BG: How do you define success?
AG: Hmm. How do you define success? Well, it’s very interesting as you go through this process. When I started the idea, the main thing was finding a better way for these patients. Truly from my physician’s standpoint: I want something better for the patients. But, for a medical device company to be successful, it has to have a lot of financial investment, and those investors look at it one way. 95% want to know: will it make them money? So while they have the feel-good – hey, it’s going to help patients! Which is a given in medicine –…what’s important to them is that it’s going to make money. So you do have to have a “I want to make money out of this” [mindset] and then, if it does, you can take that money and invest it in a social program, or another startup that could help [more] people.
BG: What do your best days at work look like?
AG: Visiting with people like you! Sitting down and relaxing and sharing ideas over a cup of coffee. Those are the best days. When a device you’ve been building actually turns on and functions. I think the best days are just the interactions of people with like-mindedness and are a joy to be around.
BG: What do your worst days at work look like?
AG: well, when the device doesn’t turn on. As an entrepreneur, it’s a lot like being manic. You’ve got your moments of euphoria, and you’ve got your moments of depression. What you hope is as a whole, that line that goes up and down (yeah, we’ve got money!) (no, we didn’t get money) (hey! We won that pitch competition! We got accepted! Oh, we didn’t win anything) …but you hope that the medium bar continues to go up at a certain pace. So you really have to taper your highs and your lows. Don’t get too excited about something that happened, because when something…doesn’t happen like you want, you really drop off the cliff. So manage expectations, both high and low…