Making Connections #6: The consumerization of healthcare
Now that I’m hibernating indoors, I’ll be writing more regularly. I’d love to hear your thoughts, email me back 😊
Consumer products are designed to be simple, fun, and easy. The outward simplicity masks depth — a rigorous reductionism in product design, a maniacal focus on the user's wants and needs, and the incorporation of behavioural economics and gaming principles to heighten engagement.
Over the last decade, the 'Consumerization of the Enterprise' saw ugly on-prem software replaced by delightful products like Slack and Notion. Today's enterprise products are adopted by individual team members who love the user experience, spread usage within their company through word-of-mouth, and enable top-down salespeople to close deals easily.
The 'consumerization of....' idea can also be applied to other sectors. Money is an area plagued by lack of transparency and poor habits. When Monzo first built a technology-led bank, their focus on intuitive design and gentle nudges to improve financial habits was a revelation. In Australia, Up is taking this a step further. Rather than simply allocating pots for savings, they are taking the principles of mental accounting and allowing consumers to deeply understand how they're spending their money through Covers and Forwards. To keep consumers coming back, they use variable rewards in the form of free coffees. The delightful experience leads to raving reviews on social and word-of-mouth growth. Just like any successful consumer app.
One area where we desperately need the "consumerization of..." is health. While within the 'wellness' category we have beautiful apps like Calm, Aaptiv and Noom, the most common complaint from healthcare professionals is that digital health products don't engage consumers.
Digital Health is hard. In other sectors, you just need to solve a problem for your customer, but in health you have the added complication of demonstrating clinical efficacy through expensive studies and RCTs, and even if your product significantly improves outcomes, finding someone to pay for it can seem impossible.
Add all this together and digital health companies take longer to get right. But if you could create a delightful consumer experience in health, imagine the impact it could have. Where Tinder focuses its attention on finding consumers better dates, a digital therapeutic can fight obesity and addiction, impacting millions of lives.
There's a founder in Sydney, Sally Krebs, who is starting Aurelius to fight addiction. Read more about her mission here.
The average addict suffers for 27 years before they seek help, and even then, after their 20 day treatment program 90% will relapse within a year. Sally believes with engaging digital therapeutics that coordinate care between the addict, their support network and their clinician, millions of people worldwide could gain the help they need to stay on their path to recovery.
This is a worthwhile problem to dedicate 5+ years of your life to solving. If you believe you could be the CTO, CPO or Clinical Lead for Aurelius, email me back and I'll intro you to Sally.
"When it comes to mountaineering, in which participants risk far more than medals and endorsement deals, he says, a broad cultural prohibition on doping in sports is obsolete."
MSCHF is a curious evolution in DTC marketing. Today, it’s a brand-building stunt factory. They drop a new product every 2 weeks, using hype culture as an amplifier for cynical social commentary. Read this NYT profile for more.
A thread on the history of scientists self-experimenting, based on a research paper defending the practice.
2 of the 6 worst daily returns in the S&P 500 since 1928 occurred in the last week. No one knows what will happen in the next 6-12 months, but stock markets tend to bottom before the real economy does. I may look like an idiot in a few months but I’ve started averaging in, with a plan to buy weekly over the next two years.
This was my second attempt at reading this book, the first time I had to stop halfway because it was too sad. With the film coming out soon I forced myself to try again.
Just Mercy tells the story of Bryan Stevenson, an American lawyer who founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending the poor, the wrongly condemned, and those unfairly treated by the criminal justice system.
It's hard to get through and made me feel ashamed at how little I do for my community and how rarely I stop to remember how lucky I am, sheltered from so much of the daily trauma experienced by so many. Now feels like a good time to rethink how you can support those in your community who need your help. For that reason, I highly recommend taking the time to read this book and reflect.
The former Tinder Chief Product Officer, on how to design consumer products, how lessons from gaming influenced how Tinder monetised, and the opportunity in audio as a new form factor designed for intimate conversations.
AirTree is hosting a virtual meetup at 1pm AEST today on COVID-19 to discuss managing through the next few months, from employee safety to company comms and managing cash flow.
You’ll hear from experienced founders in B2C and B2B including Mike Frizell, founder and CEO of Pet Circle, Australia's no.1 online pet shop, and Mike Carden, co-founder and CEO of employee engagement software company Joyous.
The meetup is already oversubscribed, but fill out this form and we’ll send you the recording afterwards, and we’ll be in touch about more virtual meetups we host over the next few months.
If you have any great ideas for what those meetups should cover, hit reply and let me know, we’ll do our best to keep everyone connected while we’re all working from home.