Pop Quiz, Monday with Suzanne Garber
The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.
I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.
Can you please tell everyone your name?
What is your job role?
Co-Founder and Chair of the Board
Tell us about your company?
Gauze is the world’s most comprehensive database of hospitals around the globe that informs and connects international travelers via app or API with appropriate healthcare when they find themselves sick abroad.
What do you love most about your job?
I love the diversity in our people, our solutions, and our activities. No day is the same, and some days I am working with people from India or Ukraine or Syria across a spectrum of roles (hospital CEO, data researcher, developer) and other days I am learning something new about healthcare in sub-saharan Africa.
What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Having been sick abroad more than a few times, I know how scary it can be to not speak the local language, know of where has quality care, or be able to transport myself to an appropriate facility. With over 1.3 billion people traveling internationally every year with at least 100 million people getting sick outside of their home country motivates me to ensure the best in quality, confidentiality, integrity, and access to care.
How do your co-workers inspire you?
As mentioned, our team is incredibly diverse. One of our co-founders is a disabled veteran. We have an administrator in her 70s. Several staffers hold dual-nationalities and speak multiple languages. Our entire research team is made up of gifted individuals from all over the world. They are the face of our customers (and the world!), and they remind me every day that we do what we do to both save and enhance lives.
How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We are a very diverse team made up of individuals of different ethnicities, races, genders, ages, religions, veteran status, and ideologies. We take time to learn about each other to understand the important holidays, family traditions, and foods. We also perform service projects in our community; we actively support the American Red Cross and various veteran service organizations.
What are some of the challenges of your job?
We deal with millions of bytes of data; ensuring the integrity of information is of utmost importance to us. We catalogue data on hospitals in every country around the world with the exception of a few closed countries from where it’s virtually impossible to obtain any data. This means we also work with people in every country around the globe and communication must be precise. While we have a number of people on staff who are natively or expertly fluent in dozens of languages, there are still some regions where we must rely on non-human means of interaction and data collection.
What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
An early lesson was finding the right people to partner with. As our original team did not have certain technical skills, we needed to outsource some of our programmings and finding the right company was difficult since we didn’t know what we didn’t know. That led to delays in production as well as an excess cost because we had nothing with which to compare to, other than bids from other companies. What we’ve learned to do better is how to vet providers and, when possible, hire an in-house person who truly has the best long-term interest of the company. An outsourced vendor may not be the best choice, especially if there is a need to enhance further what was delivered. The best partner is one that can build something bespoke with the ability to tailor for future iterations with or without the original builder.
What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in your industry?
For me, everything starts and ends with people. When you are able to articulate and define the traits and experiences necessary for the people you will need to fill your positions, you effectively recruit for them, and you supply people with the right support and tools to effectively do their jobs, everything comes together. People work for people. People buy from people. Knowing the right people at any and every level is key. Focus on people first.
Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web: