The Culture of Transformation and Other Key Takeaways from Hans Bishop


November’s Under the Boughs event brought together individuals from the community eager to hear from Hans Bishop, the founder and former CEO of Juno Therapeutics. Given Juno’s success, including a $9 billion acquisition by Celgene in the start of 2018, Hans offers valuable insight into what makes a startup successful.
During the discussion moderated by Lee Huntsman, Under the Boughs founder and UW President Emeritus, there were several key takeaways for startups of any type:
Find investors that believe in what you are working on
- Securing a funder who believes in you and your product was essential to Juno’s success. Investors need to be a good fit for the company culture and have enough risk tolerance to let the work move forward
Pay attention to the culture of your company to draw in the right people
- Have an enticing culture that drives toward big ideas that transform the industry. Surrounding yourself with colleagues that believe in this transformation and work toward a shared vision is critical
Leadership that reinforces a culture of transformation is important
- “It is easy for managers to get $h1tt* about mistakes. If you do something that is inherently new, you will make mistakes. You will create a culture that is afraid to be wrong. Figuring out how you deal with mistakes is a really important thing. And often they are not mistakes, but something new that you learned.” — Hans Bishop
Have a wise sounding board
- A sounding board is important to the success of a young company. It is best when the board consists of individuals that aren’t going to tell you want to hear, but rather tell you what you need to hear. This is a large motivating factor because as a startup, you tend to want to do it all on your own, but often you may overlook something that should be on your radar.
Collaboration is key to startup success

November’s Under the Boughs ended on a common theme that we have heard at the Cambia Grove time and time again: collaboration is key. Hans reiterated that idea, explaining that when you are starting your company, you will inevitably run into road blocks where partnership is critical because there are some things that a company just can’t solve on their own. 

“I find that when solving big problems, you bump into little problems where you have to get help from other people. It is not easy in young companies to be a collaborator. But make those partnerships and really embrace that.” – Hans Bishop

Thank you to Hans Bishop, Lee Huntsman and the hundreds of entrepreneurs working to create a better health care system. Innovating in health care is hard. But it is doable.  
Thank you for being part of our Under the Boughs series in 2018! We look forward to bringing our fearless host Lee back on stage with another fantastic guest in January 2019. Stay engaged with our weekly newsletter to learn more.