May 29, 2023

Episode 281: Troy Bannister, Founder of Particle Health

Troy Bannister is the Founder of Particle Health, shaping the new standard for healthcare data exchange with a user-friendly API platform. After spending 15 years in healthcare in multiple capacities — as an EMT, medical student, clinical researcher, and early-stage investor — Troy found a disturbing gap in patient rights & paper processes the digital solutions could fill. Troy is incredibly optimistic about the future, particularly as it relates to legislation and emerging data standards.

Past experience: Mount Sinai Health System, StartUp Health, IEEE, and a graduate of Georgetown University.

Julian:Hey everyone, this is Julian with Behind Company. Lines. Thank you for joiningus today. We are interviewing Troy Bannister, founder of Particle Health.Particle is shaping the new standard for healthcare data exchange with auser-friendly API platform. Troy, I'm so excited to chat with you. Especiallyas we were talking before the show is, a lot of people have a similar problem,and it's crazy that it expands, across socioeconomic status.

Even like politicalstatus or, or what have you, is, is, this, this. Challenge to get access toinformation or even for people to communicate within this healthcare industry.And really, I'm, I'm curious to see how you're bringing that informationtogether, how you're creating the access so that people can really, utilize,the information that they have, but also get better care and all the positiveresults from that.

But before, again,in all that, what were you doing before you started the company?  

Troy:Yeah. Before the company I guess going back, I, I, I've always been anentrepreneur. I started cleaning boats in high school. I lived on a littleisland outside of Seattle, and I kinda realized like, you know what? I don'thave to go to the grocery store and bag groceries all day.

I can kind of dowhatever I want if I start my own business. Yeah. So I learned that early. ButI ended up falling in love with medicine. I worked in an ambulance for a while,ended up going to med school, clinical research, and then was in venturecapital before starting Particle.  

Julian:Yeah. What and what brought you to that experience? What in particular abouthealthcare was, was fascinating and, and wanted you to pursue it because as anentrepreneur, it's not necessarily the, the most attractive in terms of ascalability or growth standpoint. So, yeah. Why in particular washealthcare?  

Troy: Ithink it's a combination of how hard and complicated it is. It's, there's justa never ending maze of things to learn. Yeah. And then the, the second side ofit is the actual impact on human lives. Yeah, like when I was, I worked in anambulance for four years and I was with people during the worst moments oftheir life. And having the ability to change that for them and, and give themhope and give them a way to continue living their life was a very magicalthing, right.

It's, it's amazing.And I thought, man, if you can do that at scale with technology, that's that'ssomething worth spending time on.  

Julian:Yeah, and, and obvious. I, I think, we think about healthcare as a huge, robustmachine and it's hard to kind of create change, but there's a lot of changecoming not only with what you're working on, but with a lot of healthcare fortechnology companies.

And what inparticular are you seeing in terms of these founders or these, these products,overcoming the challenge of this kind of like, legacy industry that's had allthese systems for so long.  

Troy:So we're, I think we're set to spend something like 4 trillion on US healthcarethis year, like insane amounts of money.

And still we havesome of the worst health outcomes in the world. Infant mortality is like very,very low. And the cost of care is very, very high. So why is that? There's aton of inefficiencies and there's a lot of systems in place that are really oldand very hard to change. All these entrepreneurs that are coming to the table,and there's many, many new, startups in the healthcare space.

They're all tryingto figure out what these inefficiencies are and try to solve for them one byone. And so from my perspective, one of the core inefficiencies in healthcareis the inability to share information. Yeah. There's no internet forhealthcare, right? There's no one stop shop to go collect.

Information on aperson. And because of that, we have to fill out a chart, a piece of paperevery time we go to the doctor. And we have to get the same lab test two weeksin a row because they can't get the results from A to B. There's justinefficiencies everywhere because of, of information sharing problems.

So to me informationsharing is the core issue of healthcare. And if you can fix it it kind of flipseverything upside down.  

Julian:Yeah. And who's seeking out this information? Obviously, when we think aboutdoctors and providers, but it kind of, within this ecosystem, who, who doesthis really affect in terms of this access to information?

Cause obviously itaffects the patient, but there's gotta be more to it.  

Troy:So my hypothesis is that because hospitals, EMRs, the software that hospitalsrun on and insurance companies have all the data. Everybody has to build thingsfor them. They have to build technologies for them because their, the data'sbuilt on on those technologies.

If you can take thedata outside of the payers and the providers and the EMRs and give it toentrepreneurs, they'll start building things for people, not for largeinsurance companies, not for multi-state, health systems. They'll build thingsfor people, and we actually saw something really similar happen in the financeindustry.

Mm-hmm. 10 yearsago you could move $5 from your bank account to $5 at your friend's bankaccount, but it was really hard. You had to like log into your bank account andinitiate a wire and like fi, like it had like a 99 cent or $5 fee to theexchange. Yeah. Then a company came around called Plaid, and some people don'tknow plaid, but plaid connected all the banks together, built aninfrastructure.

And guess whathappened? We got Venmo, we got, yeah, we got Robinhood. And all of a sudden,instead of building a data exchange tool between two banks we built a dataexchange tool for consumers and everybody loved it. And it worked really well,and it solved a ton of problems. Yeah. So the hypothesis is if you can get thedata outside of the incumbents and healthcare and give it to entrepreneurs,they're not gonna build things for the incumbents anymore.

Yeah. They're notgonna fall into those inefficiencies. They're gonna fall into a new paradigm.Consumer-oriented healthcare.  

Julian:Yeah. And thinking about, obviously, I would love for you to kind of walkthrough Particle Health and what particular, the, the, the product does, butalso how rich is that data that you're collecting?

Is it, are the datapoints giving us the information we need? And is it, is it easy or is itchallenging to categorize them? Because I always think you're like, once youcan categorize something and kind of conceptualize it, keep it organized. Thenyou can utilize it. But it seems like maybe somebody, everyone has their own system.

Troy:No, you're totally right about that. So we do get a ton of data. I, on averagewe find 155 unique files per patient we search for. Wow. Yeah. So like, we geta full, full bundle of info and this contains your diagnoses of your past andyour lab results, and your vital signs and your medications and your allergies,and, All the unstructured doctor notes, we get all of it, we get all that data.

In fact, ourcustomer's biggest complaint is, this is too much data. I don't know what to dowith it. So then the next question is, okay, now you have access to it. How doI then make it usable? And to your point, first thing you need to do is youhave to structure it and organize it and like label it.

Tag it. Yeah. Thereare some standards in healthcare that people follow. It's called fire. Itstands for Fast Healthcare Interoperability resources, and it's basically a wayto structure healthcare data around a person. Not everybody follows it though.There's still a ton of variability. So at Particle we had to build a datatransformation pipeline.

That took all thatvariability and turned out one unified record that was the same every singletime. So every single one of our customers doesn't have to deal with thatvariability anymore. They just get one standardized set per patient.  

Julian:Yeah. And to get the weed of, of the technology a little bit. What, what areyou, you're kind of building this, this aggregate that collects thisinformation from all these different platforms.

How do you buildsomething that you know for, for those that don't know, that connects with allthese other really disparate technologies slash softwares that people areusing? Is it partnering with, the, the, the, those solution companies or the,the clinics? Where do you go and how do you build, or is the information outthere and it's just up to someone to, to start putting it together and, and makingit make sense?

Troy:We tried a lot of different, Avenues of this and finally found one that worked.And so what we ended up doing is thanks to some new regulation and policy wewere able to go to the EMRs and connect into them, and they technically couldn'tsay no to us. There's a rule called anti information blocking, and basicallylike it sounds, it doesn't let the EMRs block access to information anymore.

They used to do ita lot and they still do it a lot, don't get me wrong. But because of that rule,we were able to go connect with them and start building our network of networksat, at the end of the day. Yeah. And so through that we now have access toabout 310, 320 million Americans records.

Julian:Wow. And then describe just like the challenges, thinking about HIPAA andcompliance and all those things that you have to really kind of, I guess evenplan for, manage bring other securities and technologies. How much is that partof the building process and how important do you have to like, maintain andstay on top of whether it's new updates or breaches or things like that?

Troy:Yeah, I think from a security and compliance standpoint we've had to invest aton. We have to do good. All the certifications, SOC two, high trust. I mean,these things take years and lots of money to do. Yeah. Yeah. There's no wayaround it. It just is very expensive and time consuming, but you have to do itand you wanna do it right?

Like in order to belike a real player in the healthcare space, you have to like be top 1% insecurity and compliance. Yeah. As it relates to hipaa, the funny thing aboutthat, the P in HIPAA stands for portability. People think it stands forinteresting privacy. People think it stands for privacy.

The HIPAA wasintended to, to make healthcare records portable. And when they say portable,they mean if you go to a doctor, you should be able to get all of them to thatdoctor super, super easily with no problem. That was the point of hipaa. And soit didn't obviously happen. People did not make data portable and there's a lotof reasons why.

Since hipaa, whichwas in the eighties I think it was, or nineties I think it was Clinton, thatthat. Created hipaa. There's been more rules that have further defined thatportability piece. The most recent one is the one I was just referring to, antiinform blocking. And that is kind of like, it's an addition to HIPAA in manyways.

Yeah. So when, whenyou say, do we have to consider HIPAA at Particle? We are hipaa, like we arethe digital, we are the digital, digital manifestation of hipaa. It's a way forconsumers to make their data portable via technology. And so like, we're notbreaking hipaa, we are championing HIPAA at, yeah.  

Julian:Yeah. Wow. I, yeah, I, I didn't know. I actually worked at a pharmacy for likesix years as an independent pharmacy. So like the intimacy between HIPAA andcomplex, I wasn't aware. Now I'm wondering about what I learned in those sixyears. About, about, the, the, the portability, but it makes sense because it'slike a standardization, access and, and, and record keeping.

And it keepsreally, the, the goal, at least from from what I understand is, is to be ableto share that information. But you know, like you mentioned, it wasn't itwasn't necessarily fulfilled. And I'm curious, and I would love to hear yourresponse to this in regards to like regulations and policies and a lot of thesethings that come out.

It seems likehealthcare founders. They have like a, a love-hate relationship for them insome ways. Like it grants them access and kind of protects them in, in otherways. It limits them. What's your relationship as, as, these policies come outand, and has, do, is there any, I guess, risk at which you foresee something,putting, putting a, a barrier in front of your company?

Troy: Ithink the intent behind regulations is always great. The practical applicationof regulations is never great. In fact, like look at HIPAA as an example,right? It was meant to make data more portable and exchangeable, but organizationsused it to lock data down and hide data. It was, it's a scapegoat.

And I think yourtime at the pharmacy is, is a common thing, right? Where the people that managethat pharmacy were probably saying something along the lines of, no, no, no,no, no, no. Don't share that data. It will violate hipaa. But at the end of theday, it's actually violating HIPAA not to share it. People don't really get it.

So the intentbehind regulations are good, but the rollout's never that great. Informationblocking is a really interesting one. It's new and it's pretty straightforward.It's basically saying if a patient requests their record through a technicallyfeasible way, you have to return it. And even though that's a rule and a lottoday, you still can't do it.

An interestingfact. When we run a thousand queries through API requested by doctors, we getabout a 90% response rate from all these EMRs. If you switch those doctors outwith patients or consumers requesting their own record, we have a 0% response rate.The only thing changing is the person requesting it.

You requesting itfor yourself, or a doctor requesting it on your behalf. So this is where we aretoday. There's a rule that says Don't block info. But they're full on totalcarte blanche blocking data today.  

Julian:Yeah. Yeah. It's fascinating. And also thinking about, In, in terms of howthis, how your product works.

I'm curious becauseit, it all makes sense, granting a, creating a better infrastructure to collectdata, to distribute it, to understand. But who are your customers? Are they,individuals who are seeking out their information? Are there providers that areseeking out the ability to communicate with one another?

It seems like it's,it's, it's it. Yeah, I'm just so curious who your customers are.  

Troy:Yeah, so our customers are, I would call them non-traditional healthcareplayers. So they're not hospital systems but they are diabetes apps withproviders or telemedicine or care coordination platforms.

There's a lot ofthese companies out there that are kind of adjacent to the traditionalhealthcare system and need to get plugged into it somehow. And so if you if youdownload an app and you have like a, a diabetes, provider or coach or somethingon the other side, they need to know what your A1C level's on.

They need to knowwhat medications you're on. They need to know what other conditions you have.And the best way of doing it today is, Hey, can you fill out a three page. Formand Yeah. Typically you either don't fill it out or you fill it out wrong oryou don't go take the, the trouble to go into your medicine cabinet and writedown exactly the name of the medication.

There's so manyproblems with that. Yeah. Plus it's not real time, right? Like, we can updatethat application every time you go to a doctor and say, Hey, a new encounterjust happened. There's new information available. So this like more digital,systematized, virtual world of healthcare that's growing really, really fast.

Doesn't have a wayto connect with a traditional healthcare system and we solve that problem forthem.  

Julian:So smart. So smart to, to partner with those companies who have the incentiveto get better information to actually service their customers. That's, that's areally smart play cuz I can see as, as that kind of expands and partner, it'skind of almost like a channel partner at, at some point in time.

Right? Theycontinue to expand and grow the product and Yeah. How has that relationshipbeen with, working with, I'm sure like a small cohort of customers and really.Going through the idea, what are some things that, you know, you, you builtthat weren't used as much as you thought or expected?

And what are somethings that you didn't expect to incorporate into the product? That, that'sthere now?  

Troy: Imean, when I started I thought that if I built an API where you put insomeone's name and got all their records back, I'd like retire. I was like,this is like, this is like the best, this is like the biggest problem inhealthcare.

But then peop,customers were like, well, it's, it's good, but you're passing me back 155different files and I don't know where the medication is in them. So then wehad to spend another year like standardizing the data and, and now I'm like,okay, we're, we're ready to retire now. And then the customers are like, okay,wait, I'm really glad that you're standardizing the data, but I'm still like, Istill need to get a list of medications and I want, to be able to filter themby date.

And I want tofilter them by a condition type. So like, okay, so we have to build some morefunctionality. Now we're getting to the point where customers are like, okay,the data's really good. It's concise, it's filtered, it's clean, it'sstandardized, but I want some analytics on top of it. I want you to providelike a risk score or a predictive analytics.

So now we're likeinto this new world of AI ML insights. Yeah, so like, I don't, the good thingis you move up the value chain, right? Every time. Every time you add a newlayer of value. But the bad part is like, there's just no bottom to this. Yeah.You just keep building better and better and better forever.

Julian:Yeah. Yeah. And, and how do you kind of plan for that as a, as a founder seeingthat, the, the, the target, it, it gets hit. Sometimes it changes and, and it'svery dynamic being that, like you said, it, it could always be a better tooland, and contribute more to the clients that, that you're seeing.

I'm sure even addclients that, that you haven't even thought about.  

Troy:So I think there's three ways Particle grows. Number one is get access todifferent types of data. We've got really good coverage on EMR data today, butthere's also pharmacy data, claims data, iot, genomics, social determinants. Wewanna go get all that data and package it cleanly around one person.

The second strategyis more advanced analytics and insights like AI is obviously having its boommoment right now, and we want to leverage that. You know what's. What if youcould ask our API a question about a patient and we could go pull, hundreds ofthose, those records and it could answer that question based on all that datathat we find.

That's like areally interesting kind of like, analytics angle that is in vogue right now,but should persist for a while. Yeah. Yeah. And then the, the last strategy isgive access to more stakeholders. One I never really thought of is lifeinsurance. Yes. I didn't know a ton about life insurance, but every time you gosign up for a life insurance policy, they have to go collect your medicalrecords.

They have to makesure you're not gonna like die tomorrow. And so that is done by fax machinetoday. And so we can offer a solution to the problems like that, by the way,very large industry, like billions and billions of dollars to, to go after inthat, that space too. So there's, there's like three strategies that I think wecan go after to to grow a lot more.

Julian:Yeah. And along with Particle Health, is anybody else doing something likethis?  

Troy:Yes, but in different flavors. Yeah. Describe, as you can imagine, healthcare'sreally big, right? So there's a lot of different angles you can go after. Yeah.You can go target EMRs, you can target digital health companies.

You can targettraditional hospital systems. I think the definition in, in my perspective of acompetitor is fighting over the same customers. Like if you have the exact sameproduct, but you're both going after different customers, you're notcompetitors, you're not competing for anything. So, as the market maturesParticle and, and other similar companies have, are I think finding their ownniches to go fit into.

Julian:Yeah, yeah. And anyone in particular, I guess, I guess in regards to the, the,the niche you're targeting, what makes you confident about, how you're pursuingthat and, and in when there's just kind of a, a blue sea of, of opportunity outthere?  

Troy:Our differentiation and really our North Star Particle is we think of data asour products.

We don't have a U IX, right? You don't, as a doctor, you can't log into Particle and like look atmedical records. We're not gonna build a u uiux. Our, our data is our product.That's where we're differentiated. That's where we're better than everybody,and I think we can keep doubling, tripling, quadrupling down on that because itworks really well.

Julian:Yeah. Yeah. And just thinking about, obviously we, we talked about the, the,the, the company, we talked about the product. We talked about some in,exciting partnerships that you have so far. But tell us a little bit more aboutthe traction, you've seen as you've been building up to this point.

And then what inparticular are you excited about the next milestone for Particle?  

Troy:So, I think API companies have some really good benefits to them. I think oneis when you implement an api, it can take a couple months. It's very sticky.Because it's expensive for that customer now to rip out that API and find analternative or do it themselves.

So once you land acustomer with an api, they're usually sticking around for a while. Number twois as that customer grows, so does the usage of the API and so does ourrevenue. So we see a really good net revenue retention number, which is reallyimportant for an API company. And then the third thing is we can keepinnovating behind the api and.

It doesn't impactthe customer. What I mean by that is if they're pulling, I'm just gonna makethis up, medication data into their system from Particles api and we do amassive update on our systems behind the API and we now produce, I'm just gonnamake this up, but like a medication and adherence risk score.

Mm-hmm. They don'thave to do anything other than just call the API differently and get the riskscore now so we can keep getting better and better value to our customerswithout them having to buy something new or download a new app or, Retrain on anew tool. It's just easy to update and, and improve as we go with ourcustomers.

So, it's, it's, Ithink API companies are, are special in that, in that way.  

Julian:Yeah. Yeah. I, I think I asked it earlier, but just thinking about whether it'sit's macro or external or internal, what are some of the biggest risks that youthink Particle Health faces today?  

Troy:So I mentioned earlier to today we can, we, we have a really good response ratefor providers requesting data.

And a 0% responserate for consumers requesting their own data. I think in order for Particle torealize it's true vision, we have to be able to get consumers to be able toaccess their own data. And the hard part is it's not in our control. We, we donot have much like oversight on, on enforcing these regulations that existtoday.

And so there's,there's a lot of work we can do to influence and champion and advocate forpatient rights of access of their data. But we can't just like go force thebiggest corporations in healthcare to go turn on, turn it on and respond to us.Yeah. So I think the biggest risk for Particle is it's not an if, I thinkconsumers will have the right to access their data at some point in time.

The rules of therules of the laws, the law. But when is the question, is it gonna be tomorrow?Is it gonna be next year? Is it five years? Is it 10 years? Yeah. How long dowe have to wait to allow consumers to access their data? I was just in DC alllast week meeting with legislators and policy makers and committees andsenators and representatives because I was trying to understand, a, do theyeven know what's going on, which most of them don't.

And then b, what dowe do to get this happening? Like, how, who do I have to talk to? Like, whathas to happen? Yeah. And so it's, it's frustrating because I've been buildingthis company for five years on the promise of giving consumers the access thatthey were. They deserve. Yeah. But have not been able to do it so far.

Julian:Yeah. And, and, what would you propose, as is it a partnership? Is it a pieceof legislation? Is it a piece of technology that needs to, be upgraded? What,what do you think would give you the opportunity to do that?  

Troy:It's enforcement of the rule. Mm. So like the, the law is set today.

Don't block accessto consumers, but nobody's getting punished for it right now. Yeah, if they, ifso under, so under in the government, there's, there's hhs, health and HumanServices, and under HHS are two groups. The Office of the National Coordinatorof Health, O N C. Mm-hmm. And then the ocr, the Office of Civil Rights.

The Office of CivilRights is the group that's supposed to be enforcing and, and making sure thatthese rules are in place because it's your civil right to access your ownhealthcare data. Yeah. But today they're not doing it. They're just, they don'thave the funding or the prioritization to go after this.

Julian:Yeah, yeah. If, if everything does go well, what's the long-term vision forParticle Health?  

Troy:Consumer access will change everything. Like I talked to you in the beginningof this, right? Like, I want to know what the Venmo of healthcare will be, whatthe mental healthcare will, what the crypto of healthcare ob Yeah.

Like cryptowouldn't exist without plaid probably to the extent that it does. And I'm notsaying we do crypto for healthcare, but what like parallel big, amazing thingcan we do in healthcare that, that we can't even imagine right now, that someentrepreneur wants to build and can't build without Particle?

That's what I wannasee. Yeah. I have, I have to see what's on the other side.  

Julian:Yeah. Yeah. And, and, and I'm sure you will, and it, and it's fascinating tothink about the parallels between those because it is just flipping theparadigm of. Who, who's being incentivized? Who's being built? The technology'sbeing, being built towards who has access to that information.

If everyone wantsaccess, their access to their own for information, to opt in or out of whateverprogram at will that have the freedom of that choice. And then also to havethe, the, the tech technological efficiency of modern technology and kind of,we're all used to just a, a high degree of usability from, now from our, ourrefrigerator.

I'm, I'm, I don'thave one, but like, you can have a live stream of your, it's in your fridgeright at the grocery store. But that ease of technology is, is incredible. Andpeople are really kind of fighting for it in, in all industries, which isexciting. I like this next section I'll call my founder faq.

So I'm gonna hityou with some rapid fire questions and we'll see where we get. So firstquestion I always like to I always like to open it up with is what'sparticularly hard about your job day-today?

Troy: Ithink the hardest part is making, making hard decisions quickly. Yeah. Whilesimultaneously building consensus and understanding across the team.

And what I mean bythat is if, we're interviewing for, I'm just gonna make this up head ofengineering and we end up finding another candidate that is really, reallygood, but a VP level engineer. Yeah. And we wanna make that higher becausethey're, they're just a really good opportunistic hire.

And we have to makethat decision quickly and then we do it. There might be someone on the teamthat was like, wait a minute, I wanted that job. Right? Yeah. And you have todo what's best for the business, even to your own detriment. Right. And to thatpoint, I actually just hired a new CEO last week to replace me.

And, and it'sbecause I know it's better for the business. And so I'm, I'm still don't get,we can go down this rabbit hole if you want, but  

Julian:yeah, let's do it. I, I'm curious.  

Troy:You have to, you have to put, you have to put the, your, the company first in,in, in all things. And some people like they have different weight on, ondifferent pieces of the puzzle.

Yeah, yeah. So youhave to like, understand people. You have to be empathetic to people. You haveto be a colleague to people, but you also have to make really hard decisions,and that's hard sometimes, man.  

Julian:Yeah. Yeah. And I'm curious because from, from, my experience, titles are justkind of general descriptions and definitions of responsibilities,accountabilities for, for an individual within a company.

Yep. How, how does,how does your day-to-day change and, and what's exciting? Because obviously youwould do it if it benefits the business, if you see a lot of progress. What'sexciting about this recent shift in in leadership and I guess, in, in in termsof, who's kind of at the forefront?

Troy:Well, I mentioned earlier, like my mission when I started this company was, canyou put someone's name in our API and get all their medical records back? Andwe, we did it. It's done. It's working really, really well. And the company'sin a great spot. This is a great time to say what's our next mission?

And the nextmission is ai ML analytics, insights, that whole world, that's not something Iam an subject matter expert in. Yeah. So why would I hamstring this business bysaying, I'm gonna be the leader of this business. I'm gonna learn 1 0 1 onthis, and just. Go, everyone's gonna move as slowly as I move, versus I'm gonnastep a little bit outta the way and bring someone in.

That's a freakingrockstar in this stuff. And so that's what I did. And like, you gotta swallowsome pride a little bit, but at the same time, to your earlier question, itallows me to now take a step back and do the stuff I love doing and that I'mreally good at. Yeah. And now I get to spend a hundred percent of my time doingthat stuff.

Which is, yeah,which is great.  

Julian:Yeah. How, how, last question on this this, this this topic, but how was thatkind of process for you kind of going through it? Was, was this proposed toyou? Did you think about it yourself? And, and once you kind of had this ideathat there needed to be a shift in leadership, what, what, what what made youconfident in the person that, that you ended up hiring?

Troy:So, like, as a first time founder, I was always. Sharing and a lot with theboard and I was very transparent and honest with the board and I respect thehell out of my board. We have a really good group of people that are supersmart, been around the block many, many times. So like I listen to them and I,I trust them a lot and I think part of that conversation, what has been for awhile, like at some point I'm just probably not the best person on planet Earthto.

Take Particle from,where it is today, all the way to, to the, to the moon. Yeah. There's probablysomebody else out there that's better at getting us to the moon than me at somepoint in time. And that time kind of came right, like we, we finished ourmission. We're we, we land, we're, we're, we're kinda like hitting our numbers.

We're in a goodspot, and that's a better time to make a transition than when things are goingbadly. Yeah, and I kind of got a little, I got a little whiff in the air thatlike, six months, nine months, 12 months from now, I might not be, I might bethe bottleneck to this. Sure. This company. Sure.

Yeah. And so beforethat happens, I would much rather, proactively, peacefully, transparently, andrespectfully make a transition.  

Julian:Yeah. Yeah. It's awesome to hear how kind of it, it, and, and like you said,you kind of hear this transition and a lot of people, maybe because it's duringwhen, when there's hard times with companies think about it as, as a negative,but really, learning about your experience through it.

It's such apositive in a way that, this person picks up, where in this direction of thisparticular subject matter and expertise. And then in terms of, using yourstrong suits, I think. I feel like for a lot of founders who continue on withtheir companies that they're building have this kind of mindset of, of puttingpeople in place u utilizing the right skills and really kind of almost crankingit up to, to the highest degree to get the most out of, people and, and it'sjust an awesome scene.

Troy:Yeah. I think like in order to be a successful founder, you have to be a littlebit crazy, right. And I think the core of that crazy is. I can fucking, oh,excuse me. I can't swear, can I?  

Julian:No, you're good.  

Troy:Okay. The, the, the core of the crazy is I am the person that can do this. I ama hundred percent confident that I'm gonna get this company all the way.

And if you don'thave that confidence, you're not gonna be successful. So that is now counter tothe concept of hiring someone better than you. Yeah. And I think that's areally hard reconciliation for a lot of founders to make of the only reason Igot the company this far is cuz I'm the man. Versus I got the company this farbecause I'm the man, and now it's time to hand it over to somebody else becausethey're the new man.

Yeah. And, and Ithat's a hard thing to do. You have to swallow pride and you have to be reallyhonest with yourself. And sometimes you're probably wrong too. But I think alot of the times you're right too.  

Julian:Yeah. Yeah. You, you said you spent some time in venture and have you seen thistransition, go the opposite way and, and what, what would be your, your reasonswhy these things maybe don't pan out so successfully?

Troy:I've seen several founders get ousted by the board and yeah, then there's a maddash with a lot of friction to find a new ceo. And then the transition is bumpy,ugly, and has a bad outcome to it. I've seen in my lifetime one transition thatwas peaceful and was a smooth handoff and the company did well.

And so, that's asmall sample size. But I think if there's gonna be a transition where, which bythe way, I think most companies, I think it's very rare that the founder is theactually best person to be the CEO forever. Like, you look at the MarkZuckerbergs and the, the, the it's very rare.

And by the way,like even with, with Mark Zuckerberg, I wouldn't even call him like the trueCEO of the business. Like Cheryl Sanders came in there and like ran thefricking business. But I think it's, I think it's like so few and far betweenthat a founder is the right person to go all the way. And I think a lot of timesthey'll do it anyway, right?

Like they're gonnatake it all the way no matter what, but it's probably not the best pathforward.  

Julian:Yeah. Yeah. Thinking about, I love, I love asking this next question cause Ilove how founders extract knowledge out of anything that they ingest, whetherit's books or people who's, who would you say or what, what would you say hasimpacted or influenced you the most?

Troy: Ilove the hard thing about hard things.  

Julian:Yeah, I'm, I'm reading that, I'm listening to that now on audio. Yourbook?  

Troy:Yeah. Yeah. This is my favorite like startup business book. Yeah, it's got,like, I remember the first time I read it, I like dogeared like every otherpage. I was like, there's just so many little nuggets in here.

But the concept oflike peacetime, wartime is, was a really interesting one for me of like, thisis what a peacetime company looks like. This is what a wartime company lookslike, and kind of the tactics and strategies on how to, how to like switch backand forth when you need to.  

Julian:Yeah. Yeah. And anyone in, in particular, in your, your network, your circlementors, anyone in particular leave you with something that's kind of stuckwith you today as a founder?

Troy:That's a good question. I think there was as a first time founder in the earlydays, there was one piece of advice that I listened to very closely, and Ithink it worked well. That piece of advice was if you're early stage if youwant money, Ask for advice, and if you want advice, ask for money.

Yeah. And I thinkthat is a very true thing to leverage when you're in your kind of first phaseof building a business. Yeah, there's, there's an approach to investors andcustomers and other types of people that have, monetary exchange at the otherend on how to do that approach. And I think that adage is very true.

Julian:Yeah. Yeah. And it's, it's interesting cuz you, it kind of reminds me of when alot of founders will go through like the customer journey and go through a lotof customer interview calls. It's like they, they essentially want their, theirmoney eventually, but they're, they're enriched of experience of having thoseconversations, building technology through that kind of, accumulated data.

And also buildingthose relationships ends up being so profoundly more impactful as, as to yourbusiness. Than just, trying to build something and trying to pitch it and sellit and go through this whole process. It's such a learning and developmentalkind of, experience that, that is so cool.

Totally. Awesome,Troy, well, I know we're coming to the, close to the end of the show here, butI always like to ask, did we leave anything on the table? Any question I didn'task you that I should have? Anything we didn't talk about that, that you wantedto bring up? I'll, I'll leave a, I'll leave a second for your plugs and yourLinkedIn and stuff, but any topical thing that, that we missed here,  

Troy: Iwould just say if you want access to your medical records and you can't get it,file a complaint to the Office of Civil Rights.

Julian:Yeah. We'll, we'll broadcast that too. And actually it'll be in the show notes.Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I love that, Troy. Yeah. Good. Troy, it's been such apleasure learning about your experience as an entrepreneur, but also what,what. Crazy innovative idea Particle Health was, and its conception, but howyou've actually able to achieve your dream.

And in terms of,giving people access with one query of infor, with one query request to theirmedical information, medical records. And it's exciting to see where thecompany will go and how further, technology will add to its advancement. Andits, it's a benefit on, not only its clients, but it's, it's it's people and,and everything like that.

So, Troy, it's beensuch a pleasure. I hope you enjoyed yourself. And last little bit is where canwe find you? Where can we support you? Give us your LinkedIn's, Twitter's,where can we be a fan?  

Troy:Find me on LinkedIn, Troy Bannister Particle Health.  

Julian:Let's do it. Awesome, Troy. Such pleasure having you. Thank you for joining ustoday on Behind Company Lines.

Troy:Cool, thanks.  

Other interesting podcasts