In this episode, we talk to Nick Greenfield, the Founder & CEO of Candid. He's on a mission to make orthodontics and teeth aligners more affordable and accessible to all. He talks about how he disrupted an industry built on in-person, expensive services and brought it into the e-commerce space.
Nick created Candid for a personal reason. He needed to straighten his teeth but was presented with a market full of limited, outdated options. He wanted something more affordable that fit into his busy lifestyle.
Through his work with his Cheif Dental Officer, who has nearly thirty-five years of experience in the industry, Candid could provide something unique in the oral health space, a high-quality aligner with remote monitoring at a fraction of the cost. They set out to shake up an outdated industry and bring it into the present.
Nick talks about his experiences with Lyft and how that experience helped guide his first few years with Candid. From how to staff the initial team - what experts to bring in and why they wanted to start with the 10,15, 20-year experience executives - to when he knew it was time to expand the team.
One of the most exciting parts of this interview is how they signed Simone Biles as their spokesperson. Nick covers why she was the absolute perfect person for not only the brand but the audience serve, and his team.
A.J. [00:00:03] Hi, welcome to the DTC Growth Show. My name is A.J. And every episode I sit down with founders and leaders and some of the most exciting direct to consumer brands on the planet. We talk about how they started, how they launched and what they're doing to grow. And today we're talking with the leader of one of Forbes Top 30 Startups in America for 2020. Founder and CEO of Candid, the future of teeth straightening Nick Greenfield.
A.J. [00:00:27] Nick. Thanks for joining us today.
Nick [00:00:29] Thank you for having me.
A.J. [00:00:30] Yes. Yes. So, Nick, please tell us what Candid is.
Nick [00:00:34] So Candid is an oral health brand. We focus today on Clear Aligers, and we also enable you to whiten your teeth at home so you can come into one of our studios or start via e-commerce through our candid at home feature. You get a scan of your teeth or an impression kit and then from there, we'll send you your liner's in the mail. You'll be able to take a scan of your teeth every 10 days. And a doctor is actually remotely using telehealth, going to be tracking your progress throughout treatment. At the end, you'll get a retainer and from there, you'll have hopefully that smile that you've always wanted. Our average treatments are about six to nine months. And it's really a new lower cost way of getting orthodontic care that's of the highest quality with top notch orthodontists. Today, we're in the U.S. only, but hopefully we'll expand internationally at some point the future.
A.J. [00:01:32] So given the competitive nature of aligners, because there are some players in the market, how'd you know there'd be a need for Candid?
Nick [00:01:40] The need for Candid really started with a personal need. In fact, I needed to straighten my teeth so I looked at the market and I saw a couple options available. I saw, you know, low cost, very limited involvement from a doctor, kind of, you know, more in your own category. And I saw the option for a very expensive product where a dentist would offer you the product in their office and you need to go back for lots of office visits. So for me, you know, as a busy person who was working in startups, I knew I needed an option that would be lower cost, but high quality with good doctor care and oversight and also highly convenient for my busy schedule. And so given that was the case, you know I partnered with a couple other folks. We looked at the market and realized that there was a better option out there for orthodontic driven care. Our chief dental officer is an orthodontist with nearly thirty five years of experience in the industry. So providing really high quality care with remote monitoring and everything else needed in between, but also making it highly affordable in monthly payments under one hundred dollars a month.
A.J. [00:02:55] Awesome, awesome.
A.J. [00:02:56] And once you found this gap, this actual need, you know, you saw that you had a product that could reach a lot of consumers. How do you get it, Candid get off the ground?
Nick [00:03:06] We were really fortunate in 2017, we launched the brand that we had some really good press coverage. And, you know, the company was at the onset you know, a really innovative player attacking our space in a completely new way. So we had coverage in the tech press. We had some really good public radio coverage as well. And that was really what let Candid in our go to market strategy. Out of the gate we wanted to focus on a different brand positioning that really stood out to the consumer, and then also using press to build the company out. And that's how we really spent the first three to six months of our go to market, was getting the word out there organically through referrals, through our networks, through our friends networks and ultimately through, you know, folks having a great experience with Candid out of the gate. And it wasn't until later on that we really started leaning more heavily into things like paid channels.
A.J. [00:04:03] You know, just a bit of background. You know, I did some digging and it turns out you're not an orthodontist. And that explains why you brought on some professionals in the team. So in the early days, you know what did you have to learn to be a natural competitor in this space of orthodontics and teeth aligning?
Nick [00:04:18] Well, the first thing we had to learn was exactly what you just said, which is when you're talking about clinical care and clinical quality and driving patient outcomes, you have to go learn from the specialists. And we knew that there were ten thousand practicing orthodontists in the country and we wanted to find one to be a co-founder with Candid, which we ultimately did just as we were starting the business, a Chief Dental Officer who would bring that level of experience. He now calls my co-founder Spencer, calls him an honorary orthodontist. But he's not quite there yet. And I met there as well. So what we wanted to do was build a platform that would enable that connection with telehealth between doctors and patients and using orthodontist specialists to move teeth. We brought Dr. Hurst on and then really through, you know, through connections that I had built over the first really seven or eight years in my career, I was able to bring on a co-founding team. We actually started with about seven people really working on Candid in earnest all together, who had a distributed knowledge base and also distributed skill set. So we brought on a great woman who is running our technology, Lillah, who's co-founder still in the business, and a few other folks who were involved early on, whether on the talent side, helping build out the company, on the finance the operations front, or on the design front that were able to get candid to a great place as co-founders in that business. And now we're kind of in the next phase where we're continuing to add real professionals with incredible industry experience across health care, across retail, across other platforms that allow us to get to kind of the next stage and growth that we're looking for.
A.J. [00:06:01] Awesome, awesome. So the founding team of about seven, you know, you reached out to professionals in this space, so, you know, you're not just talking the talk, but you can actually walk the walk.
Nick [00:06:12] Yeah. Our Chief dental officer Dr. Hurst was really instrumental in building out our orthodontic network across the country. Just the way Candid works is you'll get a scan and a panoramic X-ray at one of our studios or order an at home impression kit. And we take all those diagnostic files so your photos, your your SDL files, which really scans your mouth, what you actually want to fix. It's really important to know that, you know, what you actually do as a patient, what you want to do is call your chief complaint and our doctors take that into account. And so if you have a gap, they're going to help you close that gap. If you have, you know, crowding in the front, they're going to help you work on that. They look at the x rays, if we have those x rays from you, and they're able to put together a treatment plan. And so Dr. Hurst was able not only to go out and be our first orthodontist, but he helped us build an orthodontic network all around the country. So we're licensed across every state in the U.S. using his background as both a professional orthodontist in private practice, but also a university, really a teacher and innovator. So he was able to take people from the university world, as well as private practice, to be on that candidate's founding doctor network, many of whom are still with us today.
A.J. [00:07:26] Awesome. Awesome. Thank you, Dr. Hurst.
A.J. [00:07:28] Definitely a big player when it comes to Candid. So, you know, once you had your founding team together, you touched on a few different teams that you looked to expand. But how did you know it was time to expand and actually hire more teams and hire more staff?
Nick [00:07:42] You know, it's a phased approach. And I have been through a couple experiences. I was on the team at Zimride where we launched Lift out of Zimride in early 2012. I was at a company that graduated out of Y C. I joined right after as the COO and we know we scaled that business up as well. And so I've seen it a couple of times before. But there is no substitute for people who just want to work and grind and can be generalists at the beginning and just wear all the hats that are possible. So we started with a group of folks who had the capability to one hour work on finance, one hour work on operations, one hour work on building out insurance and another our design product. Right. Everyone had to be able to do some of everything because our business is really, really complicated when it comes to the underpinnings of what we're doing every day from there. As we've scaled out over the last almost four years, we've said, OK, we need to change the way we're approaching the market. We have a manufacturing facility and capability in order to do that, we need to bring on a great leader who knows medical device manufacturing. It wasn't something that we needed to do out of the gate, but it is something that we needed to do when we wanted to build manufacturing. And I think all across the business, whether it's marketing today, our Chief Revenue Officer who has a great retail and consumer experience, our CEO has great operational experience, our CFO that we brought in about a year ago to help really professionalize the finance side of the business. All of those folks came from relevant industry experience, but bringing 10, 15, 20 years. And so they're really able to drive the systems and the processes within Candid. You know, one of the things that we value, I think, as a startup is we value doing and we value execution. And when you're starting a company and you're going from phase one to phase two and, you know, we like to call it, there's the zero to one phase, the one to a hundred and the hundred to a thousand. And I think Candid is kind of near the end of the one to 100 phase. You need people who can wear the hat of execution and managing a team. And it's a really rare skill set and I feel really fortunate that we've been able to build a team of players who can wear both of those hats.
A.J. [00:09:55] That's amazing. That's a lot. And I'm glad to hear your team is willing to, you know, put on a few different hats, especially in the early days. So, you know, nothing gets more valuable than that.
A.J. [00:10:05] You touched on marketing channels. You know, in the early days, you were focused on word of mouth and organic. How did the market channels in the beginning compared to the channels you're using right now?
Nick [00:10:16] We started the company with very limited financial resources. And because that was the case, we started out focused mostly on organic and, you know, high intense search, things of that nature. But over time, what we realized is that in order to build real market share in our category, that paid acquisition and brand awareness would ultimately become an incredibly important part and a core competency of what Candid would need to do. And from that perspective, we started building out our acquisition chops and really thinking about not just the, you know, the performance side, but how do we think about the entire funnel where Candid is a very long consideration product. Right. People are thinking about straightening their teeth. Our patients on average are looking at this for three to four years before they actually make a decision. And they're looking at Candid for six, 12, 24 months before they actually pull the trigger. And that was something that we weren't really aware of when we first started. And so we thought performance marketing would be, you know, most of what we did. What we realized is we've continued to evolve is that from a channel standpoint, you know, you're talking about, you know, search and social. So your Facebook and your Pinterest and your snaps of the world. And then obviously capturing that demand on the Google side with high levels of intent, whether brand or kind of more, you know, high intense search terms. But we also realize that things like direct mail matter, that being able to touch patients many, many times throughout their funnel, that it takes far more than 10 touch points to actually convert a patient, that that CRM, you know, which is important in many businesses, but lots of folks, you know, activate and make a lot of those activation decisions, in the first 24 hours, for example, that the classic Twitter example of following 30 people, you know, drove 90 percent of Twitter users to be engaged a year later. That example, it's a little bit different with Candid, where we just need to be there, because you might come to our Website, explore, you might go to five other companies, Web sites and review their sites, read review sites. But ultimately, choosing Candid needs to be a decision that you make because it's a big two thousand, twenty four hundred dollar purchase decision. And so when you want to go and make that decision, we need to make sure we're there and in front of you enough that you remember us.
A.J. [00:12:35] Totally, totally. And speaking about being front of the consumer, Candid has some pretty epic content. I saw a recent post where, you know, customers have Candid we're just taking a kind of selfie photo and, you know, posting the reaction. And then I took a second look and I saw Simone Biles doing some flips and tricks, you know? How did you end up, what is that partnership with Simnoe Biles look like?
Nick [00:13:02] We are so fortunate to have the best athlete in the world as a spokesperson for Candid. Simone Biles you know won athlete of the year last year. She's so talented and represents so many of the things that we care about at Candid, both from a personal standpoint, you know, from the types of folks that we want to bring in to work at Candid who can bring great attitudes, bring incredible mastery of their craft, you know, thinking about how do you be the best every day in and out. And I think Simone Biles, I think it's starting internally when you're looking for a spokesperson that's what you want, is somebody who represents your brand values to your employees. And then the second thing is, does that match up well for Candid more broadly? And, you know, in the case of Simone, I think our audience is highly engaged, they're really excited about, you know, about athletics. They're really excited about generally, you know, feeling like they're building an inclusive team, not an exclusive team. Simone connects incredibly well with a new market for us, which is the teen audience. So we have a new teen product we released this summer and we'll be growing into more extensively over the next six to 12 months and she does really well again with that demographic. So she's highly recognizable , she's a powerful female athlete that, you know, our brand is really excited to be partnered with. And, you know, we're just so fortunate that we've got the Olympics coming up hopefully next year. 2020 we thought that would happen but we'll fast forward that into 2021 and we're excited to cheer her on and hopefully she can bring home the gold, or many golds.
A.J. [00:14:41] I read somewhere that she's the Michael Jordan of gymnastics, but if Michael Jordan never, ever missed a shot. So definitely a great spokesperson.
Nick [00:14:51] And Dr. Hurst considers himself the Michael Jordan of Orthodontics. So a lot of Michael Jordan references going around.
A.J. [00:14:58] It's the dream team.
Nick [00:14:59] Yeah, exactly.
A.J. [00:15:00] So you touched on your target audience. So, you know, when you started before you had any sales, I'm sure you had your idea of what your average consumer would look like. So on a scale of 1 to 10, Nick, how close was your early vision of your ideal consumer versus your average consumer today?
Nick [00:15:20] We thought the Candid would be a brand that was targeted toward a younger demographic. If you look at our initial website, initial creative, even our initial models, you know, we had this idea that candidate would fit much more if you think about Glossier, which is a brand that we really admire, you know, the target demographic that Glossier started going after. We thought that would actually equate very well to Candid. We very much of all that we found out that, you know, Candid actually skews a little bit older. It turns out that because the product is $2400 dollars and, you know, still has a monthly payment available, you know, we tend to have folks that really are ready to make that decision. People actually wear their retainers until they're maybe 18 or 19, they go to college or they start working and then they lose their retainers and it takes five to seven years before their teeth start shifting. So, you know, half of our audience who's had braces in the past, they're actually not ready for Candid because their teeth haven't shifted all the way. So if you're out there and you don't have a retainer yet, I would highly recommend getting a retainer, because if you don't, your teeth will shift and then you can become a Candid customer. We want to, we want we're all about preventative oral health care, Candid. So want to make sure that we help you get ahead of that if you can. But what happens is you turn 27,28 maybe you have a child, your teeth shift during pregnancy and by the time you look up, you know, 34, 37, your teeth shift and you want to make that change. And so Candid is all about empowering people's self-expression. Right. We want to let people live their best lives and really express themselves for who they want to be. And we see that as people get older, their willingness to actually smile in photos goes down. They're more self-conscious, they think more about their teeth when it comes to their career or, you know, if they're single, they're dating life. And so we're seeing many more customers that skew a little bit older than our initial expectations. You know, in that, you know, 28-45 range versus what we would have expected, which would have been more kind of an 18 to 24 bucket and demo. But as I mentioned, we recently launched Teen, which is now available for ages 13+ in our Candid studios. And so if you come into one of those locations, we're now serving that demographic. And so we want to be able to serve the whole family. And I think Candid long term, we'll be able to really be able to touch, you know, every type of different orthodontic case. Today, we're more focused on, you know, on the kind of mild, moderate and moderate plus cases. But over time, we'll continue to get better and better.
A.J. [00:17:54] So with regards to the liner's themselves, what's the process to get started? You know, can I just visit one of your Studios', do I need a note from my orthodontists. Like, how do we actually get them on?
Nick [00:18:07] So what you need to do is you have to have a scan or an impression set of your teeth, because the way it actually works is we take that scan and we create a 3D file. And that 3D file is a representation of what your teeth and your gum line actually looks like. So every clear aligner that Candid makes is custom made to every patient and every stage is unique and different. So that means that when we scan your teeth. Ultimately 3D printing and the manufacturing process to make the liners that we have to have a great representation of, of what your teeth look like. You know, really down to, you know, the micrometer, right. There's some level of fidelity that we need. And within that, we need a lot of precision. So dental impressions are actually a great way to do that and then in the studios intraoral scan, once we have those, we ship you the aligners after your doctor has revealed your treatment plan, generated that treatment plan for you and you've signed off on that based on what you want to solve. Candid is actually able to monitor you remotely. So one of the things that makes Candid unique in this space is 100% of our patients have access to the Candid app, which has 4.9 out of 5 stars in the App Store, over 300 ratings. I haven't found a dental app with better, better customer experience yet. It allows you to have a one to one connection with your orthodontist and scan your teeth using computer vision every 10 days. And that way your doctor will be able to automatically let you know, hey, it's time to move on to your next stage. And if you've been wearing your liner's 22 hours a day, you're most likely going to move on to that next step. However, if you haven't been wearing your liner's, if you know or maybe we're wearing them 16 hours a day instead of 20, 22 hours a day, then we might say, hey, hold your horses a little bit. Let's, you know, let's wear them for an extra 4, 6, maybe 10 days, increase your wear schedule and until your teeth have really settled into that next aligner stage and then you'll begin the next one, and it's about a 6 to 9 month average treatment time for our patients.
A.J. [00:20:11] OK. So, Nick, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. You know, we touched base before this and I didn't let you know, but I actually tried some aligners out. I wore them for about 6 months and the remote monitoring experience doesn't sound the same as the way that Candid handles it. You know, having touch points, did you say every 9 to 10 days?
Nick [00:20:31] Yes. So we have touch points every 10 days. You're automatically pushed a push notification to scan your teeth. And we have a computer vision tool that allows us to track how those 3-D files that we 3-D print for you compare to what's actually happening in your mouth. And so using that, we can actually match up the files and where your teeth should be to where they actually are. And that allows us to know, have you been compliant wearing your liners? Are there any issues going on? And if there is an issue, our doctors actually are going to be able to see that and get ahead of it. And so if you compare this to any of the other direct to consumer players, an example or frankly, any dentist out there or orthodontist, they're not having that. You don't have as frequent of a check, an opportunity. And so we're using telehealth. I think in one of the coolest ways that you can use in the industry, which is one is helping drive better patient compliance, because if you do your scan and you're able to, you can actually move through treatment more quickly. And that's a hot incentive to be compliant with your aligners. But also, I think one of the cooler features there is that, you know, that there's a doctor on the other side. And I think one of the biggest challenges we see in telehealth today is that you don't necessarily know if there's a doctor. Right. You'll do someone I'll ship you your aligners or, you know, they'll send you your hair cream or whatever it is so your hair doesn't fall out or whatever the other telehealth products are that are coming on to market. And you feel like maybe there isn't a doctor on the other side. Maybe it's just a churn and burn through. And the way Candid works is the opposite of that. We actually increase the number of touch points, but allow you in two minutes to do what you do in a two hour visit.
A.J. [00:22:17] How do orthodontists overall feel about Candid? Is it blasphemy to them? Are they excited to join your network?
Nick [00:22:24] When we first started Candid, it was a slog. We called I would guess 10 to 15 percent of all the orthodontists in the US. And we met them in person. We made calls. We did video calls. We met them at conferences. And I don't want to say we were laughed out of the room, but I think there were a lot of folks who were skeptical and much of that, you know, came from some of the perception of our competitors. And it took us really 1.5-2 years Dr. Hurst obviously drove a lot of that network building. And then as we really found the right archetype of doctor who wanted to be part of the Candid network, we really were able to get into a groove. And I think the big, you know, one of the big changing and important points for Candid is we had a great summit with our doctors in our Columbus, Ohio office maybe a year and a half ago. And we were able to just get so much good feedback on what the doctors want, because ultimately Candid has, you know, our patients who are our you know, the patients who our doctors are serving and our customers and our customers are actually our doctors. We're serving as really a telehealth DSO. So we sit in between the doctors and the patients and enable the doctors to treat those patients. And so we've continued to get better and better at serving our customers. We're going to get better over time. And I think there's so much more we can do. We're designing a brand new patient management system. We build everything internally with our own software. So as we continue to get kind of deeper into that world and our recently launched Candid professional offering, which is actually now allowing dentists and orthodontists to sell Candid through their practices, it's really our wholesale offering. We just have to continue to innovate and build more software. And I think that that for doctors becomes a critical component. You know, when we first started, it took doctors 45 minutes to do a case and now it's taking our doctors maybe 5-7 minutes to actually review it and complete a case. So, you know, over time we'll get better and build more technology that just lets our doctors be happier and more successful. And on the other side of that, they're able to make more money because they can get through cases and track their patients more effectively. You know, the last thing I'd say there is the remote monitoring product that was driven by our doctors and our doctors at the onset. We didn't have that product, you know, as a mandate for all of our consumers. Now, some patients were wearing them or some patients work. We're doing it, but other patients weren't. And we added it in because our doctor said, hey, we need to track all of our patients remotely. And so we added it in as required part of our customer experience. And I think both the patients and the doctors have benefited.
A.J. [00:25:09] I know you spent some time, Nick, with Lyft back in its early days, you know, with Lyft that Uber and taxes were such huge competitors. How did your time at Lyft impact you opposed to competition in this space with braces and other big aligner brands?
Nick [00:25:25] One of the reasons I was comfortable starting Candid was because of the Lyft experience. When we looked at Lyft in early 2012, the entire taxi market in the US was nine billion dollars and it was highly fragmented. And what we realized was that if you look at a market from the perspective of what is it today without innovation, that you can't understand or even fathom what's possible 15, 20 years out. And I think that orthodontics is very similar. The traditional orthodontics is not going away. Doctors are always going to need to be involved in the process and we want to support doctors in that process. But the market is changing and changing profoundly in two ways. One is doctors are no longer prescribing a bracket braces as much as they're prescribing clear liners. So there are many doctors out there today who are actually prescribing one of our top competitors and business lines. They're prescribing Invisalign, you know, at 50 percent or more of the cases that come into their practice. And over the next 10, 20, 30 years, I expect clear lines to represent 80, 90 percent of the orthodontics market globally. Today is around 40 to 50 billion dollars, and we'll get up to about one hundred billion dollars in consumer spend globally. So it's a really, really big market. And today, 90 percent of cases are started with wire brackets and that's going to go the other way in 10 years. So what was really exciting about Lyft in the early days was we knew that, yes, we could replace the taxi ride, which is really how you and I started using Lyft. We start using it on Friday night to go out to a bar and then we use it to go to the airport and then we start using it for commuting. And over time, it starts becoming a habit. We realize, oh, it's actually less expensive than car ownership or hey, I can make money on the side. Being a driver and enabling people not to have cars. And so the same applies to the Candid methodology from an oral care standpoint where we started in orthodontics and we now have a whitening product, which we recently just launched. We're gonna continue to go deeper and deeper into the oral health space as we evolve over time. And I think the clear aligners market is just one of the many examples in oral care where there's a ton of growth opportunity.
A.J. [00:27:39] So this elephant in the room, COVID-19. Candid has made a big impact in the community ever since the pandemic hit. You know, I saw that you repurposed one of your facilities to 3D printer personal protective equipment for frontline workers. I actually saw a post where I believe it was a doctor with a big sign saying, thank you, Candid. So, you know, every brand had to make changes, whether it be to messaging, manufacturing, shipping and receiving. What was the biggest impact that COVID had on Candid?
Nick [00:28:08] So first of all, COVID kicked us in the face, right? The entire dental industry was just absolutely rocked by COVID, I think, at one point in the states. We had 97% of dental offices were closed. So, you know, travel, I think, maxed out, down like 90%. And dental and dentists were really, really hurt. And the medical device manufacturers and the suppliers and the dental assistants and hygienist and everybody and anybody who needed dental treatment at one point in April, you know, we didn't know what was going to happen. And so our business was down, you know, over 80 %. And that happened almost overnight. Right. We decided to close our Seattle location first. And shortly thereafter, we closed everything else on the retail front. And we re focused our business on the e-commerce side. And we were able, because of our remote monitoring technology, we were able to actually see what was happening with all of our patients, even though we didn't necessarily need to see that patient back in the studio or, you know, would need to have ever seen that patient again coming into an office because we don't have those offices. And over time, we have 3x e-commerce business, which was a smaller percentage of our overall business, which is very exciting. And we've been able to slowly reopen our candid studios. We have, I think, 8 or 9 of our 23 locations back open. And so our business is back. Not all the way to 100%, but but darn close. And I think that by the end of the fourth quarter, I think we'll be bigger than we were in January. And we expect next year to be a tremendous year of growth for a candidate. We have four new products. We launched manufacturing facility. We launched a new whitening product in partnership with Philip Zoome. We launched our teen product. We launched our professional product. And so we have an incredible year of 2020 the rest of the year and 2021 to really pick ourselves up, back, get back on our feet and said, I can't get back on the course where we were at the beginning of this year, which was to be a really, really big business at the end of the year. So we're really excited. I think the team is fired up. I think we feel like we've you know, we're mostly through the wilderness at this point and we're getting out to the other side. And the other thing, the Candid, you know, was able to do during this time is we were able to take a bunch of costs out of the business where we had been focused on those costs, but we also had been growing really quickly. And so when you grow sometimes, you know, those costs become hidden and you don't really find him. And we were able to go through everything in the business with a fine tooth comb and take things out that really didn't have to be there. And lastly, we were able to be a, you know, participate in the community. We were able to donate face shields and offer face shields at extremely low costs to schools. So we worked with a school in Massachusetts, so an entire school district provided their teachers with face shields. We were able to provide both police officers and protesters during the, you know, some of the people that we've seen here in the last three or four months with face shields to reduce the spread of COVID. We were able to work with numerous other government agencies and departments and repurpose that manufacturing capability. So, you know, I think the team has been working hard, making it happen. And we're really excited about the next 12 to 18 months.
A.J. [00:31:28] COVID has sped up the digital transformation for everyone in the e-commerce space, just like you touched on, you know, the transformation that would have taken five years has been crammed into a period of about six months. You know that the retail apocalypse has been fast tracked. How do you see the future of retail? And do you think brick and mortar is still an end goal for domestic consumer brands?
Nick [00:31:49] One of the things that's been most challenging during the COVID time has been community, right? We know our communities have shifted online. Obviously, shopping in many ways has shifted online. And I still think that the human condition requires some level of community. And I don't think having done a lot of work and research and thinking on this, I don't think the impersonal world is going away. I think that it will be changed at least for some period of time. But I just look at other countries, what's happening in, you know, in parts of the EU and what's happening in Asia. And yes, we've had a shift and we've definitely seen an increase. And I think consumers will be more comfortable with telecommuting. You know, our team has been working remote and we'll continue to work remote, probably for, you know, maybe even up for the next year. And we'll see how long this thing goes. So I think that there are permanent changes. But ultimately, I think there is going to be an important part of in-person touch points, anything in dental. You've got to have the in-person right, whether it's a panoramic X-ray and our Candid studios, whether you're going to a dentist for a cleaning, whether your you know, you have a more serious issue. I think dental is an example of one of those things that can't get replaced by the Internet. And so we will see some shifts and we will see some changes. But I think the dental industry will ultimately benefit from increased access to telehealth services like Candid, which reduces office visits and takes DNA out of a dental practice. But at the same time, you know, let doctors serve more patients in a more efficient manner. So I think that retail and I think, you know, I think doctors are going to be back. I think people will go back and person. Do I think the way that they interface and the comfort level we have with doing things remotely is changed forever, of course. But we do expect that, you know, whether it's through the professional practices or independent Candid studios or a combination of the two that in the future, you know, Candid will have real in-person presence.
A.J. [00:33:51] Nick, thank you so much for your time today. Before I let you go, I have a few Either/Or questions, so I'm going to throw them at you. Two options. You pick one or the other.
Nick [00:33:59] Bring it on.
A.J. [00:34:01] All right.
A.J. [00:34:01] Books and articles or audiobooks and podcasts.
Nick [00:34:06] Books and articles.
A.J. [00:34:08] Music or movies?
Nick [00:34:12] Music
A.J. [00:34:14] OK? On the music side. Rock and roll and pop or Hip Hop and R&B?
Nick [00:34:20] Rock and Roll and Pop.
A.J. [00:34:21] All right. Laptop or desktop?
Nick [00:34:25] Laptop.
A.J. [00:34:26] OK. Apple or P.C.
Nick [00:34:29] Apple.
A.J. [00:34:30] Work from home or work out of the head office?
Nick [00:34:33] Work out at the office.
A.J. [00:34:35] Okay. And, you know, we're all kind of stuck at home right now. So when you wake up, do you get dressed like you're going into the office or is it PJs all day?
Nick [00:34:43] Depends on the calendar.
A.J. [00:34:48] Nick, thank you so much for your time today. Guys, if you're looking to learn more, visit www.Candidco.com. That's www.candidco.com once again, this the DTC Growth Show. Thank you so much for listening, Nick. Thank you for your time today.
Nick [00:35:01] Thank you so much for having me.