July 24, 2012
Rule #1 about starting a business: things will not go exactly as planned!
After 8 months of planning, designing and coding, our clear.md site went “live” at 10:00am on July 24. Exactly 24 seconds later, half of downtown Minneapolis experience a power outage. Our site went down, the office was pitch black, and I found myself spending the next 3 hours in the local Starbucks with the rest of our team.
As I said, not exactly what we had planned for today (see Rule #1).
However, this unexpected down time provided a welcome opportunity to reflect on something important. Namely, “why did we launch Clear.MD?”.
I’ve been asking the team recently about the extent to which their personal “beliefs” have driven them in this project, and I think maybe the best way to launch this blog (and this company) is to try and articulate the core beliefs that make up the DNA of the company.
We BELIEVE that lurking behind the walls of our great health care institutions lies medical expertise that can deliver wellness, healing, and longevity. This is something we value for ourselves, for those we love, and for our community. However, the realities of modern “health care” have created a rift between the patient and their provider that makes utilizing that expertise difficult. It’s just too hard to access. We believe peoples lives are impacted in negative ways because of this rift.
We BELIEVE we can fix this. We really do. But we’re not alone.
There is a global movement of patients, caregivers, and providers trying to work out how to leverage social media channels to create new connections in health care. We passionately believe in this movement. Platforms like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook create opportunities for providers and patients to break down some of the walls that block the engagement they both crave. We believe we need more of these types of connections, and we need more social media platforms that are specifically constructed with health care in mind.
Our idea is to use short, clear, single-topic videos to improve connections between providers and their patients. By capturing local medical expertise in this form patients can easily access the information they need whenever, and wherever they want. This empowers providers to deliver consistent and constant guidance to their own patients, in their own voice, even with the extremely limited time they have with them. And as patients we benefit from more approachable, trusting, and informative relationships with the providers we need.
I’m certain there will be many twists and turns on the road to building a global, multilingual, multi-cultural library of short, clear, single-topic health videos (Rule #1 is never far removed). But we’re on a mission, and we know how to code! It’s amazing to work with dedicated providers and patients (and an amazing team) who share these beliefs, and we’re looking forward to an exciting journey.