Medical Device Conference 10x History

What and why is the 10x Medical Device Conference?

April 2020 brings our tenth 10x Medical Device Conference. Why has it been successful?

Why do alumni return each year? For inspiration, fun, ideas, and community.

“10x has an almost vacation-like quality to it.” – Sylvia Norman, PhD
“I look forward to this one all year. Joe’s a dear friend.” – John Eckberg
“It’s more like a family reunion than a conference.” – Maren Nelson, PMP
“There is no ‘online-equivalent’ of those workshops.” – Tommy Cooper
“I met future business partners there. I hired Nic right away!” – Brent Laing, MD
“The conference was eye-opening. Joe’s an enabler for the industry!” – Julio Ferro

Medical Devices Group Origins

LinkedIn groups launched in September 2007. Christopher Taylor started the Medical Devices Group in March 2008.

It was the 78,665th group formed. Now there are more than two million.

Tragically, Chris died at age 47. He went into cardiac arrest at Medica (of all places!) in 2011.

Christopher Taylor

His wife Janet informed me a month later. She asked me to continue his work.

I built a memorial page for Chris first. The page remains, untouched, since 2012. In gratitude, group members donated nearly £2,000 for his daughter Charlotte’s college fund.

A Perfect Storm

It took me nearly a month to process 4,000 backlogged requests to join. I remember finishing the task, relieved, and going to bed.

The next morning, there were 125 more.

They came – literally, by the thousands. The group added 75,000 members in 2012 alone.

It seemed everyone got the message at once:

You have to get on ‘social media.’

LinkedIn has these things called ‘Groups.’

You get on them and participate in industry-specific discussions. Like a post or leave a comment.

It’s a great way to build your network and grow your business!

Participation thrived, especially for those heated “medical device tax” discussions.

It was fun back then. “Regulars” became well-known by face and commentary.

A Conference is Born

I knew the world didn’t need another medical device conference.

I made one anyhow. I wanted to meet my new virtual friends, these active Medical Devices Group members – in person.

It began as the “10x Medical Device Conference for Exponential Growth.”

This was the first homepage. (It’s clickable.)

98 people came that year to Minneapolis – including Senator Amy Klobuchar to discuss the medical device tax with Representative Erik Paulsen.

I made a small profit after expenses. Maybe the conference could compensate me for the unpaid hours I moderated the group?

The Group Evolves and LinkedIn Mucks Things Up

The Group continued to grow until 2018 when membership peaked at 354,758.

Much of the luster was gone by then.

Why? Three main reasons (smallest to greatest):

  • Moderation. Shameless promoters stopped coming because I wouldn’t publish their spam.
  • Disappointment. Few saw business-building results from their effort.

    I liked posts. I left comments.

    But I got no new business out of it.

    So, they concluded, “I don’t have time for this. I’ll continue doing what I know works: Trade shows!”

Soon, they’d discover trade shows aren’t what they used to be. (That’s a story for another time.)

Since then…

In September 2018, LinkedIn made sweeping changes to groups (don’t ask me why) that removed announcements (I could no longer send the weekly message) and moderation (anyone could post about anything without my approval).

This would have killed most groups, but not ours, because I rebuilt and completely upgraded subscribers still get weekly messages and access to webinars, job opportunities, and other resources.

Still, there’s no denying a smaller footprint. LinkedIn is a behemoth, after all.

Which brings us to today

Now you understand the history of the Medical Devices Group, why the 10x Medical Device Conference was born, and why it thrives today.

If you read this far (thank you), you really want to know:

Should you attend the
10x Medical Device Conference?
– and –
What will you get out of it?

Let me answer you completely so you have perfect information and can make an informed decision.

Our tenth 10x Medical Device Conference is
April 2020 in San Diego

As I began, April 2020 brings our tenth event. I’m especially excited about this one, because I’m making an all-out effort to invite hundreds of alumni back for our reunion.

• You want a two-day respite to reignite your creative juices, stimulated by the group’s best ideas.
• You want to meet my most trusted advisors in every discipline.
• You want to join a network of medical device professionals on whom you can rely.
• You want my friends to appreciate you as an expert in your field.
• You want to discuss a range of timely subjects.
• You need to gain specific knowledge covered in one of our workshops.
• You’re intrigued by the promise of a fun medical device event.

• You want to “walk the trade show floor.” (We have none.)
• You want to meet people who excel in the same things you do.
• You want to focus narrowly on your area of expertise.
• You plan to “work the crowd” and hand out lots of business cards.
• You need to collect “leads” to “justify your ROI” to your boss.
• You have no intention of building enduring relationships.

It’s like this: These are my friends I’m introducing you to. Please don’t come to “sell” them.

Instead, come be inspired with us. Help us think through issues with which we struggle. We’ll gladly do the same for you!

Who else is coming?

Since 10x is primarily about building lasting relationships with people I personally know and value, your next logical question is,

Okay, Joe, so who am I going to meet?

Easy. Click here and I’ll send you a list of registrants.

Then, if you think, “Yes, I want to join hundreds of friends united by Joe’s events,” please, come, and join our family.


Joe Hage