Just as we were starting our business, I met David Murdock who gave me the best business advice for my new venture; WTWH Media. In our meeting, I asked David how he went about buying and selling businesses. He eloquently and simply stated that he would make a list of target acquisitions in specific industry and call the owner’s of the businesses to explore if they were interested in selling. If they were interested in selling, he would negotiate with the owner’s for a possible transaction; if not he would call the next company on the list.
The advice has proved invaluable to our company, WTWH Media, LLC. We applied the principle five times over the last ten years to grow our company from a start-up to a 4x Inc. 5000 company.
Last fall, we began planning to launch and print and online media resource for the medical device industry. Design World, our flagship design engineering publication, has a strong reach with design engineers engaged in design of products for the medical device industry. However, we were lacking the reach into the C Level audience in the medical device community. Additionally, our in-house skill set although extremely gifted on the technical side, didn’t have the background in writing and covering the business side of the medical device industry. Thus, I began applying David’s principles and developed a list of online medical device media outlets. One by one, I began contacting them and to our good fortune I connected with one of the founder’s of Massdevice.com.
Massdevice.com was founded in 2008, by Brian Johnson and Brad Perriello. Originally, Brian and Brad intended for Massdevice.com to focus on the medical device industry in their surrounding home state of Massachusetts. However, shortly after launching they learned that they must spread their coverage on a national basis. The site has grown to include over 45,000 opt in subscribers consuming 200,000 pages of content monthly. In addition, Brian and Brad developed a one-on-one event series titled DeviceTalks attracting the who’s who of CEO’s in Medtech. The event is currently held three times a year in Boston, Minneapolis, and Irvine, CA.
Our timing for connecting with Brian and Brad proved ideal. The site and traffic were growing, but without additional capital for hiring they found themselves owning a profitable lifestyle business with limited growth opportunities. We reached a formal agreement to acquire the business on April 7, 2015. Prior to making any public announcement, we wanted to deliver what we thought were necessary first steps.
Over the last 60 days, our web team has re-launched MassDevice.com and built the web site for DeviceTalks.com. Additionally, we have launched a print and online companion publication, Medical Design & Outsourcing. The synergies between the team at MassDevice.com and our internal team were instrumental in crafting, developing and writing the first issue of Medical Design & Outsourcing. We were fortunate that Paul Dvorak and Nic Abraham who volunteered to editorially contribute and guide the first issue
of MDO. While Nic is a new name in MedTech; Paul is no stranger as he was the lead editor for a publication serving the market for almost 6 years. Additionally, our graphics team led by Mark Rook jumped at the opportunity to create a new publication. Collectively, we published our first issue of Medical Design & Outsourcing and it will debut in the coming days.
The MassDevice.com team has been retained and we will maintain their current office in Boston. While an extremely small on boarding process of 4 professionals, we found the process challenging. You think you know all the right things to do to ensure a smooth transition, but we have certainly learned a few things in the transition. Little things (ok big things) like billing and accounts receivable issues top my list of things we wished we prepared better for.
We are extremely excited about the opportunities to grow and support our current and future customers in the medical device industry. We will continue to operate under the basic premise that the user is in control and we must deliver ROI for marketers. We need to clean up some of our social channels (note to self: think about how your name as it might appear on Twitter & Facebook– something we overlooked with Medical Design and Outsourcing and something that I often talk about with our customers).
You’ll see our crew in New York next week and you’ll hear about our upcoming Big 50 list and Medical Design & Outsourcing Handbook. A formal press release will go out tomorrow, but I wanted to share some insight on the acquisition and growth strategy for WTWH Media, LLC.
Thanks for doing business with us.
Willing to work harder,
Co-Founder, Managing Partner