Simplify the business as much as possible, complexity can stifle growth
Today's Entrepreneur is Eric Gastfriend, founder and CEO of DynamiCare Health. DynamiCare Health is a digital platform that helps people monitor and reduce the use of drugs, opioids, alcohol, and tobacco.
Eric founded DynamiCare Health with his father, David R Gastfriend MD, an international expert in addiction psychiatry. Together they have raised funding, built a growing team, and built the product, which is now being used by treatment programs, academic research institutions, and health plans across the U.S.
Prior to DynamiCare Health, Eric was the General Manager of Happy Cloud, a cloud gaming startup, where he oversaw software development and business development, licensing its proprietary technology to large game publishers such as Warner Bros.
Eric holds an MBA from Harvard University and an International Relations degree from Brown University.
Why did you choose to be an entrepreneur?
Eric: I want to have a big positive impact on the world, and entrepreneurship is one way to do that. I love technology and coding, but I hate debugging, so I decided the business side of tech is more for me!
What is your favorite startup?
Eric: Wave -- they offer no-fee money transfers to countries in Africa. It's great to see disruption benefitting people at the bottom of the economic pyramid.
Why did you start your current company?
Eric: My father, Dr. David Gastfriend, is a national expert in addiction psychiatry. He told me that there are effective, evidence-based interventions that can address the opioid epidemic, but they aren't being used. I realized that we had the opportunity to change that.
What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?
Eric: The hardest part is that you have a lot of stress and responsibility, and it can create a lot of emotional pressure. The most rewarding thing is seeing the impact that our product has on our customers.
What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs make?
Eric: Working hard in the wrong direction. The entrepreneurial drive is usually to "go go go," but some careful strategic planning can save you a lot of misplaced effort.
What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur?
- The idea for the company is very important, and hard to change.
- Simplify the business as much as possible -- complexity can stifle growth.
- Give a good balance of both supportive and critical feedback to your team. It's essential for improvement.
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DynamiCare Health is a digital platform that helps people monitor and reduce the use of drugs, opioids, alcohol, and tobacco. DynamiCare empowers people to perform substance tests through our app anytime, anywhere, through connected breath and saliva tests verified by selfie video. The app can also track treatment attendance using GPS, creating accountability and encouragement. Family members, employers, and health plans can leverage financial support through our platform as rewards for healthy behavior. The platform automates an evidence-based methodology that has been demonstrated to be effective in over 100 randomized controlled trials. DynamiCare Health was founded in 2016 by Eric Gastfriend, Harvard MBA tech executive, and his father, David Gastfriend MD, an international expert in addiction psychiatry.