DevReady PodcastDevReady Podcast E28 – The Journey from Idea to Product with Philip Nowell

In episode 28 of DevReady Academy Podcast, Andrew and Anthony get to know Philip Nowell who is the founder & CEO of Ontogo. In this episode, Philip shares his knowledge of entering the medical device industry. This podcast mainly covers the comprehensive journey of an idea to the development of the product.

Topics Covered:

  • Philip’s medical career and why he created Ontogo
  • Fundamentals of building a great product
  • Determining market acceptance
  • Purpose before profit leads to greater success
  • Elements of a great product
  • Five key parameters for bringing your product idea to reality
    • What’s the journey ahead? Know your barriers.
    • Do you have market acceptance?
    • Do you know how much you need to spend?
    • What is your expansion plan to enter larger markets?
    • How will you connect with the market?

With his experience as a surgeon and his passion for medical devices, Philip began working in the private sector. In 2003 he led COOK Medical; a medical device company based in the United States. After his retirement, Philip moved to Australia. Here Philip saw a demand for guiding others through the regulatory world of medical devices and along the journey of creating new commercial products. That’s how Ontogo came into being.

Ontogo is a network of professionals who have practiced their knowledge base, and with their expertise, they give real guidance to clients struggling to see their product ideas realized.

Philip tells Andrew and Anthony how to start off right when creating a new product. From testing your product idea, evaluating the market, and preparing for investors. Philip gives detailed steps on saving time, money, and avoid common mistakes made by start-up founders.

Some of best key takeaway from this episode are:

understand your market acceptance.

 Is there a market for your product?

Is there a problem and have you solved it?

If not, you are only investing in an idea not a product.

Key Quotes:

  • “If it’s a great idea then, partially in my world with medical devices, then you want it to be available to patients wherever and whenever.” (7:09)
  • “Cool stuff doesn’t always have a market.” (7:40)
  • “What problem are you trying to solve is the fundamental start.” (8:35)
  • Quoting Tom Peters from In Search of Excellence: “Innovation happens when somebody gets so pissed off at something, they decide to do something about it.” (12:18)
  • “Start with the problem and you have a better opportunity to 1) find out whether you should be doing this and 2) where you go with taking this into the world.” (12:52)
  • “If you’ve got an idea and there isn’t a significant pain point, you know what, you need to think about whether you go through with it.” (14:51)
  • “Two things that are driving success in start-ups around the world…age is an issue and purpose is an issue. So people who have been around a bit and done it before have a strong sense of purpose, have a higher probability of success.” (15:52)
  • “Is your product idea me too, near to, different, unique…disruptive?” (18:53)
  • “I say to founders, ‘You are a bias observer at best’.” (21:09)
  • “Founders are like parents. When you create something it is your newborn. Now all parents think their newborn is beautiful, sometimes despite the physical evidence.” (22:04)
  • “95 percent of these presentations [to investors] are trying to work out, I’ll raise some money then I’ll work out what to do with how much I raise. There’s a reality. I’m here to say, I think that’s the wrong approach.” (32:27)
  • “Good investors are going to make sure you’ve got a sound executable plan. Not a story just to get money out of their bank account…” (39:11)
  • “Regulatory approval does not validate that you have a market or that anybody’s going to buy it. It says, it is safe and it is effective.” (41:21)
  • “The pace at which you can enter and grow your market is driven by how much cash you have.” (45:17)
  • “To expand you need to narrow your focus. To expand you must narrow your focus.” (46:32)
  • “I’m sick of stuff failing or going overseas. I want to see stuff that is created here, benefiting here.” (51:23)
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