Joe Leech

S1 E12 Online Eye Tests, Innovation vs Risk with Carole Egerton from Clear Eye Tests

Today I’m joined by Carole Egerton. Carole is founder and Chief Product Officer for Clear Eye Test and formerly of Glasses Direct. Clear is bringing the eye test into the home and building an ecosystem for virtual global eyecare. We talk culture, unshipping and of course making better decisions.

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Show notes


S1 E12 Carole Egerton Make Better Decisions

[00:00:00] Carole Egerton: I don’t think you can solve some of the biggest problems in the world without taking those risks. It’s not going to work. If you just do the same thing, that’s always been done.

[00:00:23] Joe: hello and welcome to making better decisions to podcasts for digital product people. I’m your host, Mr. Joe Leach, and I’m a product coach, speaker writer, and author. Each episode, I talked to a product leader from a startup scale-up or large enterprise about one thing, how they make decisions. Today I’m joined by Carol Egerton.

[00:00:44] Carl is founder and chief product officer for clear eye tests. Clear is bringing I tests into the home of building an ecosystem for virtual global eyecare. We talk the challenges of moving a traditional healthcare business, online startup life and how it differs from corporate, because Carol does at one time at glasses [00:01:00] direct as well as innovation versus risks and the trade off between those two things.

[00:01:05] Hi Carol. Thanks very much for coming. Can you give a bit of an introduction to you? 

[00:01:11] Carole Egerton: I’m Carol Egerton. I am chief product officer and co-founder here at Eye Test. We’re building a virtual ecosystem for ICAP. So our solution allows optometrists consumers and the retailers to come and to our platform, use it in ways that allow wider access to.

[00:01:30] So I I’ve always been really customer-focused accidentally. I, my first fat day job was working at C&A in Northampton town center.

[00:01:39] And I had this amazing store manager, lady store manager, and she was all about the customer. And as a 16 year old is just really. I don’t know, it was just a real great experience and she’s just great at teaching. And so we just really had a passion for retail and, you know, customer facing things did Fred to una, which has a bit of a random choice, but [00:02:00] spent most of my time that volunteering at the university radio station and watch an amazing team.

[00:02:06] Doing kind of the marketing campaigns, PR side of things, and it felt an awful lot, like a real job. Really. I kind of experienced a real job while I was meant to be doing my degree and got a bug for that kind of startup-y let’s hustle, that kind of environment, but left uni, realizing that I need to get some serious business training.

[00:02:24] If I’m going to go and work in a startup where I’m going to go and work in business for Instagram, doesn’t really set me up that well for it. So joined Sainsbury’s on their graduate leadership. Which was, which was incredible training, like a baptism of fire. I mean, they drop you into all these kinds of leadership roles around the business.

[00:02:41] And, you know, you were in your early twenties and they say sink or swim, but you know, there, again, going into the customer facing part of my experience, I learned one of the first things was TA, which we noticed like online grocery shopping now, which is, which is super interesting and taught me so much.

[00:02:57] You know, customer experience is something that’s super fast [00:03:00] paced and all about the online logistics. And then how do we make customers kind of stay happy on this journey? And then realize that FMCG wasn’t exciting and wanted to do something a bit different. And they wanted to get back to their kind of emotions I’d felt when I was volunteering at university and work in a startup environment, but it didn’t really have any preconceptions of what that sector should be.

[00:03:22] So just looked around and came across the tiny little job ads on a job board. This is back in 2005 and met a guy called Jeremy Murray Wells who had this idea to sell prescription glasses on. And the company was called glasses direct and went home after meeting him for the first time and did a bit of searching and doing anonymous.

[00:03:43] Is this a thing like, do people do that? Is anyone else doing this? And very quick, he realized nobody was doing it because he couldn’t find anything until I think I to, I want to do that. Take a bet on this company. And so joined glasses direct and 2005. [00:04:00] Eight people, customer service people, mainly an office dog, and Jamie and I helped build the company with the team for seven or eight years there and play Tiki roles.

[00:04:10] You know, half of my time in marketing side of things, very much customer experience. How do we teach costumers that is that it’s safe to buy glasses online. Like they wouldn’t have ever done this glasses. Drake was the second company in the world. To type it’s experience, you know, into commercial world and the second half and very much in the product and the digital side of things.

[00:04:31] How do we use technology to improve this user experience? And it was there really that I realize how much the prescription powered that whole journey. It doesn’t just power it in the online, online environment. It powers it in the store environment. In all optical purchases are powered by the need to have this optical prescription.

[00:04:51] So I left glasses direct and been looking for, looking for a digital solution for, for the prescriptions since, since then really hadn’t done [00:05:00] anything. I thought it was anywhere near good enough, either from a science or from a customer experience perspective and met Brandon and Ian at the beginning of the pandemic and thought, hang on a minute, is this really going to be any good?

[00:05:11] But I’m not sure about. But say, ask them a lot of questions and realized after, after a number of meetings here we have here, we have a technology that she has the tendency to do the things I think it needs to do. So I joined, I joined in kind of mid first pandemic here, and then here 

[00:05:28] Joe: we are, here we are.

[00:05:30] Wow. So I think a lot of listeners are going to be asking you, right. How, how does, how does it work? How can you do an eye test online? You know, how does that, you know, Good and tell me, I’m assuming it’s like you reading the letters was covering while they are what’s. What, how does it work? 

[00:05:43] Carole Egerton: Okay, so the complex problem, they, if you think about if you can think about your experience in an optician, the traditional experience, say the first time you go there, Then you do you go and sit in front of what we call an auto [00:06:00] refractor, which is an enormous piece of hardware.

[00:06:02] You put your eyes in front of it and they give you some outputs and that’s, that’s, autorefraction output is a best guess about what your vision is and it’s never accurate, then what they need to do with them. Take those measurements and they eat, go to another area. And this is where it’s subjective and you have the optometrist and then they’re using, what’s called a four Octa and they’re doing the better or worse.

[00:06:23] So you’ve done that, I guess, the better or worse. And how do you feel when you do that? You know, it’s like, can I really say that I’m not like, oh, I might come that it’s very, very subjective. And so what we’re doing, and if you think about how, how long. Rena the existing way of doing things has been used for all.

[00:06:43] You know, it was the 18 hundreds when the past I test was devised by Mr. Scanlon. I think it was and say, you know, no, one’s quite cracked there for, for a seriously long time. And Brandon would tell you, this is that this is not an optometry problem. And that’s why the why that one’s soul dead. [00:07:00] This is an optical physics problem.

[00:07:02] And so what we’re doing is digitizing that process. So we’re digitizing the autorefractor. And the four up top so that the measurement side of it, plus the subjective side and marrying it together and putting it into a district experience, which customers can come and use it. We have, Brandon has built what’s called the digital eye.

[00:07:22] So let me tell you a bit about how. How Brandon came to the feather. Brandon’s our CEO he’s PhD, who is at NASA for 10. He is not typical physicist. He, when he was at NASA, was working on robot eyes on the international space station. And here’s the way you can imagine how expensive it is to put in space incredibly expensive to build the hardware.

[00:07:46] So Brandon would stimulate what those robot lights could say to them. Very, you know, the tiniest details. Well, stigmas, he realized, hang on a minute. If I can simulate what a robot is, why can’t I come and simulate what human vision looks like? Why can I [00:08:00] assimilate simulate what I see? And so he started to apply the problem to, to human vision.

[00:08:05] So these are models that we use today in our algorithm. 

[00:08:10] Joe: Wow. Wow. Amazing. I just wasn’t sure what the answer’s going to be. That’s exactly. It is in space to modeling the human eye. Like, I love that. Wow. Amazing. 

[00:08:22] Carole Egerton: The nice thing about this one single nigh module, and say the fact that we use. It sets us apart from other other people trying to solve this problem.

[00:08:30] Other people are coming at it from a machine learning perspective. We’re coming at it from a scientific perspective by using those models were able to be device agnostic through not using. We don’t have to rely on an adept camera and the iPhone. We don’t have to rely on you using the particular device, which means we can put our technology in any.

[00:08:51] And it was pretty interesting. 

[00:08:52] Joe: Wow. So I guess rather than digitizing, perhaps what’s already existing within optometrist’s office is you’re trying to [00:09:00] do something a new way of doing it in essence. 

[00:09:03] Carole Egerton: That’s really interesting. 

[00:09:06] Joe: Wow. Okay. So many questions. So let’s talk about that. So, you know, this, this podcast is about making choices and decisions.

[00:09:15] Can you think about a recent decision that you’ve had to make in the business and how you sort of went about doing that, where you are now, if this something recently you’ve had to make a choice around, where are you in the business? I mean, have you launched yet? Where are you? So we’re 

[00:09:26] Carole Egerton: not launched capacity and that’s what we’re working for commercialization right now.

[00:09:31] And if you can imagine, so this is a product that is a, so we will be seeking regulation as a software, as a medical device and the class too. So as you can imagine, It’s going to pronounce. You need to make sure you’re getting it right. You need to make sure your accuracy levels are at the right place. So we’re, we’re preparing for commercialization that phase we’re at.

[00:09:51] So it’s an awful lot of testing. We can talk about that in a minute, but just one of the things. I wanted to say [00:10:00] about a reef. It’s not a recent decision. That’s actually one of our first decisions we ever made. And it sticks in my mind because we in the last week was say, we’ve had an enormous amount of feedback about this particular decision we made based on how people are viewing the product.

[00:10:12] Now, I can’t tell you exactly what it is, but it was something that, you know, In terms of looking at this product experience you wanted to bring to market, you know, should we do things in the same way other people have done them? So we look up follow the same price as our competitors are using or parallels and other industries.

[00:10:31] And we didn’t quite know what the right solution was, but we had an instinct that we should really swing for the fences. You know, try and do what we believe to be the, we thought was the ultimate user experience and the team, you know, we have some people who are more conservative in the team. We have some people who are just buy let’s, just go and try it.

[00:10:52] And I think most of the team were coming down on the side of let’s do the more conservative option because it’s going to get us to a place where that like the data’s better [00:11:00] earlier. Right. But actually we made the decision not to do that and to swing for that ideal solution. And I was backing this and I was like, we need, I think this is the way we need to go.

[00:11:10] And at the time it felt incredibly uncomfortable, but it now just, just recently, we’ve had some amazing feedback and everyone, these are external people who are giving this 50 back, you know, huge people in the industry. Thanks. You were right to do that. That was the right thing because we’re seeing that, that sets you apart from other people.

[00:11:28] Sometimes you have to make the tough decisions are uncomfortable. 

[00:11:31] Joe: That was a tough, but also quite risky, I suppose as well. I mean, what’s the talk me through the appetite for risk and the risk around that sort of stuff as well, 

[00:11:39] Carole Egerton: because this is, this is a product that’s never been done before.

[00:11:43] And because this is a new thing we’re building. I think you have to have element of risk. You have to be able to push the boundaries. Otherwise you can’t do justice to the technology of coolest. We look at our dates. Of course, we look at user feedback and we do make decisions based on that very [00:12:00] rigorous, but there is the element of, okay, let’s just try, let’s just try that new thing and see whether, whether it’s going to just push the needle a little bit.

[00:12:08] And there have been occasions where it’s made a big difference. 

[00:12:13] Joe: It sounds like as well. Like when you mentioned testing and a new testing to see if it makes a big difference or not, that must mean then maybe the, you know, the sort of experiments and the testing you’re doing is quite significant compared to say what may be of many of our listeners are used to a Testament, like changing a button from blue to red.

[00:12:28] Your testimony must be. Say more involved. 

[00:12:33] Carole Egerton: One of the things, one of the things I faced the team is that I think we all need to view ourselves as product that there’s not, it’s not the science team versus the dev team versus product versus design. We’re all product right now because what we’re doing is something so very new.

[00:12:51] And so yeah, that some of the problems we have are incredibly complex that we have to solve and not, not one part of the team that can solve it on its own. Like everyone has [00:13:00] to solve it in the rounds. We have to work on this together. So, so yeah, it’s not tested. And then like gets changed a button it’s testing and then it’s and how do we make the science work?

[00:13:09] With the user experience, how do we get the right inputs from the user to make the science make sense and to give, you know, where, you know, it’s mathematical calculations at the end of the day. So we have to get the right inputs in order to get the right outputs, 

[00:13:23] Joe: interesting stuff. Now I find it fascinating.

[00:13:25] And how does that then contrast? Cause you know, you sort of, what’s interesting to think about your career as you’ve been, you started out like a large enterprise, like a supermarket. Sainsbury’s then you went through a kind of, I kind of high growth company, like glasses direct to now you’re at a startup you’ve kind of gone.

[00:13:40] You’ve been, you sort of see all three types of companies. Tell me, talk me through that. How that sort of, that let’s talk about risk as the first one. Then I think I probably know the answer to this, but what about the appetite for risk? All three of those organizations that you’ve been with as well. Talk me through that as well.

[00:13:55] And how that kind of felt to you. How has that been different across your, across your career? [00:14:00] 

[00:14:01] Carole Egerton: I think it’s probably a common theme, to be honest, you think so things reasonably see huge organization. Like the, obviously the risk levels are different, but I remember when they launched the Sainsbury’s to you.

[00:14:14] It was, it was the, if your pants stuff, you know, with like two days before we launched, and we’re just, we’re gonna throw you a one hour delivery promise and you’ve got to deliver on your operation and you’ve got to deliver on this. And you know, this is the first time it’s been launched, you know, but we’re promising the customers there.

[00:14:33] So there was still, I mean, whoever made those decisions clearly one day with some appetite of risk of. But I guess that that was probably formative for me at the time. They probably the time I hated it, but really quite, quite formative in a way. And you just got to make it 

[00:14:51] Joe: work. And was that launching nationally as well?

[00:14:53] Was that, was that, did you start with a pilot? How does that kind of Lord, 

[00:14:56] Carole Egerton: but that was one of the pilots they think. The way I [00:15:00] operated there was like three, three or four hubs around the country and we will, we were the Southwest region hub. So, and it was, yeah, the first real major customer service push to get people doing their online grocery shopping.

[00:15:13] Yeah. Yeah. It was pretty crazy, but I think. Similar amount of thinking about things in terms of risk, you know, risk versus the reward of getting amazing customer feedback. You know, I think the risk at Garcia strep. A little bit, like let’s go against the whole industry here. And some of those learnings, you know, we’ve, we’ve learned an awful lot, you know, and the things we’re doing today, this is an industry that is quite scared of technology.

[00:15:48] And, you know, we should be, we should be able to. And ensure that the industry don’t see it like that and see it as an enhancement to the things that they do and the benefits to [00:16:00] where they work. So I think some of the, perhaps some, some risks that shouldn’t have been taken, but this was like the Dawn of e-commerce and you know, in, in that sector, so things, you know, we learn, you learn with hindsight, don’t eat and risk now is like codes because we are trying to manage.

[00:16:20] It’s an amazing science with the customer experience. Do you have to take some risks, but we also have to be conservative because it has to, the thing has to work. We can’t just go crazy. And they would like amazing, beautiful experience, which is, it looks super cool because at the end of the day, this is a medical device and we have to have something that is going to be trusted.

[00:16:43] Joe: Well, it makes it right, because that was a risk is also associated not only with like, is it going to work or isn’t it, isn’t it gonna work, but you’ve got regulatory risk assumptions as 

[00:16:51] Carole Egerton: well. Yeah. I mean, we have, we have, we have standards. We have to hit in clinical trials. And so, you know, on the [00:17:00] one hand you might want it all to be beautiful and amazing video with a customer or whatever it might be.

[00:17:05] But that the data doesn’t lie, we have to be able to output the right, the right numbers to get through clinical trials and speak them fully regulated. 

[00:17:13] Joe: Wow. Amazing. And so how does that work then in terms of that, I mean, are you launching us and UK? Are you going through the clinical trials? Okay. You asked as well at the same time 

[00:17:23] Carole Egerton: we are.

[00:17:23] Yeah. So regulation, we’re seeing regulation globally. What we’re doing at the moment. 

[00:17:31] Joe: W I mean, we keep talking about risky. What advice would you give? Cause it sounds like you’ve had in your career and unusual. And I don’t mean this in an unusual risk in Ukraine. It’s not something I normally say, but you’ve sort of been in situations where there’s a lot on the line in terms of what you’ve got to, either the rewards of what you could do and the risk, you know, you had to take at that point.

[00:17:51] What kind of advice would you take for folks who are know a little bit shy of risk or working with people who are a little shy of risk? [00:18:00] 

[00:18:01] Carole Egerton: I think, I know we said that we just had the team meeting the other week and we kind of all said 2000. We need to be uncomfortable with being, you know, uncom comfortable with being uncomfortable about it, because then otherwise you can’t create in a way you can’t build new things to think if you.

[00:18:18] This is this isn’t, you know, this is just my personal preference. Like I just, I just get a buzz from greeting new things and new experiences to something. I enjoy nothing nicer than putting, I always see a bit like pieces of a puzzle that I was doing word or this morning. And I was thinking, this is exactly what we’re doing.

[00:18:36] It’s like, you gotta pee. You gotta find that. Look there the right letter there to go with the lesser, but actually you get a green light and they’re in the right place. And then you’ve got to put them in the right order. That’s exactly what we’re doing, but I like the journey of that. So if you liked her and you enjoy the journey and you, you know, get a buzz from it, then, then the risks should be just [00:19:00] part of it really.

[00:19:02] But then that’s not to fit. That’s not to say I entirely take risks all the time. It’s all I do, 

[00:19:09] Joe: but it’s calculated risk. Isn’t it? It is. It’s that idea. I like the way you talked about that idea of making, it’d be comfortable with being uncomfortable, you know, and there’s a lot to be said for, if you put yourself in that uncomfortable position, quite a lot, that’s going to force you to do.

[00:19:23] You said it, the more innovative, the harder to get more innovative things. You’re not settling for the easy, because you know, you’re putting yourself in that position of just being consciously uncomfortable with that, with that risk that pushes you further for that innovation. So I love that really 

[00:19:37] Carole Egerton: cool.

[00:19:38] We don’t think you can solve some of the biggest problems in the world without taking those risks. Like it’s, it’s not going to work. If you just do the same thing, that’s always been done. 

[00:19:50] Joe: So true. I mean that, and that’s it. And I think, you know, that’s the essence, I suppose, of you, of what startups do that that’s the big difference is they are by their very nature, quite enormous risks.

[00:19:58] Really. [00:20:00] So what talking with vice to, to other people. People who listen to podcasts, the sort of people who maybe are in the more corporate enterprise world and are thinking about making that leap into being either a startup founder or joining a startup. What advice kind of would you, would you give to somebody like that?

[00:20:15] Who’s, who’s thinking about doing it or thinking about jumping into that world. 

[00:20:21] Carole Egerton: I think team is the most important thing you can have that you can have the best idea in the world, but if you haven’t got the right team with you, then it doesn’t work. I can hand her on hand on my heart, say that this is the best team I’ve ever worked in.

[00:20:36] And I think it’s important to be able to have a team where you have that psychological safety, where you have, you know, your things can go wrong and you can still be able to work together. You’re not going to beat each other out for getting things wrong. I think if you want to, if you want to go into startups type system, it’s important to find your, your people, you know, the people that, that believe in what you’re doing, and that will work [00:21:00] well alongside you, and that can execute well.

[00:21:03] And you know, you enjoy this, but the same point ending star start-ups for the broken, the roller coaster, no point in doing a startup, if you’re going to be working with people that you’re not going to quite dealt with. 

[00:21:15] Joe: I think, I think that’s a really good idea because I think you say with the startups, you know, there’s, there’s an energy isn’t there that comes with being at that very early stage and the right people are there with you.

[00:21:23] You can really feed them that energy and do and achieve many, many things. Really interesting. Yeah. So about that again, this idea of back to decisions and choices then have, I think I probably already know the answer to this. Is there, what kind of processes do you have in place for making choices and decisions about where you are now?

[00:21:40] Is there a sort of a process you have in place for. For example, your product doing product, for example, in the start of your end. 

[00:21:48] Carole Egerton: I mean, it, as I said, it’s very data driven. It’s very much, and the database on customer feedback based on, on scientific data as well. So what is the [00:22:00] scientific data? Going in the right direction or the customers enjoying this experience.

[00:22:04] And those are the things we use to make our decisions at this stage of the company. I’m sure that over time it will, it will, it will flex, it will change, but where we’re at, where we’re trying to. Blend a variety of disciplines together. So we have to be able to listen to all of those sets of data we deal with say in terms of decision making, we do, we have taken a little on, on board, a lot of advice from people in the industry.

[00:22:29] We know that a lot of the largest companies in the sector, looking at the technology in one way or another, and. What has been super interesting to see how they’re all considering using this kind of technology. And actually people want to use it in lots of different ways. And so that has helped inform some of our product decisions and some of the roadmap things that, you know, we’ve been in place.

[00:22:51] Joe: Oh, that makes sense. Because again, I guess with the product declare you’re making, you’re going to be, you’re going to be partnering with people who I suppose they do the delivery of. [00:23:00] Delivery of the glasses and that kind of stuff. Anyway. So you’re partnering with large companies. So you’ve got some idea about what their needs are, as well as the needs that you said at the, the customer who’s doing the eye tests to say you’re kind of in the middle of those two things as well.

[00:23:11] Carole Egerton: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So it’s one of the things that this sector is. I think just, just from having been in it and seeing it for all these years, I think sometimes some of the industry loses touch with the customer. I’m trying to clear trying to play that role of I’m going to always have my customer hat on.

[00:23:35] What does the customer want to see with this customer, you know, want to experience, but also in the back of my mind, okay, this is how the industry wanted to use this. And this is how, how optometrists want to use this is how a lens manufacturer wants to use this. This is how an online retailer wants to use this, and they will have very different motivations for using it.

[00:23:54] So in. The Tyler’s name. If you people glasses online, Joe, [00:24:00] before

[00:24:03] Joe: many years ago, I bought some glasses from glasses. Right. And still do actually. Yeah. 

[00:24:08] Carole Egerton: But at that point in the, in the user journey way, you have to enter your prescription. When you’re buying glasses online, you know, typically about 30% drop off at that particular point in the user journey is enormous. So, so online retailers have been looking for this technology for a, for a long time.

[00:24:24] And so, you know, it could turn the dial for them on conversion. You can pre revenue in, in a store, in a practice optical practice, you know, opticians spend quite a lot of time doing this refraction. So the prescription part of, of what they do, whereas they they’re highly trained, incredibly valuable people who can add an awful lot to the iHealth side of things.

[00:24:46] And you could be doing more of that. And also could see. See many more people through their doors. If they use a solution like ours, which know which can be so typical, I test is about half an hour in a stool, but actually [00:25:00] with us, it’s under 10 minutes. So it’s the big difference in the way, the way that we’re the way that we’re doing this can, can help lots of different parts of the industry.

[00:25:09] Joe: That’s really interesting, sort of, but mechanism efficiencies both on and offline. Cause you’re right. It’s one of the few industries that still, you know, you go, you go to your optometrist to get your eyes tested. You go to your optician to get your eyes tested. Did you do that? Something you do? And you know, it’s sitting in the high street local to me, it’s there’s three or four opticians on the high street.

[00:25:27] It’s sort of those industries that hasn’t. Yeah, it hasn’t, hasn’t changed. 

[00:25:31] Carole Egerton: Hasn’t changed. And that we’re very this technology that we’re building and all that way, you know, we’re getting towards commercialization. Is it Brandon started this before the pandemic with opticians in practice. And he was testing his Bajaj with, with, you know, optical people and, and, you know, they were incredibly receptive.

[00:25:56] And then the pandemic hit. And I was company in a [00:26:00] sexist said to us that you need to know, well, it’s a really major problem because no one can go into a store to do that task. Now what’s going to happen. And the sex, it just wasn’t set up for it at all. And so there’s been this, I think before that there was more, there was appetite for it, but really like, fast-track the appetite for it since, since the pandemic, for sure.

[00:26:20] And there was, there was anecdotes people would, would tell us that they, there was optician holding up, you know, letters, that little windows, a high street and asking customers. I know 

[00:26:32] Joe: because you’re right. It’s, you know, going in for your own tests, you have to be physically close to the person to do it.

[00:26:36] It’s it is a very physically close occupation. So there’s obviously the risks associated with the optometrist of seeing all of those patients every day in terms of it as well. So. Wow. Okay. Wow. Okay. So. Other questions then that we are. So how were you informed by say the competition in your space in terms of what you’re doing?

[00:26:58] So you obviously, you’re a new startup. [00:27:00] Who, and what do you kind of see as your competition and how does that inform what you do and the choices you make 

[00:27:06] Carole Egerton: to a certain extent. I think because I’ve seen technology in this sector grow kind of from the inside, I’ve seen what other people are doing. And like I said, at the beginning, I hadn’t really seen it in a thing I thought was particularly good enough.

[00:27:20] So it certainly informed me. And I, I think my co-founders are tired. I’m probably the one in the team is constantly has my ear to the ground of what other people are up to. But I think, I don’t know. I think. I think he learned the psychosis direct to far. Like people are always going to copy you. You’re always going to like tight learnings from them.

[00:27:41] You can’t really get hung up on that. I think you have to very much do what you believe is the right thing for your technology and fuel business. So yes, we, we do know what other people are doing. We do know what’s going on in the sector, we’re doing our thing and we’re doing what we believe it’s right for technology.

[00:27:57] But I think one of the most important things is [00:28:00] to note. The sector is this particular space. There’s virtual ICAST spaces. It is going to explode in the next 10 to 20 years. So, so I’ve mentioned that other, you know, the largest companies that are looking at this kind of technology in one way or another, but.

[00:28:18] I don’t know if you’re aware that, you know, humanized site is worsening at an enormously rapid rate, right. Worse than it ever has before. So by 20, 50, more than half the world’s population are predicted to need glasses. And the reason for this is screen use and. There’s a huge issue here with the fact that, you know, all of these, I need glasses, unique offers kids know it’s happening to kids.

[00:28:47] It could my APO, it’s just, short-sightedness missing kids. I fight and degrading the incredibly rapid rate. So a needs to be these kinds of solutions. But one of the things I’m particularly interested [00:29:00] in, and the reason I’m mentioning this as part of your competition question is. Nathan Katsy competition may come in the form of the big tech companies.

[00:29:08] At some point, we know that apple, apple glass, or whatever, they’re going to call it. It’s coming down the road. We know the AR and VR glasses are enormous thing. You know, there’s a lot of patents out there that those guys have done in terms of how do we put a prescription lens into those devices. But, but also I think.

[00:29:27] This point about screen use being the coolest of Westing eyesight and those tech companies will have, in my opinion, a duty of care to users. And I don’t think anyone that’s thinking about that right now. And I think I would like to encourage people to, to join us on that mission because no, we should be encouraging people to assign more regularly.

[00:29:47] And you can’t encourage people to check your site more regularly. Giving them an easy and a stress-free, you know, simple way of doing that. So, so it was a long way of me saying, you know, I [00:30:00] think competition is, is an interesting and the factor, and I don’t think it, it, it may not come from the industry. It may not come from the people.

[00:30:08] That are already doing stuff. It might come from some way we’ve not thought of. So Dane just keep abreast of, you know, there’s people you might sink. We’re also looking at looking at the whole, you know, the whole optical space. 

[00:30:25] Joe: Well, no, I mean, I didn’t, I wasn’t aware of the fact that the human eyesight’s deteriorating as a whole anyway, but of course we’re using screens more often so that there is, I can certainly see why that would be happening and why.

[00:30:37] Yeah. It’s a problem. Needs a better solution and the solution that’s there. Now I’m guessing that also means not only like a more regular I check. So if you’re using clears, you know, system, you could get your eyes checked every few months versus at the moment, maybe every year or two years, but most people are doing it and a lot can change in that time.

[00:30:54] So. 

[00:30:57] Carole Egerton: There’s a company that we work with called tree house size in [00:31:00] the us. They work with my APR. So this problem in children and the way that they currently do it in kind of offline in clinic world, is that they see children every three to six months. But one of the things we’re looking at with them is, okay, how do we encourage eye testing on a monthly basis?

[00:31:18] And how could we do that? Like, Like most people hate getting their eyes tests. I think it’s, you know, half people who need us to skip their annual eye test, you know, people just find this an enormously annoying thing to do. So how do we encourage that? And so, so those are the things they’re looking at and, and why can’t we move to a world where it’s more, more about, you know, regular testing as a matter of course, because we’re using screens all the time and, you know, screens aren’t going anywhere.

[00:31:44] It’s only going to get worse. So we need to find those solutions that work with alongside that. 

[00:31:50] Joe: Fantastic. Wow. Well, great, Carole. I mean, thank you so much. We’re almost out of time today, so thank you so much. It’s been so interesting hearing about this. It’s a whole world that I think many of us [00:32:00] listening had no idea was actually happening, but I think we’re all quite thankful that you are doing what you’re doing.

[00:32:04] So thank you to you and the team at clear. Is there anything that you would like to ask list? Is there anything, anything that my list is all I can do to help you? Is there anything you need a clear at the most.

[00:32:17] Yeah. 

[00:32:18] Carole Egerton: So, yeah, so we’re, we are recruiting. I think we’re always looking for people who believe in what we’re doing, you know, mentioned about the team. It’s, it’s, it’s an incredible team to work with. Incredibly smart. We’re looking for. In our mission, you know, our vision, no pun intended, but yeah, come and talk to us.

[00:32:39] We’re also very interested in talking to people in the industry or outside of the industry who want to explore this kind of technology and, and I, that, you know, that kind of thing about the kind of more social impact stuff, as well as the kind of commercial side of it. So yeah, always happy to talk to you.

[00:32:58] Joe: Okay, great. And where can people find [00:33:00] you? 

[00:33:01] Carole Egerton: You can find me on LinkedIn. My name is Carol, and you can find a 

[00:33:05] Joe: no problem. I’ll put those links in the description, your description. So thank you again for your time today. Carol I’ve said lots of thank you very much. You’ve been listening to making better decisions, the podcast for product leaders to get show notes, transcripts, and more.

[00:33:21] Go to Mr. forward slash podcast. Otherwise please leave a rating or a comment in your podcast app. It really helps me and it really helps the show. See you next time.

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I’m mr Joe and I help CEOs and their businesses thrive.

Success isn't incremental. It's a game of chutes / snakes and ladders; it's time to climb the ladders. I bring 15 years in tech, $20b in added revenue, experience with 30+ startups and FTSE / NASDAQ / Fortune 100 giants. Together we can do great things.

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