Want to Be More Productive? Fry Your Biggest Fish

Aaron Call
March 30, 2021

By focusing on key milestones in the product roadmap, MedTech executives can be more productive, avoid distractions, and get medical devices to market faster.

Countless articles and books have been devoted to the importance of time, some arguing that time is more important than money, health, and even relationships. As Forbes points out, “You can never lose time and get it back again. You can’t spend time and go earn more of it. You can’t buy it, rent it, or borrow it. Use it wisely and enjoy the benefits. Squander it, and it’s gone forever.”

Time management proves to be more critical for executives and entrepreneurs. These people are responsible for starting or growing a company; they have must-do lists miles long. For those under immense pressure to perform, using time wisely is the key to success both professionally as well as personally.  

I have learned throughout my career in working with MedTech leaders that one simple mantra helps them to maintain focus and use time in the most efficient way possible.

Fry your biggest fish.

The premise lies in the fact that when you focus on delivering that which is most critical to moving your product forward, you stay mission-driven and are more productive. Instead of distracting yourself with the small things – your competitors latest rebrand or a “nice to have” feature that a stakeholder mentioned – frying your biggest fish keeps the company on a trajectory for growth.

Here are 3 ways that executives can stay the course, focus on what’s most important, and use their time wisely.

Reject the Big Company Mentality

Start-ups can run into trouble when they compare themselves to big companies. Whether some team members come from larger organizations or are accustomed to a certain hierarchy, there can be an inclination to adopt the structure and processes of big business.

But in reality, MedTech creates so many successful startups because many of them don’t have to act like a big business. Instead, they are nimble and focused. They can be more productive because they don’t have a bureaucracy that weighs them down and slows progress. Instead, everyone is on the same ship, rowing towards a successful product launch.

When executives and their teams get mired in processes or structures that don’t serve them, they derail their most essential objectives.  They lose the strengths of a small company if they try to act like a larger business.

So instead, lean into the benefits that come with being a smaller company. It will help you keep your eye on what’s most important – the big “fish” that are still on your plate.

Don’t Let Perfect Get in the Way of Done

When a MedTech product is just getting off the ground, it’s tempting to try to do everything at once. Entrepreneurs and executives face a litany of distractions – endless market “what ifs”, competitor moves, or issues with the product.

Leaders in MedTech tend to have ambitious personalities to begin with. When I’m working with clients, I find that they often get caught in ensuring every tiny aspect of the product is perfect. And they miss the fact that scattered attention can slow the company’s progress.

The reality is that “perfect” is perception. Instead of chasing everything the product could be, executives should focus on what is necessary to get the product into the hands of stakeholders.

Early in my career, I developed a saying for start-ups that I still use all of the time: “Done is better than perfect.” If you start out trying to nail everything, you’ll end up getting nothing done.

Instead, you will be more productive when you focus on the things that will move the needle in your business. Identify what is truly important and put all of your energy towards that. For example, FDA clearance is an essential step in getting your product to the market. Hyper-focus on getting clearance with the right indication as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Save the “Extras” for Version 2.0

When it comes to developing the product itself, the “done over perfect” mentality doesn’t mean haphazard decision-making or ignoring red flags. Safety and efficacy are always fundamental. But it does mean that executives must resist erecting hurdles in the form of product distractions.

Product distractions are items that don’t add immediate value. Don’t get sidelined with issues like an added feature that one doctor mentioned during an interview. Trying to address every feature will weigh down progress. Instead, concentrate on commercialization milestones that get you closer to launch. You can always come back to added features at a later stage when you launch product version 2.0.

And not only does leaving extras for the next version help your team be more productive and get the core product to market faster, it gives your device time in the market. It allows you to to gather data figure out exactly which features will make the most impact. And there’s no doubt that real-time, in-market insights are the most valuable any company can get.

Fry Your Biggest Fish and Be More Productive

You only have so much time, so make it count. When it comes to getting your product to market, use your strengths as a start-up and focus on frying your biggest fish – executing on the key milestones in your product roadmap. When you are able to limit distractions and distill down to the tasks with the richest output, your ability to produce will skyrocket.

Jaunt works with MedTech start-ups, executives, and entrepreneurs to bring their innovations to market. Schedule your meeting with an expert today.

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