Bruce Hellman – CEO and Co-Founder of uMotif

[quote style=”boxed”]You do it by doing it – so the key first step is to write the idea down or sketch it out. It instantly becomes more real.[/quote]

Bruce co-founded uMotif in 2012. uMotif’s software platform tackles increasingly unaffordable health systems by engaging patients in self-management of their Long Term Conditions (including Diabetes, Parkinson’s, Renal, Rheumatology) and post-operative recovery (Heart Failure, Oncology). uMotif strengthens the patient-clinician relationship through digital technology.

Bruce is one of Computer Weekly’s UKtech50 Rising Stars 2013, won the Cisco BIG awards, and was nominated by Real Business magazine as one of the ’30 to watch in mobile’.

Having been a ski rep, a Civil Servant and a Management Consultant, Bruce previously set up an archive content digitisation and metadata annotation service, delivered by prisoners as part of custodial rehabilitation.

Where did the idea for uMotif come from?

I started tracking my own sleep and other aspects after my first son was born. My sleep scores were really bad, but tracking helped me understand myself better – it’s a proven cognitive behavioural therapy.

From personal need for a better way to track my health I started to develop uMotif, which is now focused on helping people with their health self-management

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Half the week I’m in the office in central London with the team; the other half I’m out visiting our clients and partners – so I spend a lot of time in hospitals with patients, clinicians and carers.

Having goals helps keep focus to drive productivity, making lots of lists helps me see progress, and being hugely excited about the massive opportunities to make an impact drives us to be productive each day.

Plus having a Mac with a long battery life for hours of work on trains!

How do you bring ideas to life?

By having a great team, with whom I can work to take an idea from an early wireframe or sketch, through design to technical implementation and delivery to patients and clinicians.

You do it by doing it – so the key first step is to write the idea down or sketch it out. It instantly becomes more real.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

Digital technology finally coming to the health sector and helping improve things and personalise services, like digital has in every other part of our daily lives.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Touch It Once. If you can deal with it as soon as you see it, read it, discuss it or handle it, then get it done. Don’t wait and go back to it, unless it needs time to reflect.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

Placement year while at University. I worked for a biotech company in clinical trials. The experience was very useful now in my current role, but at the time it was bored and totally underused. I learnt the importance of having variety, intensity and interest in work.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

Not much – it’s important to enjoy each journey and learn as you go along.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Be enthusiastic about what you are doing.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

Focus on delivering benefits and outcomes to your clients and customers – don’t try to push features, technologies and your idea of the world. Listen all the time to how you can help others be more successful.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Being more commercially ruthless. Still working on it!

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

An integration platform across hospital and doctor electronic health records. Very difficult to do!

Tell us something about you that very few people know?

I can almost do a handstand.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them? for project and team management. Clean, simple, powerful and effective.
Flipboard. Great design and UI, a pleasure to use, nice to have unexpected articles come up

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moor. My MBA dissertation was based on the uptake of innovation. A great book to help you think about where you are now, what you need to do to cross the chasm and how to see your ‘whole product’.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

Mark Suster  VC and running a company:
Nic Brisbourne Equity Kicker
David Skok SaaS businesses, the path to ‘wow’
John Nosta (digital health)
Nir Eyal behavior change
Joseph Kvedar future of connected / digital health
Paul Sonnier (digital health)


uMotif on Twitter: @uMotif
Bruce Hellman on LinkedIn: