Sources for the Healthcare Entrepreneurs' BootCamp at Healthdatapalooza
Health DatapaloozaHealth Data ConsortiumUS Department of Health & Human ServicesJoshua Rosenthal, PhDDr. Sujata Bhatia, MD, PhDMarshall VottaSOURCES
Basics Industry Sources(you probably already know)and Examples of How to Use them(that You’re Probably too Smart for)without Showing You How to Put It together(just a call to DIY it)
PLANWhat follows is not an overview of how to start up – that’s a bigger topicThis is merely some basic tools and examples of how to use them with an end in mindThe idea is to explore on your own, build your own knowledge base – you’ve probably seenthese resources before, but the idea is to use them as tools critically for a specific purposeYou can do this by yourself or with a group - whether you have a start up idea in mind or arelooking for oneGoal is to 1) build a basic knowledge base to be able to carry an informed conversation, 2)identify an network of folks to have that conversation with, 3) put together the basic collateralto structure that conversation and take it from talk to a funded start upCould put together some samples showing how to put this together, but that’s an exercise foranother time – for now use your imagination, be creative yet specific, weird evenEven if you end up taking the desk job, do this as an exercise – you’ll learn more than you thinkand it will be good for your soul
BASIC INDUSTRY SOURCESHACKER NEWSRead this every day for 3 months – seriously –the whole is greater than the sum of the part and the effect cumulativeThis is the YCombinator feedessentiallyThink of it as acrowd sourcedWall Street Journalfor start ups (goodpeople will haveread and digestedthis – it will bepart of the star-updiscourse)
What’s this Y Combinator thing?Who is Wattvision?Why would they be fundedby Y Combinator?What is Kickstarter?Why is this featured in HackerNews?What does is means that thiswas voted up by readers ofHacker news?Why is Kicker starter posting thisin the first place?
What is price discrimination?Why is the topic featured /popular for start ups?Who is Clay Shirky?(Hmm… 3rd time I’ve seen hisname -- click link, repeatprocess, subscribe to him)Who isthis guy?Hmm…similar oranalogous bizto my idea –find him onLinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter– ask him aquestionDoes this pointring true?Is it for DTC orB2B or both?How would itapply to a startup based on myidea?
BASIC INDUSTRY SOURCESCRUNCHBASEUse this as a historical research tool and find what makes success forcompanies like yours – also use this to find current trendsAgain, YCombinatornetworkThis is a databaseof companies vitalstats includingfunding &personnel. Thinkof this as casehistory ofsuccessful andunsuccessfulcompanies
Local search might also make easy to meet– or if you’re looking for something in asmaller region (companies, people andfunding emphasis by geography)Build up your basic knowledgebase using these categories(each important in their ownway)Companies – who are thecompanies (in your space orsimilar) that are successful?Success defined as exit. Cf.“Acquisitions”People – who are the people (inyour space or similar) that aresuccessful? Success defined asexit. Cf. “Acquisitions”Financial Organizations – who isfunding similar companies, atthe stages you are looking for(seed, VC, etc.)? Cf. FundingRounds.Funding Rounds – who isfunding early stage vs. moredeveloped, etc.Acquisitions – this, not mediacoverage etc., defines success.
This is Chris Dixon’s thing. Ultra successful person with cult of personality trying to reinvent search. Brought inthe Flickr woman to social-ize it. Bunch of MIT folks too. They had a huge article in Wired and were darlings.Ebay purchase is a sexy acquirer but after years and massive investment (click to drill down) they only sell for$80MM? QUESTION: How do you determine Hype vs. Value?These are recently activeacquirers. But who are theyacquiring? Are they small orlarge? Early stage or late stage?In which verticals? Why?Click / drill down to find out.Research the acquirers’ trends(cash-laden health plan withmandate to spend for marketdifferentiating technologyproduct?) For large publicacquirers cf. their public updates(dial into the calls, read thereports) – for smaller acquirersgoogle to cf. interviews, etc.Once you have your buyerprofile, make the list then findthe individuals there doing thedeals or setting the strategicdirection (alumninetwork, linked in, twitter, etc.)Very small $4MM exit –likely ‘boutique’ – mediaspace in ‘personal interest’
Search for a vertical:Health CareShow mecompaniesfounded inthe last 2years, thatare small(50 or less)that havebeenfundedBuild yourtaxonomy. Forcompetitivelandscape, existing businessneeds andacquisitioncategories, etc.What kind of‘health care’company areyou? How doyou need topositionyourself?Quicken for healthcare -$2MM Seed – DTC?Web-site - $100k seed –DTC?Doctor house callservice – B2B?
How are they describing themselves? Why?What trend are they capitalizing on? What arethey trying to communicate to their buyer?What has their path looked like?When did they bring specific roles on?When did they take funding?Hmm… Wonder what the “Advisory Board “ is?Who is their competition?How are they different (funding, biz model, etc.)How far along is the market?Given they are new, whatfeatures are included in theirMinimum Viable Product?What are they sharing? Why?Subscribe, follow
BASIC INDUSTRY SOURCESQUORAFollow specific topics and people relevant for general strategy andspecific tactics – ask something meaningful and get a real answerThis is a questionboardPopular with veryhigh powered andexperienced startup founders andinvestorsIncludes detailedspecific topicsThings disclosedhere you can’t findanywhere else
Calacanis is aheavyweightfonder (andinvestor), but hislatest (Mahalo)isn’t meetingexpectations.Ask him directly:“Are youprofitable?”He’s saying that’s he’s profitable, and could turn upthe juice but are running hot, reinventing in theirapp infrastructure?Is this a credible answer? Can an app investmentreally draw that much juice? Does it answer thefundamental question of are you sort of profitablevs. red hot profitable as expected?Is Quora itself thecompetition andhas it bestedyou? (hint: you’reanswering this onQuora)Okay, so you’re‘profitable’ – letme restate: Areyou considered a‘success’ by yourinvestors?Okay, then why are youlaying of 40% of your staff?The founder is actuallyanswering thisdirectly, himself – as well asthe follow ups. Ask aquestion or follow himdirectlyWho else is following this & why?
Searching forstart upfunding, foreignaccelerators are apopular topicWould you do astart up withseed money inChile? (note$40k goes a longway there)If you do it andfail, is this betteron a resume foran office job thana cookie cutterinternship?Do your officialreadingDo your unofficialreadingAsk the guy for acontact
Big question on aspecific domainPeople want toknow about itThink you have the chops?Give an answer, start a conversation, establish yourself(and start up) as an expert to investors & clients
BASIC INDUSTRY SOURCESANGEL LISTJoin, use as a resource for what works (which verticals, whatpositioning, who is investing) and your potential competitionThis is an onlinecommunity ofactive angelinvestors, founders and their casehistories
Hmm… someonehad multipleterm sheets overthe course of aweek end?What is thecompany?What was thepositioning?What is theteam?What are these things?Seedcamp?Founder School?Start X?How do they fit into this ecosystem?
What are thecharacteristics ofthe companies thatthey feature ontheir front page?Team, idea, plan, problem/solution, positioning, technology?
Hmm… what are thecharacteristics of thecompanies theyfeature not in themain front page, butbroken up by verticalbelow?Are these allDTC, B2B?Are they experiencedteams?Are they solving realproblems?What is their secretsauce?Do they seem tovalue PR over profit?How are thesecompanies differentthan those buriedunder the “more”button?Hmm… I saw theseguys back on CrunchBase – cf.
These guys are front page, but it seems like they arejust making more mobile apps – and there’s aboatload of those out there already. So what gives?Oh, I read abut these guys in Wired. I think one ofthe founders is the son of an Apple guy orsomething, right?They want to solve health care through ‘betterdesign’ like Apple or the Arts & Crafts architecturalmovementThey seem very confident.Are they DTC? If so, no one has made any realmoney doing that.Are they B2B? If so you need to show realoutcomes – and will ‘better design’ really do that?Didn’t Adam Bosworth set out to solve health carethrough better tech pipes? How did that workout? Cf. Google Health & Keas.They’re funded, butnone of their backersreally specialize inhealth care.Hmm. I rememberthat article from A VCFred Wilson on howhealth care has suchdifferent dynamics (cf.below)? Wonder ifthat means anythingrelated to this?(Hint, it does and it’svery important – butnot widely understood. Can you figure itout?)
BASIC INDUSTRY SOURCESOkay, more tracking apps.What’s in their product’sfeature set and why?Who are the folks following them?Why?Okay, more tracking apps. But thisdoes bills, and even to spot “errors.”Is it B2B, designed to be acquired bya plan or provider network?What sort of team do they have?What skill sets? What roles?Who was their original angel? Whatelse are they investing in?Hmm… they got their start with someaccelerators? Which ones? Howdoes this funding timeline intersectwith the team timeline?
BASIC INDUSTRY SOURCESOkay, a Personal HealthRecord for parents?Team is all male? And techheavy. Hmm.Is this DTC?If so has any DTC PHR everworked?Does the founding team needa perspective of the buyer (amom – the company isMother Knows Best)Previous investors are tech heavy too.No health care experience really.Looks like one of the investors is fromGoogle, ad sense, palo alto. Hmm, whatdoes background have to do with DTCoptimism?Hmm. The referrer is the same companybehind the ‘solving health care through betterdesign’ company above. Likewise a non-healthcare expert biased to DTC and thus heavilyweighting Apple / Google credentials.QUESTION: So folks are funding, but do theyhave an investment thesis in the space that willget you an exit (cf. A VC / Fred Wilson articlebelow). Will their bias help or hurt you if youwant more than funding but a successful exit.Is this “smart money”?
BASIC INDUSTRY SOURCESTECHCRUNCHSkim the headlines – make sure you know anything in your space anduse the meta trends as an investor or client’s awareness horizonThis is the YCombinatornetwork againThis is muchbroader, morepopular level stuffthan Hacker News.Consider this theUSA Today of startups. If it’s hithere, it’s gonemainstream andyou need to beaware
BASIC INDUSTRY SOURCES“Doctor’s or Algorithms”is now a category fordiscourse.If you are using aRecommendation/automation/learningtech in your biz, you’llneed to have somelanguage in yourmaterials recognizingthis.Even if this isn’t ‘real’ ordoesn’t ‘apply’, you’ll beasked and can activelyaddress it in materials -perhaps explaining howyour product navigatesthis, etc.
BASIC INDUSTRY SOURCESINDUSTRY REPORTSFind and read the basic industry reports on both your vertical andhorizontal and ideally where they intersectForexample, Forresteron tech adoptionin healthcare.This is mainstreamfor investors andstrategic clients.If it raiseschallenges (i.e.techadoption), you’llneed to speak to itin your pitch andeven sales process
BASIC INDUSTRY SOURCESINDUSTRY SITESFind 2 or more industry insider sites and read them regularlyForexample, fiercehealth careThese raise the bizproblems that agood start upcould solve – andget you inside themind of your client- as in what theyare concernedabout as well aswhat they aregetting pitched
BASIC INDUSTRY SOURCESINVESTOR BLOGFind a blog of a 2 savvy VCs – one who specializes in your vertical andone who is more general but still has a presenceFor example, FredWilson – look at thethought process andmarket reads.Here Fred Wilsonsays that he can’tfigure out healthcare and doesn’t yethave a market thesison it - a year or twoaway (e.g. Why isthis important?)
BASIC INDUSTRY SOURCESMAINSTREAM MEDIASet up a google reader RSS auto alert for key people/topics in yourvertical from traditional media – skim the titles and read the applicableFor example, Marc Andreessen(netscape, et al) in the WSJ.Here he’s explaining howsoftware is the only business toinvest in regardless of vertical (&he’s investing).This is an investor’s bible.Consider addressing /positioning with your pitch.Note: this is in the Life / Culturesection – use an RSS alert
BASIC INDUSTRY SOURCESPLAYBOOKSPay particular attention to ‘Playbook’ or ‘Landscape’ trend summaryarticles – even if you disagree know the narrativethefunded.com/funds/item/8811Here is a summaryof funding trends(rise of angels &incubators; fall/shiftof VCs to seed-based or multi-stageagnostic deals;mega-roundsreplacing IPO; etc.)
BASIC INDUSTRY SOURCESSOMETHING CRAZYRead something silly / crazy not about your vertical but keep an eye outfor ‘alternative’ take on trendsFrom The Oatmeal(parody of Microsoft-Skype-Facebook deal).Know at least a handfulof alternativeperspectives – aboutgeneral trends andabout your verticalform sources yourinvestors / clients /competition won’t
BASIC INDUSTRY SOURCESSOMETHING WIERDNot just different, weird – not just notorious, but un-commoditizableSeriously, if you’regoing to do a startup, you’re likely insane– as in clinicallydiagnosableEmbrace it – createvalue from it
BASIC INDUSTRY SOURCESSOMETHING ON “INTESTINAL FORTITUDE”There’s an office job around the corner, why not take it?The highest highs andthe lowest lows –greater joy and deeperdespair than you’ll findduring a life time ofoffice jobs – and allbefore noon each day.And a 1 in 1000‘success’ rate, whencounting conservatively.(note: exit/liquidity issuccess, notfunding, he’s writing thisto those alreadyfunded).Do you really want to dothis?
PUT IT TOGETHERDo It Yourself (after all that’s the nature of a start up)Build your collateral, start the conversation & reviseBuild your market mapTrends (financial, technical & vertical)Business problem/solution & your place vs. competitionBuild your demo – what is your minimum viable product, differentiationSketch out your team – contact them if needed via tools aboveIdentify your funder – contact them via tools aboveWhere is your exit – start w/ the end and contact them first via tools above