Dr. Thomas Lee
Founder and CEO,
Lee has a long history of innovation, not only as the founder and CEO of Galileo, but the founder of the primary-care medical group One Medical and Epocrates, a mobile medical-reference app for physicians. Population health tool Galileo offers patients 24-7 access to multispecialty medical teams and provides instant access to care from a mobile device. One Medical went public in January 2020 and raised $245 million in its public offering and has seen strong growth in membership.
How do you identify opportunities for innovation?
I enjoy pursuing big and broken arenas. Though simple in the abstract, the specifics matter. It has to be "big" enough to be worth the innovation investment. But it can't be so large as to be unachievable given your skills and resources. Similarly, the nature of how a market or arena is "broken" matters. Structural versus inefficient markets create different opportunity profiles.
What advice do you have for people who know how to get an idea in front of managers but may be afraid of failing?
Innovation within large organizations can certainly be more challenging. A few thoughts: 1.) Paint a detailed picture (first to yourself) about what a compelling innovation and end state might look like. 2.) Run the math on how the solution could be achieved while also achieving a core business objective. If you can't, it's not innovative. 3.) Be brave enough to present your ideas, but also incorporate relevant constraints and new ideas. Innovation isn't about a fixed state of mind.
How do you stay focused on innovation during a crisis?
I think innovation is inherently a human, if not natural, experience. It's needed for survival but can also result in surprise, disappointment and joy. Challenge and scarcity are fertile grounds for innovation; they should not be considered mutually exclusive.