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October 10, 2019 Boston Nyer

My First 45 Days at D-Rev: A reflection by our new COO, Boston Nyer

I was genuinely honored to join D-Rev as the Chief Operations Officer, starting this past August. I had been following D-Rev since 2011 when I saw Paul Pollack (the founder of D-Rev) speak in Boulder where I attended graduate school. It’s been fascinating to transition from spectator to living the reality day-to-day. In my first 45 days as COO of D-Rev, there have been many surprises, pleasant surprises, and I’d like to share a few highlights with you:

  • It’s a luxury to come into an organization with 10+ years of successes. I was part of the startup team at my last organization, BURN, which designs, manufactures, and distributes improved cookstoves in Sub-Saharan. We had to painstakingly figure out every component of the business. How did we hire people? How did we pay people? What were “the books” and how did we “make” them? How did we test our stoves and with what instrumentation? It took us a few years, but we eventually figured most of it out. Coming into D-Rev, everything already works! Sure, there are plenty of opportunities to improve, and there always will be, but the systems have been built with 10 years of thought and care, providing me the freedom to focus on helping D-Rev scale its impacts further.

  • D-Rev is people-obsessed! D-Rev doesn’t only care about the people that will be treated by its products, or even those that will be administering the treatment, it goes much, much further. The devices, and complementary services are specifically designed for every stakeholder in the value chain. For example, we could have a magic device that could save every baby with respiratory distress, but unless a distributor will carry it, or a government official will select it for a tender, it will never save a singular life. D-Rev meticulously designs its products to meet the needs of each person in the value chain, and with medical devices, there is a wide breadth of stakeholders. Furthermore, D-Rev is focused on its own people. The team works together, as a team and with respect, to accomplish the collective goals. Significant care was put into creating the work environment to keep the team happy and healthy, and I personally will aim to improve it even further.

  • The future is bright. D-Rev has commercially launched 5 products since inception, and armed with those 10 years of learnings, has a bold new vision for “D-Rev 2.0”. We are poised to double the cadence at which we launch products. We have gotten sharper and more disciplined with a focus on the highest impact, most scalable products. We have developed a suite of complementary offerings that will enhance the impact felt by each device by improving training, maintenance, and product tracking, amongst other things. To help fuel this new vision, we’re also developing innovative financing mechanisms to complement donations and grants. Please let us know if you’d like to learn more!

Embarking on a new job is a leap of faith, and after experiencing D-Rev from the inside, I feel particularly lucky to have been given the opportunity to take this leap.

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