Meet Florian Otto, Sales Vice President at ZocDoc


Florian Otto is the Sales Vice President at ZocDoc. Florian utilizes his extensive expertise in both healthcare and business to oversee ZocDoc’s local and enterprise sales teams. He is helping the company build and manage its growing sales force. Florian focuses specifically on operations, business origination, account management and recruiting efforts as the company continues to quickly scale.

Florian joined ZocDoc after serving as the Founder and CEO of Groupon Brazil. Under his tenure, Groupon Brazil became one of the largest Groupon entities in the world, as well as the market leader and second largest e-commerce company in Brazil.

Prior to his time at Groupon Brazil, Florian worked for a management consulting firm based in Rio de Janeiro. In this role, he focused on projects for public health, hospital operations and market entry strategies for various companies within the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.

Before delving into the business sector, Florian studied medicine and dentistry, with a focus on bioengineering. Florian completed rotations in Hematology/Oncology  at  Cornell  University’s  Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Maxillofacial  Surgery  at  the  University  of  Michigan’s  School  of  Medicine.  In 2006, he earned an MD and PhD in Medicine, as well as a DDS and PhD in Dentistry in 2008, from The University of Freiburg, Germany.

Florian, why did you choose to leave medicine?

I think the better you want to be at any given thing in the medical field, the more you need to specialize. This has the potential to make the job monotonous and less diverse. Also, being a clinical doctor is not scalable – treating more patients and having a greater impact is only possible through working more hours or more quickly. Moving into business allowed me to create scalable processes and have a broader impact.

At which stage of your medical career did you decide to leave clinical medicine?

Directly after University.

Do you see yourself returning to medicine one day?

Most likely not. I enjoy having a broader impact on patients’ lives through my current work.

What’s the advantage of having doctors with a consulting background working for ZocDoc?

As a doctor, I understand doctor’s needs; I know the value of each patient, and the difficulties of managing a medical practice. My background as a consultant helps me in general business acumen and managing a team. I think the combination of these two lead to unique insights that I am able to apply at ZocDoc.

What’s your productivity secret?

Being methodical in the tasks that I need to do every day. I start with the most important and urgent issues that may have the most direct impact on the business or my team, and then I move on to non-urgent things at the end of the day.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated through tough times?

I always keep the end goal in front of me. In my work at ZocDoc, it’s improving access to healthcare.

What’s your most valuable skill?

Being detail oriented and always following through with commitments. I’m not satisfied unless a target is achieved.

What would you recommend to your 20-year-old self?

Strive to be the best at what you do.

Is there a book that inspired you?

Delivering Happiness – I like the way Tony Hsieh is completely dedicated to customer experience and manages to differentiate his company through exceptional service.

If you could have coffee with one person (dead or alive), who would it be and why?

John Doerr. I admire that he has been involved in so many of the big tech company VC deals and experiences from the start of the technology boom.

Previous articleInterview with Steve Byrne of Final Roadmap
Next articleThe Wantified Self
Sophie C., MD, is based in Berlin. Sophie graduated at the Medical University of Vienna. Her fields of research covered stem cell research in diabetes as well as inflammatory mechanism in heart failure. She was also active in fields of Philosophy of Science with focus on medicine theory, comparing Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine. Sophie joined one of the leading global management consulting firms (McKinsey) in November 2008. She currently works as a project manager with focus on health care topics. She also worked as an editor for an online business news agency during the crisis in 2000/01. Next to her work as management consultant, she is an active member of an NGO in Cambodia, supporting projects to help disabled children and poor rural villages. Sophie is passionate about sports around mountains and water involving snowboarding, rock climbing, hiking, kitesurfing, diving and sailing.