Well, well, well, it's that time again—cue the year-end emails flooding in! I'm fashionably late to the wrap-up party, but hey, here I am, penning my thoughts on this chill December 25th. Seems like the perfect day: no Slack notifications, no inbox bombs.
+4 Years in Business:
So, Light-it turned 4 this year. And let me tell you, it feels like the first year where we’ve somehow settled down. 2019 was starting from scratch; 2020 was rollercoasting; 2021 was all about pivoting to healthcare (so sort of starting from scratch again); 2022 was hypergrowth mode; and 2023? Well, it was about growth, sure, but also about solidifying our company, team dynamics, structure, and value proposition.
People Actually Know who we are, and They Want to Work With us!
This was a huge turning point. We finally got to the point where people are actually reaching out to us. This didn’t happen overnight. It’s years invested in improving delivery, building strong relationships with clients who are ultimately the ones recommending us, having success stories, following solid marketing strategies, commercial efforts, network building, and relentless refinement.
So, I feel like giving the past Alan and team a tap in the back. Good Job! The long game paid off. Luckily, we’re now in a much more solid place where most of our leads are inbound, which gives us stability and a more organic commercial process.
New Projects, Challenging Projects, and More Projects
Stability extends beyond leads; financially and strategically, we've found our footing. Our new projects aren’t just exciting; they are diverse and address different niches in the healthcare industry! We’ve developed a substantial client portfolio.
And yes, we’ve also got new challenging projects! The projects we're handling are large, challenging, and impactful. From giants like the AB InBev Foundation to YC-backed startups like Craniometrix, from our first Health System Clients to those from top accelerators. From long-time allies like Felix Health to new believers like EO Care— And much more! All these companies and people are contributing their hearts, souls, and brilliant minds to enhance healthcare for everyone. Isn't it wonderful?
Peace of Mind: We've Got This!
And speaking of stability: Isn't peace of mind the best symptom of it?
Peace of mind that things work on their own (thanks to the team!) if I take a week off work to enjoy a vacation. Peace of mind that I have a highly capable but also experienced team who knows what they’re doing. Peace of mind in seeing a team of people who are (most of the time) happy and fulfilled with their job.
Peace–of–Mind. That's the feeling I have while closing 2023.
Let's hit the rewind button for a moment. We've been on the road! Conferences like ViVE, HIMSS, Femtech Summit, DTx, HLTH, BHT—we've covered them all! Commercial missions crisscrossing the US kept the excitement alive. Our teammates ventured to places I couldn't have imagined: 4 different continents, from the US to Switzerland. Let me tell you, we had fun!
A Great Place to Work - Not Just Me Saying!
We received our Great Place to Work® Certification and were named #6 Best Place to Work in Uruguay, #3 in Software Development, #3 for Women, #4 for Millennials, which sounds absolutely insane to me. Still, these certifications don’t mean much to me compared to the internal metrics our People Care team tracks and the general vibe the offices and team are giving. And let me tell you… we’re vibing!
When you see a team that genuinely wants to stay in the office after 6 PM to have a beer every week… that’s a symptom of a solid and engaged culture.
When you see people who are doing fun activities outside of work with their coworkers, from bowling to going on a trip or literally jumping off an airplane (don’t worry, they were just skydiving!), that is a symptom of having an environment that allows great relationships to arise.
And it gives me chills to have been putting this group of fantastic people together and allowing great friendships to stem!
And hey, this didn't happen overnight. It resulted from a lot of hard work from every leader at the company, especially the People Care team (kudos to you all!). They structured a very solid Quarterly Feedback framework and implemented in-depth Career Paths for every employee in every department. They also added benefits encouraging human interaction, such as providing lunch for the team daily or a gym pass (and now we even have Light-it’s very own tennis squad!). Additionally, they allowed our team to build a better future by offering courses or the opportunity to invest with our investment partner.
Our Buenos Aires Office
Over the past two years, we have hired talented professionals from Buenos Aires to work remotely for our company. We chose this location for several reasons, to name some; its proximity to Montevideo, similar culture, same timezone, and the availability of incredibly skilled people helped us make the call. Opening an office in Buenos Aires was always part of our plan, and we made it real this year. This decision was made as part of our objective to strengthen our company culture and provide a workspace for our employees. It was fantastic to see how well-received this was by a team that was initially hired to work fully remotely. Additionally, we held two team meet-ups where everyone came together – let me tell you, that was fun!
Becoming More Data-Driven
This was another big objective for us this year. Every team, Marketing, People, Development, UX/UI Design, Project Management, QA, Sales, and Operations, had its own plan to become more data-driven in Q3, and leaders did a great job here. We are now able to gain valuable insights into our performance and how it is intertwined with our actions and teams. For example, we can track the number of job applications resulting from an Instagram Reel announcing a new benefit, as well as the percentage of applicants who are a good fit, compare this data with other sources of applications, and adjust our plans accordingly.
Data is an essential tool for planning goals, action items, and strategies. The data reports we receive not only provide valuable information for the company’s continuous improvement but also serve as proof of the teams' hard work and the impact they have on the company's success.
Our Innovation Lab, Generative AI and Puppeteer
I trust in technology's genuine ability to improve people's lives, and I’m well aware of how challenging it can be for businesses to turn a concept into a working product. That's why our brand-new Innovation Lab was conceived this year! Its purpose is to help our partners and clients navigate challenging projects and excel in what we do while applying emerging technologies that can transform the healthcare industry. I'm talking about Generative AI, VR, AR, and who knows what's to come! (To be honest, that's what excites me the most).
Artificial Intelligence, wasn’t this the topic of the year? Well, it was for us. We’ve seen an incredible increase in demand for AI-based projects, especially Generative AI.
Personally, I find Generative AI as one of the biggest promises in Health Tech, and I have no doubt about the impact it will have during the next few years. With the hype it generated, especially after Open AI’s ChatGPT launch, we knew that we were in one of these before/after moments, and either we surfed the wave or drowned slowly.
For this reason, this year, one of our quarterly company objectives and key results (OKRs) was for each department to utilize generative AI tools to enhance their operational efficiency. After conducting extensive research, we were surprised to find numerous opportunities to apply GenAI to operational tasks. We also published a report on how Generative AI is positively changing healthcare and carried out POCs to test its capabilities in improving healthcare and health tech companies' outcomes, as well as their users' experiences and engagement.
This month, we held a company-wide hackathon, where the entire company traveled to meet at our HQ in Uruguay to ideate and develop AI-based MVPs with the potential of positively impacting healthcare. The teams were completely interdisciplinary and diverse, which contributed to truly impressive results.
So, you may see now that we really decided to surf the wave. We’ve decided to surf it so badly that we launched our very first product and Spin-off companies:
- Compliant ChatGPT: this is a platform that allows you to use OpenAI GPT models in a HIPAA-compliant way. Our clients are already leveraging the capabilities of AI while maintaining strict compliance with HIPAA regulations.
- Puppeteer: this product enables any healthcare company to construct AI agents with unparalleled human-like capabilities. And the success of this, my friends, is one of my biggest expectations for 2024.
A Special Focus on Mental Health
Finally, talking about my aspirations for 2024, I want to take a moment to reflect on the importance of Mental Health. I don't want to sound like a cliché, and I don't want to deliberate on the significance of mental health, as we have all heard about it. 2023 was a lot about mental health: I attended several mental health conferences, hosted three mental health roundtables, and studied -a lot-. However, what made this year a highlight for me was my personal struggle and growth in the topic.
Now, I want to go beyond. I want to genuinely address this topic in a way that cuts across every company member. By 2024, I set myself the personal goal of working on the company culture so that mental health is no longer stigmatized and can be openly discussed at Light-it.
That's why my main goal for 2024 is to create a company that provides a healthy environment where everyone can open up about mental health.
Celebrating the incredible 2023 was a must, so we hosted our end-of-the-year party. The event was filled with laughter, heartfelt speeches, awards, delicious food, a dance floor for everyone to enjoy, and perhaps a few too many drinks. The highlight of the night was a special performance by… drumrolls please… Light-it's very own rock band!
As we wrap up 2023, I want to express gratitude to every team member, client, and partner who has been part of this incredible journey. Here's to a future filled with even greater achievements, deeper connections, and an unwavering commitment to making a positive impact in the healthcare landscape. Cheers to a successful 2024!