Before “agility” was a thing, there was Paul White. He didn’t need anyone to tell him how to keep moving, he was already way too far ahead to hear it anyway. Even standing still, White is moving forward, his mind buzzing around the methods and means to do things faster, better, cheaper.
He is, in the absolute purest sense of the word, an entrepreneur. He was there when projectors sold by the thousands, launching CompView to serve as the first company to offer InFocus products. He was there, sighting the gap between computer and audiovisual businesses, and approximating that a bridge between the two would be the right place to settle his company for the kind of growth that so far has resulted in 25 years of success shared by 200 employees across seven U.S. offices. In the meantime, he also helped launch a projector company called Lightware that was later sold to PLUS Corporation.
“As an entrepreneur, there’s leading, following and getting out of the way,” White explained. “The ability to distinguish between those actions allows you to grow professionally and personally.”
Pause. Next step. White is on a golf course with a good industry friend and he learns that the healthcare market is on a growth curve. So, looking to ensure that CompView had a line in a more recession-proof business, he made an aggressive move. He put himself right in the middle of operating rooms and talked to surgeons about what they needed for endoscopic surgeries. He then translated their complaints about neck strain and lost productivity into the multi-armed, fully turnkey NuBoom product. Hospitals loved it enough for White to spin off CompView Medical to serve the market. To this day, CompView Medical professionals still work alongside medical personnel in the field in order to more perfectly calibrate the NuBoom setup.
The benefits of success in the healthcare market are shared between the integration and manufacturing firm, as the process of obtaining FDA certification “makes you a better company,” White noted. He added that healthcare regulations are so strict, “We know down to the screw what is in each of our products.” That definitely enhances attention to detail across the businesses, making CompView a “very process driven company.”
Even at his fast clip, White knows when to pause and appreciate all that business and life have provided for he and his family. His charitable donations and community and industry work are all a part of his drive to reap the rewards for solving problems. For him, agility is just finding the spark that drives you to focus on the next big thing. From there, it’s simple: “If you like what you’re doing and you’re passionate about it, the money will follow.”
See all 2015 SCN Hall of Fame inductees here.