Podcast: Brian Dolan On His Multiple Careers in Media

We discuss his previous company, MobiHealthNews, his new newsletter & market research business and advice for other operators.

As you all saw with the announcement this weekend, A Media Operator now has a podcast. This is the first episode, which was a great interview with an interesting operator. Every Wednesday, I aim to release new episodes. However, this means that you’re going from receiving 1-2 emails a week to 3. I recognize it can become too much, so I want to hear from you. If this is too much email, let me know. I hope you enjoy the show!

Where to listen:

And now… The show.

Brian Dolan, Founder & Lead Writer at Exits & Outcomes, is the first guest on the show and for good reason. He has had multiple careers in media, first working for Fierce Markets (which seems to have trained multiple future operators), then launching MobiHealthNews, which was then sold and, most recently, creating Exits & Outcomes.

In this show, we discussed a variety of important topics, but a few things jumped out.

Having an advisory committee

As Brian explains it, the acquisition of MobiHealthNews was something they hoped would happen, but was certainly not a given. Multiple times he and his co-founder would go out to lunch with executives from HIMSS, but it was only after a few years that the conversations turned more serious.

One thing that Brian admits would have helped was having people that he could call on to help him out. Having people that could relate to the situation would have made things simpler when going through the exercise of getting acquired.

By and large, a tight network of advisors can be invaluable for discussing ideas and getting a gut check on whether an idea is good.

Pricing for subscriptions

The blend of art vs. science for pricing subscriptions was certainly alive during this discussion. The way he did it was straight forward: what were other people charging for similar content? By finding comparable rates, he knew he was in a good place.

One thing Brian doesn't offer, that I do, is a monthly rate. His logic makes sense: the value of his market research is too high to let someone access it for a month for only $20 and then unsubscribe immediately afterward. At $200 a year, it's still a good value.

What comes next with an idea toward bundling

There are two potential paths he has thought about taking...

The first is that he could go the route of replicating the success he has had with Exits & Outcomes and expand into other verticals outside of digital health. That would require bringing on additional writers and effectively taking a script from FierceMarkets and Industry Dive.

The second (and more likely course) is to find more niches within digital health. As he said, healthcare and the digitization of it is a huge field. He said this route is the one he is likely to take so that he can continue operating as a solopreneur without needing to bring other people on board.

This second approach would result in a sort of bundle for his subscribers, providing different high-quality digital health insights that would keep his subscribers from leaving.

Let me know your thoughts about the show. Please share it with anyone you think enjoys podcasts and media. If you’re interested in being a sponsor, let me know (but I temper expectations: this is brand new). And as always, thank you so much for signing up. Have a great day!

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