Leadership Spotlight Series: Brian Manning, Vice President & Head of Growth
PatientPing was born out of the realization that patients get better care when their providers work together. What started as an idea at a kitchen table near Fenway Park has since evolved into a network of thousands of providers across the country coordinating care. Five years since starting, our team of 100+ employees comes together every day in our Boston headquarters with the singular goal of connecting providers to seamlessly coordinate patient care. Our values–grit, rigor, ownership, authenticity and humility–unite us to persevere through the difficult and gratifying journey of improving healthcare for all.
Position Description: Brian Manning is the Vice President & Head of Growth at PatientPing. Brian has been on the team since 2015 and is responsible for go-to market strategy, revenue, and community growth. Prior to joining us, Brian worked with Zocdoc, where he was responsible for expanding their enterprise business. His excitement for working in health tech startups, as well as his strategic ability to build and scale teams, has made him an invaluable asset to PatientPing.
1. Tell us about your career and what you were doing before coming to PatientPing.
I was lucky (and unlucky) to graduate from college right in the middle of the dot-com bubble. I caught the startup bug back then when I went to work for an e-commerce platform that was building an online presence for small businesses (long, long before Yelp and Foursquare). I’ve been addicted to the excitement, intensity and risk that comes with startups ever since.
Since then I’ve done growth work (sales, marketing, customer success and business development) for tech startups in Boston, New York City and San Francisco. Most of my career has been focused on growing and scaling marketplace & network effect businesses. I’ve been specifically focused on healthcare technology for the last 6 years.
Prior to joining the PatientPing team, I was working with Zocdoc, an NYC-based health tech company, where I was responsible for growing their enterprise (hospital & health system) business.
2. How did you build and scale the PatientPing Growth Team to become what it is today?
A few things come to mind:
1. We hired superheroes. When you’re growing fast there’s always a temptation to drop your bar for talent to fill certain roles. We haven’t done that. We’ve brought in the best of the best people across every role.
2. We laid out very clear quarterly OKRs (objectives and key results) for what we wanted to accomplish. These OKRs went beyond numbers and focused on things like team development and scale, and focused on the question of: What do we want this team to look like at the end of the quarter? Then we methodically executed against those goals so that we’d not only hit our numbers, but we’d also take the overall team to the next level.
3. We focused on learning just as much as winning. Each Friday every member of the Growth team sends out an email describing their wins and learnings for that week. I often find that the learnings that come from the team are more valuable than the actual wins because these are things that scale. Closing a deal is great, but one deal doesn’t scale all that well. Discovering something that is going to help us do things differently and go faster or be better helps all of us. We’ve created a culture where we know we’re not doing things perfectly and we’re always learning and finding ways to improve. That kind of collaborative sharing has been invaluable.
3. What do you look for when hiring for your team?
We try to write very specific job descriptions so that the candidates we interview line up really well with the requirements of the role. That said, there are some intrinsic qualities that we need to see before we’ll make an offer. Specifically, those things are grit, curiosity, humility and adaptability. People that have these traits will thrive on the Growth team.
4. Where do you see PatientPing a year from now?
We’re going to stay focused on our mission of connecting providers to seamlessly coordinate patient care. That means more markets, more provider segments, and more providers collaborating to improve outcomes. That said, with the hiring of Dave Rodger (our Head of Product) I think 2018 will also bring lots great product enhancements centered around creating deeper and more meaningful connections between providers. Don’t want to give it all away, but some great stuff is coming soon!
5. What is something you learned that you wish you knew when you first started?
There are a lot of things! One important thing I’ve picked up over the years is developing a willingness to be wrong and admit your mistakes. One of our investors, Marc Andreessen, refers to this as “strong opinions loosely held.” To me this means that you should be passionate about the work you’re doing and the way you’re doing it and believe you’re on the right path, but at the same time be totally open to being wrong and quickly changing course. This is especially important in startups. There’s no roadmap. It hasn’t been figured out yet. That’s why you’re creating value. I’ve found that high performers are willing to take the risk of being wrong and willing to be candid about it. If you’re not willing to be wrong, it’s very hard to be right about the things that matter.