We talked to Dr. Roxie Mooney of Legacy DNA about innovation that changes lives and she had the following to say about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Dr. Roxie Mooney: We’re doing wonderful. Everyone is safe, healthy, and well, thank goodness. My 91-year-old grandmother moved in with us a couple of years ago, so we’ve been extra careful and cautious to protect her. And we’re extremely grateful that she’s doing great and none of us has gotten sick.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Legacy DNA.
Dr. Roxie Mooney: I’ve been in the field of marketing for over 20 years. I’ve worked with a number of startups and helped them launch and commercialize different solutions. I worked with a number of healthcare startups in the early 2000s before the Affordable Care Act came about, and we were doing some really revolutionary stuff — like pay for performance, and bundle payments, some innovative reimbursement models. So it was really exciting, especially because I saw that we were on the verge of an explosion of innovation in healthcare.
After working with another company from the ground up, I decided to branch out on my own and start my company, Legacy DNA, as a healthcare marketing agency. A few years later, I decided to go back to school and get my doctorate in business. I came across an alarming statistic that 95% of innovations fail to reach market success and ROI — and it stopped me in my tracks.
I knew that’s where I wanted to focus my career. So I got my doctorate in the commercialization of technology innovation in healthcare, which preempted a pivot for the company. It worked really well for us to be able to pivot into a commercialization strategy company for health innovators, both big and small.
How does Legacy DNA innovate?
Dr. Roxie Mooney: We’re obsessed with this business problem that 95% of innovations fail. So everything we’re innovating is all around helping many different people solve this business problem in many different ways. Whether it’s pivoting, co-creation, early adoption — whatever it is, it’s all about helping innovators find their path to profit and transform their ideas into mass-market adoption.
How did the coronavirus pandemic affect your business, and how are you coping?
Dr. Roxie Mooney: Although there are a lot of terrible things the virus has caused, there’s a silver lining. We’ve achieved ten (or more?!) years of record-breaking adoption of digital health — all within 6-9 months. The pandemic has accelerated the awareness and demand for healthcare innovations in a way that none of us could have predicted.
For this reason, Legacy DNA is actually busier than ever. There’s more money being poured to healthcare than perhaps ever before. The death toll and number of cases is awful, but for the first time in a long time, it seems like healthcare as an industry is finally able to disrupt the status quo and transform in the way it needs. And even if we never hit that full transformation, we’re at least collectively well on our way to making huge strides along that path.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Dr. Roxie Mooney: In light of the pandemic, we’ve been extremely fortunate that we haven’t had to make any difficult choices. We’ve been able to survive and even thrive during this crazy time. One of our biggest lessons learned is that when the market needs change, our offerings need to change along with them. It’s critical to stay close to your customers — to have a pulse on their evolving needs and be able to adapt just as fast.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you protect yourself and Legacy DNA in the future?
Dr. Roxie Mooney: Just good old-fashioned self-care. Physical activity like yoga, meditation…and this amazing energy bomb supplement that I’m in love with. In terms of protecting myself and my team, empathy has been absolutely critical. Everyone within a team or company responds to a pandemic — or any stresses — in different ways.
It could be that half of the team isn’t too bothered, stressed, or anxious, and the other half is paralyzed with fear and anxiety. So it’s important to have an awareness about those differences and to be able to support and lead the team uniquely, and in a more personal way.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Dr. Roxie Mooney: Our competitors can be big consulting firms like Deloitte, down to individual consultants and strategists who have launched a company before and have the expertise to do it again. So we have a really broad spectrum of competitors.
Our strategy for staying in the game is all about staying close to the customer and being at the forefront of what’s next. I like to use the term “customer-obsessed.” When you’re obsessed with your customers, you can better anticipate and meet their needs; however, they may change in the future. And this doubles as a protection for “shiny opportunity syndrome” — which can lead you astray and be a real business killer. I know this from personal experience!
Your final thoughts?
Dr. Roxie Mooney: Pandemic or not, the only way that any company finds success is staying tuned into the needs, wants, and aspirations of their customers (and their team). So many of us build an amazing company or a new innovative solution, and we become product-obsessed. It’s important to have passion for what you’re doing, but there’s a point where you lose sight of the customer, and they fall by the wayside. And if that happens, it can mean disaster for the health of the company.
When you keep your eyes on your customer and rely on their experiences and insights instead of your own, you’re setting yourself up to be future-proof.