Driving Disruption: Daniel Crittenden Of RevMed On The Innovative Approaches They Are Taking To Disrupt Their Industries

An Interview With Cynthia Corsetti

Create solutions with a diverse team from a range of industries and backgrounds. The RevMed team has backgrounds including materials management, orthopedic surgery, medical device and drug sales, software development, and capital markets.

In an age where industries evolve at lightning speed, there exists a special breed of C-suite executives who are not just navigating the changes but driving them. These are the pioneers who think outside the box, championing novel strategies that shatter the status quo and set new industry standards. Their approach fosters innovation, spurs growth, and leads to disruptive change that redefines their sectors. In this interview series, we are talking to disruptive C-suite executives to share their experiences, insights, and the secrets behind the innovative approaches they are taking to disrupt their industries. As part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Daniel Crittenden.

Daniel Crittenden is the CEO and Co-Founder of RevMed. He has a diverse educational background including a B Sc. in Computer Science from McGill University followed by the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. Daniel did a brief stint in software development programming video games, before working in capital markets at Investment bank Canaccord Genuity for a decade. After that, he was recruited to a family office in Miami where he worked briefly before jumping into the deep end of early-stage investments. Before RevMed, Daniel was CFO of one of the family office investments, taking it from seed-stage to over 140 employees, $30MM annual revenue and cash flow positive in under 3 years. Daniel has a passion for turning ideas into reality and is excited to prove this with RevMed.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive into our discussion about disruption, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

My background is in software programming and finance. I went to school for computer science and then received a CFA certification. I did a brief stint in software development programming video games, before working in capital markets at Investment bank Canaccord Genuity for a decade. After that, I moved to a family office in Miami where he worked briefly before jumping into the deep end on early-stage investments.

After learning about the healthcare industry’s problem with excess medical supplies/devices and the subsequent waste from another RevMed co-founder, we knew there was an opportunity to build a solution the industry desperately needed. We began working on the RevMed platform, a secure online marketplace connecting healthcare providers that allows them to purchase critical supplies, monetize excess inventory, and save money.

I like to say that I’ve transitioned from trading fractional ownership of companies to tangible medical goods instead.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Hospitals and ASCs deal with an excess of medical supplies and equipment for several reasons like over-ordering due to bulk purchase savings, inconsistent surgery scheduling creating challenges to purchase forecasting, hospital networks re-negotiating vendor contracts, physician departures, changes in vendor preference, and inadequate inventory management. RevMed stands out because we are taking a technology-focused, collaborative approach to solving this problem designed to maximize the return of money to providers for their excess.

Providers, for reasons mentioned above, are getting stuck with an excess of inventory and perfectly good equipment is getting wasted and expiring on shelves. The traditional options to offload excess supplies are lacking. Third-party resellers pay pennies on the dollar for supplies, so hospitals aren’t recouping any costs, and the effort often isn’t even worth it. This leads providers to donate supplies or simply throw them away.

Learning from first-hand accounts that many hospital systems don’t even bother selling to third-party resellers yet have millions of dollars of perfectly good supplies expiring worthless every year, compelled us to launch RevMed to improve this wastefulness.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Persistence is Paramount: Prospective clients will always tell you they want to work with you, but turning words into action is a completely different story. Many of our best clients took 6–12 months before they even listened to us. Now, they are thanking us for making the effort, and new clients are coming to us due to referrals from those same clients.

Passion for Problem Solving: In a sense, RevMed was created to solve a multi-billion dollar problem that the health industry needs help with. Learning just a subset of the issues faced by supply chain managers sparked a passion for me, leading to the creation of this company. It is a good thing I’m passionate because in any startup there are a multitude of problems that are faced every week — if not every day. You have to accept that mistakes will be made. The important thing is how we correct our actions to avoid making the same mistake twice!

Belief in the Mission: Leading any company is hard work. If you don’t truly believe what you are doing should happen and must happen, your motivation will falter and the company will likely fail. At RevMed, I wake up every day with the belief that we are truly changing healthcare for the better, and without this belief, the other traits above wouldn’t matter!

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. Let’s begin with a basic definition so that all of us are on the same page. In the context of a business, what exactly is “Disruption”?

For me, “disruption” means an innovation that shakes up an industry or market. I think it’s looking at opportunities and needs within an industry and taking a different approach to find a solution; challenging conventional wisdom to do things differently than the status quo.

How do you perceive the role of ‘disruption’ within your industry, and how have you personally embraced it? Is it a necessity, a strategy, or something else entirely in your view?

Innovation is critical in any industry. Especially within the healthcare industry, these last few years have been extremely challenging for providers. The COVID-19 pandemic caused tremendous stress on the industry, providers, staff, and the supply chain, exacerbating many of the issues hospitals face operationally and financially. Health systems, hospitals and ASCs are struggling. That stress can affect patient care, which is the last thing providers want.

Many people don’t realize the true scale of the medical supplies and devices wasted in the US. The cost is enormous. Sometimes hospitals themselves don’t realize to the full extent how much money is being wasted on excess supplies, as many don’t have a system in place to track those excess and unused supplies. It’s an aspect of the industry that has yet to be comprehensively addressed. There are non-profit groups who are working to collect unused supplies and redistribute them, which addresses the waste aspect but doesn’t address recouping expenses.

The only way to help our healthcare system improve and be beneficial for both providers and patients is for innovations and disruptions to continue happening.

What lessons have you learned from challenging conventional wisdom, and how have those lessons shaped your leadership style?

I’ve learned the hard way that while change is often good and necessary, it doesn’t come without challenges. There is an inherent “fear of the unknown” when people are presented with a unique way of doing things. I am not sure it has changed my leadership style per se but it has certainly made me realize that it takes a lot more work than expected to get things off the ground. That said, I look at this as a time investment that, if done right, will pay dividends in the future. If we do our job correctly at RevMed, our way of doing things will eventually become the norm and the same clients that were reticent to engage us in the past will have “fear of missing out” in the future.

Disruptive ideas often meet resistance. Could you describe a time when you faced significant pushback for a disruptive idea? How did you navigate the opposition, and what advice would you give to others in a similar situation?

As those who work in health tech might know, it is a long process to get large health systems on board with implementing change. There is a lot of red tape and bureaucracy to work through. When I started in the industry, I underestimated how difficult it would be to break through to those large systems, even with a solution that would save them money and help the bottom line.

You have to be patient. For large hospital systems, adopting new technology can mean a large investment of time and work. At RevMed, we have made our platform user-friendly and tailored to ensure that we are not creating more work for providers, but helping to alleviate pain points and recoup savings.

Regardless of how user-friendly we make RevMed, the biggest pushback is the concern that there will be additional work for people who are already overworked. My advice to prospective disruptors (specifically in healthcare) would be to focus on solutions that reduce workload!

What are your “Five Innovative Approaches We Are Using To Disrupt Our Industry”?

1 . Look for pain points in your industry and understand what is causing them. As discussed earlier, we identified that the issue of excess inventory is putting stress on the hospital’s operations and bottom lines. For a variety of reasons that are sometimes unavoidable, hospitals end up with extra equipment that is no longer of use to them — but could be to someone else. The issue to address is the lack of options for offloading those materials in a way that benefits both the provider who is offloading them and the provider who is receiving them.

2 . Reframe challenges as an opportunity. In regards to the healthcare industry, the issue of excess waste is a large problem costing a lot of people a lot of money. Those challenges also mean that the supply chain in healthcare is not operating efficiently and needs solutions to help optimize it. Find those challenges and approach them as an opportunity to make something better.

3 . Create solutions with a diverse team from a range of industries and backgrounds. The RevMed team has backgrounds including materials management, orthopedic surgery, medical device and drug sales, software development, and capital markets.

4 . Try a drastically different approach to solving an age-old problem. Traditional methods of offloading excess inventory typically include selling to a reseller that will buy low and sell high, or hosting a physical auction. RevMed instead acts as a broker to our sellers, so that we are structurally incentivized to see our sellers get the largest return on high-value items they no longer use.

5 . Take a “tech-first” approach. Our clients are not in the business of selling items, so there will always be a reluctance to do so. RevMed has put technology at the forefront of our company and is building software designed to make the act of selling as easy and seamless as possible for our clients.

Looking back at your career, in what ways has being disruptive defined or redefined your path? What surprises have you encountered along the way?

You need to have a thick skin and be an eternal optimist. Luckily, I had both of these character traits from an early age but they have been strengthened whilst building RevMed. No matter what, disruptive ideas will often be met with pushback.

Beyond professional accomplishments, how has embracing disruption affected you on a personal level?

I’ve always been passionate about continual improvement. My hobbies include things like learning languages, playing music, running and golf. All of these things can be continually improved, but never really perfected. It is the pursuit of perfection and the feeling of improvement that motivates me. I would say this character trait has sort of made me want to embrace disruption from day one. Nothing is perfect, but the pursuit of it by taking unique approaches to solve problems is the essence of disruption.

In your role as a C-suite leader, driving innovation and embracing disruption, what thoughts or concerns keep you awake at night? How do these reflections guide your decisions and leadership?

I like to say that perception is reality. In any disruptive company, you have to believe that what you are trying to accomplish is already accepted and you’ve succeeded. You have to tell yourself that what you are doing is correct, and that the way things used to be done is largely incorrect. Sometimes I fear that not enough people will believe in our mission the same way we do, and after tough days sometimes the fear of failure is real. However, I’ve just come to accept that. One of our Principles at RevMed is “always fear failure, but let fear motivate”. Necessity is the mother of invention and we believe that what we are building at RevMed is necessary, but given the behavioral shifts needed to adopt disruptive technologies and the inherent challenges that come with that, it isn’t always easy!

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I have enough humility to accept that you need a broad definition of “great” to say that I’m a person of great influence, but I appreciate the comment regardless! I could answer this question thousands of different ways, but in the context of my current mission at RevMed, I would encourage healthcare supply chain leaders to accept the fact that excess medical inventory is a major problem that is often overlooked. I would encourage them to focus on ways to help solve this problem. The fact that many healthcare systems currently lose money does not portend well to their ability to keep providing world-class patient care. Whether it is RevMed that helps fix this, or someone else, I think the issue of stagnant inventory is a gold mine hiding in plain sight. If more effort is invested in mining this, more money could ultimately be available to improve patient outcomes.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

If you want to explore the RevMed platform further, you can visit www.revmedconnect.com. You can also find me and RevMed on LinkedIn.

Thank you for the time you spent sharing these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

About the Interviewer: Cynthia Corsetti is an esteemed executive coach with over two decades in corporate leadership and 11 years in executive coaching. Author of the upcoming book, “Dark Drivers,” she guides high-performing professionals and Fortune 500 firms to recognize and manage underlying influences affecting their leadership. Beyond individual coaching, Cynthia offers a 6-month executive transition program and partners with organizations to nurture the next wave of leadership excellence.