(Founder Stories) ZocDoc’s Massoumi: A Bad Flight & Terrible Customer Service Created ZocDoc

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In 2007 Cyrus Massoumi ruptured his eardrum on a flight to New York and turned his distasteful experience of trying to track down a physician into ZocDoc – a service that enables customers to quickly book appointments with doctors and dentists online. In a relatively short time, his streamlined offering has attracted considerable interest from both consumers and investors. Supported by doctors who pay a fee to be listed on the site, ZocDoc is now available in more than a dozen United States markets, claims 200+ employees and has tallied $95 million in funding.

In this episode of Founder Stories, ZocDoc’s CEO and co-founder Cyrus Massoumi tells host, Chris Dixon how ZocDoc was built.

Rewinding to ZocDoc’s origins, Massoumi says after landing in Manhattan with one healthy ear, it took him four days to secure the services of a medical professional. He search was hindered by the substandard list of doctors compiled by his insurance company – so inadequate were the choices that “one doctor was actually deceased” he says.

Disgusted with the status quo, Massoumi rounded up two co-founders and went to work building something better, but tells Dixon those early days weren’t easy. “We had no website, I was literally taking a power point page and walking into these doctors offices and trying to convince them that online booking was the future of healthcare.” He continues, “in one case I literally sat in a waiting room of an office for six hours and then I got three dentists to sign on.”

After shaking hands and iterating for “two-and-a-half years” Massoumi says “everything clicked and we have been expanding ever since.”  He tells Dixon patients now have access to “40 different specialties” and “probably north of 6-million maybe even approaching 7-million available [doctor] appointments over the next 90-days.”

Massoumi shares plenty more insights in this video, so be sure to watch the entire episode to hear them all.

Past Founder Stories episodes featuring leaders of TripAdvisor, Charity: Water, Bump, Redditt, TurnTable.fm and may other start-ups are here.

Episode II of this interview is coming up.