In 2007 Cyrus Massoumi ruptured his eardrum on a flight to New York and turned his distasteful experience of trying to track down a physician into ZocDoc – a service that enables customers to quickly book appointments with doctors and dentists online. In a relatively short time, his streamlined offering has attracted considerable interest from both consumers and investors. Supported by doctors who pay a fee to be listed on the site, ZocDoc is now available in more than a dozen United States markets, claims 200+ employees and has tallied $95 million in funding.
Rewinding to ZocDoc’s origins, Massoumi says after landing in Manhattan with one healthy ear, it took him four days to secure the services of a medical professional. He search was hindered by the substandard list of doctors compiled by his insurance company – so inadequate were the choices that “one doctor was actually deceased” he says.
Disgusted with the status quo, Massoumi rounded up two co-founders and went to work building something better, but tells Dixon those early days weren’t easy. “We had no website, I was literally taking a power point page and walking into these doctors offices and trying to convince them that online booking was the future of healthcare.” He continues, “in one case I literally sat in a waiting room of an office for six hours and then I got three dentists to sign on.”
After shaking hands and iterating for “two-and-a-half years” Massoumi says “everything clicked and we have been expanding ever since.” He tells Dixon patients now have access to “40 different specialties” and “probably north of 6-million maybe even approaching 7-million available [doctor] appointments over the next 90-days.”
Massoumi shares plenty more insights in this video, so be sure to watch the entire episode to hear them all.
Past Founder Stories episodes featuring leaders of TripAdvisor, Charity: Water, Bump, Redditt, TurnTable.fm and may other start-ups are here.
Episode II of this interview is coming up.