Six years ago today, I launched my first practice. That first month, my practice website attracted 7 million unique visitors. It sure has been a ride. I’ve started three companies: Hello Health, The Future Well, and Sherpaa. I raised a total of about $40 million. I designed the most popular iPad app for physicians, Omnio. I’ve spoken all over the world from Australia to Cape Town to Amsterdam and London. I met Bill Clinton. I had a conversation with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and MC Hammer, together. Needless to say, my life is lovely, rewarding, and weird— something I would never, ever change. And Sherpaa is growing beyond my wildest dreams (more to announce in the near future).
I’m the luckiest guy in the world to have such a wonderful life surrounded by the best family, friends, and the best team I could ever imagine. Of course, you need a team of ridiculously talented people supporting and contributing to your vision.
But even more importantly, none of this would happen without taking a leap into the unknown and believing that the world can be a better place and the status quo can and will change. It’s easy to be cynical and complain about how horrible healthcare is in America as both doctors and patients. But complaining gets you nowhere. If you want something to change badly enough, drop everything, design something better, inspire others, and change it.
Here’s to the last six years. And here’s to the bright, bright future. Thank you.
Big news! We’ve lined up our final two debaters for next week’s debate on whether Designers Make the Best CEOs! Charles Adler (Cofounder/Creative Director of Kickstarter) will be joining the team arguing for the motion, and Jay Parkinson (CEO of Sherpaa, futurist doctor) will be joining the team arguing against. It’s going to be wild!
I’m out in Phoenix for Google’s Zeitgeist 2013. It’s kind of like google’s internal TED conference. I spoke here 2 years ago so it’s always nice to be back as a participant rather than a speaker. At the time, Larry and Sergey were really talking up the car and I ate it up. I’d love to see a world that significantly reduces the nearly 40,000 people who are killed every year in America from car crashes.
And today I got to ride in that glorious machine. There were two googlers in the front. One acting as the real life human if need be. And the other with his laptop open showing us everything the car sees. And that blew me away. It sees everything around it up to about 200 meters. It was a bit like riding in a car with a 16 year old newly licensed driver. It follows the book perfectly. Never strays out of its lane. Always comes to a complete stop. Turns are kind of harsh because it wants to turn like a robot, not give you a super smooth ride like experienced drivers do.
But all in all, I felt like I just experienced something revolutionary. We’ll soon look back and wonder why it took so long to make our roads safe. 40,000 lives is tragic. I want to see it down to zero.
A few months ago, I hired Dr. Ezra Feinberg to be our mental health professional our clients can contact to help them figure out a plan to get folks back on mental health track. People will reach out and tell us their story, Ezra will ask a series of detailed questions designed to elicit the underlying issues, and he’ll connect you with a therapist or a psychiatrist who specializes in your unique needs. It solves that whole “therapist shopping” problem. We want to connect you with the perfect therapist for you, not just one who’s trained in your needs, but also with a personality you’ll connect with. So far, this process has worked exceptionally well.
As we were hiring him, Ezra and I shared many conversations over beers and talked practice philosophy and just got to know each other. He mentioned he used to have his own band and as we talked music, we discovered we liked a ton of the same bands. When I said I liked a certain band, he would say he knows them and played with them. He told me his band was Citay. Amazing! I knew Citay. Ezra put out two albums and both were critically acclaimed. He toured with Yo La Tango, Phosphorescent, The National, and many other of my favorite bands. However, the life of a musician is hard. Tough to make ends meet, no matter how talented you are. And, most importantly for Ezra, he was passionate about being a shrink. He wanted to help people in a very meaningful way. So he packed up his band, got his doctorate in psychology, built his practice…and now he works for Sherpaa.
My goal is to hire people who are simply good at anything they do. This takes passion, curiosity, grit, skills, experience, education, and practice. The fact that Ezra is a musical genius and an exceptional shrink is no accident. People who have risen to the top in one area of their life, will likely excel at everything they do. They can’t stand mediocrity in themselves. And that’s exactly why I hired him.
Late last week, we launched a dream of mine in the Sherpaa app. I’m so proud of our team and the concept.
There are about 1.4 billion doctor visits in America every year. These happen in doctor offices in 10 minute or less increments and research suggests that patients forget 85% of what their doctor says during the visit. There are plenty of reasons for this. Most people don’t take notes. They’re stressed or sick. Their doctor is using jargon. You know the deal.
That means, every year in America, there are 11.9 billion wasted minutes spent forgetting what doctors say.
I think this is so stupidly inefficient and ineffective. When you leave your doctor’s office, you need to know everything that was said and have a crystal clear understanding of your situation and exactly what you need to do next.
That’s what we’ve built. Once our Sherpaa doctors have made a diagnosis, you see:
the entire conversation
what labs you need to get
what medications to take and where to pick them up
which specialist to see and how to make an appointment with them
things to watch out for
And in the near future, you’ll see:
Our favorite links for you to peruse for more information
Our favorite apps to use to help track your health specific to that condition
It’s very exciting and honestly a dream come true for me. Crystal clear communication with your doctor. Instead of only understanding 15% of your conversation with your doctor, you’ll understand 100%. That’s not an incremental, nice-to-have. That’s a revolution.
I’m sorry about the image resolution. Seems like a tumblr limitation so click through to see it in all its full non-blurry glory.
Very, very proud of this. And it’s just the first iteration…