when the internet was just becoming mainstream and mobile phones were not as smart as they are today. You know what would happen.

Nobody would even look at you because it’s the wrong time.

But today, digital health technologies can thrive because the time has come.

Most startups fail because the world or the market isn’t ready for their idea.

Some even build on ideas that belong to an old era.

You need to be sure that your business idea is relevant today.

Consider the markets, social and cultural dynamics, and laws and policies that make your idea valuable.

I think ideas fall into three major time categories (this is entirely my theory, I don’t know maybe it makes any sense):

  • Old ideas: This category of designs belongs to a past time. Sometimes, cultural shifts, regional technological exposures, and even laws may make this category of ideas useful. For example, some ideas may not serve populations in the West but may be very useful for people in Africa, especially in rural areas.
  • Present Ideas: These ideas are in vogue, like AI and blockchain. Users quickly and easily adopt them, there are enough technological developments to support their use and development, society and culture accept them, and sufficient laws and policies guide their use.
  • Future Ideas: Ideas like quantum computing, advanced medical procedures, etc., are all distant ideas that will take a long time for society and culture to start considering. Ideas like space travels and vacations, living on Mars, head and body transplants, and other sci-fi, futuristic ideas. If you want to chase future ideas, you must have enough funds to support your research. Like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Sam Altman, who are all pursuing future ideas and have large purses to support them.

The third why:

Why We?

Competition keeps the world of innovation, leadership and entrepreneurship active! As an innovator, entrepreneur or leader, you must be able to define your unique value proposition.

What makes you unique?

Your technology?

First mover advantage?

Geographic reach?



Team skill?

Product quality?

Be very clear and open about why clients, users, customers, or consumers should use your products or services.

In healthcare entrepreneurship, getting closer to your clients is the easiest way to beat your competition.

Healthcare is so personal and close-ended that brands or companies that stay far away from clients will never remain long in the market.

The future of healthcare lies in the hands of the user or client.

If they don’t trust your product or don’t have a genuine connection with your brand, they will never come close to you.

The era in which healthcare products are forced down users’ throats because they don’t have enough information and connections to make informed decisions is gradually ending.

In the future, users of healthcare products and services will have so much power over their health and well-being that companies that once ruled with iron fists will gradually be pushed out of the market if they don’t innovate and begin to give the user or client the respect and recognition that they deserve.

The fourth Why?

Why Us?

You definitely are not going at healthcare entrepreneurship alone!

You may make a little win elsewhere, but in healthcare, you won’t move a brick because healthcare entrepreneurship is more complicated and personal than other forms of entrepreneurship.

So, you want to ensure you have the right team with you.

Highlight your team’s uniqueness—their strengths, skills, experience and passion.

A brand’s success is heavily dependent on the kind of team behind it.

A strong team also increases the chances of attracting investors and bolsters clients’ or users’ confidence in your startup or business.

The fifth why:

WHY You? 

What makes you unique or special?

What’s your story? At the end of the day, it all boils down to who the founder is.

Investors, partners and users want to know who you are.

They want to know your driving force, your purpose, where you’re coming from, and where you are going.

If you don’t know who you are, you’re going to find it hard to get people to believe in you, follow you or even entrust you with resources.

Thinking In “Whys”

Now, you know the right questions to ask yourself before you start the entrepreneurial journey.

Don’t be in a hurry. Take your time and answer these questions.

Thinking in “whys” can improve your strategy, make you more convincing, and improve your chances of success in the startup journey.

The Uniqueness In Healthcare Entrepreneurship

Healthcare needs more innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders who deeply and genuinely care about people and are not all about making money.

This is what makes healthcare innovation different. It’s people first before money or profit.

We need innovators and entrepreneurs who have people’s interests at heart before any investor’s interests.

Healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship are heavily people-centred businesses. Anyone who feels they’ve been called into them must be ready to discover their purpose and give their all.

Ayinla Daniel Avatar

(Chief Editor)

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