Eran Weinberg is a designer, inventor, and entrepreneur who believes that through design and simple ideas we can improve peoples’ lives. In 2005 while caring for his grandmother, Eran wanted a better solution to help her manage her daily life, stay independent and enable the family to support on her needs. Eran conceived of Celsya, an online and mobile solution, for which he received a 1st place international business plan award.
In 2008 after working for Cisco as a senior designer, Eran opened his own product development company called Inclusive Design & Development where he developed and manufactured dozens of products for his clients. Through the years, Eran never lost sight of his vision to develop Celsya and in 2010 he decided it was the right time to bring Celsya to life. Today, Celsya is a free online and mobile service which provides families and caregivers the tools they need to track, manage, and maintain their own and loved ones health information and daily tasks.
MO: I know from personal experience how draining and demanding the role of caregiver can be. I think it’s commendable that you’ve created a free service to help others improve and streamline the care giving experience. How long did it take to develop Celsya from conception to commercialization?
Eran: The actual process of design to launch only took about 6 months, however I have been working on Celsya for years. Celsya has always been a goal I have wanted to accomplish, and I spent a lot of time researching different parts of the health industry, attending shows, and gaining business experiences that would help me when I would be ready to take on Celsya.
MO: How has your background contributed to the development of Celsya?
Eran: My background plays a significant role in developing Celsya, since it revolves around a process of creation. As an inventor, my first goal is to really understand who my end users are. When creating a product, I study the behavior and psychology of the users, and watch how the market is developing around them. These are all critical elements to take into consideration. So it doesn’t matter if Im creating a childs toy, consumer electronic, or medical product. If I really understand who it’s for, and what problems they deal with, then it is easy to create the product.
MO: You were able to pivot your business model only 2 months after launching, predicting a change in the industry. What was that change and how were you able to anticipate it and then so easily accommodate it into your business model?
Eran: When I first launched Celsya we were seen as a personal health record, which wasn’t exactly what the original concept was supposed to be. As a result, we did not gain as much traction as we expected since most people are still not mentally ready for managing their own health records. We quickly changed our message and model from a PHR to a health and lifestyle hub for families and caregivers. With our new solution, we are making it easier for caregivers to take care of themselves and their loved ones. Luckily most of the tools we previously created fit our new message and we added the ability to create care teams as well as features from project management tools.
MO: Your background is in product design. How have you pursued the knowledge of the healthcare market and how challenging has it been to enter into such an unfamiliar industry?
Eran: I have always been interested in creating products for the health field. While I was in school I focused on creating medical products such as an adaptive wheelchair, 3D ultrasound for GE, and a smart cane for the blind. This is also when I came up with Celsya. Creating products is a process, so I learn to become an expert in every field I work in. The health industry is probably the most challenging out of all the ones I have worked with and that is why I have been so attracted to it. It provides lots of challenges, opportunities to create great things, and improve people’s lives.
MO: Your other company, Inclusive Design & Development, is a global design, development and consulting company with the goal of creating innovative products. How do you manage to run two successful but very different businesses?
Eran: I love creating products and can’t help being a workaholic. Luckily I have gotten the process of creating products down, so it has become easy for me. My clients are from all over the world but all of our manufacturing is done in China. So it works out since China work hours are in my evenings after I finish my day with Celsya. Over the years I have built great relationships with my factories which simplifies and speeds up communication as well.
MO: What 2 tips would you give to an entrepreneur looking to start their own business?
Eran: The first would be to really understand what it means to be an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is a leader and that is an important concept to understand. It’s also a lot of work and stress, so you better love what you do. I recommend that you read the E-Myth by Michael Gerber.
The second tip would be to have no fear and learn from mistakes. I think I have read somewhere that you only fail when you don’t try. As long as you keep moving forward and learning, you will eventually reach your goals.
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