There comes a point in every startup’s existence where you have to decide if it is viable or not. We realized last year that FairCareMD, while an interesting idea, had failed to achieve financial success. To remedy this we embarked on a significant redesign that enables anyone anywhere to request a price, an appointment, or ask a question to any doctor in America. This, we believed, would quickly sort the doctors who wanted to participate from ones who would never be on FairCareMD and vastly reduce our cost of sales. Test marketing was very favorable. We finally had it ready to go, everything was great, but when we loaded it it crashed the servers. As it turns out, if we want version 3 to work as planned, we need to spin up a bunch more serves. Unfortunately, on our current hosting provider that is very expensive and switching hosts is expensive. Furthermore we need to make the calls that version 3 is already generating even in the scaled down version we have up on the site.
(Just in case you were unaware, FairCareMD is owned only by the founders, not some big company or investor group, so the pockets are not deep.)
So we did what any self respecting entrepreneurs would do, we put the project on Kickstarter, or we tried to at least. They didn’t want it because they do not accept healthcare projects. So we set up our own crowdfunding site called MedStartr.com and put FairCareMD on it. Check out the project, embedded below.
As you can see, very few people have funded the project. So I can only conclude that the world does not want or need price transparency for healthcare. Sure, Politicians, news anchors and the papers talk about it a great deal, but when you get right down to it, people have insurance or they don’t get care. As a result, FairCareMD appears to have no market to make for main stream medicine. The doctors are afraid of this unknown territory. The patients think “what is wrong with the doctor to be on FairCareMD?” At the end of the day it has been an interesting experiment and I have learned a great deal. One key fact I have learned is that entrepreneurs should test market with paid versions, not free ones, to get real reactions. This is one of the many aspects of Crowd funding that makes perfect sense now – get people to vote with their wallets to validate your idea, not just their mouths.
Thank you for reading and for your support. The blog will continue but we will likely pack up the FairCareMD main site or spin it down to one server this week if we don’t see some traction on our the above project or obtain outside investment. If you have an interest, we are open to suggestions. Just call (954) FAIR-CARE.