Entrepreneurial Innovation In Medicine


shaywitz pix bw“Entrepreneurial will exists in constant tension with an unruly, uncertain, and surprising world.”

Parallel revolutions in molecular biology and digital technology have created profound new opportunities to reconceptualize healthcare, providing us with the tools to refine our understanding of health and disease, and rigorously evaluate and iteratively optimize potential solutions.

Delivering on this promise has proved far more challenging than many originally anticipated.  Healthcare is enormously complicated, stakeholders are deeply entrenched, and to paraphrase C.S. Lewis, your view of the problem tends to depend a great deal on where you are standing.

Success requires a deep understanding of the existing system – an intuitive appreciation of the real problems to be solved, and the irrepressible determination to deliver an actionable solution.

Topics of particular interest include:

  • Patient-focused drug development (including the role digital health might play), see here.
  • Power laws, and the implications for decision-making, nicely discussed by Peter Thiel here and Paul Graham here.
  • Subconscious biases, and the arbitrage opportunities they create, especially regarding talent – see here.
  • Entrepreneurs and the idea of “conscious capitalism” (vision=why, profit=how) – see here and here.
  • Agency problem in context of diversification strategies – see here.
  • Entrepreneurs and other auteurs (e.g. Ira Glass) – see here.
  • Translating integrated health data into biomedical progress that impacts patients – see here and here.




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