An Interview with Entrepreneur Robbie Cape

Introduction

Robbie Cape is a Chief Executive Officer & Co-founder of 98point6. Robbie passionately believes everyone deserves excellent, affordable primary care. With that in mind, he co-founded 98point6 in 2015 to harness the power of technology to improve both access and the quality of care.

Robbie’s 25-year career has centered around building consumer technology businesses and products, including founding Cozi Inc., where he served as CEO from its inception until Time Inc. acquired it in 2014. Under Robbie’s leadership, Cozi became the number one brand in the family technology category, with more than 14 million family members in 150 countries.

He spent the first 12 years of his career at Microsoft, where he led projects that included Microsoft Money, a program he ushered to profitability. Robbie holds a BS in engineering from Princeton University. He lives on Mercer Island with his wife, three children and their standard poodle Gingi.

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In an exclusive interview with Devathon, 98point6 co-founder and CEO Robbie Cape traces his journey so far and his plans for the years ahead.

When did you first discover your entrepreneurial spirit and how is your entrepreneurial career developing so far?

Being an entrepreneur is part of my genetic code. My family is filled with entrepreneurs, so I was surrounded by those influences from an early age. For me personally, there’s always been a drive to apply my entrepreneurial spirit in a way that can help make the world a better place. That’s been a theme across my professional career, addressing common problems impacting individuals and society. It began at Microsoft, where I spent the core of my time working on a personal finance app call Microsoft Money that helped families plan for a more secure financial future. Then, I co-founded the Cozi family organizing app that simplifies the chaotic side of the household, hopefully freeing up more time for meaningful interactions and relaxing shared moments. And now at 98point6, we’ve set the audacious goal to help every single human on this earth have access to quality primary care without the sacrifice of a financial trade-off.

What has been the biggest success and biggest failure stories you went through?

Core to being an entrepreneur is being willing to fail; in fact, it’s the simplest litmus test for determining if you are an entrepreneur. So I’ve had my share of failures. While ultimately Cozi was a success, I am covered with scar tissue from the nine years we spent tirelessly building it. At Microsoft, I had the greatest failure of my professional life. It was my lowest point and certainly the experience that taught me the most.

On the success front, there is no single greatest specific incident. The one—albeit repeated—achievement that gives me a surge of energy is recruiting an exceptional person onto the team. And unlike so many other successes that are transient, the wonderful feeling is usually everlasting as I get to work with and learn from that new individual.

How did you come up with the idea for 98point6 and how did it all start?

I’m more of a people person than an idea one. I first identified who I wanted to build a business with. Once that was established, we sat together for many months talking, researching and bouncing thoughts off other accomplished people we knew. We came to the 98point6 vision organically, recognizing that the world is headed towards a primary care crisis where less primary care is being made available, and yet we know that more primary care and easier access leads to healthier populations. With my technology background, I could see a path towards making this a reality—augmenting the expertise of physicians with machine learning and AI to extend their reach.

Tell us something about 98point6

98point6 offers people easier, more convenient access to the care they need through the technology that’s already at their fingertips. Our private, text-based service includes medical consults, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up and reminders—all via a mobile app—for a ridiculously affordable subscription price. Not only do we believe this will empower patients to take better charge of their health, whether it’s seeking symptom relief sooner or being more proactive about managing chronic conditions, we’re also extending the reach of our primary care doctors, allowing them more time to focus on delivering care while reducing costs.

What are your growth plans for the near future?

We recently closed our Series C funding round led by Goldman Sachs. We will use the funding to scale the business and fulfill strong commercial demand. We’ll also continue to grow our team, primarily our product and physician teams. The latest investment will help us increase the capabilities of our platform and further expand into new markets, including health plans and health systems. Most critically, the funding enables us to retain our number one focus: delivering the highest quality of care.

Looking back, what did you learn and what would you have done differently?

All of my experiences have made me who I am today. I have no regrets, and I have a passion for relentless improvement. I take my experiences and the things I’ve learned (both what to do and what not to do) and allow them to continually inform my plans and decisions. So looking back, I wouldn’t have done anything differently. Looking forward though, I think the hardest—and yet likely the most important thing for an entrepreneur to do—is fail fast. We all tend to think that money is our scarcest resource; as it turns out, time is the most precious of all.

In your opinion, what are the hurdles that keep people away from starting an entrepreneurial career? What advice would you give to the new entrepreneurs?

The biggest hurdle is embarking on that first step. I meet with many entrepreneurs who are afraid of taking the leap. In some cases, their fear is an excellent indicator that they shouldn’t do it since ultimately they are apprehensive about failing. However, in other cases, they know they have it in them; they’re just “preparing” themselves to make the leap: learning, growing, saving enough money so they can live without a salary while they get a new company off the ground. My advice to these folks is just do it. Figure out a way to take the leap now.

Are you an entrepreneur looking for your MVP built? Get in touch with us at hello@devathon.com

Devathon has built software for companies backed by the world's leading investors like Betaworks, Greylock, Andreessen Horowitz, Accel, KPCB, Lightspeed and many more.