My Reaction to Fred Wilson’s 2015 Healthcare Predictions

My blog post ticker has me sitting at three YTD so I will need to start cranking out more posts to hit my goal of 52 this year.

One post I have had on my list since January was to provide my thoughts on Fred Wilson‘s post about What is Going to Happen in 2015 and, more specifically, his healthcare predictions:

11/ the health care sector will start to feel the pressure of real patient centered healthcare brought on by the trifecta of the smartphone becoming the EMR, patients treating patients (p2p medicine), and real market economies entering health care (people paying for their own healthcare). this is a megatrend that will take decades to fully play out but we will see the start of it in 2015.

Let’s unpack this:

the health care sector will start to feel the pressure of real patient centered healthcare

According to a FICO survey, 80% of smartphone users want to interact with their provider online. I certainty agree with Fred’s prediction here and  believe we are already seeing the entire healthcare industry react to increased patient demand for digital health services.

brought on by the trifecta of the smartphone becoming the EMR

I see the trend of the EMR moving into patients’ hands playing out over the next 10 years as new ways to verify identity over the Internet become more mainstream, such as block chain. Patients will come to expect to own their online profiles and the data associated with them.

patients treating patients (p2p medicine)

Fred mentions these are megatrends that will take years to play out. I think this one is the farthest off (10+ years) because clinical judgement is deeply engrained in our healthcare system in order to ensure clinical quality and patient safety. Over the next five years, I think it is more likely that we will see software tools that will make clinical judgement more accessible to patients. With that said, I have seen examples of patients with rare conditions diagnosing and treating themselves because clinical judgement is lacking.

and real market economies entering health care (people paying for their own healthcare)

We have seen direct-to-consumer markets (where providers accept payment outside of insurance directly from patients) forming over the last decade with retail care and more recently with virtual care and concierge services. I imagine Bitcoin and other peer-to-peer payment models will also drive down the cost for providers to offer these services. This is definitely a megatrend driven by patients taking on the burden of their healthcare costs and reimbursement models shifting from fee-for-service to value-based.

Overall, I think Fred is on track with his predictions. The two megatrends I am most excited about over the next 3-5 years are patient centered care (brought on by patient demand for digital health services) and new market economies forming (brought on by patients taking on the burden of their healthcare costs and the transition from fee-for-service to value-based reimbursement).


Collaboration = Innovation

I just finished listening to Walter Isaacson’s book The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution on Audible. The book walks the reader (or listener) through the many innovations of the digital revolution.

Isaacson’s theme and my major takeaway from the book is that the digital revolution cannot be traced to one person. From Steve Jobs to Robert Noyce to Alan Turing to Ada Lovelace, the digital age came about and continues to grow by building on the innovations that came before it.

Isaacson points to collaborative environments with a diversity of people and skill sets like Bell Labs and MIT as models that fostered key innovative breakthroughs during the infrastructure period of the digital age.

Over the last 40 years, I believe Silicon Valley has served as the collaborative environment that has fueled the latest innovations (chips, e-commerce, web 2.0, mobile devices/apps, social, sharing economy, etc).

Today, you can see how the ecosystem is using Facebook and mobile devices/app stores to push new innovations forward. There also appears to be a renaissance of the lab concept with app development shops popping up such as Kevin Rose’s North.

So what’s next? My guess is the next set of innovations (5+ years) will be built on top of today’s innovations: Uber, wearables, drones, Oculus and Bitcoin. Regardless, Isaacson would argue they will come from collaborative environments that feature diversity of people and skill sets. I tend to agree with him.


Blogging in 2015

One of my 2015 goals is to blog once a week so when January 1, 2016 rolls around I can look back and see 52 posts over the course of the year. Three weeks in to 2015 and I only have one post…I have some work to do.

My objective in blogging once a week is primarily to share what I am thinking about and find interesting right now in my life/career arc. I also think it will help me improve my writing skills by forcing me to write a compelling post every week that people will find funny, interesting and worthwhile.

To pay homage to Mark Suster, I am blogging for the hell of it. My posts will be stream of consciousness and are not meant to last forever. I will be wrong and I expect my opinions will change over time as I get more data/experience. I hope you enjoy my forthcoming 52 posts (now 50 posts) and find them worth your time.


Top Ten Experiences of 2013

This is my third annual post where I highlight my top ten experiences over the past year. I started doing it after I noticed a shift in society to value experiences over material goods. The number one experience in 2012 was spending time with friends and family. This year this would be a given for number one again, but I decided to pull it out of the list as all of my top ten experiences were with my friends and family.

10. Outhouse Races

Outhouse Races

I flew out to Nemo, South Dakota for the 8th annual Nemo 500 Outhouse Races to visit my buddy Jeff who is in Teach for America (TFA). TFA had won the last four Outhouse Races, so tensions ran high. They of course retained their title in 2013 and look for the unprecedented six-peat in 2014. And yes, this event is exactly as the name would suggest: people racing outhouses. Here is a video to give you an idea.

9. Wedding / Bachelor Party



I was asked to be a groomsman in my buddy Nick’s wedding in October. We had a lot of fun at Nick’s bachelor party in August where we went down to New Ulm, MN and toured the Schell’s brewery. It felt appropriate to wear captains hats, blazers and mustaches for the occasion, to the chagrin of the New Ulm locals. The morning of the wedding started off a little rough when Joe forgot to wear his purple socks, but it turned into a great day and celebration for Nick and his wife Lisa.

8. Skiing at Lake Tahoe


I was fortunate to go skiing in Tahoe for a second time in March. This time I went to the north shore and skied Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. The spring skiing conditions convinced me even more that everyone in northern California is spoiled because they get to ski without the cold.

7. Finishing up my project in California


After nearly a year and half, my time traveling out to California came to an end. I flew 133,620 miles in 2013 and received Platinum status from Delta. The picture is of my last rental car, which was a great way to end my time in California.

6. Trip to Fort Meyers

Fort Meyers

My girlfriend, Karla, and I traveled out to Fort Meyers in March to play golf, watch the Twins and hang out at the beach. Highlights were Karla flying first class for the first time and hanging out with dolphins every day.

5. Golf Trip in Northern Minnesota

Golf Trip

After playing golf as a foursome regularly for the last six years, we finally scheduled a weekend golf trip to play 54 holes at the finest courses in Minnesota. Unfortunately, the Good Ol’ Boys defeated the Bash Bros in the final 18 on Sunday (related: this trip likely would have been ranked higher had we won). We are stepping up next year and have scheduled a trip to play 54 holes at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin, which undoubtedly will be on the top ten list next year. The Good Ol’ Boys better watch out.

4. Camping Trip to North Shore / Canada


Karla and I spent 10 days camping around the north shore of Lake Superior. Highlights were a 16 mile hike to the “Top of the Giant”, trying to outrun a downpour at Gooseberry falls, a 79 degree hotel room in Duluth and not having a good map or working phones in Canada.

3. Playing Torrey Pines


Torrey 2

In June, I flew to Southern California for the weekend to visit some friends. I spent a night in LA and then drove down to San Diego to play Torrey Pines. We played the South Course, which is where Tiger Woods beat Rocco Mediate to win the 2008 U.S. Open in a 19 hole Monday playoff. The course is on bluffs overlooking the ocean just north of San Diego. It is beautiful and is my favorite course that I have played so far.

2. Summer Trip to Lake Tahoe

Tahoe Summer

Karla and I went to Lake Tahoe in May. This was my third time to Lake Tahoe and Karla’s first. We golfed, hiked and soaked up the lake views. Tahoe is awesome in the summer too which cemented it as one of my favorite locations in the world. We will definitely be going back.

1. Continuing my Entrepreneurial Journey

a. Starting a New Job at Zipnosis


I am really thankful for my experiences at Optum, which prepared me for my next endeavor: Zipnosis. I joined Zipnosis as the seventh employee in November. Zipnosis provides online diagnosis and treatment for common medical conditions. We regularly shop and do our banking online, so we should be able to access healthcare online too.

b. Starting ValetBlu


Two co-founders and I incorporated ValetBlu in September. ValetBlu allows you to get your dry cleaning done through the mail. I saw the value in this idea because when I was traveling I would need to give my dry cleaning to my parents to bring to the dry cleaners for me. We are currently testing the concept with target customers.


2013 was a great year. I traveled a lot for work and pleasure, but am looking forward to spending more time in Minnesota in 2014. Until next year.


Some Thoughts on Android

I made the leap from iPhone to Android two weeks ago. I wanted the Moto X, but it was not offered by Sprint at the time. So I went with the Samsung Galaxy S4. This past Friday the Moto X officially came to Sprint, so I swapped in the S4 for the Moto X.  Below are my thoughts on Android vs. iPhone, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Moto X.

Android vs. iPhone

The biggest difference for me has been that everything on Android is customizable and the majority of the work in getting the phone set up falls on the user. This is in contract to Apple, who has already made these choices for you, so when you turn the phone on it just works. This was a little shocking to me at first, but over the last two weeks I have grown to like having more options and being able to experiment. The other notable difference is the integration with the suite of Google tools like Google Drive and Google Now. These products are only going to get better, especially how we interact with them in a mobile environment.

The biggest knock against Android is the apps. Overall, Android apps are not as well designed as their iPhone counterparts. I also miss the Notes, iTunes and iBooks apps. I had to go out on the Google Play store and find substitutes for these, which are fine, but are still not as good as the Apple versions.

Samsung Galaxy S4


The screen size and resolution are by far the best features of this phone. Reading Twitter and Chrome on this phone was 10x more enjoyable than on the iPhone or even the Moto X. This will definitely be the feature I miss the most on this phone.


Apps are not designed for this screen size. The Twitter app for example makes you reach to the top of the screen to compose a new tweet. Every time I did this, I felt like I was going to drop the phone because it is an awkward motion. I got this feeling a lot just holding the phone as well. Another con is the battery life. I was always charging the phone. So far the Moto X’s battery has performed comparatively with my iPhone. The awkwardness of holding the phone and the battery life ultimately were the reasons I decided to switch to the Moto X

Moto X


I love the ergonomics of this phone. The curved back and the little indentation of the Motorola logo make it very comfortable to hold in your hand. This phone has gotten a lot more interest from my friends compared to the S4. The Google Now voice feature is awesome. There are still some bugs, but this will continue to get better.


There are not a whole lot of cons to this phone. I would like the bigger screen and resolution of the S4, but I have to say I am very satisfied with the Moto X right now.


Why I am Bullish on Twitter

I am very bullish on Twitter’s IPO and plan to buy it, here is why:

I recently made the leap from iPhone to Android. First trying the Samsung Galaxy S4, but eventually trading it in for the Moto X. Both times I held the new phone in my hand with a blank home screen staring up at me, I went into the Google Play store and downloaded the Twitter app first. No other app, social or otherwise, even entered my mind as needing to be immediately downloaded once my new phone was turned on. I needed Twitter immediately because I needed the connection to the tiny world of news and information I have curated and built in Twitter over the last four years.

I eventually downloaded other social apps like LinkedIn, Facebook and Snapchat, but have yet to sign into them and it will probably take me two to three weeks before I do. The reason is I can live without these services on my phone because one they don’t add much value to my life and two I can access them from my computer on the web. Twitter and probably Spotify is a distant second, is the only mobile app that works better on mobile than on the web, which is why I am very excited about the Twitter IPO and I will definitely be a buyer.



Finding your Art

I have noticed a similar mindset among individuals who are at the peak of their chosen professions. They view their professions, whether it is football, stand up comedy or making sushi, as art and will dedicate their lives to the pursuit of perfection. Here are three examples:

1. Peyton Manning

On a recent episode of Jon Gruden’s QB camp, Gruden shows a clip of Peyton Manning doing a play action pass in practice. Gruden says, “When he goes out there on the field, I just have a feeling it’s not a play action pass to him, its art.”

What struck me when watching this was how this play seems insignificant to me. It is just one practice rep in the thousands Peyton has taken in his career, but he does not look at it this way. He sees this play as art and will continue to refine it so that a linebacker will doubt if Peyton handed the ball off to the running back or kept it for the pass.

2. Jerry Seinfeld

In an article for the New York Times titled “Jerry Seinfeld Intends to Die Standing Up”, Jerry states:

“I want to make cricket cages. You know those Japanese cricket cages? Tiny, with the doors? That’s it for me: solitude and precision, refining a tiny thing for the sake of it.”

Jerry will spend years refining a joke, so that it gets the perfect reaction from the audience.

3. Jiro Ono

In the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”, Jiro Ono is followed by a documentary crew to discover how he makes the best sushi in the world. Jiro is quoted as saying: “Even in my age, in my work I haven’t reached perfection.” and “I’ll continue to climb, trying to reach the top. But no one knows where the top is!”

Jiro has been recognized as the best sushi chef in the world, but at 85 years old he still pursuing perfection every day.


It is clear to me that the pursuit of perfection of one’s art has driven these guys to the top of their professions, but they are not satisfied with external praise and awards. There is an internal drive in all three of them that continues to push them further towards improvement and achieving perfection.