Second Time’s a Charm
John Golden started his first company, Medical Marketing Group, at his dining room table in 1973, with the help of his three children. “This was the good old days when you could do things like that,” he says.
“We started making some catheters. I was living on Long Island and I’d go to the city in the daytime and sell my wares, and at night I’d make the product with my kids.” He took out a second mortgage on his house and rented out a neighbor’s garage for $15 a month to get the business going.
Medical Marketing Group ultimately grew to a $22 million company. When John was 65, the company’s patents were expiring. He decided to sell for $42 million.
“I figured I’d never get back into the business. Everyone would figure out what needed to be done to improve on what we started.”
He figured wrong.
A Second, First Act
Today, John is 81 and “still going to work everyday. I retired for 2 years, and then I said — I gotta do something.”
He saw an opportunity to continue to improve upon the technology he’d developed decades before. Today, Medical Technologies of Georgia manufactures a focused product for people in wheelchairs who need to catheterize themselves. That might include paraplegics, quadriplegics, or people with multiple sclerosis or spina bifada. “The gold standard,” John says, “is to be able to emulate able-bodied folks.” The company has patented significant changes to help reduce the occurrence of UTIs and make self-catheterization possible.
MTG sells its products to three main markets: hospitals, wholesalers, and distributors. He estimates that the latter two make up 90% of the company’s sales.
Most recently, MTG has pioneered a product for quadriplegic users, a traditionally underserved market. Available in April, the new product will increase the percentage of quadriplegics who are able to self-catheterize from 30 to 80%.
Those kinds of numbers are what keeps John going. Hearing from people who have never been able to self-catheterize before — and now can with the help of his products — is far and away the most gratifying part of the job.
MTG currently operates about 45 people, and is a minority-owned and operated family business. John’s daughter is CEO, his son is a marketing and sales manager, and his wife is the compliance officer and runs HR. John, who describes himself as a “marketing and sales guy,” jokes, “They give me an office at the end of the hall.”