Brianna Socci is the Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at UBERDOC, Inc. She is responsible for day-to-day business operations and technology development. Brianna has grown the UBERDOC network to over 4,000 physicians, and expanded the network by over 150% nationwide between Q1 and Q3 of 2020. She leads an international development team to advance product capabilities, and in response to COVID, added telemedicine to the UBERDOC platform all within an aggressive startup budget.
Brianna has raised over $2M in a recent seed investment round, and UBERDOC is one of the few women-founded companies who received venture funding in 2019. Brianna has been a finalist for several start-up pitches competitions, including TiE NY and BossBabe. She has been interviewed and provided startup insights to various media outlets.
Prior to UBERDOC, Brianna was a media buyer and digital marketing strategist at a NY based advertising agency. She also led marketing strategies for a startup engineering business unit. Brianna is a graduate of the School of Management at Binghamton University. There, she majored in both Marketing and Leadership & Consulting.
Brianna lives in Boston, MA, with her 9-year-old daughter, Olivia. They love to play tennis and watch movies together.
Where did the idea for UBERDOC, Inc. come from?
I founded UBERDOC, with Dr. Paula Muto, who is a general and vascular surgeon. She has been in solo-private practice for over 25 years, and has seen first-hand how difficult it is for patients to access the care they need. We wanted to develop a simple solution that involved the only two stakeholders that matter in healthcare, the doctor and patient.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I’m a single mom, so mornings can be a little hectic, especially with my daughter at home for school.
I always start the day by reading and listening to a few news outlets. I listen to the Snacks Daily for stock market updates and theSkimm for every day news.
As a small team, it’s important to connect with everyone at least once a day (even if it’s just for 5-10 minutes). This really helps to make sure all of our goals are aligned and we’re all working towards the same mission.
I try to spend my day focused on 1-2 of the most important things I need to get done that week. It may be solving a critical technology challenge or implementing a new medical specialty into our platform.
Oh, and I can’t forget my daily Dunkin’ run.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I write EVERYTHING down. I probably go through one notebook each month. I’ve tried a million times brainstorming ideas digitally, but it has never stuck like pen and paper. I have always been most successful with ideas that I have drawn out on a piece of paper beforehand.
Writing my thoughts down and manipulating them on paper enables me to process it in my head. I can mark up the notes, doodle on them, connect them together, and fully develop the idea into something I can communicate with the team and implement in the business. Don’t ever underestimate the value of journaling your business ideas.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Working from home has led to better work-life balance. COVID has caused drastic changes for all of us, and there is no doubt the implications it has had on mental health. It has taken some time, but we are adapting as we go, and society is changing. There are business opportunities abound in this “new normal”.
I’ve spoken to so many people who have really enjoyed working from home. It has given them the chance to spend more time with their families (and get the laundry done at lunch time).
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I never open an email until I’m ready to act on it. As a business owner, you get hundreds of emails a day and it can be really hard to manage. Any emails that are opened in my inbox, I can assume I have read it, responded, and did whatever tasks needed to be done with it. You need to find a way that works for you to manage your inbox efficiently and effectively.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Listen to all advice, but be picky with what advice you implement.
As an entrepreneur, your friends, family and mentors will always want to lend a hand by telling you what they think is best for your business. Although it’s great to have a network of people who want to help, you have to be careful about pivoting away from your main focus. I have spent a lot of time trying out different ideas that just weren’t the right fit. The more time you spend going down wayward rabbit holes, the less time you spend moving your business in the right direction. Try, succeed or fail quickly, then get back on track.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Being followed around the internet by retail companies isn’t always a bad thing. Some of the best shoes I have come from a targeted ad on Instagram. Everybody sees the evil in data collection for targeted advertising, but I see it as they saved me a lot of time shopping.
Oh, and Diet Coke is way better than Diet Pepsi.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Listen, and then respond. I have seen a lot of entrepreneurs get defensive too fast when pitching or advocating for their ideas. Listen to feedback first, and then respond to it. If it takes someone a few minutes to understand your concept, you’re probably not pitching it correctly.
Be comfortable with a pause of silence (this was referred to as the “pregnant pause” when I took public speaking courses in school). It’s ok if it takes someone a few seconds to respond to your prompt. I know the 2 seconds feels like 5 minutes, especially in the middle of a pitch, but be comfortable with the silence. It shows confidence.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Form strategic partnerships. When it is time to scale and expand offerings, you will most likely need products and technology solutions that are not necessarily in your wheel house. Rather than developing them yourself, find a friend who is already doing it, and doing it well.
When COVID hit, we knew we needed to add telemedicine capabilities to our platform. Instead of developing our own, we partnered with VSee, who already had a sophisticated telemedicine technology that we could easily white label.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Trying to split my focus between working for the business and working on the business. I have been building the business product and operations and also bringing in investors. You need somebody focused on each. My failure is trying to do it all. In a startup, you need to prioritize and focus. When you focus, you succeed.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Breakable popsicle sticks. When you’ve eaten half the popsicle, you can break the stick in half to make it easier to finish. Come on that’s a good idea, right?
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
A good set of headphones…for my daughter. With working from home and homeschooling at the same time, we each have to keep our noise to ourselves.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I love Gsuite. Google Docs, Google Meet, the calendar….I use it all. I even set reminders on my Google calendar to change my contacts.
Simplicity in software is best when you are a startup. It’s easy to get enamored by some slick new software or trendy web app. But, they don’t get your business done. You need simple office tools so you are spending your time moving your business and not coloring little digital sticky notes.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. As a leadership major I was always wrangling with the concept if you’re born a leader or if you became one. What sets a leader ahead of the competition? Could be that they were just born in January?
What is your favorite quote?
“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.” – Unknown
• Step back and see the big picture. It’s not about your product – it’s about the value your market gets from your product.
• You can’t please everyone. Always do what is best for your business.
• As an entrepreneur, listening is just as important as talking.
• Be patient, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.