Business In:Brief with Dr Elliot Smith (Maxwell Plus)
Dr Elliot Smith
CEO and co-founder of Maxwell Plus, 2016–present
Dr Elliot Smith is the co-founder and CEO of Maxwell Plus, a medical tech startup that uses AI to detect and diagnose cancer. The company uses technology developed by Elliot to guide the prostate cancer diagnostic pathway and connects patients to dedicated clinicians to find cancer as early as possible.
Before starting Maxwell Plus, Elliot completed his PhD in biomedical engineering from the University of Queensland.
What was your first job?
My first job was working for my mum changing buckets of water at her florist. It's the kind of job that is an odd balance of difficult and mind-numbing but makes you feel like you've worked hard. I then went through the rounds of dish cleaner, office photocopier and then later tutoring at university.
What's your proudest achievement?
Work-related, it would have to be getting an AI Health product to market in Australia. We're certainly on the first dozen which is awesome.
Outside of work, finishing a PhD. It was a balance of difficult and mind-numbing in a totally different (more positive) way.
What's the biggest lesson you've learned?
To be successful you need to get really comfortable with being uncomfortable. Working without all the information, doing things there is no existing example to copy. That's where value happens.
What other business leader do you most admire and why?
Joel Pobar at Facebook. He may be less known, but he has by far the deepest thinking on process, models and getting stuff done that I've ever met. That coupled with a career full of impressive technical achievements and being an all around nice guy.
What's the best piece of business advice you've ever received?
The best advice I've received was to read Cal Newport's "Deep Work".
Business In:Brief is a regular interview feature that profiles a notable business leader each month. It is also included as part of our business newsletter, which you can sign up for below.