It’s not uncommon for a successful device or drug to face competitive resistance from others on a mission to take it down. Brian Meshkin, former founder and CEO of Proove Biosciences and keynote speaker at the 10x Medical Device Conference, shared his story of how he lost the tumultuous fight to save his company and what he learned through it all.
Now as Managing Partner of Profound Ventures, Brian shared some valuable insights to attendees as he reflected on how he might have better protected Proove – one of the fastest growing companies in North America on the Inc. 500 and Deloitte Technology Fast 500 lists – from unexpected threats.
1. Accept the financial help in the beginning. Push aside your concerns about being diluted. Even if you, as the business owner, don’t need the additional support, the financial resources may provide the capital cushion later to overcome unanticipated challenges without wiping you out.
2. Split up key internal operation components. Having everything in-house and under one umbrella means that when one aspect of the business gets attacked, to remedy the situation everything has to go. If the business components exist as separate units (i.e. IT, lab, research), it may be possible keep business going while you figure out how to replace the damaged entity.
3. Your public-facing position is powerful yet vulnerable. Defamatory claims can be cancerous to an emerging business, and sometimes, despite the best of intentions, business owners can face derogatory and misleading claims against them. Laws protecting business owners who are claimed “experts in their field” establish themselves legally as a “limited-use public figures.” When seen as such, business owners are less protected by public laws around defamation and slander. More advice; don’t keep quiet. Speaking up and defending yourself or your company is the best way to keep rumors at bay.