Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran
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852 Automating Routines with Micah Dickerson, Director of Product Management at Web.com and Lighthouse 360

852 Automating Routines with Micah Dickerson, Director of Product Management at Web.com and Lighthouse 360

10/4/2017 7:34:16 AM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 240

852 Automating Routines with Micah Dickerson, Director of Product Management at Web.com and Lighthouse 360 : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

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852 Automating Routines with Micah Dickerson, Director of Product Management at Web.com and Lighthouse 360 : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

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VIDEO - DUwHF #852 - Micah Dickerson
                       


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Micah Dickerson is a Director of Product Management with Web.com responsible for its award-winning Lighthouse line of patient communication software for dentists, having previously managed key areas of AutoCAD and AutoCAD for Mac at Autodesk. Through his work with Web.com, he studies the overall dental patient experience and looks for ways that technology can improve upon it. He’s been working in the software world for more than 17 years, and has a background in architecture, web technologies, market research and visual design. Micah is a graduate of the University of California with additional education in graphic design and architecture.

Lighthouse 360 was designed specifically to help dentists eliminate hours of manual work (16 hours per week on average) by automating daily patient interactions and office routines such as appointment reminders and patient reviews. With the new Fill-in feature, Lighthouse 360 addresses what has been cited in DentistryIQ and the Hartford Business Journal as a potential $30,000 per year loss for most dental practices.

The Fill-in feature detects last-minute cancellations in a dentist’s schedule and automatically reaches out to patients most likely to want the vacated appointment – such as those who are overdue for their checkups or have requested a more immediate appointment time. Once a patient has confirmed interest, the dentist simply approves the new appointment.

Fill-in is available at no additional cost to existing and new Lighthouse 360 clients.

Lighthouse 360 has been recognized by The Townie Choice Awards, one of the most prominent peer recognitions in dentistry and organized by Dentaltown Magazine. The software is also a Dental Product Shopper (DPS) Evaluators’ Choice.

About Lighthouse 360

Lighthouse 360 – a Web.com brand since 2016 – automates dentists’ daily consumer interactions and office routines such as appointment reminders, leading to improved operational efficiency and business results. Lighthouse 360 features include phone, text, email and postcard appointment automation, reactivation letters, family messages, patient reviews, seamless practice management integration, all-day data synchronization and more. The automated messaging capabilities have helped customers increase production by an average of 30 percent, and its features designed to boost practice efficiency, on average, save dental practices 16 hours per week and eliminate seven hours of weekly phone time for the front desk.  Lighthouse 360 serves dentists throughout the United States and Canada. Lighthouse 360 scored a 4.9/5.0 from current clients who were asked by Dental Product Shopper to rate and comment on their experience with the product. Further, 80 percent of clients say using Lighthouse 360 has increased the overall happiness of their staff.

About Web.com

Web.com Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: WEB) is a global provider of a full range of Internet services to small businesses to help them compete and succeed online. Web.com meets the needs of small businesses anywhere along their lifecycle with affordable, subscription-based solutions including domains, hosting, website design and management, search engine optimization, online marketing campaigns, local sales leads, social media, mobile products and ecommerce solutions.

www.lh360.com 




Howard: It is just a huge honor for me today to be podcast interviewing Micah Dickerson. He’s the Director of Product Management at Web.com, which owns Lighthouse 360. He’s calling in today from Manhattan. He is responsible for its award-winning Lighthouse line of patient communication software for dentists, having previously managed key areas of AutoCAD and AutoCAD for Mac at Autodesk. Through his work with Web.com he studies the overall dental patient experience and looks for ways that technology can improve upon it. He’s been working in the software world for more than seventeen years and has a background in architecture, web technologies, market research and visual design. Micah is a graduate of the University of California, with additional education in graphic design and architecture. We don’t do commercials on this show, he didn’t call me – I called him, no money is exchanged; but I brought him on because there’s been some new advancements at Lighthouse 360. 


Lighthouse 360 was designed specifically to help dentists eliminate hours of manual work, about sixteen hours per week on average, by automating daily patient interactions and office routines such as appointment reminders and patient reviews. With the new Fill-In feature, Lighthouse 360 addresses what has been cited in Dentistry IQ and the Hartford Business Journal as a potential thirty thousand Dollar per year loss for most dental practices. The Fill-In feature detects last-minute cancellations in a dentist’s schedule and automatically reaches out to patients more likely to want the vacated appointment, such as those who are overdue for their check-ups or have requested a more immediate appointment time. Once a patient has confirmed interest, the dentist simply approves the new appointment. Fill-In is available at no additional cost to existing and new Lighthouse 360 clients. Lighthouse 360 has been recognized by the Townie Choice Awards, one of the most prominent peer recognitions in dentistry and organised by Dentaltown magazine. This software is also a Dental Product Shopper Evaluator’s Choice and for a free demo of Lighthouse 360 and the new Fill-In feature, you can call 888 368 9101 or visit www.LH360.com/fill-in. So, thanks for coming on this show because …


Micah: You bet.


Howard: You know, we talked about this a lot on the show earlier. I got out of school thirty years ago in 1987. It was just easier to be successful in ’87 than it is 2017 and so, you know, having patient cancellations, ‘specially in the hygiene department, if you have one cancellation a day that department doesn’t even break even. So, talk about your journey with Lighthouse 360.


Micah: Well, it’s been a journey for sure. As you mentioned, I come from Autodesk and I worked on AutoCAD and AutoCAD for Mac and a variety of other things while I was there. And one of the things people often ask me is, well, what’s the same, what’s different, that sort of thing. Well, one thing it’s software – that’s good. But I think the thing that really connects those two jobs for me is how passionate people are about the job they’re performing and how critical the software is to the business. You know, if an engineer doesn’t have their software, they’re not engineering anything really that day. So, and we found that, while Lighthouse 360 wasn’t quite that important in the dental practice day-to-day, it is pretty darn important and when that thing goes down, we hear about it for sure, because our dentists really rely on our product to bring people into the office. So, yeah, it’s been a great transition. I’ve been with the company for a couple of years now and fortunately I’m surrounded by a lot of people who have a lot of really deep dental experience, where a lot of our employees were actually employees of dental practices at one point or another. And so it’s been a really great transition for me personally.


Howard: So, when did Lighthouse 360 come out?


Micah: So, the product’s about ten years old. It started in Sugar Hill, Georgia, with a great little team of people, many of whom are still involved in the product. That company was acquired by a company called Yodle a few years back. And then Yodle was acquired by Web.com about a year and a half ago. So, we’ve been part of the Web family for about a year and a half now.


Howard: I said to my … I shouldn’t say this … this sounds bad … I said to Ryan, I said this is owned by … Lighthouse 360 was owned by Yodle, which was then bought by Web.com, and he said, well, what’s Yodle? So, my smart, brilliant son, Ryan, had to ask what Yodle was. There’s probably another listener out there that doesn’t know what Yodle is, or Web.com. So, talk about that. Why … what did Yodle do and why did it buy Lighthouse 360? What’s Web.com do and why’d it buy Yodle?


Micah Dickerson: Okay. Well, so Yodle has, had a history in sort-of the Ad Tech space. They helped small businesses get discovered, like on a local advertising level. That was the really big business and they decided to branch out into more like product development-type stuff and that was the reason for the acquisition of Lighthouse 360 initially. Web.com has a history in hosting and domain registration and what they were looking to do was kinda round out their offering for small business solutions, I guess, across the spectrum there. So, our business as Web.com is to help small business to succeed and Lighthouse 360 is one vertical slice of that business.


Howard: Did a dentist start it in Georgia?


Micah: A dentist’s husband started it.


Howard: A dentist … a woman dentist … her husband started it?


Micah: Yeah, yes.


Howard: Now what was his name?


Micah: His name’s Allen Jorgensen. He started with a couple of other guys and Allen used to be in … actually probably is still pretty active on Dentaltown, quite a force on there.


Howard: Allen Jorgensen?


Micah: Yeah, yeah.


Howard: J-O-R-G-E-N-S-E-N?


Micah: Yeah, yes sir.


Howard: So, he probably has some moniker name … I probably know exactly who he is by some other name!


Micah: Yeah, he’s …


Howard: And he married a dentist?


Micah: Yeah, yeah! And so he was managing …


Howard: Is he in therapy?


Micah: What’s that?


Howard: Is he in therapy for marrying a dentist?


Micah: Maybe, I don’t know! But yeah, so his goal was to manage his wife’s office better and so he was figuring out way to automate things he could automate, how to save some money where he could and how to just make everybody’s life a little bit easier. So, Allen’s a brilliant guy who’s come up with lots of systems to help do that sort of thing and essentially Lighthouse 360 became the embodiment of a lot of those things: to automate and to eliminate the need for a junior assistant essentially.


Howard: So, who really does this? The front office team or does the dentist and the assistants and the hygienists get involved in it?


Micah: It could be anybody, but I think the main value proposition of Lighthouse 360 is that most of it just kinda happens in the background. It doesn’t have to be touched by anybody once it’s set up. So, you kinda set it and forget it, and it automatically reads from your practice management software and it just acts; it starts sending out appointment reminders and reactivates patients who haven’t been in in a long time, it can connect to a postcard vendor – so if you would rather send out postcards or if you’d like to do that as part of a campaign to get people to come into the office when they’re supposed to – it can do all of that stuff. So, yeah, that kinda … the best part is that you don’t have to do anything. We also have a buncha stuff especially that’s been developed in the last few years that gives you a reason to log in as well and that would be for like two-way texting, like if you wanna do text messaging with your patients you can do it right from the Lighthouse portal; you can do our new Fill-In feature, for example is something that you would interact with in the portal as well; and there’s a variety of things that you would use the portal for: tasks – we suggest tasks that should be completed to kinda help the practice practise best practices (that’s a lot of practices, but you get my point), so we suggest collecting more email addresses, or collecting more phone numbers so that we can actually  message people that way.


Howard: How much does it cost and how many dentists do you have using it over the last ten years?


Micah: Well, we have, gosh, we’re going on thirteen thousand dentists.


Howard: Wow!


Micah: Yup. And we’ve got … I’m sorry, your first question one more time.


Howard: Well, you’ve got thirteen thousand dentists, and how much is it?


Micah: Oh, it’s costs about three hundred dollars – it’s three twenty-nine a month, on average. You know, there’s some options and stuff in there, of course, but yeah, it’s about three twenty-nine.


Howard: And why did you go with three twenty-nine instead of three thirty? You’re not a rounding-off kinda guy?


Micah: No, no.


Howard: Well, I’ve found your buddy, Allen Jorgensen. He’s got a hundred and forty-nine posts. He’s been a member of Dentaltown since 2005 and I assume that’s his wife in his avatar picture – it’s a … have you seen that picture?


Micah: I have not, but I’m sure it is, yeah. It might be his daughter. Yeah.


Howard: Does his daughter work in the dental office?


Micah: Yeah, she just finished up dental school, I think.


Howard: So, I don’t know if you can answer this, it might be politically incorrect, but there’s a lot of kids listening to this that are … they’re an associate in some dental office and most every associate I know that works in another dental office or corporate or whatever, they never like the dental practice management system. They always think the grass is greener on the other side. You integrate with how many practice management softwares?


Micah: A lot. A lot. In fact, I just sent a list … the updated list just yesterday and I didn’t realise how many. It’s sixty-five, seventy.


Howard: So, I just went to Dentaltown and I have a search bar function which I want everyone to use ‘cause it cost me fifty thousand dollars from Google, and I typed in Lighthouse 360 and there’s a nice active thread on that. I wish you would post that list of who you sync with on Dentaltown.


Micah: Sure, yeah. We also have it published on our website and I can put a link up there maybe too.


Howard: Yeah, that would be great. But this might be a channel conflict for you, but … ‘cause I know you don’t want to piss of any of your vendors but do you … what if she was listening to you and said, “Well, what practice management software works with this the best, which one do you and your programmers like the best?”


Micah: Yeah, that would be a tough call to make. We have, you know, we have partnerships with several that are, you know, some are tighter than others and that kind of thing but yeah, we probably…


Howard: Who’s your tight ones?


Micah: We work best with the bigger ones, probably.


Howard: Yeah, yeah. That was a nice political way of saying I can’t say anything, I can’t piss off … I understand. People always want me to write endorsements for their dental office and I say, well, number one I’d have to use it and then I could talk about it in my lecture, but as far as the magazine, I can’t … you know, I’m not supposed to endorse product A if five other companies endorse it, you know, so it’s … but this is Dentistry Uncensored, they let me … my team lets me unleash on this thing. That’s why it’s called Dentistry Uncensored and we figured all the CEOs of dental companies are too old to know what a podcast is. So, you talk about that if my homies give you three hundred and twenty-nine dollars a month, so that is … okay, so three twenty-nine times twelve is thirty-nine hundred bucks, and you say it’ll save them thirty thousand dollars a year.


Micah: Yeah, I mean, we … you could probably save even more than that and we think that we boost production by easily thirty percent on average as well.


Howard: You boost production thirty percent?!


Micah: Yeah, ‘cause we … we get people to come in for their appointments that they’ve already booked and now, with the new Fill-In feature, we can also Fill-In those openings that show up the day of too. So that alone, we think, can save thirty thousand dollars a year, because, I mean, like a couple of different publications – Dentistry IQ is one of them – has proclaimed that basically if you don’t fill one appointment a day, you get one cancellation a day that goes unfilled, you’re losing thirty thousand dollars a year. So that’s what the whole purpose of Fill-In is to kind of solve for that.


Howard: Yeah, I mean, it’s everything and … but see I’m old and tired and fat … I’d rather have a something that finds the people most likely I can cancel at the end of the day and reschedule. Do you have that for the older, fat guys?


Micah: The people you can most likely cancel at the end of the day? No, not yet, but …


Howard: Sometimes you’re sitting at lunch and she says, would you like a margarita and you’re like, God it would be so nice to pull out your Lighthouse 360 app and cancel all your afternoon and say, hell, yeah!


Micah: Well, we do have a cancellation feature. We can take a block and cancel all of them for you, if you want. But we usually say it’s a natural disaster or something like that and we wouldn’t say it’s margarita-related.


Howard: Well, you know, everything is about the schedule. I mean, it’s the most important part and, I mean, you gotta stay full and a lot of these dentists, I think they’re afraid of a lot of these things because they’re afraid they’re gonna get double-booked and they always say, well, what happens if I have an emergency? And I go, well, when your emergency walks in a lot of times you have a cancellation. I mean, it’s just, you know, it just happens. I mean, my walk-ins have almost negated my cancellations for years and if I get double-booked, which is what they’re afraid of, you can always catch the fish, you don’t have to cook, clean, eat it – you can give ‘em antibiotics, you can give them pain meds, you can do something and then get ‘em back. But gosh, I would think the hygiene department is the most important because the cancellations usually don’t give us that much time and so if someone cancels, how long does it take for this to start sending out reminders and …


Micah: Well, so the way it works is when we detect a cancellation, we present the office with that. We say, “Hey, we detected a cancellation. Should we try to fill it?” And there’s a button you can click that says, “Yeah, go for it”. If they click the button, we go to work. We have an algorithm that sorts through your patient list and figures out who the most likely patient is to want that particular appointment time and we start to message people, a small number of people who we think are most likely to take the appointment, and as they receive this message they can either accept or decline the invitation to fill the spot. If they accept the invitation, the office gets notified and then the office can approve or deny that request essentially at that point. So, it’s very simply, this all is working in the background, there’s no phone calling from the Post-It note on the monitor or, you know, the handwritten list next to the keyboard or whatever, you don’t have to put up the “sooner if possible” list – we have access to all of that sort of stuff from the PMS and, like I said, we message a very small number of people on purpose so that we don’t piss everybody off. We just find the one that wants that spot. And we have a pretty high rate of filling those appointments.


Howard: So, what else does it do?


Micah: Well, that’s the main thing it does. So, I mean, we’re trying to … with Fill-In, you know, the whole point is to fill those last-minute cancellations. You know, we go to dental offices all the time and observe what’s going on in there and the same scenario kept popping up every time we went into a practice. Like, while we’re there somebody calls, it’s a patient calling to cancel at the last minute, you know, they’re kid got sick and they can’t come in or whatever, sometimes some really good reasons, sometimes maybe not, but the person who answers the phone gets visibly stressed out, realises they have to fill this appointment, there’s this frantic rush to try to find someone to fill that spot and, I guess, it usually … we’re seeing like sticky notes with like, you know, oh, this person wants to come in on Thursday in the morning if possible, or whatever. There’s usually some attempt to solve for this and, you know, some of our more tech savvy clients have a way of doing it that’s more systematic. Sometimes they send out an email to a really large group of people hoping that somebody bites on it, essentially spamming their whole patient list. Most of the time through these calls we would notice some practices put more time than others into it, but we’d see anything from a few minutes to several hours trying to fill these spots. Usually nothing comes of it. Most of the time they are unable to find somebody to come in at that exact time. So, we thought we could solve for this and we thought about, you know, we have access to all this data that would allow us to build an algorithm to figure out who is most likely to want this thing. We look at all kinds of stuff. It’s pretty crazy complicated on the back end, what we’re doing. We’re not just calling everybody on the “sooner if possible” list. So, we got our product team together, explored the problem, we came up with some pretty amazing ideas, some of them were pretty nuts, so we kind of put those aside for now, but a couple of the really stuck and one of those is what became Fill-In, where the whole point was to automate as much of the process as possible so that everybody could get back to actually focusing on patient care instead of the administrative aspect of keeping the calendar full.


Howard: So, I just … I read it somewhere … I just asked on that thread, does anybody have a question for you? And the first guy popped up and says, how do I get a demo? And I know you already told me. It was … where did I write that down?  So, I just got you a demo, buddy!


Micah: Sweet! Score!


Howard: Score! Yeah. You should go in there and get Alan to answer these thread questions. But … you know, so, Yodle, you said Web.com is the hosting domain. Do you think there’s any advantages to Lighthouse.com since you are also acquired by Yodle and Web.com? I mean, do those bigger companies bring you any advantages?


Micah: Yeah, sure, I mean, we’ve got … in our portfolio we’ve got all sorts of different small business focus products so, I mean, in theory it … a dentist could register a domain, could get it hosted, we could build them a website, we could get them signed up with Lighthouse, all that sort of thing. As the companies have come together, we’ve been exploring ways to offer new … more tightly integrated solutions across the portfolio too. So, in the very near future we should be able to offer quite a bit more in those terms.


Howard: So, are you offering a dental office website design right now?


Micah: Oh, yeah, absolutely! Dentistry is one of our biggest segments.


Howard: But is that the … is that part of the Lighthouse 360 or is that part of the Yodle or Web.com?


Micah: It’s more part of the broader Web portfolio at the moment, but we’re looking at ways to more tightly integrate Lighthouse with that, so we’ve got some really cool ideas for how that might look in the very near future.


Howard: But, I mean, so for Lighthouse.com, it’s three twenty-nine a month, but if they want a website do you … is that part of Lighthouse or do you refer them to some … another department in Web.com or …?


Micah: Yeah, it’d be another department at the moment.


Howard: And what department is that?


Micah: Well, there’s three different website products, so there’s like, and it’s a varying level of like how much you wanna be involved in the creation, so there’s a completely do-it-yourself product, there’s also a do-it-for-me product and then there’s what we call an advanced website design and so each of those has kind of a varying level of interaction from the user. I mean, you can pay Web to build the whole thing for you and you never have to touch it if you want.


Howard: So, you …


Micah: So, we can do a lot of stuff.


Howard: So, you got three: do-it-yourself, do-it-for-me and advanced website design?


Micah: Yeah.


Howard: And how much are those?


Micah: It really varies. It really varies. If somebody were interested they would definitely wanna go check out that, those specific websites from … you can access that from Web.com.


Howard: Yeah, you know, it’s amazing because that’s … actually the website is one of the worst parts of the whole dentists. I mean, whenever a dentist emails me, you know, there’s a link and a signature, I click on his website and they’re frightening; they look like they were bought five to ten years ago, and I have read … tell me if you’ve ever seen any data like this: how many people have to land on the average dental office website before someone converts and calls your dental office?


Micah: Oh man, I mean, that … the number’s huge. I don’t have it right off the top of my head but I know that it’s huge, and if the site isn’t attractive, your chances go down, so.  Also, you know, one of the things we’ve been looking into is … that’s been talked about a lot, is online appointment booking and, you know, we are not offering that yet and that’s because it’s a much more complicated issue than it might seem. You know, a lot of dentists, I think, like you pointed out before, the schedule is kind of the core of the business there and a lot of dentists are not comfortable with, you know, people messing with their calendar. So, the right way to do that is still being researched. We don’t wanna invade, you know, in territory where a dentist doesn’t wanna … doesn’t wanna have company, you know. So, we’re looking into that. And that would be an example of a way that you could probably increase your conversion from your website is if you had a booking widget that worked in a way was appropriate for your practice, you know, if you had that destination. The person’s already there, they’re ready to book and then they’ve gotta pick up the phone, it’s just another barrier to doing it, so I think that conversion rate can be a lot higher if they’ve got a booking solution on there. We have appointment requests now, yeah.


Howard: You say you do have appointment requests right now?


Micah: Yeah, we have an appointment request widget that you can add, but, you know, in the true sense of like booking, that’s the one that I don’t think anybody’s really cracked just yet.


Howard: I’ve been telling dentists for thirty years that there’s a ton of data that shows the dentists who have excess capacity, excess number of operatories, has one or two ops that are not ever scheduled, those guys make fifty to seventy five thousand dollars nett a year because you need operational logistics so many times, you know, you go into a dental office and the dentist is back in his private office ‘because he’s waiting for them to exit a patient, clean up the room, set up for the next one, and they’re burning twenty minutes, and then that same guy tells me he can’t squeeze in an emergency, and I think that, I mean, the endodontists, oral surgeons, it’s a big part of why they nett almost twice of what general dentists do. General dentists nett one seventy-five a year and endodontists are like three eighty and oral surgeons are like four ten. And they’ll tell you that when their opposites call up and say, “Can you see someone?” They’re not gonna say no ‘because they don’t want you to use another referral. Well, the same thing with the dental office – you say no, so they go across the street. You’re feeding the alligators who’re across the street who’re gonna come back and bite you on the butt. And I think that online scheduling appointment is a no-brainer if you just have that extra one or two ops, it’s never scheduled for walk-ins, for emergencies, and just let them come in. And then when they do come in, if you get double-booked, you don’t have to do the complete procedure, you can start it, temporize it, you know, you gotta catch the fish, you don’t have to cook, clean and eat it, and the dentists just need to get in that mindset.


Micah: Yeah, totally, and the other thing that, you know, we think a lot about is that, you know, those cleaning … the cleaning appointments are the opportunity to introduce the patient to additional treatment, right, so it’s … if you miss the opportunity to bring the patient in for that cleaning, you miss the opportunity to market additional services to them as well, so that you might have lost quite a bit more than just a cleaning.


Howard: Yeah, and another thing about the cleaning is the dentist doesn’t get that the dentist never sets up the room, the assistant does. The assistant goes and gets the patient. The assistant’s assisting him or her while he’s doing the dentistry, and then when it’s all over they’re the ones who dismiss the patient, clean it up, you know, a lot of them even write up the notes, all this kinda stuff like that. So, if you do have someone appoint online and they come in for a cleaning, and your hygienist’s like, “Whoa, I’ve got two cleanings at just this one hour”, what do you do for that? Well, you’ve got assistants. You have extra rooms, when you have extra assistants and that assistant will go there and they’ll seat that patient – why can’t the hygienist be like a dentist? Why can’t she just seat the patient? The assistant seats the patient, takes the necessary x-rays, you know, set up the room, seat the patient, take the x-rays, then the hygienist comes in, she probes, the assistant can record and then when she starts doing her scale, the assistant can go bounce into the other room and dismiss the patient, clean up the room, set it all up for the next patient. So, it’s basically operations and logistics and that’s a course never taught in a dental school.


Micah: Yeah. I’ve seen some really interesting products to help that at the ADA and various other shows as well. We haven’t quite gotten into the space of the logistics of the office, but yeah, I mean, it’s a huge thing.


Howard: What about on the website, the chat feature? Do you think that’s … you know, go to a lot of these websites and a little box pops up? Do you think that’s all that and a bag of chips and helps increase your conversion from website to calling the office? Or do think it’s mostly noise?


Micah: I mean, I think it depends. You know, in like, we use chat for support, for example, and it’s great, it works really well because it can help a representative kind of have multiple conversations at once. So, you can increase your volume of contact. But in the case of a dental practice, I’m not entirely sure, you know, exactly how that would work. We haven’t seen that, or we haven’t worked on anything like that.


Howard: Well, the other thing about the online scheduling is millennials prefer to do it on their iPhone at ten o’clock at night, the prefer that than calling during the day and talking to a receptionist. Whereas an old guy like me, who’s a grandpa and has got a bunch of grandkids, I … when I go to the bank, I mean, they think I’m an idiot. They’re like, Dad, well at least go through the drive-thru! And it’s like, no, I’m gonna park and go inside, I know everybody there, they … I’ve know the branch manager forever and, you know, but millennials, they’re like, they don’t wanna park the car and go in. McDonald’s says sixty percent of their revenue is from the drive-thru, and I think as far as these banks, I think what’s gonna be the most important for the millennials is not walking in like Grandpa, not going through the drive-thru, but actually just doing it on their app.


Micah: I completely agree, yeah. We’ve been monitoring that. The patient experience is something that we’ve been really monitoring in general and, you know, over the last few decades, like, customers in general have begun to expect quite a bit more in terms of service and, you know, even folks like the DMV and the IRS have gotten on board with this and they’ve taken great … they’ve gone to great lengths to try to improve. I think maybe those guys have a little bit more to do, but overall that’s something that is continuing to change. The patient experience is continuing to evolve and the patients are becoming more and more demanding, so I think one of the most important things that we wanna help our dentists do is provide the best experience without having to actually do anything extra, because if you’re providing the best patient experience, those patients are gonna come back to you.


Howard: And how do you think Lighthouse 360 improves the patient experience?


Micah: Well, one of the things we do is we reach out to the patients the way that they want to be contacted, right. So, we …


Howard: And how do they want to be contacted? More email or more text on their smartphone?


Micah: It really depends on the practice. So, practices that skew older, like you were just pointing out, like those folks wanna get phone calls, and so that’s kinda more of a manual thing … or even automated phone calls, but they prefer the phone, like actually talking on the phone as opposed to typing on the phone. Then practices that skew younger, the ones that skew younger are all about texting and about apps and like that kinda thing. So, what Lighthouse does is we collect the email and the text and the phone number and all that … I’m sorry the email and phone number, so that we have option to hit them, you know, in the way that works best for them, and so the practice can go into Lighthouse and actually change the preferences. So, if somebody doesn’t want to receive a text message or doesn’t want to receive emails or whatever, they can manually … they can go in there and adjust that for each patient if they want to. In the meantime, we’re gonna talk to patients in every way that we can and we gonna see whatever works best.


Howard: A lot of people say, you know, the government, the government. I’m like, Dude, the government’s a thousand different agencies! When you say the government is incompetent, which branch are you talking about? But I do agree that the DMV has probably got to be on the bottom, it’s probably Ground Zero for incompetence. And I would say the next one is 911, because I can’t believe that every time I’ve called 911, they’re like, Well, can you give me a description of the car wreck, or whatever, and it’s like, well, if you idiots had Facetime, I mean, I could be showing it to you. How come you’re asking me to give you a description of the car or the person or whatever, and, I mean, I can Facetime my eighty-year-old mother, how come I can’t Facetime 911? And why do I have to call 911, why can’t I text them? I mean, it’s just crazy. But what is the DMV doing that a dental office isn’t doing? That’s gotta be hilarious! How are they, how …? I can’t wait to tell my conservative Republican friends who think government is so incompetent, they’re so all that, I wanna let them all know what the DMV’s doing that they’re not!


Micah: Well, I wouldn’t recommend that any dentist does what the DMV is doing! But I’ve notice this personally on my visits, not so much recently, but my visits to the DMV in the relatively recent past, that signage has improved, that people are friendlier, that … yeah, and also like here in New York, when I moved here I had to get a new driver’s licence and I went to the DMV’s website. It’s actually a relatively clear process for how to complete the application, how to go find the DMV. You have to go in and bring certain documents and that sort, and it’s a relatively clear process now, whereas in the past … I’m from California, you know, years ago when I first got my driver’s licence, a really long time ago, things weren’t so clear. You would wait in line for two hours to get to the front of the line only to realise you’ve been in the wrong line the whole time, ‘cause there was no sign, there was nobody to talk to, nothing like that. So, now, you know, they have the reservation system, like that kind of thing. Because people are demanding that, you know, my time is valuable and I don’t wanna waste it standing in line and I also don’t wanna get yelled at for something stupid. So, that kind of thing I think is what’s changed. I’d say maybe the one thing the dental practice could learn from DMV is be nice to people! I don’t know, but they already pretty much are and usually a lot nicer than the DMV, so maybe they’ve already got that nailed.


Howard: But that is the excellent point! I mean, all business owners think that free enterprise is perfect and government is incompetent, but I can fill out … you’re saying you can fill out all your paperwork for the DMV online, but what percent of dental offices could I fill out all my paperwork? What would you guess?


Micah: Yeah, it’s very small. I’d guess very small. Do you know the number?


Howard: No, I don’t, but that is a great point. That’ll really get under the skin of my drinking buddies!


Micah: The other thing too about that number is that it’s not even so much about how many practices make that available, it’s about patients being willing to do it because it’s a good experience or not. And I’d say the ones who are doing it are thinking the right way, but a lot of that execution so far hasn’t been so great. We’ve seen some products out there specific to healthcare, dentistry in particular, that attempts to do some of this stuff, and, you know, it’s kind of fair to middling in terms of the execution, so a lot of patients don’t take advantage of it. We have some clients who put their PDF forms on their website and they direct patients to download, print and then manually fill them out and bring them in with them. Like, you can probably guess that the percentage of people who actually do that is pretty low, and that’s just because the experience isn’t so great. Like, they’re thinking the right way, like they really are, like let’s do this ahead of time, but the way that it’s presented isn’t so great, so, that’s something that we think about a lot, like if we are gonna do this sort of thing, what’s the way to make sure that it’s a good experience for the patient so that it actually accomplishes the goal that we’re setting out to solve for? So, like, if the patient doesn’t fill out the form, who cares where they are? Right, like, you’re gonna have to fill them out on a clipboard when you get to the office anyway.


Howard: Man, that is an awesome … so, anything else the DMV does better?


Micah: That’s something I’ve never actually thought I’d be answering! Gosh, that would be a hard one to say, but I’d say, you know, in their case they process so many people, like I think signage is super-important. One of the things that that makes me think of is a project that was taken on by the experience design firm, IDEO, many years ago now for the Kaiser Permanente Healthcare organization in … they’re primarily on the West Coast, in Hawaii. They’re huge, they have these hospital-type things called Permanentes and Kaiser hired IDEO to redesign their patient experience, and in doing so they painted, they changed the signage, they fixed the lighting, they replaced furniture, stuff like that. They trained personnel on customer service-type stuff. Didn’t change a whole lot about the way the care is actually provided, like the actual medical care, and they’ve actually seen better clinical outcomes, like significantly better clinical outcomes, because they’ve changed the lighting, the paint, the furniture, signage, stuff like that. Because what we’re realizing is that there’s this holistic need to treat the patient as a whole person and that whole experience counts. It’s not just the part where you’re poking them with a needle or drilling something out – like, it’s about how they’re treated as a human being and that, how they feel about the interaction, and we know from our experience that if we send a message that has too many things in it people don’t respond. If we send a message that has one clear thing to do in it, they do it at a much, much greater rate. So, our shift has been, over the last few years especially, to really think about how do we provide the experience that gets the patient to exhibit the behaviour that we want, which is intended to help the practice, right. So, I think that’s the future of this kind of thing – it’s about focusing on the patient as a way to produce results for the practice. So, those are things that are definitely on our mind over here at Lighthouse.


Howard: Hah, ‘cause my motto is: At today’s dental we are only focused on your teeth, we are not connected to the rest of your body, your feelings and all that s**t. So, you’re saying that’s not a good thing?


Micah: Well, I mean, I don’t think it is a good thing!


Howard: That was a joke! That was a joke!


Micah: Yeah.


Howard: But another thing I like about you, you guys don’t have any … when they sign up for this at three twenty-nine a month, there’s no contract, right?


Micah: No contract.


Howard: Is there a set-up fee?


Micah: Yeah, there’s a small set-up fee.


Howard: What’s the small set-up fee?


Micah: It’s a few hundred dollars.


Howard: What’s a few hundred dollars?


Micah: Three. Three hundred.


Howard: So, it’s three. So, it’s basically like getting an apartment – the first month’s down and then you pay, so you pay the first two months upfront. And I wanna tell you young kids on that is contracts are huge. Number one: would you want to have a patient sign a contract that they had to be your patient or you sign a contract that you had to be their dentist and it wasn’t working out and I think it’s a huge red ... I think contracts are a huge red flag, especially the marriage contract which should be against the constitutional amendment, I mean, really, it’s just … you know, it’s supposed to be all love and then when it’s over, then it’s like, let’s get the lawyers and see who has the most money and then give it to the other person. But, the same thing with consultants. I mean, a lot of consultants don’t have contracts because they’re trying to earn your business every month, and I like companies like Lighthouse that say, Dude, if you don’t like our services, we don’t want you to feel locked in, I mean, this isn’t Verizon (36:19), you know. I mean, contracts are a huge red flag and I think it’s cool that you don’t lock them in to do anything.


Micah: Yeah, and we have a ridiculously long lifespan for most of our clients. Like we have a very, very high retention rate. Lighthouse is definitely the poster child for retention at Web.com and we have other products who strive to do as well as we do. We’ve a really high customer satisfaction rating and NPS score and it’s … I think that that has everything to do with the fact that we really listen, like, we … our goal is to really go into practices and understand the problems and that’s why, if you compare us to our competitors, some of our competitors have much longer feature lists than we do; our goal is not to have a long feature list – our goal is to have a good feature list and it might be a lot less, a lot shorter. And the way we get to that is we wanna go in a deeply understand the need before we just throw something at out. Like, I’ve heard about products that … features like Fill-In, like our Fill-In, that work similarly but expands the entire patient population every time there’s an opening. Well, if you have two openings in a day and it happens every day, like, think about how many texts and emails your patients are getting! They’re gonna drop you like a hot potato, right? So that’s it was really important to us that we did it the right way and that we really considered, like, who would be the right patient to ask to come in. So, we look at all kinds of crazy factors and I won’t go into the details of that ‘cause it’s kind of our secret sauce with this thing, but, you know, we only hit a few patients and we know which ones are gonna want that appointment and that’s how we win, so.


Howard: Yeah, you know, people are always amazed by stuff like that but I think humans are completely predictable.


Micah: Oh, totally!


Howard: I mean, they’re all creatures of habit. They basically eat only the same ten things for dinner, they … when they put hidden cameras in showers, they wash everything in the same order, when they study people brushing their teeth, the brush their teeth exactly the same way every time. You don’t think about almost anything you’re doing and where it’s really scary is when you’re driving and sometimes you start thinking about something and you weren’t even paying attention, but you went to the right lane and you got off on your corner, you know, and I mean, it’s just … they’re such creatures of habit. So, you do the perfect recall, appointment reminders, auto-confirm, reactivation outreach, treatment plans, cancellation Fill-In – that’s pretty damn cool. I wanna know your demographics. So, I’m a Boomer, I was born in ’62. Millennials were born after 1980. I would just assume that this is more of a Millennial thing for the patients that, you know, the people that really dig this are people born after 1980. Were you born before or after 1980?


Micah: I was born before 1980. I know I look a lot younger, but… You mean in terms of, like, our dentists or the patients?


Howard: The dentists.


Micah: The dentists, yeah. We have dentists of all ages using Lighthouse.


Howard: You have them of all ages, but I bet … but are the majority of them … like, on Dentaltown, there’s a quarter million dentists on the desktop but when they came out with the app, sixty thousand downloaded it and they’re pretty much all born after 1980. I mean, the app is for Millennials and the desktop is for grandpas! So, I would assume that, yeah, you have thirteen thousand dentists, you got everyone buying it, but is it overly weighted towards the dentists born after 1980?


Micah: No. I think the difference … what … maybe how this could be explained differently is, the product in general doesn’t appeal to any particular group. How they use it is going to vary definitely and how they set it up for their practice, ‘cause when they first purchase Lighthouse we do a setup call with them and we ask them about all these different parameters and we set all the switches and dials and everything for them so they don’t have to do that. So, like what, for example, one option for your practice is we can send postcards; we can have postcards printed and mailed so you get something in the mailbox.


Howard: Who’s your postcard vendor for that?


Micah: Well, we’ve kind of changed a couple of times, so I can’t really talk too much about that, but we’ve used a bunch of different options.


Howard: But you can set … but they just set up the postcard reminders through you and who fills it doesn’t matter.


Micah: Well, yeah, exactly. Like our system is setup to integrate with whatever vendor is the best one at the time for us. So, we can integrate with whatever. There’s a small charge for that, but that’s an option – you can send letters and you can send postcards if you want. If your patient population doesn’t respond to email or text messaging or automated calling, for example, then we have that option. And so it’s very customizable. And we find also that some dentists are … some practices spend more time in the app and others don’t ever go in at all, because they don’t have to because the automated messaging is happening in the background whether they go in or not. So, for practices that are very heavily reliant on text messaging, they have to log in ‘cause that’s where the text messaging feature is. Also, you know, we have …


Howard: Because you gotta respond in case they text you back?


Micah: Right, yeah, ‘cause if it … if you’re not logged in, you’re not gonna get those texts, so.


Howard: You talk about on your website LH360.com … by the way, I think that’s a cool name – Lighthouse 360.com! I gotta tell you a funny thing. Ryan, you know this about your mother, your grandma, right? So, my mom, Grandma Colleen, you know, she’s a great-grandma, and she’s been collecting little lighthouse figurines and every time we go on vacay she just … since I was a little kid we’d always stop at these lighthouses and so it’s kind of a neat name for me: Lighthouse 360. Mom loves her little lighthouses – she’s got a huge collection. But, Facebook – so talk about your Facebook integration, since that’s a big thing and I also think it’s very jaded to the audience, we’re talking about it because they hate direct mail mainly because they just don’t like direct mail. They don’t realise that direct mail crushes it for Grandma and Grandpa on dentures and implants and all that stuff. So, they don’t do it because they don’t like it and they’re on Facebook four times a day, so they think Facebook is the big guy. So, talk about your Facebook integration and how that works.


Micah: So, we push reviews out to Facebook, so we also … we can send review … we can send patients to review your practice to, you know, wherever you want us to. We can set up our thing in the back end to send a link to whatever you want. So, if you don’t have a presence on Google, if you don’t have a presence on, you know, Healthgrades or whatever, and you still want to get reviews but you don’t want to set up a presence in those places, we can send you to our proprietary review site called RateABiz and so, if the patient uses RateABiz to leave their review, we can automatically push that review out to Facebook for you if you want.


Howard: Man, this is an interesting story on your LinkedIn page. “About us: Lighthouse 360 is an award-winning platform that helps medical professionals maximize patient visits through automated communications. Our story begins 20 years ago, when Brian Smith and Joel Kozikowski invented a dental practice management software called PracticeWorks. It was the first dental practice management software that was designed around a practice's appointment book—not its patient list. The software broke new ground by finally allowing dentists to access patient information in the context of the day's appointments. Ten years later, Brian and Joel left to develop Lighthouse 360 with Allen Jorgenson. Not only did Allen have a rich IT background, but his wife was a dentist! Her practice provided the perfect opportunity to develop what would later become the most comprehensive automated communication system in all of dentistry (the industry). Lighthouse 360 was a huge success, helping dentists increase the number of people who kept their appointments by as much as 20%. So it seemed only natural to bring these benefits to ALL medical professionals—not just dentists.” What’s interesting about that is PracticeWorks got a huge line of credit, they bought up back in the day, I mean like twenty years ago, they bought up almost every practice management information, including the one that I used for my first thirty years, which was SoftDent. I just, for my birthday present, I told my staff they had to convert to Open Dental so they did it and they had it done for my birthday. So, I went over there and had birthday cake and we’re on Open Dental now. But they had bought the SoftDent, then they wrapped that all up and sold it to Kodak and then Kodak, I think, wrapped it all up and sold it to Carestream. I don’t even know who owns it now.


Micah: It’s still Carestream.


Howard: It’s still Carestream?


Micah: Yup.


Howard: So, put them in order … so, it … what percent of the market do you think is Dentrix versus Eaglesoft versus Open Dental versus all the others?


Micah: Well, Dentrix, I think they’re at like forty percent, forty five percent of the market, something like that. Eaglesoft … so Patterson has a handful of practice management software … Eaglesoft is about twenty percent, and then I think combined all the Carestream products have about twenty percent as well. So, if you’re looking at those three companies, you’ve got … I’m sorry, so Schein of course makes Dentrix … if you look at those three companies together, you’re looking at eighty percent, eighty plus percent of the market.


Howard: And what is Carestream’s portfolio? PracticeWorks, Soft …


Micah: Soft…, yeah, those are the big ones.


Howard: Any others in the Carestream portfolio?


Micah: Yeah, they have a couple of smaller ones that I can’t pull out of the top of my head, but they … I think they have like four or five of them total.


Howard: And that’s why we do Townie Choice Award! Because everybody on this show knows that I can’t stand Dentrix and Eaglesoft ‘cause they don’t hook up to an accounting package. I mean, they can’t do your payroll. You know, you were talking about … talking to the scheduling, I want all my costs associated to the schedule, so if you come in and your insurance is gonna pay me two hundred and twenty Dollars to do two fillings, I wanna know what that room costs me. I don’t wanna do two hundred and eighty Dollars’ worth of fillings if the room costs me three hundred. I don’t wanna go in there and lose twenty bucks to fix your teeth while you’re holding a Mountain Dew. So, but, Dentrix, being forty five percent, I’ve always told people that’s why we did the Townie Choice award, because we’re not asking a bunch of crazy Americans what they think of a movie, which may or may not apply. In the Townie Choice award where every year we have the dentists go online and vote for their top products, which you guys have won and why I called you, but when all the voters are doctors, market share information is incredibly huge. I’ll also tell you another thing, no matter what shiny object comes out for over ten thousand Dollars, one thousand dentists will always buy it! I mean it could be a hundred thousand Dollar laser that just removes, you know, toenails, it doesn’t matter, a thousand dentists will buy anything. But I don’t even have my ears perk up until five to ten thousand dentists buy it and if Dentrix has forty five percent of the market and Eaglesoft has twenty percent and the Carestream products have another twenty percent …. SoftDent, that’s huge! I mean, you gotta ask yourself, why do forty five percent of your homies, who you know are smart, you were in dental school with them for four years, everybody in undergrad it seemed like was not very smart, but then when you got narrowed out to dental school, everybody that got into dental school, they got A’s in everything. And so, I mean, it’s kind of the difference than going from college football to the NFL. I mean, when I walked into dental school I was just amazed, I mean, like, damn, they are … it’s just like everybody in this place is a mile deep. So, if forty five percent of your graduating class chose Dentrix, that’s huge. So, that’s my … and I should say it because I’m always so hard on Dentrix because I just think it’s horrible that you don’t have accounting hooked up and I switched to Open Dental because it’s open so I have my own programmers and Open Dental is accessible and Nathan Sparks, who we’ve had on this show, says he’ll help us, you know, hook this thing up to an accounting. I mean, that’s their whole platform. Have you worked with Open much?


Micah: Yeah, we do, we do. We like working with them. There isn’t a, like a predefined API that we can use, so it makes it a little bit more challenging because we have to kind of define those … that integration ourselves …


Howard: Okay, explain that in English! Explain that to people who do root canals!


Micah: Sorry, yes, okay. So, some software, you know, Dentrix, Eaglesoft, those types of guys, they actually have what’s known as an API – an application programming interface – that basically defines a set of functions that the thing can do and that we can call. Like, we can say, do this thing, and it knows what that means when we say it. Whereas with Open Dental it’s just all code and we have to go in a figure out where a thing’s are and how things work and we’ve gotta kind of write our own way of finding how to access it. So, I mean, we have a strong preference for working with APIs and, you know, we have great partnerships with some of these guys that do and that’s the best, but sometimes even the APIs don’t have everything we need. So, maybe we have access to the patient demographic API but not to the scheduling API, like that kinda stuff. You know, in most cases Lighthouse is simply extracting information so sometimes we really don’t need it, but we do integrate with Open Dental and, yeah, we like working with them. We know that the sky is the limit there, it’s just a matter of, you know, how much effort do we wanna put into a particular thing…


Howard: What do you mean, you know the sky’s the limit there? What does that mean?


Micah: Well, it means because it’s open we can do … you can do anything with software, like, it’s just how much time do you wanna invest, right. So that’s kind of the question that comes up with them.


Howard: Well, here’s the thing that these dentists gotta think about: you know, when I got out of school thirty years ago, it was a lot easier and right now you have twelve percent of the dentists are working in a corporate, you know, thirty five locations or more, and those twelve percent of the dentists are doing nineteen percent of all the dentistry, according to Stan Bergman and Henry Schein, and these guys are sophisticated and their practice management software is at a whole different level. I mean, Steve Thorne actually bought a practice management software system that he’s been programming layers and layers of measurement stuff on top of for years. So, my next question was: any corporates using Lighthouse 360?


Micah: Yeah, we don’t … we haven’t signed with very many very large organizations for Lighthouse. We have some multi-location practices. That’s an area that we’re gonna be looking at, where we’re actually already looking at. We haven’t historically focussed on that space, on that segment of the market, but what we’re noticing is a huge trend toward consolidation and, if not, you know, practices joining like larger organizations, they’re certainly outsourcing a lot of these functions, their more corporate functions, and so we definitely wanna be in the space where we can provide any, you know, assistance we can with that, with that sort of thing.


Howard: Well, I always tell everybody that I meet in business or, you know, at a booth or a party asking that, if they’ve got any type of a product that is a no-brainer better business decision, focus on corporate first ‘cause those guys will absolutely analyse it and they’ll do it, whereas the dentists, you know, I get my homies, I mean, they would rather go to a course on how to do a root canal than a course on how to have the perfect hygiene. I mean, you didn’t go to school for eight years because you cared about the schedule.


Micah: Absolutely.


Howard: I mean, it’s just no different than a chef. You go to any chef, and I’ve seen so many restaurants come and go, and I’ve been in my zip code 85044, Ahwatukee, for thirty years, and some of the … I mean, you would talk to these chefs and these restaurants, they would come in and they were so passionate about their food and then I would … I had four baby cubs in training so I’m like, “Well, how many new customers do you get per week, and ... or a month?”, and they wouldn’t know the numbers. “Or how many … what’s your repeat like? Or what’s your best marketing line? So, what is your overhead? I mean, McDonald’s has a thirty-one percent food cost, what is your food cost?” And the two guys, no three that are still here crushing it thirty years later, knew all their numbers thirty years back. I love it. The greatest experience I ever saw, when we were … a new yogurt shop went in and my baby, Zack, I mean he was like five years old or … you remember that story? … I don’t know how old, he must have been four or five, just a baby, and we went in there and we got the yoghurt ‘cause, you know, Phoenix it’s over a hundred degrees half the year, and we’re getting back in the suburban and I said to Zack, “So, Zack, what’d you think about that yoghurt place?” And he goes, “Well, they’re not facing the four-lane street, they’re off on the side facing a side road and the anchor in the plaza is Dairy Queen, they’re gonna get their ass kicked, they’ll be out of business in thirty days.” And I’m like, “Damn, my little baby boy knows that and he’s five, and the owners of that yoghurt shop don’t know it.” And sure enough, they were out of business in thirty, sixty, ninety days. And we used to, for years when they were in grammar school and high school, when any new business opened up in Phoenix, we would go there and we’d analyse it and we’d talk about it and we’re, “Do you think they’ll be in business a year from now?” And it was just so fun about how … I mean, and that’s why I tell these young Millennials, just start watching Shark Tank. I mean, when I meet a dentist and just ask him any question that Mark Cuban would ask him or Mr. Wonderful would ask him, I mean, you know what they’re gonna ask, and they can’t even answer a question on Shark Tank, but some guy coming out with some grease monkey stuff to wipe the oil off your hands – he knows his numbers. So, Doc, you gotta know your numbers and if you’re not interested in Lighthouse 360, if you’re not interested in how it works, then you just gotta look in the mirror and say, “Dude, I’m not into this so I need a strong inside person, I need a … I just can’t have a dental receptionist. I can have a lady working up there where her occupation is named after a piece of furniture, oh, you’re the front desk.” You need a strong inside person so that when you’re going to root canal classes, she’s going to scheduling classes and practice management classes, because all humans have the same brain (54:22) pathology. So, if you have the same brain, why is there so much of a variance in outcome and it just comes down to your passion, you just really always get good at what you’re interested in and you’re always horrible at what you’re not interested in. So, get interested in this. They won the Townie Choice award. I called them, he didn’t call me. And if you don’t understand this conversation and what’s going on, you need to develop a strong inside person. And I’ll finish with my favorite … who was the big … Billy Graham … I’ll never forget, he was on the … who was that guy on CNN that always podcast?


Micah: Larry King?


Howard: Larry King, yeah! Which I listen to on AM radio in Kansas in my basement and I can remember listening to that show as I’d fall asleep, thinking that it was so cool that I was laying in the basement in Wichita, Kansas, listening to this guy in New York City, you know! It was so cool. But he got on Billy Graham. He said, “Billy, come on. There’s nineteen thousand towns in America and they all have five churches, they’re all reading the same book, the Bible, why you?” And he says, “Because, when I started”, he goes, “I knew all I wanted to do is read the Bible and preach, so I found myself a strong inside man and one day the inside man came up to me and says, ‘Hey, Billy, we’re designing our first church’, and he says, ‘You haven’t told me how many it should seat. Should it seat a hundred? Or three hundred? Or how big do you want it?’ And he goes, ‘Look, dude, I just read the Bible and write sermons and preach and minister’, he says, ‘I don’t know any of that stuff, that’s supposed to be your job and if you don’t know the answer, I need to go find someone else ‘cause, I mean, you’re basically telling me you don’t know your numbers’. If you don’t know your numbers…’ and he goes, ‘No, no, no, I totally know my numbers, I just thought maybe you wanted the final call.’ And he goes, ‘No.’ He goes, ‘I don’t want to say three hundred then we go bankrupt’, he goes.” So, for his whole career there was an inside man, behind the scenes that no-one really knows, and made that the most powerful church organization. They were lecturing and ministering all over, you know, the world and Africa and all these places, and that’s the deal with dentists. And also growing up in Kansas, you know, everybody was farmers and it would seem like twenty percent of the wheat farmers, dairy farmers, soybean, they were millionaires and eighty percent were living paycheck to paycheck and it was the same thing. If Grandpa just sat on a tractor all day and didn’t know his numbers, he failed. And the same thing with dentistry, I mean, the most successful dental offices I see is because the spouse is the office manager. So, one’s doing dentistry, one’s doing the numbers and they crush it and clean up. So, know your data! Thanks for all you do for dentistry. Final question: man, what’s the difference between San Fran and Manhattan? Those are my two favorite cities in America.


Micah: Oh, they’re both such great cities and so different at the same time, like, they’re … there are some commonality. Great food in both places. It’s a little faster here in Manhattan. A little more … a few more people.


Howard: Man, I’ll tell you what, those are … every time I go to Manhattan, every time I go to San Fran, I say, I gotta get a condo out here. I mean, it’s just that damn cool.


Micah: Yeah.


Howard: But anyway. But hey, thanks so much for coming on the show and talking to my homies.


Micah: Thanks for having me.


Howard: I hope you have a rocking hot day!


Micah: Thank you. You as well.



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