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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Coming soon, #HIMSS16 Conference in Las Vegas

OK. A couple of years ago HIMSS made a distinction between "press pass" issuance for their annual conferences and what they called "social media ambassadors," the latter, I guess, being thought of as "media lite" -- not really the Serious "press," but valuable enough in terms of PR outreach to warrant the comp badges (and, I'm a mere independent "blogger" not on deadline for some traditional media company). I last attended in 2014 in Orlando as a "social media ambassador." (I didn't attend HIMSS 2015 in Chicago last year, as I was being biopsied at the time for what turned out to be the prostate cancer whose tx consumed much of my time and attention in 2015, mucking up my coverage of the annual Health 2.0 conference in Santa Clara.)

Well, seems that this year I'm back to simply being "press." HIMSS is back in Vegas, and I will attend, as I first did in 2012, the last time the HIMSS Conference was held in the town where I lived from 1992 through 2013.

2016 seems to me a pivotal year for Health IT and healthcare more broadly (though, yeah, I know, we say that every year), so I will be all eyes and ears. This time I'm going to plot out a detailed sessions plan well in advance and reach out to key attendees.

When you go to the HIMSS16 full sessions schedule search page, you find a set of filtration drop-down panels.

Filtration by topic:

The only limitation is that the subtopic choices within any one drop-down filter panel are mutually exclusive; there's no "select all that apply" functionality (which, net, is probably a good thing).

apropos of WinterTech 2016,

You find one session devoted to Health IT venture capital.
Health IT Entrepreneur’s Guide to the Universe

March 1, 2016 — 11:30AM - 12:30PM, PT Sands Expo Convention Center, Delfino 4001, Session ID: 35

New ideas in healthcare are driving novel technologies and improving focus, quality, efficiency and effectiveness of care delivery.  Innovators require the support of an entrepreneurial structure and capital to move from design to prototype, alpha to beta test, and pilot to commercialization. We will provide an overview of healthcare innovation process, and strategies for identifying collaborators, strategic partners, customers and capital.  

Howard Burde, JD, FHIMSS
Eric Toone, PhD


Learning Objectives:

  • Outline and illustrate the process of developing a health IT idea into entrepreneurial reality
  • Discuss considerations for collaborators, advisors and strategic partners, as well as allied solutions
  • Evaluate appropriate methods of protecting intellectual property, assessing markets and determining how to reach customers
  • Identify sources of capital and what each type of investor offers to, and demands from the innovator
Filter: Entrepreneurship and Venture Investment
And so on. You can rather easily register/login and fill out "your dance card."

In addition to the foregoing, some of my priority topics -- given the historical thrusts of this blog -- will likely run to "Business of Healthcare and New Payment Models," "Career/Workforce Development and Diversity," "Clinical Informatics and Clinician Engagement," "EHRs/Meaningful Use," "Health Information Exchange and Interoperability," "Human Factors, Usability and Design," "Innovative Processes, Solutions and Emerging Tech," "Leadership, Governance, Strategic Planning," 'Process Improvement, Workflow, Change Management," and "Quality and Outcomes."

Good luck trying to fit all of that in. I will no doubt be subselecting session priorities within those categories.


Another interesting read, apropos of my prior post on WinterTech 2016.

I've yet to buy this one. Based on the Amazon ratings/comments and the "Look Inside" excerpt," it looks perhaps worthy. I used Dragon to read in the following:

For years, this question has played in our minds: why do some startups defy all odds and become multibillion-dollar successes while many others fail? Is this purely a stroke of luck or is there a science behind the success? If so, what are the common characteristics among successful startups and entrepreneurs? To find answers to these questions, we went straight to the source and asked the venture capital investors who are part of some of the most notable successes of our time.

In this book you will hear leading startup investment practitioners discuss, in their own words, how they got identified promising ideas, markets, products and entrepreneurs, and how they helped build a game changing companies. We explored with them the lessons learned from not only the successes, but also their failures, to identify the factors that separate the two groups and also to draw the common patterns. Finally we asked them what advice they would give to entrepreneurs aspiring to build the next Google, Facebook, grew upon, or twitter.

To provide you with a 360° view of how to build successful startups, we have included interviews with several nominal entrepreneurs and exceptional startup operators. We explored with them the end to end journey from formation to exit and discuss the most common operating challenges along the way, and how they tackled them...

One of the most surprising revelations was that many successful companies arose out of non-consensus, unconventional, and in fact contrary and ideas. Most people didn't think those ideas was succeed at all, let alone become multibillion-dollar companies. In each of these cases, the entrepreneurs had very strong intuition and access to asymmetric information based on their predisposition toward, and early exposure to, potentially huge untapped or emerging market opportunity. Groupon, Twitter, and Facebook are great examples of that. Given the general market disbelief, these companies enjoyed very little competition until they broke off the chart. On the other hand, the riskiest startup ideas tend to be those most people can see are great ideas. Hence, there is so much competition that it negatively impacts everything from gross margin to valuation.

Surprisingly, most successful startups were not started with the goal to build a billion-dollar company. They rather started with a desire to solve a meaningful "pain point" — a VC term for a problem that causes people a lot of frustration. this is usually something that affects the entrepreneur personally and directly. Then the entrepreneur does a wonderful job of solving the problem for a small group of customers. Eventually the entrepreneur, with the help of venture investors, finds a way to expand the solution to a very large group of customers. This doesn't necessarily put management before market, but rather it emphasizes the fact that the best companies are created when great teams intersect with large market opportunities.

Whereas entrepreneurs focus on identifying and solving these burning pain points, venture investors trying to find those extraordinary entrepreneurs who are trying to solve potentially huge problems in a meaningful way. Venture investors tap into their tremendous network of contacts and "pattern recognition" — the art of leveraging lessons drawn from past successes and failures to identify a combination of factors and behaviors that may point to promising markets, entrepreneurs, products, business models, and so forth. Together, these build a "prepared mind" or "gut feel" about the emerging market opportunities created by the tectonic shifts in customer behavior and the enabling technologies that can be successfully applied to those shifts. Entrepreneurs are true visionaries, and venture investors are great pattern recognizers with an experienced toolkit of how to build companies — and how not to build them. Successful startups are created when a trusted relationship and line of communication is established between the visionary (entrepreneur) and the pattern recognizer (investor) for two way knowledge transfer.

In discussing the characteristics of the successful founders, the words are repeated most often are extraordinary passion, intelligence, authenticity, intellectual honesty, dogged persistence, risk taking, and integrity. Many of these entrepreneurs were scarred by past failures, or hungry to win big, or came from humble backgrounds. They also had this fact in common: they were hardly known to the world before starting companies that made them successful and famous. Most of these successful founders also paired with one or more cofounders rather than going solo. The cofounders they partnered with had not only complementary skills, but more importantly, a long history of working together. They had built a great chemistry with each other well before they became cofounders.

It's also clear from the interviews that most successful startups have an "A" team of 30 to 40 people stroking together in harmony towards a common mission. This gives them 10 times the productivity advantage over their competitors. These teams come together when the passion, intelligence, and charisma of the founders serve as a talent magnet to attract some of the best people in the industry to solve the toughest and most challenging problems for their customers. The first 10 to 12 hires in the startup team are extremely important, as they determine the DNA and culture of the company and, in turn, it's successful trajectory...

Successful startups also end up making drastic changes to their original plans in what's called a "pivot." Only a small percentage of such pivots — one in 10 — are successful, though. The successful pivot is a function of the "authenticity" and "intellectual honesty" of the entrepreneurs, where a deep knowledge of the market space and its fine nuances, combined with their ability to quickly adapt to new market realities, lazy key role in determining the effective degree and direction of the pivot. The journey to a successful pivot as a logical progression without any leaps from one strategy to the next, and the domain knowledge of the founders remains relevant in the new plan.

The interviews also reveal how important market timing is in determining startup success. It's probably the most overlooked concept by the entrepreneurs, and they usually end up being too early or too late to the market. Many companies fail not because they are too early or too late, but because they don't recognize or admit that, and change their plan’s cash burn accordingly…
That's enough for now. I get the general idea.

Also relevant to the topic, the work of the "Society for Effectual Action," from the perspective of the entrepreneurs' PoV:
"Effectuation is a logic of entrepreneurial expertise. What makes great entrepreneurs isn't genetic or personality traits, risk-seeking behavior, money, or unique vision. Effectuation research has found that there is a science to entrepreneurship and that great entrepreneurs across industries, geographies, and time use a common logic, or thinking process, to solve entrepreneurial problems. Effectuation is a logic of entrepreneurial expertise that both novice and experienced entrepreneurs can use in the highly unpredictable start-up phase of a venture to reduce failure costs for the entrepreneur."

BTW, this year's opening HIMSS Keynoter is Michael Dell.

Oh, and you can count on my going to Lindo Michoacan while I'm in town.

D.I. and Eastern, Javier's original property. When I lived in Vegas, we called it "headquarters."

Oh, and I will also have to hang with my old friends in the Santa Fe Band.


These guys are Vegas's top casino show musicians who have this band on the side. They're sprinkled throughout major shows such as Celine Dion, Jersey Boys, Donny and Marie, Legends in Concert, Carlos Santana, Vegas! The Show, etc.

I used to write a blog for them and do their photography.

More to come...

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