Experimental Treatments

Experimental Treatments

Growing Pains! ZocDoc Customer Support Squeezed, Calls Going to Voicemail


Doctor appointment booking service ZocDoc is expanding into new markets, and growing, and growing. The company used to demur when asked how many users it has, but earlier this month it announced the site is “used by more than 800,000 patients each month,” the first time Betabeat has seen that metric released. But as ZocDoc explodes, it’s facing a common startup problem: scaling.  Read More

Experimental Treatments

ZocDoc, Still Starry-Eyed at Age Four, Hits Boston, Adds Waitlists

Dr. Kharraz

Betabeat dropped by ZocDoc‘s ninth floor Soho office this afternoon for some of the startup’s famous catered lunch–today, sandwiches and salads from TriBeCa eatery Peace and Love, which employees munched at the cafeteria-style tables, each topped with a bottle of Sriracha.

Betabeat grabbed a salad and followed COO Oliver Kharraz and communications director Allison Braley into the conference room, decorated with an oversized painting of CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta giving Bravo TV’s Dr. Gregory House a triumphant high five. “I keep meaning to tweet that picture,” Ms. Braley said. “That’d be a good tweet,” we agreed.

On Friday last week, ZocDoc had a birthday party. CEO Cyrus Massoumi gave a rousing speech, we were told, as did former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, for whom healthcare reform is a chosen cause. Mr. Daschle talked about how ZocDoc’s simple solution–easy online booking, updated in real time, as a way to fill all the holes in doctors’ schedules–could play an important role in industry reform. Mr. Daschle, who now works for global law firm DLA Piper, is still close to the current administration and remains knee-deep in the government-led healthcare reform effort, so his endorsement was no small praise. Read More

Experimental Treatments

The Doctor Will See You Now: How ZocDoc Is Rocking It By Being Just Ambitious Enough

Co-founder Cyrus Massoumi with football helmets from cities where ZocDoc has launched.

THE FOUNDERS OF ZOCDOC.COM, Cyrus Massoumi and Dr. Oliver Kharraz, had just concluded the very first public demonstration of their medical appointment-booking app at the TechCrunch40 conference in September 2007 when they got a review that threatened to put the whole endeavor on life support.

“Honestly, it would just never occur to me to go to any site to pick a doctor,” said Guy Kawasaki, the Silicon Valley venture capitalist, early Apple employee and venerable start-up guru, smiling and chopping the air with a pen. “I mean, it’s just sort of too facetious.”

Emphasizing once more that he would never use such a service, he turned to a fellow judge on the panel, the entrepreneur and philanthropist Esther Dyson, and elaborated, “You’d go to a site and just, ohhh, you know, Lisa Macintosh went to Harvard, she looks cute, I’ll have her operate on my heart!

The audience responded with belly laughs. Read More