Capsule is going after pharmacy giants

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Why is picking up a freaking prescription at Walgreens or CVS one of the worst experiences? Today’s guest asked himself that not too long ago.

And what did he do? He found a new way. Eric Kinariwala is the founder of Capsule, the pharmacy that delivers prescriptions, the same day, for free—all from your phone.

Eric Kinariwala

Eric Kinariwala


Eric Kinariwala is the founder of Capsule, the pharmacy that delivers prescriptions, the same day, for free—all from your phone.


Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: Hey, they’re freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy, where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses for an audience of real entrepreneurs who listen and build companies. And joining me is someone who did listen and built an incredible company.

Here’s the deal. I got a complaint. ’cause I feel like the whole goal of entrepreneurship is to fix problems, to make the world better. And I don’t, I don’t know why no one’s did this before. And I wonder if it’s, if what today’s guests did is as easy as it seemed to be. Couldn’t have been, but why? All right.

Here’s the deal. I remember going in San Francisco to the local CVS after leaving my doctor’s office, waiting in their terrible line. Keeping myself busy on the phone, get to the front of line. I say, my doctor sent her the prescription. They say, oh yeah, we know we need more time go frickin a what’s the point of the doctors.

So I come back later, they still don’t have it. I have to wait. Do I go home? Do I not? I finally get back there. I wait in line. I get the medication. And I think this is a horrible experience. And in my mind, I’m thinking. This pharmacy. And I could, I don’t know the name of them. I, I might’ve, it might’ve been CVS, Walgreens.

I don’t know what it is. It’s the one that used to be on Cesar Chavez in, in the hardest San Francisco, you would think that it would be modern. It was terrible. And I went home complaining and thinking, this is a horrible experience, but we just have to live with it. Today’s guests had a similar experience and said, you know what?

This is a horrible experience. We’ve got to fix it. And I wonder once you realize we got to fix it, modernize it, bringing it into the internet. What’s the difficulty there. Why is it that it’s not as easy as have some machines spit out some pills or another human being, like, see what the doctor told them to do, put it in a fricking bag and send it over to somebody’s house.

And it can’t be that easy because today’s guest is smiling at me. He built this company that when I got to my doctor here in Austin, the first thing he said was you should use them. He said, I’m going to prescribe medication for this cough. You have post COVID go use capsule. I said, well, We live in the heart of nowhere.

And in Texas, somehow capsule managed to send a delivery person to my house. He says, my wife felt so bad that, that the drive all the way out there, she apologized to them and offered them tea. And the person said, no, that’s what it’s about. We just want to make sure you get your medication. So I invited a founder on here, Eric Cynara Walla to talk about what it was like to build cat.

And, uh, and understand how we built this business into what’s now a unicorn and why he doesn’t think it’s just about the delivery service that I’m. And my doctor are mesmerized by, and we could find out about this business, thanks to two sponsors. The first I love, I use them to pay my people just recently.

It’s called Gusto. And the second, if you’re hiring developers, you’re going to love them. I love this company. It’s called lemon. I’ll tell you about them letter later, but first Erica, to happier. What was your experience? Give me like your frustration and then we’ll get into why, what it was like to build a business.

Eric: You know, it’s not that it’s not that dissimilar from your own experience, but I actually think the experience you’ve described as terrible as it is, is actually probably like on the better side of what the average experience is the consumer. I mean, there’s so many other things, but my, my experience starts starts, you know, not dissimilar from yours.

I woke up one morning in January of 2015, and I had this throbbing headache and I called my doctor, uh, and I’m like, Hey man, my head is exploding. Like what should I do? And so he asked me a series of questions and, uh, you know, the end of that was like, don’t worry about it. You’ve got a sinus infection.

I’ll, I’ll call it prescription and go get it. I was like, perfect. And I put my, I put my coat on and I went out in a snowy January day in New York city on the lower east side where I used to live. And they went to this chain pharmacy, and literally Andrew, everything you can think about going wrong for me, went wrong that day, starting with like, I’m walking into this sort of drug store and I’m meandering through the Isles of cigarettes and candy bars and cleaning supplies.

And I, I literally can’t find the pharmacy. And so finally, um, you know, this clerk comes over and is like, Hey, can I help you? Probably thinking, you know, it’s like, just like a. Degenerate loitering. Uh, and I’m like, yeah, I’m looking for your pharmacy. And she’s like, oh, it’s in the basement. I’m like, that’s really weird.

And so anyway, I like navigate to the back of this store. I get to the escalator, of course it’s broken. I walked down this broken escalator and I get to this dark dingy basement with, you know, 30 or 40 people in line ahead of me. Um, I’m in a basement. So my cell phone not getting signal on it and not waiting in line for an hour.

And I finally get to the counter and I’m like, Hey. I, I tell this pharmacist, uh, who’s very pleasant, but clearly overworked. And basically like my doctor called in a Z-Pak can I get it? Um, and so she goes back and rummages through the shelves and comes back to the counter with this like very despondent look on her face.

Um, which is like, I’m really sorry. We’re out of stock. And I’m like, how are we out of stock? It’s January at the Z-Pak like, kind of like the only thing you should have. And I was like, don’t worry about it. I’ll I’ll um, You know, I’ll call my doctor and I’ll have him call it in somewhere else. And so as I pull my cell phone out to do this, of course, uh, my cell phone has died, searching for signal in the basement for an hour.

And so I ended up going home, no medication and go to bed. I woke up the next morning and I had one of those Melvin I think a lot of entrepreneurs have, which is just. What just happened, what is going on? How does all this work? And that was really the catalyst for me to just start really unpacking my own experience, um, with the pharmacy.

And, and so what I learned, you know, I learned a lot, but I probably the most unfortunate thing I learned with. Rather than my, that, that sequence of events being some sort of like very abberant exceptional case. I learned that that was actually kind of par for the course. Um, and so I got just fascinated and enamored with understanding the why behind all the things like, why do you, why is the average, wait time an hour?

Like, why is my medication out of stock 40% of the time?

Yeah, why don’t I know the price. What did you learn? I learned

Andrew: the medication out of stock. We talking about something, like you said, basic, and frankly, they have locations everywhere. They don’t run out of cigarettes. They don’t run out of Tylenol. They don’t run out of bandaids. Why did they run out of basic medication?

Is it that the inventory? So.

Eric: A couple of different things. So one is the technology piece, for sure. Um, and so, you know, the conventional pharmacies don’t have, you know, they’re not, they’re not using lemon to hire, you know, a plus developer salad. Um, and they don’t have, you know, they don’t have the, what you’d expect, you know, modern, predictive inventory.

So that’s one of the things, um, and the other thing is. You know, if you think about having a store on literally every street corner, the first thing you think about doing is like, well, how do I carry less inventory? Because it’s expensive. Um, and so when you combine those two things, um, and I think the technology piece is really important.

Um, you know, that’s one of the things is that, uh, you know, it’s that you just don’t have the, you just don’t have the things that, that you need when people need them. So it’s, it’s worse than your experience, which is you got lucky to have your thing in stock, but. For you, your doctor wrote it. You went there, it’s not ready.

You went back, you waited in line and then they tell you. Um, or something went wrong with your insurance or there were some, there’s so many things that hurt

Andrew: that happened to me the other day. I said, okay, so this is just me saying, I want to be more like whatever is going on in Texas. So the next thing I did with, when I, when I got here was I tried to drive.

I said, everything’s driving through in Texas. I moved from San Francisco where you walk to let’s drive through. I drove through, they didn’t have it. They made me wait. I went to radio coffee. I sat for an hour while they prepared my prescription. Then I came back and I got it. Next time. I said, you know what, I’m gonna try the thing.

That’s in target. Target’s professional. They got a good operation. I go in there, they can’t make my insurance work. I go back again. Anyway, this thing goes on forever. Here’s the thing that I wanted. Why isn’t as easy as Eric goes and buys a local pharmacy in the city and then make sure that he spends extra money on stock hires, few delivery people.

It doesn’t have to be delivered within an hour. Nobody hardly anyone ever needs a medication right now. Just make sure that he has a delivery maybe by six o’clock every day. Is it as easy as that? Could you have just said, I see the problem. I’m going to go and buy a pharmacy and hire some delivery people.

Boom, done in every city.

Eric: I think one of the things it’s a really good question. I think one of the things that people miss and you’ve seen a lot of companies come and go in this category where last five or six years, and I think you’ll see more people kind of look at how big, you know, it’s a $425 billion industry.

It’s the second largest category of retail in America. And it’s the most frequent interaction point in healthcare. So yeah, I think you’ll see a lot of people look at this problem. I think it’s so intuitive for people everyone’s had. Some format of a shitty trip to the drug store. And, uh, and so I think you’ll see a lot of people kind of say, gosh, like I should be able to solve this.

And I think what’s really interesting and unique is that when you start really peeling back the layers of all of the complexity, uh, in this industry, I think you start realizing one, you know, why? And that was really where I had spent my time after my own experience was trying to like, fundamentally understand why, why is it, how does all of this work?

Um, because it’s very opaque, right? You can’t really Google, like how do pharmacies work or how do pharmacy benefit managers work or how do all this stuff work? It’s a really understanding all those things. And I think through that, you know, what we’ve seen is like companies come and go because people think the problem to solve is to lose.

And the fundamental understanding I think that we had in our view and what I think is unique about the way we’ve built the business over the last six or seven years, is that it’s not the delivery. Isn’t really the problem to solve. I think delivery is table stakes for every modern retailer. So whatever, whatever the thing is that you’re trying to purchase, you were very quickly, if not already going to be able to open your phone and have somebody bring you.

Whether that’s in an hour or two hours or three hours or the four, 6:00 PM or whatever. I think the quality of the delivery, the cost and delivery, the consistency, the safety will be different, but the simple act of being, having somebody bring something to your home or your office is going to be relatively commoditized.

What’s not going to be commoditized, um, is the end-to-end experience of having frictionless healthcare. Um, and that’s everything from. How does my insurance work to what the deductible, to helping find coupons, to get the best price, to making sure someone coordinates with my doctor and my insurance company.

So I don’t run out of medications. Um, and then it’s building tools to support that doctor and that insurance company in that drug company to help them be more successful. But I think that end to end experience is so incredibly complex because there’s so many permutations of things that, you know, aren’t straightforward and then building the technology.

To be able to, to solve all that in a really simple and easy way is, is why you can’t just go buy a pharmacy and add some couriers to it.

Andrew: I see you’re saying I don’t just want to deliver from a local pharmacy and be the best delivery guy in the planet for, for medication. I want to build a whole new experience around medication and health.

Okay. All right. So let’s

Eric: go back to, and that’s why we have our own pharmacies and we have all of our own software that we built. Delivery personnel or our guys and their background check and HIPAA trained and drug tested. We own end to end every part of that

Andrew: consumer experience. You’re putting some medication in a drawer, in a car with a driver.

You want to make sure that they’re not going through it and got it. All right, let’s go back then to what you did. So you’re a guy who worked at Bain capital Perry, capital. You’ve got experience, um, in finance. What’s the first step when you decided, I think I’m going to do this. Did you start studying the space?

Did you see if you could bring somebody on board to partner up with,

Eric: uh, all of the things? I mean, the first thing for me was I wanted to validate that this wasn’t just some cork, a cork of my own experience. Uh, and so I did something really simple, which is, I just started calling and texting my friends that said, Hey, tell me about the last time you went to the pharmacy.

And I started getting. Just constantly. I just started getting like very consistent answers from my friends were just like, oh, it’s terrible. And XYZ thing happened. Right. They didn’t have it. I had to go back and take my insurance. They closed the line was long, like whatever the. You know, they were shouting over the loud speaker about my, you know, hurting your cream, like w you know, whatever, all of the things

Andrew: that are painful, they don’t do

Eric: that.

Uh, that is something that people don’t me. Right. They, they, they will tell you, you know, over the loudspeaker that your prescription is ready, cause they want you to wandering around the store. But that was the first thing I did. And then, and then I started, it was interesting was one of those friends happened to be a doctor and, you know, and he was basically like, For sure.

I’ll tell you about my own experience using the pharmacy, but let me actually tell you about my experience as a doctor and my staff and we interact with the pharmacy 20 or 30 times a day. And I’m like, oh, that’s really interesting. Um, and then I started chatting with folks that run insurance companies and, uh, and run drug companies.

And they all sort of echoing the same thing, which is the way this thing is set up. Isn’t helping me take care of the people I need to take care of. And so once I had sort of an understanding of how the industry works. Y there are all of these friction points and a perspective on, okay, well, I’ve got the benefit of a blank sheet of paper.

I don’t have 10,000 stores. I don’t have anything. We’ve got an idea and a problem I’m trying to solve. Um, and sort of designing like, well, what do I think this could look like? And then understanding why can’t it be this way? You know, are there regulatory barriers? Are there tech barriers? Are there just things in the industry that would preclude you from.

This is a really ideal experience,

Andrew: ample of an ideal experience that you discovered couldn’t be done. What’s a, what’s an aspect of it. That could be,

Eric: uh, an aspect of it that can’t be done is. Uh, you can’t charge people, whatever price you want, the insurance company sets the price for your medications. So that would be, and he said, what if I could just

Andrew: have easy, clear pricing?

And you discovered you can’t do that because the insurance companies dictate the price. Right?

Eric: So what we did do is we built right price transparency into the experience in the. Um, so we don’t set the prices, but we do do an incredible job of two things. One is just making sure, you know, actually with the prices before you get your medication.

And the second that we’ve built out a proprietary database, um, Groupons that drug companies offer and automatically apply to us, um, to help bring the price of those medications down. Right. So it was sort of, that was one example of, yeah. In an ideal world, you would control all of that. Um, but we, you know, we believe people should use insurance for their medical.

Uh, and so we, what we did was he took the experience today and made it 10 times better. But, but still what I think is not exactly what you’d want, if you had full control over it.

Andrew: Okay. So once you, once you do that, what’s the next step? Was it hiring? Um, was it partnering up with Sonya the

Eric: pharmacist? Yeah.

So the first, so w know then from there, it’s like, okay, I understand the problems. How do you solve it? And I think very early on to the point you just made. You know, my belief was that if you’re going to make this better, you need to own all of the experience, including building a pharmacy, building the software for the pharmacy.

It’s not, it’s not, not Postmates for prescriptions, right? Let’s not hire a bunch of couriers and build an app and go pick them up from CVS and drop them off that already exists. You can have Postmates do that. Or when Postmates is around, you could have them do that. Good enough. It’s because delivery is not the problem.

The problem is all these other things. You’re still not solving in-stock medications. You’re not solving price transparency. You’re not solving access to a pharmacist. Right? You have a question about the medication that you just got. Can I take this with an iron supplement? Can I take this while I’m pregnant?

Can I have two shots of tequila on this? Like what, you know, what are, what are all the things that happen? You know, getting your medication. It’s so different from buying books or batteries. Um, it’s it, there’s so much more human element wrapped around it.

Andrew: I guess I never realized that people do that. I would always ask my doctor and assume the pharmacist is just like the packaging person, but that’s not the way people treat their pharmacist.

Eric: Is it so interesting? This is one of the big learnings into the first thing I did was like, we need to build a pharmacy to build a pharmacy. You need a pharmacist. Fortunate enough to get reconnected to, to Sonia who is an amazing pharmacist. You graduate top of her class at UT Austin, uh, in, in, in pharmacy school.

And, um, and we built this experience around this idea around me. And she’s talking about what the ideal experience, ideal experience is this idea that if your mom were apartment. Uh, and you were the only person she was taking care of. Like what would that experience look like if it was one-to-one? Well, it’s like, well, I could text my mom.

My mom would find the best price for me. She would make sure I knew all the side effects she coordinate with the doctors. Never made sure I never ran out. And of course she like bring it to my house. Um, and that’s, that’s been the north star around, like, what is the brand? What is the experience? What should that feel like?

Is that one-to-one relationship? With, with a pharmacist. Um, and so that’s, that’s kind of what that’s, that’s been the north star and that’s what we’ve kind of built the experience.

Andrew: Okay. So how do you know what’s Sonia’s last name? I keep forgetting. I keep getting a Sonya Patel. I keep thinking of her as Doogie Howser, because apparently that’s how you refer to her.

Why do you call her Doogie Howser?

Eric: She was the youngest person to graduate, uh, out of her pharmacy class. So I started joking about that. And a reporter picked it up and printed a headline around that. So

Andrew: it’s super catchy. Um, so that in my head, she just is Sonia Doogie Howser like that. Um, it might head to the kid from, uh, the TV show who became a doctor as a teenager or something.

All right. So how do you know her?

Eric: Uh, we, uh, we, we met in 2005. Uh, we’ve got, um, just mutual friends that are really close to both of us. And we got reconnected when, when I was going.

Andrew: All right. I feel like there’s more to this story that way. You’re

Eric: smiling. Just,

Andrew: all right. So you talked to her, do you partner up like equal 50, 50? Is that too personal to ask?

Eric: Uh, I sent you a personal ask. Um, w I had already raised a bunch of the money, um, when, when I asked him to join the team. Uh, and so she’s been a really important part. You’ve got to have a, uh, a kick ass pharmacist to build, um, an amazing pharmacy and, uh, and she has been nothing but that.

Andrew: How much did you have before you raised money? Was it an idea with a plan? Was it something else?

Eric: It was a very well thought out plan and understanding of the consumer and how you go to market and all those things. But ultimately if the business needs and you need capital, you got to build a pharmacy, you gotta sign a lease.

Um, and as much as I fit, you know, as much as I think I’m convincing turns out New York, new York’s new landlords want a little bit more than my big idea to. And why


Andrew: you decide to build a pharmacy instead of buying one of the local ones?

Eric: We wanted to understand everything. You know, one of the benefits of building from scratch is we very quickly understood every single aspect.

Um, the pharmacy, the physical mechanics of it, uh, the technology aspects of it, the regulatory aspects of it. There’s something very different when you build something from scratch versus buying something, right. It’s a difference between me. Dinner and, and buying dinner. Um, you understand all of the little nuances of what goes into it and how to make all of those little friction points better.

Uh, and that’s really, that’s really what, you know, capsule there’s no, there’s no silver bullet. One of the things people always ask me is like, I used capsule. It’s amazing. I love it. It was so seamless. Um, every. Feels so simple and easy, like how’d you do it? And there’s no magic answer. There’s no like, oh, we solved this.

Like one the thing

Andrew: when you’re building it yourself, what’s one thing that, you know, and by the way, let me take a moment here and say, my interview is sponsored by I’m actually not going to charge them for this ad because I think it’s just going to end up being too short. I just want you to know if you’re out there hiring developers, they have phenomenal developers inexpensively because they get them from Eastern Europe and you don’t even have.

Just go to, and they will tell you about the developers they have. And you could decide whether you want to hire or not. If you don’t like them, you just move on. If you do, because you use my URL, you’ll get a really good discount., grateful to them for sponsoring. I should have done a longer ad so I can charge them, but I gotta keep going here.

So then what’s, as you’re building it yourself, what’s one example of something that

Eric: you discovered. Sure. How often can you get drugs delivered? You know, it’s, there is there, can you build that real time? What, you know, how do you make that predictive? How do you partner with different wholesalers to do that?

That would be one example of something. Um, how do you process insurance claims? Why are they set up the way they are? How do you make that better? Like all of the things that, you know, from the ground up that you’d want to learn, how should the pharmacy be laid out? What’s the right layout for a pharmacy?

Cause those pharmacies get laid out, uh, for people to walk into them. Uh, so how do you, what’s the optimal way to build a pharmacy? That’s not really. Tour the predominant node being walkin. Uh, there’s so many little nuances that you get just from building both the physical space, but more importantly, the software that powers all of that, um, from scratch and just really understand what’s the, what’s the best way for a pharmacist to be able to focus on, you know, one of the things I was going to say when we’re talking about Sonia is, and you kind mentioned it, you know, pharmacists go to school for six years, they are just shy.

Uh, what medical doctors go to school for, and they get a pretty bad rap because they’re behind the counter and people are asking to check out toilet paper now five. And one of the reasons pharmacists really love working at capsule is because we let them spend more time actually doing the things they trained to do, which is being experts in medication and counseling and guiding people on their medication regimen.

So how do you build software that lets the pharmacist do those things versus being focused on. Um, you know, all the other things that you might have to do because they’re in this sort of retail environment. I always say pharmacists are guilty by association because they, they, you know, they’re, they look like checkout clerks, except they are highly, highly educated.

And the heart checkout

Andrew: clerks, you really could, if you want to circumvent the line at local big chain pharmacy, take your stuff to the pharmacist and they’ll check out whatever you got, your potato chips, your

Eric: yeah, absolutely. And so, you know, letting pharmacists and enabling and empowering pharmacists to do the things that they love doing and why.

So much time training to be experts in mitigation and to partner with doctors to do that, right? Because doctors aren’t experts in all medications and the best relationship. Between a pharmacist and a doctor is when they’re collaborating on what’s the right therapy for this patient. And both, both people are contributing to why

Andrew: do we even want to have a physical retail location?

Why not say we’re not going to let anyone in that means we can go to some random part of New York city where no one’s going to be there. Anyway, we can get a low price on rent and our drivers will maybe have two extra blocks to go, but.

Eric: We’ve got a variety of, yeah. I mean, we’re in, you know, we’re in dozens and dozens and dozens play with dozens and dozens and dozens of locations across the U S and we have a mix.

We have some things that are right in the city center, uh, and that are really nice ways to create awareness, um, for people about our brand and our offering. And we’ve got places that are a little bit more optimized for legit. Uh, and there’s just a spread. It seems like

Andrew: that was important to you. I’ve seen photos of it.

So it’s kind of nice to see it in like business insider to see what the location looks like. But from your point of view, it seems like that was an important aspect. Why?

Eric: I think anytime you’re trying to get people to do something new trust is a really important part. And when you think about this category, uh, this isn’t, again, this isn’t getting a burrito delivered, whereas something gets screwed.

Somebody can give you a $20 credit and you’ll try it again. Uh, this is something you’re putting in your body. It’s something you’re putting in your kid’s body. And so I think trust is, is really, really important. Uh, and we think trust is, you know, of course, trust one just comes from consistently doing what you say you’re going to do and delivering on that promise.

Um, but trust also comes from brand and being visible. Incredible. Uh, and so I think both the things were really important to us as we were getting to the business office.

Andrew: I guess I just think about this so differently. When you talk about trust. I was looking at the reviews on, on the app store reviews are phenomenal, 4.9 out of five, um, thousands of reviews.

But this, the third review that I saw was someone who said I was headed into use as my meds are so important. But with the customer support being on text, it’s so easy and so on. And I thought, well, I don’t get it. I guess I just don’t think about this stuff. I just assume they’re going to get it right and move on with my life.

I guess for some people, this person has bipolar is bipolar. So, um, I guess for them it’s super important and maybe they’ve had some bad experiences with the medication they got, but

Eric: I mean, one of the things is that, you know, 70% of American adults go to the pharmacy at least once a month. And. You know, different people have different use cases for it.

But what we find is the vast majority of people that use capsule use it month in month out to get managed the medications, they need to stay healthy. Um, one of those or mental health drugs, whether they’re hormonal drugs, whether they’re our heart pressure, blood pressure, you know, all those things. And so it’s a really important, it’s really important that, uh, That you know, that we’re consistently excellent at what we do because people depend on us to stay healthy.


Andrew: much did you raise in order to build that first location?

Eric: Uh, the first, um, the first dollars in we raised were $4 million, uh, and there’s about 600 million over the last, uh, six or seven years.

Andrew: And was this back when you were in the, we work in the financial district that you raised. So it was you sitting there working through your idea, raising money, then using the $4 million to open up the first store, hire people and hire some couriers.

And then how long did it take you to be up and running?

Eric: We spent that first a year building the brand, building the team, building the technology platform, building the physical pharmacy, regulatory permits, you know, all of those. Uh, and then we launched the business in New York in may of 2016. Uh, Uh, fairly, you know, there’s, uh, there’s, there’s a lot of infrastructure you’ve got to build to be able to deliver a good experience and go for an

Andrew: MVP to say, we want to test to see, to learn whatever it is so we can adjust.

And I see you smiling. So I’m not, I’m not saying that that would have been the right way. I just want to understand why an MVP wouldn’t have been.

Eric: It’s a really good question. Um, and I think it kind of ties back to that review. You just read, right? Like people don’t, you can MVP certain things. People don’t want their health and the.

Uh, so, Hey, I take three drugs. I need them all the time, um, to stay healthy. Cool. My MVP only went to have one. Um, Hey, insurance only works 50% of the time. I’m only going to be on time, half the time. Right? I think one of the things with digital health and healthcare in general and healthcare tech startups is that it’s the standard of what you need to come out with is just higher because it’s people.

Um, and because some of these things are, have really big repercussions for getting wrong. Um, and so I think that by and large, I’m such a big believer in start narrow, start small test iterate your way to the answer. And we try to do that wherever we can, but we also will never do that when there’s, you know, even a minuscule chance that it’s going to put someone’s health at risk.

And so that’s a, that’s a really important thing. And. When we look at what we’re doing, that maybe is different from what other companies in digital health have done. This is one of the big differences in terms of our long-term ambition. You know, we’ve never, we’ve never tried to slice off some narrow category or some narrow vertical of it.

Um, where we never said, oh, you know, it’s too hard to do everything. Um, so let’s not do that. Like we’ve been really focused on like, well, to really solve the underlying. You need to take insurance and you take a lot of different kinds of insurance and you need to do all medication. You need to do all of these things that actually solve the fundamental problems.

So we’re not just focused on hair loss medications, and we’re not just focused on a certain segment of the population. We’re not just focused on fertility, drugs, like we do everything. Um, and we take everyone’s insurance and, and really, I think that’s how you can fundamentally solve the problem versus just slicing off some narrow thing.

It’s a lot harder to do a lot more expensive to do, but ultimately I think your ability. Solve a bigger problem. And to have a bigger and more successful businesses is worth

Andrew: all the, and what was it about you that allowed investors to put up $4 million and wait a year for the software to be right. Which we know software takes a long time and it takes some iteration.

Physical locations are a whole other business to combine both of those with the health industry, which is a whole set of issues on its own. Why do you think they trusted you?

Eric: I think fundamentally it’s, um, I think it’s, it’s a problem that everyone can relate to. Uh, and it’s, and it’s a problem that the worthy of solving.

And so I think those two things, right, like one is just sort of, uh, one is everyone can relate to that experience and everyone wants it to be better. Um, and I think when people start understanding why, uh, the experience is awful and what it takes to do it, um, I think that either some folks get really nervous, like, wow, that’s a really hard, not.

And other people get really excited. Like, wow, like if you can really solve this and make this better, or there’s such a big opportunity to one make people’s lives better, but two to build a really, really big business. Um, and then the third thing is we’ve built a really great team. I mean the early team, I mean, the team now, you know, the team every year is better than the year before, but our early team.

Um, and his, and, and many of them are still on the team was just absolutely awesome.

Andrew: Before you raise money, you have a team of people. You said you’re not investing in me, Eric, and a concept capsule. You’re investing in this team. That’s going to build the store build. So how’d you get the developers who are going to be on board for, for this?

Who were they had you get, um, the people who were the right people to build a farm.

Eric: Sure. Um, so when you built the pharmacy, a pharmacist and she built the pharmacy from scratch and worked with

Andrew: what’s that big firm that you worked for, that you did,

Eric: uh, just work at Walmart

Andrew: and scratch sheet, but you’d never built a pharmacy before who do this so that she knows from experience what she wants and consultants can

Eric: help.

I think part of being early data entrepreneur and being an early stage founding team is that you’re resourceful. Um, and you figure out the things that you don’t know how to do very, very quickly. And so she did that. Um, we had a guy named Tim better, who was our first CTO. He was one of the first two or three folks at Foursquare.

You remember Foursquare back in New York, sort of tech darling. Um, and he built, you know, him and some of the folks that he recruited built up before. Version of our consumer app, all of the internal software. Uh, we had some folks on the marketing team that helped build the brand. Uh, and so we had a, you know, design product, you know, all of those things, um, and really came together with that with a really fantastic, I think first thing that we launched with, and I think we got lucky or good, the first product that we put out in the world.

Uh, you know, you’re kind of holding your breath. It’s like, wow, I’ve been building this thing for a year. I hope somebody likes it. Uh, and, and so I think that all of that hard work and effort paid off, because I think the first thing that we launched with, um, really kind of hit the nail on the head and people, people were using it and liking it and trusting it.

Uh, and that was kind of a really amazing moment. Your friends,

Andrew: it was just you and your friends. Family is getting their medication for how long? A couple of months from the app.

Eric: Yeah, I’d say it was a couple of months that we, um, had it just quietly with friends and family before we kind of opened it up to, uh, you know, a broader, a broader set of folks.

Andrew: Okay. And then when it was time to go, you then needed to grow beyond friends and family. What did you do to get the early users?

Eric: A lot of the early users were, um, it was organic, it was word of mouth. You know, people really love the experience and they were sharing it with their friends and their, and their family.

And so it’s just sort of like very organically started growing. And then some of those folks happened to be doctors and doctors started using it for themselves. And then they were like, this is fantastic. I should probably be recommending this to my patients. Uh, and so we then started having doctors recommending it to their patients.

And that was sort of the. Um, wait, the business grew. And then we started creating more awareness through paid marketing. Uh, and we started basically realizing that, you know, doctors really do want, uh, to have an easy way to recommend this to their patients. And so we built out a team to go help educate doctors and their staff about how capsule works and the merits of you capsule, not only for their patients, but also we’ve built a number of tools for doctors to make the doctor’s lives and workflows easier because.

Yeah. W w one of the things that’s really interesting is, uh, anything goes wrong for you at the pharmacy counter, eventually rolls back into your doctor’s lap, right? Anything by my own experience, the first thing I tried to do while I was in line was called my doctor, uh, and, and to helping the doc deal with those things and making her life easier is also a really important part of what we do.

Andrew: You know what it wasn’t until my doctor said capsule that I recognized it. And when I told my wife that I was going to talk to you today, she said, oh yeah, I see their ads all the time. And I realized, I see our ads all the time too. And for some reason it didn’t click until the doctor said, do you want your medication to go to capsule?

And so I can see that that would help. When you say that you started going out and talking to them, what did you do to let them know? What was what’s the plan with the team for introducing them to.

Eric: Um, I think it’s, it’s really just introduced like anything. It’s just introducing the product and the services we have for consumers and for doctors and helping them understand how easy it is for them to prescribe the capsule.

We were already in their computer system. They don’t need to do anything. Uh, and, and you know, a little bit of it just educating how they should talk about it with their patients. Right.

Andrew: When I used to sit at doctor’s offices and I would see the salespeople, wait to go see the doctor, and then they’d go in and give them a couple of things.

Is it those types of people that would go in?

Eric: Uh, we try to be more efficient than that. So we try to, we try to, you know, have set time with physicians to go dig in, to speak with them. Um,

Andrew: you’re meeting you, just schedule a time with them and say, we’re coming in.

Eric: Not, not, not a hundred, like everything in life, not a hundred out of a hundred, but I think Docker generally, really they feel the brunt of it.

Right. I mean, kind of back to the. That could kind of, one of the things I learned in the early days was you might go to the pharmacy as a consumer once or twice a month. Um, but the doctor you’re dealing with the pharmacy 20 or 30 times a day. And so the ability for the doctor to streamline all of these things that happen, um, they’re very receptive and they’re, they’re wanting, um, you know, they’re wanting a better way, not only for their consumers, but for them in their staff.

Andrew: I see. And so you’re reaching out to them saying we have this pharmacy that’s what do you remember the phrasing that worked for getting them to be interested or what was the, how you described the problem that got them interested in your solution?

Eric: Oh, there’s so many problems for doctors. It’s not just like the same way with consumers.

It’s wait times and it’s a lot of docs. It’s price, transparency, and it’s access to advice for doctors, it’s insurance, complications and refills. And. My patient went to the pharmacy and they’re out of stock. And now they’re calling me and trying to help have me, help them find another pharmacy hasn’t dock rates.

Let’s all, it’s like a whole kind of naughty ball of things, uh, that, that are high friction for the doc. And so being able to kind of understand, you know, not every doc has the same set of problem. So, you know, what’s the thing that really matters to that doctor. And, and then aligning, you know, one of the product or service features that we have with, you know, with.

Andrew: And how did you find out those problems? Because it is interesting, actually, I think about your only customer being me, the end consumer, but it’s also the doctor.

Eric: What do you do? Yeah. And the, and it’s the insurance company and it’s the health system and it’s a lot, we sit in the middle of, you know, a, a lot of the healthcare.

Like this is probably pretty, I think, generic advice that I’m sure a lot of your other guests skin on the early stage, but I think. You just got to listen and be really curious and just keep asking questions. So you understand. Um, and I think so much of that is just being incredibly close to the customer, whoever that customer is.

And that’s one of the big things at capsule as we’ve scaled the business, it’s just making sure that we are always, always, always in the mind of the customer and understanding and anticipating their needs. So how do we make your life?

Andrew: And this was you calling up the doctor, Eric finding out I’m the founder.

I want to understand what’s going on that type of thing

Eric: in the earliest days, for sure. I think as a founder, you need to have your pulse on what the problem you’re trying to solve it and have conviction that that’s the right. You’re not only the right problem to solve, but also that we’re heading and developing and iterating on the right solution.

We of course have a big team now that, that does that day in, day out.

Andrew: All right. Second sponsor Gusto. This one, I got to do it right. Here’s why. I had, uh, the woman who you talked to the producer, she sent me a bill. She said, Andrew here’s last month’s bill. I just went into Gusto. I typed in the amount I hit send.

I got this beautiful screenshot that said you did it, Andrew. And I sent her the screenshot cause it looks so beautiful. And in the past, I realized whenever a contractor would send me a bill, I would hesitate for a little bit because such a pain to pay them. It’s such a pain to navigate to the right screen to make sure you’re doing the right Gusto makes it so fricking easy.

So they’re inexpensive, like $6 to add each new contract. They handle everything, but more than all that, they make it super easy. And yes, they work with people internationally now. Yes, they work with full-time employees, but I find that if you could pay someone who’s a contractor quickly and make it easy for you, you’re not going to hesitate and they’re going to be happy to get the payment fast and clearly, and the whole thing done beautifully.

Well, not just that, even when I needed her to sign the, you know, the tax paperwork that you need to sign in order to start collecting payment, that was not me collecting her to her. Her social security information, which I don’t want to touch. It was the software sending it out. Boom. Anyway, it’s beautiful.

I highly recommend them. I’ve talked about them for a long time, even if you’ve used a different payroll service company, even if you only have contractors, even if you, even, if, even if you all those things, they will help you, David. Oh, sorry. One last. When I signed up with them, Eric, I was a little worried cause I’d been with someone else and like, everything was so frustrating.

They had a phone number. So I called it up. I started talking to the guy Duncan and he and I were chatting and I said, would you just stay on the phone with me while I fill in the form? He goes, sure. He says on the phone. And then some point I realized, okay, this is kind of dopey. I don’t really need you. I got this.

And I just filled it out quickly. The point is Duncan had a lot of patience for me and he was there and the software was so good. I didn’t even need them. We should all build software that good. All right. If you want to try them for free right now, you can go to They’ll give you a free, a little free time to use them, but frankly, they’re so inexpensive.

You’re not going to think about money when it comes to them. You’re going to think about how happy you are, how. Team is I was going to say employees, but it’s everyone on your team is to not just get paid properly, not just get all their tax paperwork in. Right. But also have a clear dashboard that shows what’s going on and a good company standing behind them. That’s an ad words charging for right Eric.

Eric: That’s a good one. I’ve heard. It’s a great product. It’s a great

Andrew: product. Um, you got to feel so proud when the thing is good. Don’t.

Eric: That’s the motivating thing. I think building something that delightful and easy that people genuinely like using Gusto is a good example of that.

You know, something is prosaic is payroll, um, but being able to make it so simple and easy. And we think about that same thing with pharma. In some ways, what’s the point of delight

Andrew: now with capsule? I actually haven’t thought about this stuff in a long time, but I used to spend a lot of time thinking about where those little points, where you could delight people without them expecting it like that hotel chain that would give you a cookie when you came in.

I thought I don’t even like cookies, but I love them for offering me one.

Eric: Um, I think it’s so many things. I mean, I think the human interaction that we’ve done and the. Built the way we built the brand and deliver the brand through the people you interact with. So when you text capsule, when you chat with capsule, when you call capsule, it’s hopefully a similar experience that you had with Duncan.

Um, someone’s on the phone, you know, patient helping you understand, you know, all the complexities of, of your insurance and your, your medications and all of those things. So you feel looked after that number

Andrew: right now on your website. There’ll be. Someone should pick up. Let’s see. Can I do it right now?

Let’s see if we can hear it from my iPad. If I call them in the middle of the night, will there be someone

Eric: there? There’s usually somebody there, 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM. We canceled your call may be recorded for quality assurance and training purposes.

Andrew: I lower the volume is aware that I’m doing it too. You feel a little anxious? I feel a little anxious

Eric: now. Oh, hello. Hello?

Andrew: Hi. Um, my name is Andrew. Actually. I realized I’m on another call, so, um, I’ll have to call back, but I appreciate you taking my call. Thank you for being there. I didn’t realize it’d be a real human being there.

Okay. Thanks. I see what you mean. Um, so I see now I want to do the same thing with CVS. Let’s find the number for CVS CVS pharmacy. Can I, can I find that phone number? I can’t find their phone number. I know they have it because when I needed a COVID test, we got it, but they weren’t picking up. All right.

We got a sense of what it’s like. Let’s talk about the team. One of the issues with hiring people who are really good at what they do is that they’ve done it so much and they could start reproducing the things that happened before you told our producer that you wanted to make sure that you balance having experienced.

So you’re not just figuring everything out for the first time with having a new perspective on things. So you’re not reproducing what existed in the pharmacies before. How did you do that?

Eric: At least this phrase. And one of the things that I think we did a really good job in the early days, it’s just reinforcing this idea of same input, same outputs, right?

So if you keep doing the same thing, you’re going to get the same thing. Uh, and that’s true. It’s a kind of a very general truism, but, uh, but I think when it’s applied to, you know, any, any sort of company or industry where you’re operating within the, you know, where you’re operating within an established industry, and you’re trying to do something.

Uh, and you see this in financial services all the time, right? All these FinTech companies, um, that are, you know, growing in sailing, I think there’s a balance between same inputs and same outputs. And, and I think we did a really good job in the early days of foundationally building the DNA of the company, built around the consumer and the customer and solving the customer problem.

Uh, and, and in some ways it’s such a, because the industry has been around for 50 or a hundred years. And hasn’t had that much innovation people that come from that conventional industry, they forget all the first principles things, because those businesses are so scaled. They’re optimizing things where people kind of, it’s sort of like, why do we do that?

And you just ask these very fundamental questions that no one’s ever asked, because people don’t have the space, time or incentive to do those things. And I think it all goes back to how do you make sure your company stays first principles as you yourself? Growing the business and people don’t inside a capsule say, why don’t we do that?

We’ll pick it up. We started doing that by mission

Andrew: example of a first principle when it comes to pharmacy.

Eric: Um, what’s a good example. The first principle, what needs to be on the prescription label?

I, you know, if you look at the Walgreens label, the CVS label, the Walmart label, they’re not all the same. And yet, if you had never thought about that, if you had never basically said I’m designing the label from scratch, which the bottle, but you would never think about that. But if you do you realize that there’s a, actually a lot of complexity in the label and there’s not, you know, all those labels aren’t the same.

And so you have room to. But what is, what is, what information should be on the label and what’s the right way of displaying it. And what’s easy for the, what’s easy for the customer to do that. And

Andrew: that allows you to figure out the answer to what should be on a label.

Eric: It should always be, you know, there’s a regulatory piece for sure.

Right? So there’s a, what are, what are the guard rails like? What do you have to do, uh, from a safety regulatory perspective? And then it’s all about what’s the right thing for the customer. What is going to make the customer. Uh, what is gonna make the customer’s life better and easier and simpler. And that’s

Andrew: the guiding principle for us coming in and checking.

Cause I never think about the label. I’ve been trained to ignore my label. So if you come over and you say, Andrew, what would you like on the label? I don’t know. It’s

Eric: less what you would like on the label. It’s more about what you understand about this label. Where does your eyes go to for the first time?

What do you, when you look at the label, look, the first information you’re looking at, right? It’s a good question. Like what do people look at on prescription labels? Are they looking at the name of the drug or are they looking at the, uh, you know, are they looking at an even drug of looking at the strength or they’re looking for, um, are they looking at.

You know, who is the medication for? Because you’ve got a medicine cabinet full of things. Are you looking for how many refills you have left? Are you looking for when it expires? Like what is the information? So all of

Andrew: that, you can’t just go in and ask me as the

Eric: customer. Yeah. That’s why you use for research and get close to the customer and understand what are the things that people, you know, what do you not like?

Andrew: What’s your approach for understanding your customer? Well, To predict what she needs to see on her, on her pill bottle.

Eric: I think it’s two things. I think one is a really good question. It’s two things. One is you have to, um, one is you have to just listen and ask the customer and then you have to keep asking why, and you got to keep asking why.

And it’s a simple thing, right? I mean, not my framework, but this, this idea of continuing to ask why until you get to some fundamental truth that you, that you can understand. Uh, and then how do you see the pattern across, you know, a number of conversations that you’re having to really kind of understand?

Okay, what, what are, you know, what is human? What is like the fundamental behavior here as. You know, as to why, I mean, e-commerce is a really good example, right? When you look at a checkout flow, um, there’s been probably like more work done on iterating on e-commerce checkout flows in tech than, you know, maybe anything else that this history of like the internet and, you know, it’s, it’s the same thing.

How do you fundamentally understand what are people trying to do? What’s the job they’re trying to do. And then how do you, how do you provide them the tools or the simplicity to get

Andrew: that done? Just to see what that’s like. So if you say Andrew, what do you want to see on a label? My first.

Eric: Yeah, I probably wouldn’t do that.

I’d probably put, I probably put something in front of you. I put multiple things in front of you and I’d say what’s the first thing you looked at. Why can you tell me more about that? Put another designer. What’s the first thing your eye went out. Okay. And what I understand you, what is your medicine cabinet like?

Is it just you with your medications? Did your wife take medication, family? Do you have. I hear the discover. I have to let you tell me the problem. And I have to be listening for you to articulate that problem, because you don’t know what your most people can’t. Sometimes you can say, yeah, my problem is, you know, X and you can go solve it, but more often than not the most interesting problems and the most elegant solutions to those problems are the problems you didn’t know, you even had.

Um, and I’m sure, you know, Gusto is a good example of that, right? Like you didn’t know that you want it to be so simple, easy, and delightful to have that screen that you could screen. But then you realize that, oh, that is a problem. I had, I wanted a confirmation of the thing I was doing, you know, or whatever.

Right. So like uncovering the problems you don’t know, you have and solving those for you is the thing that we’re

Andrew: improving. The pharmaceutical experience is a problem. I didn’t realize I had my, my reaction to that was always take less medicine, get less sick and stop coming back in. Like stopping a and going to the doctor stopped being unhealthy and needing to go see the doctor in the first place.

That’s always been my reaction to the whole pharmaceutical experience. Sucks. I didn’t even think, Hey, you know what? This could be fixed because I was blind to the problem.

Eric: Yeah. Look, I think, I think it’s, uh, the pharmacy has been something that people have been resigned to immediate mediocre experience for, for a hundred years.

And so it’s something that. Kind of, when you start talking about it, you realize how frustrating and high friction it is, but it’s something that you didn’t know there was a better way or there could be a better way. I

Andrew: wonder you grew up in Detroit, you built websites, e-commerce sites for people. What, as a kid and as a teenager, did that help you out in thinking through problems, thinking through design, what impact, what did, what did you do and what impact did it have on you?

Eric: Yeah, I think first, you know, first internet wave, um, had a small business. Helping local merchants get online, uh, and building, you know, the kind of very first wave of e-commerce websites. And it taught me a lot. It taught me all the things about starting your own business. Like how much should I charge this person?

Like, how do I, how do I make sure that I do a really good job and they’re really happy? So they recommend me to somebody else. So I have, you know, more business, how do I learn to do things? I don’t know how to do, how do you code HTML? How do you start coding? You know, what’s the right checkout flow. What’s the right software tools.

And you know, all of the things. Or involved in starting a company. I mean, you’ve learned those in a really kind of atomic bundle, um, doing that. And so I’ve always been interested in, I think that was for sure, for me, have always been interested in consumer behavior. Um, and one of the reasons I think generally, you know, consumer commerce has, has been fascinating for me for a long period of time.

Andrew: What are some of, what are some of the things that stick out for you when you were building those early sites? For me that. I did email marketing first. And the thing that stood out for me was if you could just offer a guarantee, make it as good as you want. No, one’s going to take advantage of it. It’s like a night we were selling nine, $10 products offer an unbelievable guarantee.

No, one’s going to take advantage of it. It’s only nine, $10. They’ll just, even if it sucks, they’ll just forget about it or say, or just be angry at you. But if you say, can I give you a refund? They’ll say. But it goes a long way. So what I mean is there’s an outsized value placed on the guarantee. And I was shocked by that.

What did you discover?

Eric: I discovered them always had a view that, um, more isn’t better. And so I kind of learned the value of simplicity, which is that most people don’t want or need a hundred permutations of something, even though a hundred permutations, I think might be. And so I remember building a science is going to be totally random, but I remember building a site for a guy who had a kiosk in a mall that used to sell yo-yos, uh, and, um, and ultimately e-commerce site.

And, you know, he had, he had like thousands of things. You could get all of these different permutations and colors and styles and strings, and you know, all these things, but it’s not really what people. Um, you know, people want in some ways to be guided and helped and supported to figure out, you know, what, what they want.

There’s always an edge case to something where there’s some efficient auto who wants to customize every part of everything. But for the vast majority of people, um, people value simplicity, uh, And fewer, you’re

Andrew: just, here’s the beginner yo-yo that does itself. Here’s the one that lights up and here’s the one

Eric: professional.

So here’s yeah, here’s, here’s what most people are buying at your, how do you make it easy for people to understand, um, and to get started. And I think we’ve tried to bring that the capsule with the experience of just making it, you know, there’s so much information you could give some. And so really understanding, like what’s the right level, like what are people really trying to do?

Do people really want the people really want information or are they, are they asking for information to try to solve a different problem? So we always try to understand, oh, that’s interesting. Like, why did you ask for that? Because a lot of times people ask for something and then they’re not asking for the thing they’re asking you for.

They’re asking. To try to, as a proxy to solve some other problems. So really, really paying attention and trying to understand, Hey, what’s the fundamental thing you’re trying to do here? Cause it might not be, um, it might not be the exact thing you asked for. It might be something totally different. You just don’t know that that’s like part of the solution set that could be possible.

Andrew: Now here’s a random question. You guys have what? What’s the revenue right now? This isn’t a random question, but it’s a, follow-up

Eric: hundreds of millions,

Andrew: hundreds of millions in revenue. Yeah, I had no idea. First of all, I had no idea you were this big second. I had no idea you were in, in as many cities as you were.

How many cities are you in?

Eric: I

Andrew: had no idea. I, I still thought you were much more local. So the random question is you’re so relaxed. You’re so organized. You’re so like the combination of chill in this conversation, and even in the conversation we had before and everything I’ve seen and getting a massive amount done in a very tough bureaucratic space.

I’m wondering, do you have any like, um, productivity techniques or anything that allows you to stay so fricking balanced and still be as productive as you are? Like how do you become.

Eric: Yeah, I’m always looking for productivity hacks. I don’t think I’ll ever be as productive as I want to be. Um, I think the one thing for me is the one thing, and this is cribbed, but I think that, I think that for me, it’s, you know, how do I keep focused on what’s the most important thing that I have to get done, uh, and make sure that I’m front and center always focused on getting that done because there is just an infinite number of things and you’re an entrepreneur.

Uh, have a business and your own projects. And, you know, there’s an infinite number of things that come across your desk every day, but there’s also like the one thing that you got to move forward to take whatever you’re doing from where you are to the next thing. And so I try to stay one focused on what that thing is.

And I think one of the things I’ve been doing increasingly, that’s been really productive. That’s what I make that commitment public to my team. Uh, so they hold me accountable to it. So you have accountability partners or an accountability partner. Yeah, I think it’s hard to be there. There’s a rare breed of person that can wake up every day on their own and go for a 10 mile run.

I am not one of them. Um, but it’s a lot easier if somebody, if you have a friend that you’re going to meet, uh, every morning at seven and you feel like you’re accountable on letting that person down. And I think that’s been a really broken what’s the focus for today

Andrew: or for this time of your life?

Eric: Uh, one of the big focuses is I have, um, really become.

You know, over the last six or 12 months, I’m really focused on this idea of how capsule works. And so the kind of, as I think about the evolution of the founder CEO role in my own role, you know, we talked a lot about that. The first, the first part of that. Figure out the problem build, you know, kind of be pretty hands-on and building that first product solution, get that the product market fit start, you know, start distributing it.

And then the second job becomes to build the team that can continue to scale that product. And then I think your role basically evolves into how do you build the company that can build the team that can identify the next setup. And self-assemble those things. And so thinking about the company as a product, if that makes sense and all of the features of the company, um, and so that’s something I’m pretty focused on as we, as we just grow in size, as we grow in complexity, as we grow in people and cities and markets and products, it’s just making sure that a lot of the things we talked about, how do you, how do you, how do you teach people that are onboarding in your company?

Um, you know, same input, same house. Um, and how do you teach this idea of first principles thinking and getting to the root cause and asking why five times and how do you teach people? Like the way to be productive and to execute is to do one thing at a time and to stay laser focused on that. And what are the artifacts.

All the different things that we do in the company that will let us replicate those behaviors over time. Um, that’s kinda my number one thing.

Andrew: Now, how do I create the company that creates the user experience?

Eric: Yeah. And there’s always going to be, you know, healthcare is so dynamic, it’s changing the consumer and the customer is always changing and dynamic.

And so making sure that the company ultimately isn’t about solving. This problem today. But at that it’s a group of people that operate in a way that can tackle any problem that the external environment and the customer says, you know, is worthy of solving and can do that. Replica would be over time, um, is, is the, you know, that’s the machinery that, uh, I think let’s come easy to her for, you know, many, many, many generations.

Andrew: You know, I feel like the one problem capsule has is that you’re so invisible in, in our lives. Like, yes, your ads are everywhere and they’re beautiful, but it’s easy to not notice ads. I had no idea how big you are. I had no idea how. I like all the details of the business, where we’re like put together, I’m glad that you’re on here doing it.

I have this whole new appreciation for what you’ve built. When people say it’s a, it’s more than a billion dollar company. I could introduce you as a unicorn, but I still don’t get a sense of the size until I understand like how far you’ve come. I’m glad that you’re here talking about it. That’s a challenge actually, with all digital companies, like you, you could even put like a cap.

No, you can’t put a capsule add on or a logo or something on top of the cars that drive around. You’ve got medication. Um, Anyway, I’m glad your ads are good, and I’m glad that you’re out there. And, um, I’m so excited by what you built.

Eric: Awesome. Well, I am too. Thanks for taking time to share this story. All

Andrew: right, company has capsule.

I appreciate the two sponsors who made this interview happen. The first, if you’re paying your people, go to And the second next time you’re considering hiring new developers, go to, Eric, and so much, man.

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