Daniel Pirestani is the CEO and founder of InDemand and creator of Systematech, Inc. (dba InDemand Interpreting), a company dedicated to providing improved patient care for those with limited English proficiency. Daniel is a technology executive in the software industry, with over 15 years of experience growing businesses through technical services in industries such as telecommunications, information technologies, corporate networking, and engineering. He has succeeded in management positions with Fortune 500 companies, such as AT&T, Microsoft, and Best Buy, and was one of the founding members of Northwest Telecom.
MO: What gave you the idea for InDemand Interpreting? How was your company born?
Daniel: I would listen to my wife stress her concerns about all the issues surrounding physical interpreting – patients running late, doctors running late, commuting long distances, which prevented her from seeing more patients, and incurring unnecessary charges.
The company was born in November 2007. After one year of research and development in 2008, we had our application reading in the second quarter of 2009. Our R&D involved a year of testing with one hospital, its patients, and eight interpreters. We built our system 100% with their input.
MO: What is the mission of InDemand Interpreting?
Daniel: Our mission is to improve patient care for non-English-speaking patients, commonly referred to as LEP, while lowering the expense of performing interpreting duties. We want to create a win-win situation for both patients and medical professionals.
MO: As the market leader in interpreting software for healthcare providers, how do you continue to stay atop your industry?
Daniel: We continue to innovate and listen to our customers. We have grown organically since 2009. Service is our number-one priority, from the top down. I think most companies have forgotten how important good service is. In the old days, you could pull up to the gas station and they would pump your gas, check your fluids, inflate your tires, and clean your windshield – with a smile and a “Yes, sir/ma’am!” flowing from their mouths. What happened? Why don’t companies learn?
MO: Before founding InDemand Interpreting, you worked with multiple large and prestigious companies, like Microsoft and Best Buy. What lessons did you learn working for these corporations that helped you in creating your own business?
Daniel: Keep everything simple. My motto internally is this: “Our software is simple to use and everything else should be, too.” Don’t think of yourself; think about your patients or customers – businesspeople come last. Your focus should continually be on the people you’re trying to serve.
MO: What advice can you give employees of big companies who have great business ideas but are afraid to quit their jobs and go for it?
Daniel: If you truly believe in your idea, then jump – but think before you do. Don’t start pursuing something that has a ton of competition; start something unique. Learn from your mistakes fast, and come back stronger.
MO: Is there a book that helped spark your entrepreneurial spirit? What are some key lessons aspiring entrepreneurs can take away from the book?
Daniel: I was inspired by “The Art of the Start” by Guy Kawasaki. This no-nonsense, straightforward book opened my eyes. At the time, I was just reading the book because I was thinking about raising money. My favorite quote from the book is about how leaders operate: “Steve [Jobs] proves that it’s OK to be an asshole…. He just has a different OS.”
MO: What are you most excited about for the future of InDemand Interpreting?
Daniel: I’m excited about the innovation of technology – we are working to combine our services in one platform. This has never been done before in our industry, and I want to be the first to do this!
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