#MATTERturns5: Inspiring quotes from 5 years of MATTER events

It’s MATTER’s birthday week! Each day this week, we’re exploring MATTER’s history through a slightly different lens. Today, we’re looking back on the many thought leaders from across the healthcare sector who have joined us on the MATTER stage to share their unique expertise on innovation and entrepreneurship. After five years and more than 1,800 events, we’ve gathered quite the collection of wise words.

Read on for some of our all-time favorite quotes on entrepreneurship, the future of healthcare and everything in between:

Advice to entrepreneurs

“Take a step back and really think about what it is that you want today. Many companies do not think about the disruption that’s coming. Take a step back and be more proactive about disruption and be less critical. Look at [your company] through the healthcare lens.” —Luba Greenwood, former VP, global mergers & acquisitions & business development at Roche Diagnostics, at a fireside chat in October 2017

“Don’t get lost in the hype. AI, ML, all of those things — they’re tools…focus on the problems and then take a really careful look at what’s coming along technologically. What’s going to be possible in the next few years from the technology perspective, and what will that enable you to do that wasn’t possible before?” —Rowan Chapman, head of J&J Innovation California, at a fireside chat in February 2019

“You need to be humble, because this business is not for the faint of heart. Especially if you’re going to start a new organization, you need to learn how to pick yourself up and continue down the road while learning how to improve yourself and your company. I always say ‘If we’re doing the same thing that we were doing last year, we’re doing all the wrong things.’ You have to keep improving but you have to prove your conviction you have to get good results.” —Debra Geihsler, CEO of Activate Healthcare, at Tales from the Trenches in August 2019

The importance of patient-centered innovation

“We started with this word empowering because there’s all kinds of people that talk about engagement. We did this crazy thing: We asked people with chronic diseases if they’d like to be more engaged with their disease. And 95% said, ‘No way! I don’t want to spend one more minute with my disease’. What we found out is that what people really wanted to be was empowered. They wanted to take charge of their disease and be in control.” —Glen Tullman, CEO of Livongo, at Tales from the Trenches in September 2015

“The whole future of healthcare is going to be based on patient-controlled data. There’s a lot of debates that we get into — we meaning all the stakeholders in healthcare — that I think are in some cases kind of inefficient debates and maybe useless debates (to be really pejorative about it) about data ownership. What if every one of those conversations started and ended with the fact that the patient owns every bit of their data? Now what’s the business model? Now how does it change what we’re trying to do in digital health?” —Deb Kilpatrick, CEO of Evidation Health, at Tales from the Trenches in December 2017


“If you try to distill a human being into a series of checkboxes, you don’t know the person — you know the checkboxes. So you don’t know what they’re missing on the spiritual or the social or the economic levels. All you know is the physical level — and people are way more than the total of a physical checklist. We need to actually understand mind, body and spirit to understand health, and that is the frightening part that we distill away when we try to make us all ones and zeroes and sets of numbers.” —Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips, EVP of Providence St. Joseph Health, at a keynote in August 2018

Authentic leadership

“You have to own every mistake, otherwise the whole organization doesn’t learn that they can own a mistake and it’s okay…We celebrate success a lot, but it’s really the failures that you have to be okay with to get to success. Failing is part of the journey…If I charted out my bad hires, my bad strategy decisions, I’ve failed more than I’ve succeeded — and I think that’s important for the organization to know. You have to lead [by example]. You can’t ask people to do something you don’t do yourself.” —Prashant Srivastava, co-founder of Evive, at Tales from the Trenches in September 2019

“I believe that all of us — if you’re here and you’re running business and you’re working — we’re all very fortunate and we have a responsibility to give back. That’s something that I was just brought up with. I think that if everybody did their share, we’d all be a lot better off. And giving back isn’t all about helping others, it’s about helping you.” —Glen Tullman, CEO of Livongo, at Tales from the Trenches in September 2015

“I believe culture stems from the actions of the people of the organization. It should be a natural extension of everything you do, and should ooze out of you. If you and your team are transparent and honest, it will be evident to everyone, and the people that sign up for your vision will be attracted to this value. Like all things, it will eventually become larger than you, and take on a life of its own by the actions of everyone on your team.” —Tim Barry, CEO of VillageMD, at Tales from the Trenches in June 2018

Working together to solve the big problems in healthcare

“[Our innovation approach] is about finding the ideal combination of our legacy and expertise with the new and out of the box solutions of others…Instead of trying to solve this massive problem on our own in our own offices and labs for, let’s say, the next 10 years, why not boost those efforts and reach out to the greater society?” —Kenneth Stromdahl, SVP of device R&D at Novo Nordisk, at a fireside chat in December 2019


“There are three keys [to a successful collaboration]: alignment, doing what you say you are going to do and trust. Having an honest dialogue to truly ensure that multiple parties are aligned is always the first step. From there, do you deliver what you promise? We have found there is usually a lot more talk than action, and if your organization does what they say they will do, then you will build trust. And trust is the way collaborations work over the long haul.” —Tim Barry, CEO of VillageMD, at Tales from the Trenches in June 2018

What healthcare will look like in the future

“I don’t think we’re going to be talking about [digital health] in a few years time…What is the tipping point to turn from us saying ‘digital health’ to just ‘health’? What caused that transition in other industries? It was because it delivered something of value to that individual, to the consumer. It caused everybody to switch to that kind of mode.” —Rowan Chapman, head of J&J Innovation California, at a fireside chat in February 2019

“As a pharma company, we’re always thinking about what’s best for our patients. We have a traditional pharma business for treatment of the central nervous system (CNS) and nephrology, but we also want to take a more holistic lens and think about healthcare solutions as a whole to meet patients where they are on their journey. We think AI technology is going to be a big enabler of that [effort].” —Uma Makhija, associate director of business development at Otsuka Pharmaceuticals at the AI and Neurosciences Summit in October 2019

“I think technology is going to help us in many ways including lowering the costs of delivering health and wellness services. And in the provision of care, we’ve seen very little use of technology…[Healthcare] is a sector where there wasn’t really much interest in innovation for decades but now there is this movement to value-based healthcare and the aging population is demanding innovation, demanding new ideas, and I’d like to think that Welltower and its platform can help evaluate and actualize innovation at scale.” —Tom DeRosa, CEO of Welltower, at a fireside chat in July 2019


“In ten years, I expect that digitally guided therapy will be much further ingrained in the experience of healthcare. People have come to expect a digital component in other aspects of life; you don’t think twice when your banking app alerts you that you’re about to go over a spending limit, or when your fitness tracker tells you it’s time to stand up and walk around the block. I hope that ten years from now, we expect our medicines to deliver insights that help us understand and treat disease.” —David Van Sickle, co-founder and CEO of Propeller Health, at a Tales from the Trenches in November 2018

Want to read more about how we’re commemorating five years at MATTER?