Embracing Risk: The Hidden Weapon in Your Startup.

In the early years, orthopedic startups grapple with inherent vulnerabilities, even as they nurture a vision for groundbreaking technologies and new treatments.

Bolstered by staunch supporters and investors, they radiate unyielding optimism and fervor, yet these vulnerabilities endure.

Startups have many vulnerabilities:

  • Scarcity of funds.
  • Shortage of personnel.
  • Young or non-existent processes (such as a QMS)
  • Unvalidated intellectual property.
  • Unproven product-market fit.
  • No brand recognition.
  • Absence of regulatory clearance.
  • Zero customer base.
  • Nonexistent sales.
  • Lack of a sales/distribution channel.
  • Void of clinical feedback or data.

Conversely, orthopedic startups wield a hidden edge over industry giants like Stryker, ZB, DePuy, S+N, and others – Risk.

Startups have the unique ability to take on risks every day and every week. They can experiment. Try this and try that and see what happens. They are nimble and learn quickly.

First hand, I encountered the concept of embracing risk as a strategic asset at the startup, Ellipse Technologies.

Below are 5 high risk moves that stood out:

1/ Ellipse took on a crazy product pivot (from bariatric control to remote control spine growing rods and limb lengthening nails).

2 /We took on crazy product re-design risks (every week).

3/ We took on crazy regulatory risks (a skinny class II filings for remote implants).

4/ We took on crazy hiring risks (same day hiring).

5/ We took on crazy geographies (sales of $20M spread out in 20 countries)

Remember why you are in a startup. Don’t play it safe.

Experiment with new ideas.

Be bold.

Be fearless.