Entrepreneurship requires time, patience, and often, humility. That is the philosophy of Robbie Cape ’93, the CEO and co-founder of 98point6, a Seattle-based startup focused on finding solutions in primary healthcare.
Cape, who sold his first company, Cozi, in 2014, believes the key to running a good business often involves changing one’s initial assumptions.
“It’s a very different approach from other people I know who start businesses,” Cape said. “They have a thing that they believe should be built, they do a little research to convince themselves, and then they go build their thing.”
For Cape, specifying his business’s focus is a more gradual process. He notes how Cozi, an organizational website and mobile app, grew from an extended period of research. “The research that we did in the first six months of the company is what ended up honing us into the decision to focus on families,” he said.
“We researched consumers broadly,” Cape added. “We allowed that learning to organically guide where we focused the company.”
By 2014, Cozi had grown to include over 14 million users, and was ultimately sold to Time Inc.
Now, Cape hopes to replicate his success, using a similar approach to 98point6. The startup, founded in 2015, seeks to alleviate inefficiencies in primary care by connecting physicians to patients via a text-messaging service.
Cape believes that technology trends already reflect a shift toward on-demand, internet-based medical care. “Eighty percent of people begin their medical journeys on Google,” Cape said. “Five percent of every Google search that happens every day is health care related.”
Cape said his company’s service, which follows a subscription-based model and comes in the form of a mobile app, is geared towards users of various ages and demographics. “People are doing this every day, and not just 20-somethings,” he said. “People have been turning to technology to solve their medical needs for a number of years, because that technology is accessible to them.”
Cape, who began his career in 1993 as a program manager at Microsoft, has long-inhabited the tech world. Though he said he always wanted to run his own business, Cape believes his time working for a large company was indispensable.
“Before you go build a company you have to learn how to build a company,” Cape said.
His advice for upcoming entrepreneurs: “Go take a job in an industry for three years. Soak it all up, be a sponge, learn everything you have to learn. Meet hundreds and hundreds of people. Then go do what you want to be doing for the rest of your life, which is building a business.”