Reflecting on Asymmetry’s First 4 Years

Statistics show that 48% of businesses fail or dissolve within three years of start-up. Four years ago this month, Asymmetry Group launched from my dining room table, and we’re happy to report that we’re running stronger than ever despite the challenges of 2020. I’m clearly a bit overdue providing some reflections on the first few years, so I thought I’d skip right to year four!

If I’m honest, Asymmetry was primarily born out of a frustration with corporate life and my personal desire to do something different and more entrepreneurial. However, it was also built with the notion that:

  1. Asymmetry would create meaningful employment and development for highly talented and passionate people;
  2. Asymmetric insights could lead innovative companies to stronger growth and outcomes; and
  3. Asymmetry would move beyond pure strategy consulting (hence the “Group” in our name).

Four years in, we’re well on our way toward each of these aspirations, and I thought I’d offer a few thoughts on how we’ve gotten to where we are.

People

Cliché, but true – it’s all about the people! In the past two years in particular, we’ve pulled together an amazing team at Asymmetry. Yakir Siegal joined as a partner from Deloitte, Jenna Charles joined as a manager from PwC, and Chrissy Antoine started as an Analyst out of Brown University. We also have an incredibly talented team of dedicated research analysts, a deep bench of contractors and project managers, and we are supported by terrific finance, IT and legal teams.

I’ll be honest, though – it took a while to assemble the team. It was relatively easy when it was just me (let’s forget the sleepless nights early on worrying about whether contract payment terms and mortgage payment dates aligned!). I didn’t have to take responsibility for anyone else’s livelihood. But we reached a point where the lack of a dedicated team impacted our ability to serve clients as effectively as we wanted.

It can be a challenge for small companies with no name recognition to attract top quality talent. We think we’ve been successful by offering the opportunity to do meaningful, challenging work with some of the world’s most innovative healthcare firms.

Clients

Speaking of innovative healthcare firms, we’re nothing without the incredible clients we have the privilege of serving. We don’t name our clients, but we’re humbled by their unique approaches to disrupting healthcare and delivering novel solutions to major healthcare issues, including:

Our clients range from seed-stage start-ups to large public companies and span the US, Europe and Asia. Our deep appreciation goes out to all of you – you’re directly responsible for Asymmetry’s success, and we’re deeply invested in yours.

Asymmetry Evolution

Strategy consulting is our core business. But that was never the sole aspiration of Asymmetry Group. We’re motivated by the same mission as our clients, to improve healthcare – to make a solid dent in at least some of the numerous areas in which healthcare needs to improve and evolve.

We talk about Asymmetry’s future as an evolution from our roots as “advisors” to expand into “doers” and eventually into “creators”.

Doing: We view “doing” as moving beyond advising and playing distinct roles for the clients we serve. Whether that involves serving as a business development team for a digital health company, leading new product launch teams, or serving as the “voice of commercial” for a biotech firm, it moves us well beyond the traditional writing of reports and providing recommendations that is typical of consulting. It also squarely aligns our incentives with our clients’. Our goal over the coming year is to continue coupling our consulting with doing where we can have an impact.

Creating: The Asymmetry team has collectively worked in healthcare for many decades. There are numerous issues we’d like to solve directly, and we’re currently working through where we think we can best develop new solutions that will meaningfully impact healthcare. We know it’ll take a while to progress in this area, but we’re committed to being part of the solution. Stay tuned for more information on this over the coming year.

In summary, the past four years have been an incredible journey, and the past year in particular has been transformative for me personally, for Asymmetry as a company, and for the world at large. As I said to our team recently, while we’re four years in, we’re really just beginning – the past success we’ve had is simply today’s foundation. Thank you to everyone who has been part of our journey.