An Interview with Honor Co-Founder and CEO Seth Sternberg
The world’s eye has been on the impending challenges of caring for an aging population. In the U.S. alone, the Medicare population will double in the next 30 years – growing from 40 to 80 million people - significantly straining existing programs. Foreseeing this boom, the pace of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) among health systems, home health and home care players has increased significantly over the past two years. Partnerships have been forged, similar groups joined and smaller agencies and practices absorbed as health executives strive to carve out their pathway of care for aging adults. Some M&As have focused on joining forces with organizations providing similar services to cut costs. Others have honed in on the differing strengths of the organizations and building a complimentary network.
The Honor-Home Instead acquisition falls into the second category – pairing a technology and operations platform and a large home care provider network with the goal of multiplying innovation and the number of people served. Honor Co-Founder and CEO Seth Sternberg sat down with the Home Care Association of America to discuss what prepared Honor for the Home Instead acquisition, the ways it will change the industry and how he foresees home care evolving.
Prior to founding Honor, Seth Sternberg co-founded Meebo, which was acquired by Google, where he became a Product Director. What turned a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur down the road to developing a robust technology and operations platform that would revolutionize the staffing and delivery of home care?
His mother’s slower driving, actually.
“I was in a car with my mother driving home from an airport and observed her driving slower. My brain went to, ‘Five years from now, am I going to have to go to my mother and tell her she has to move into a facility? That would be bad,’” shared Sternberg. “[Starting Honor] literally came from me not wanting to ever have that conversation with my mother. It turns out that it is a really, really hard problem to solve.”
By developing small bits of technology to solve problems and maintaining a focus on their overall goal, Honor began to grow into a home care company that helps older adults live safely in their own homes through reliable, high-quality care.
“When you’re building tech, people often say, ‘Move fast and break things.’ That does not work in senior care,” Sternberg smiled. “We took a really deliberate path to not offer tech to anyone else and only ourselves first. Then, we began to slowly start offering to others. Then, when it was ready, we went big.”
Click here to read the rest of the interview with Sternberg in the Winter 2021 issue of HCAOA’s The Voice.