Last night, it broke on the internet that Tony Hsieh passed away after a tragic house fire took his life. We do not necessarily agree with the cult-like holocracy he advocated, but he brought employee engagement and customer service to a different high level altogther. We personally had a chance to visit his HQ in Las Vegas, tour the revival of a down-and-out area of the Silver State. Our company CEO got to shake hands with him and to listen to his ideas we can bring home to Sunfu Solution, Inc. (SSI). We pay tribute to him as a management man who defied convention to make corporations more human, more socially responsible, and to not simply chase numbers. Tony Hsieh, RIP.
We had a leadership meeting yesterday and we had a discussion of the graduation speech of the late young genius: David Foster Wallace. If you have twenty minutes, it is worth your time to listen to the audio that is available on the internet. It starts out with a parable: Two young fish are swimming when they meet an old fish going the other way. The senior fish asked the two young fish: “Good moring boys, how is the water today?” After swimming for a while, one of the young fish turns to his companion and says: “What the hell is water?” The quote below is the key take away of that parable, which was the point of our leadership workshop.
“Let us prepare our minds as if we’d come to the very end of life. Let us postpone nothing. Let us balance life’s books each day. … The one who puts the finishing touches on their life each day is never short of time.” Seneca
Our goal is not to be the most creative agency, because that is a subjective thing, and my ego would like to think we are creative. I want us to be the smartest, and data helps us become smarter, and in turn that helps us become more creative, and data because it is tangible is important.
Below is a short brief description of the so-called Sunshine Act, which we got from a website of a pharmaceutical company. We have had several discussions in our company about this, and the issue of payoffs and gifts in the market place. Being in the Philippines and a Filipino company, we are exempted from the Sunshine Act so far. But yesterday, once again, we reminded our team that we are in a special industry, and as a company, we recognize and are reminded of our responsibilities to the many stakeholders of the medical equipment industry. We gave the Sunshine Act some time in our discussions. Our deep commitment to ethics and professionalism continues, and we commit to build on this as part of who we are.
Beginning August 1, 2013, the Physician Payments Sunshine Act (the “Sunshine Act”), which is part of the Affordable Care Act, requires manufacturers of drugs, medical devices, and biologicals that participate in U.S. federal health care programs to track and then report certain payments and items of value given to U.S. physicians and U.S. teaching hospitals (defined as “Covered Recipients”).
The Sunshine Act requires that manufacturers collect this information on a yearly basis and then report it to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) by the 90th day of each subsequent year. On June 30th of each year, CMS will post the reported payments and other transfers of value on its public website. For the initial year of 2013, the collection time period is August 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013, with a reporting deadline of March 31, 2014 (extended to June 30, 2013). CMS has stated it will post the data reported for 2013 on its public website on September 30, 2014.
I hate it when people call themselves ‘entrepreneurs’ when what they’re really trying to do is launch a startup and then sell or go public, so they can cash in and move on. They’re unwilling to do the work it takes to build a real company, which is the hardest work in business. That’s how you really make a contribution and add to the legacy of those who went before. You build a company that will stand for something a generation or two from now.
The incredible effort we put in to build our business makes us ask the question occasionally what are all the sacrifices for. The incredible energy (life), money, time expended; there is nothing else anyone of us can do but devote every waking life to building Sunfu Solutions. We are not in Silicon Valley, or New York, or Seoul. This is Manila, where four-hour traffic, red tape, and the human resources challenges are the stuff of legend. So we will list some of the reasons why we do it, when we can just walk away from it all:
1. The artist in us drives us to create something beyond and bigger than us.
2. The challenge of sharing and educating those who join us in our journey; hoping from employees they will become and transform to real partners.
3. The challenge of raising health care standards, solving health care issues, and making sure the bottom of the pyramid is considered in the equation.
4. The possibility of building something great.
5. Family: not just our (the founders’) biological family, but the biological family of those who are part of this company as partners, employees, investors. We hope we can be a lasting and innovative company that will attract the next generation to build where we have left off. We hope our values are such that the next generation will want to pass these to those coming up after them; and that a truly generational company that contributes to mankind will emerge.
It takes a lot to build the kind of company we want to become. But all these years of relentless work, we do know we are becoming that company we want to become. Let’s get back to work.