40 Healthcare Facilities Now Signed Up for marketplace@novation. Signed Healthcare Organizations Represent More Than $1.2 Billion In Annual Supply Purchases
Neoforma.com, Inc. and Novation today announced that an additional 21 healthcare facilities have signed contracts to use marketplace@novation, powered by Neoforma, as their Internet purchasing solution. A total of 40 healthcare facilities are now signed up . . .
August 3, 2000, Neoforma Press Release
The company needed clear leadership, as it struggled against the fierce storms outside. So Jeff, Bob and I agreed to meet informally off-site every couple of months or so. We called it a Founders Dinner. While Bob was always very careful to avoid any disclosure of Neoforma’s business, these dinners became an opportunity for the three of us to openly discuss our cultural observations about the company and its industry.
At one dinner, Bob brought up how, in his long and aggressive business career, he had never experienced so much lack of integrity. I panicked for a moment, thinking he was talking about me or Neoforma. But then he explained how perplexed and chagrined he had been by the high level of deceit, greed and malice he had witnessed each day in his normal business dealings.
He was frustrated by how effective some our competitors’ and enemies’ blatant media manipulations were. Each new feature, obscure award, new customer or supplier seemed to warrant the publication of a press release.
But Bob refused to yield to the idea that more information was better information. When the company had something truly significant to brag about, that is when he would approve a press release.
And, he refused to work with any person or company that displayed unscrupulous behavior. Based on the abundance of shady characters prowling around at the time, Bob found himself refusing many deals that would have made great press releases.
There were those within the company who were saying that Neoforma had lost its vision. They complained that we were missing opportunities to do this deal or that deal. They thought that we were losing the PR wars.
Bob held firm to his position that long-term integrity must not be sacrificed to short-term overstatement. He knew a lot about healthcare. He knew how long it would take to change it. He was running a marathon, not a sprint.
Neoforma was only four years old. In its fourth year, Microsoft had revenues totaling $2.4 million—close to Neoforma’s fourth year revenue. Six years later, Microsoft had announced its first version of Windows. Seven years after that, it had released its first moderately successful version of Windows.
Neoforma was still very young. And its long-term potential was still intact.
Bob had preserved the core culture of integrity that we had carved so quickly but carefully. Then he had shaped it, smoothing some of the rough edges. Though our tethers to Neoforma were becoming increasingly long and narrow, some part of me would remain there for as long as it existed.