We talked to Martin Gossling of 270 Vision about the use of BPMpathway and its effect on physiotherapy demands.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Martin Gossling: It’s been tough, but we are all fine. As an organization, we have been home working since 2011, so my family life has not really been affected by c-19 that much in terms of changes to the work-life balance, and as my wife is my co-founder, we work together from our home office.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded 270 Vision Ltd.
Martin Gossling: I have a 1st in Electronic Product Design and have spent the past 35 years working in leading and bleeding edge organisations and technologies, mainly focused on wireless data and the digitization of movement, with the occasional step into fibre optics for high-speed data and early self-serve mobile apps, the forerunner of banking and gambling apps. My wife and I set up the company prior to the 2012 Olympics, so we could focus on helping athletes train away from home. This then moved us into medical wearables 4 years ago.
How does 270 Vision Ltd innovate?
Martin Gossling: Usually, through a process of inventive steps and mad scribbling from me into my remarkable pad! The net result has been 4 granted patents and 5 more pending, with our core product now being certified in over 14 countries around the world. The process usually starts from a personal goal or focus. For example, my sister had MS for 35 years, and I could see the problems she was having as she slowly loses her movement in her body and as an engineer, I thought, I can help, I can solve a number of her day to day problems. That resulted in a number of designs we are working on now.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Martin Gossling: The net result has been no sales for the entirety of 2020, as we are dependent on elective surgery, which has been effectively cancelled around the world. So this year is about surviving and making sure our product roadmap is board enough to not have us in this position again in the future, but that is tough for a small R&D company to do as that takes cash to develop a whole new set of products.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Martin Gossling: The main lesson learnt was to have a broader product roadmap so that if one sector fails, we can be supported by others. In terms of difficult choices, the tough one was, of course, cutting back on salary payments, which as Directors we did, so that our staff could remain being paid as we did not want to lose them, but that also means tough times for us, just when the company needs us to be strong.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and 270 Vision Ltd in the future?
Martin Gossling: Riding my motorbike, training in my gym, and taking my dogs out for long walks. All help to distract me from the day to day work issues. Living with my co-founder means it is tough trying to turn off and forget things as our minds are focused 24/7, so we have a thing called a ‘free flick.’ If one of us starts to talk about work when we are on a walk, the other one can flick the talker on the ear! A free flick is so we can talk about urgent things in our off time without getting a sore ear!
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Martin Gossling: When we started out, there was effectively none, now there are many, but hardly any of them have core patents covering the basics. An IP strategy is at the heart of our business plans, and our investment in IP is higher than our marketing commitment at this time. We protect all our IP but also retain our trade secrets. This way, we can defend ourselves as well and increase our valuation significantly. We signed up a global business partner to help us have a global reach, and with their backing, it makes us hard to attack from an IP point of view and easier for us to defend our own IP. I felt it was a vital step to sign up for a global partner; it was the only real way to grow and survive in the rapidly changing, competitive world of wearables.
Your final thoughts?
Martin Gossling: Don’t be afraid to innovate, but take care not to be at the bleeding edge of innovation, that can be costly. Sometimes better to be a good, close 2nd, and follow on the heels of a leader and let them establish a market for your great innovation that you can then protect via your patents and then dominate. Leading, not bleeding edge, is better for small SME’s unless you have deep pockets!
We are already focused on April 2021, so start planning for the upturn now and get that one step ahead of the others coming out of hibernation.
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