Q. What are you hearing from the entrepreneurs and the founders running these companies about the demand environment, their operations, the talent etc.?
Jacob: There’s a lot there so maybe I’ll start with the talent side.
There’s an interesting opportunity on the talent side for digital health where in the past, maybe large tech companies have been able to pay salaries that dwarf what any digital health company can pay. So, anytime you’ve got this inflection in the market as a whole, it’s like an interesting dislocation where it forces people to reconsider, “Oh! I thought I had all these options and I thought they were going to be worth so much money that I had golden handcuffs and I was going to stay at this, at Facebook forever.” Now, people are rethinking that.
One trend I’ve seen across the board is that folks want to do more mission-driven work that’s meaningful to them. I talk to people all the time and they’re like, “I want to go into health care or climate.” So that’s where they want to spend time and for a while it’s actually a really interesting talent market.
Across the board, in our portfolio companies, we’re seeing incredible engineers, product people that maybe are using this current environment as a inflection point to think about, “Okay, what do I want to do with this next stage of my career?” On the talent side, I hope to see this continued influx of folks into the digital health space, which is really interesting.
On the customer side, I guess a classic investor thing that has always made people interested in health care is that it is in many ways countercyclical. There’s this fear in software at large right now that like all these startups sell to other startups. And the second the music stops, there aren’t as many startups out there like all these companies.
Actually, in health care, a lot of our customers and companies sell to large employers, hospital systems, or pharma companies and certainly, there’s a tightening of the belt across the board. But again, back to the original point, the problems haven’t changed. If anything, you have some companies that actually make for really interesting inflection points. For instance, we have one portfolio company, Garner Health, that focuses on helping employers lower the cost of care and improve the member experience. That’s actually even more relevant in this current environment. They have a lot of folks that are seeing the premium costs for next year and saying, “In this economic environment especially, that’s something we really want to tackle.”