More often than not, a consumer web entrepreneur identifies pain
points that he wants to solve as a user first. Technophiles, founders,
and early adopters are all drawn from the same pool, often by design
Over the past couple of years, some of these entrepreneurs have begun
building products focused on the quantified self. A thesis for the quantified self goes as follows: a modern young professional likely
knows his Twitter follower number, Facebook friend count, as well as the
market cap, IPO date, and vital data of a half-dozen companies in his
industry. But if you ask for his resting heart rate, genetic disease
markers, blood pressure, or body mass index, the chance that he knows
more than 2 out of 4 of those is vanishingly small. Technology is the
answer to this problem. Today, the pedometer, imagined 400 years ago by
Leonardo Da Vinci and first developed in 1965, has evolved far beyond a
"step counter" and into a suite of full-service health tracking devices.
Now the idea of the quantified self has spread beyond Wolf's circle. We see it in consumer products like the Jawbone UP, Fitbit,
and Nike+ Fuelband, whose technology measures individuals daily
movements and reports relevant health data.
the John D. And Catherine MacArthur Foundation, "a large body of
evidence indicates that socioeconomic status is a strong predictor of
health. Better health is associated with having more income, more years
of education, and a more prestigious job, as well as living in
neighborhoods where a higher percentage of residents have higher incomes
and more education."
'innovating for the elite'. But when it comes to healthcare innovation,
this wisdom fails.
The quantified self, as currently defined, may be about signalling health
consciousness among an already highly health conscious population,
rather than changing behavior.
Innovating for the elite,
then, misses the mark.
the demographics of an audience of Lululemon wearers,
yoga-practitioners, and vegans is a very different market segment than
the obese, the chronically ill, and those with limited access to health
That's a huge market, and it skews heavily to lower income populations.
We need a tool to change behavior across all demographics, and
self-tracking products currently aren't doing it.
potential challenge issue?
The quantified self and accompanying mobile health revolution needs to puncture markets which are usually invited last to the party.
If entrepreneurs in this space are serious about making a difference, and about staying relevant to an evolving population, they need to invite these demographics first. To wit, we need to innovate on our innovation.
use this quote
Show all 16 highlights
Innovate for a population who needs it -- and there's plenty of money to be made there, too. This will require non-traditional business approaches, and
willingness on the part of entrepreneurs and innovators to work directly
with incumbents, be those pharmaceutical companies, health insurance
companies, hospitals, or government agencies to inject productivity into
the system through technology