On Travel: The Duality of Cities

I think cities are one of the most interesting places in the world to travel to.  To the average person, that’s a pretty obvious statement.  “Cities are where the interesting thing happen,” one might think.  But for me, traveling to cities is more than simply a function of having more activities to keep a trip interesting.  If that were the case, I’d rather stay home where I know where all the interesting activities are taking place rather than travel across to some distant place only to realize that I’m not at all aware of the social scene there.

No, traveling to cities is great because they present for me the greatest juxtaposition of humanity.  On one hand we have the towering skyscrapers that hang over many downtowns and skylines.  On the other there is the slums, the skid rows, the unmentionables.  In between those extremes there is everything, from small suburb within a city type areas to centres where culture and art flourish.

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Resurrection! Less than a month to graduation…

Desertscape of the UAE

A Return to Civilization

Less than one month to graduation, and I think it’s time to finally resurrect this blog.  Back to Basics is being resurrected as “Reframing the Framework” v2 (Reframing the Framework was also the name of my blog on the USC Marshall School of Business Admissions Blog).  I’m particularly excited as I think this avenue is going to give me an outlet to express thoughts that are not necessarily related to business school or USC.  Guess I’m back to blogging about my existentialist thoughts, philosophical ramblings, random travels, and the like.  Looking forward to being back!

ACA and the Healthcare Provider – What’s Next?

As the Affordable Care Act continues it’s path of implementation, healthcare providers are left wondering: “What’s next?”  Facing shrinking revenues due to falling reimbursement rates from payers and increasing costs due to increasingly advanced technology & medicines being brought to bear, what can providers do to stem the squeezing and stay profitable?

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Living in a post-superpower world: USA & Lambdas

I often find that events happening in the world parallel things that are happening in a micro-level around my life.  I’ve always been a firm believer that there aren’t really that many unique events in the world, that macro-level events replicate themselves in microenvironments.  The example I’m going to use is “superpowers in a post-superpower world,” or more specifically, “How Lambda Phi Epsilon mirrors the United States of America.”  I’m finding it increasingly fascinating how similar the problems of each are to each other and how even more similar the responses that each group can take to their problems can be.

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Pseudo-VCing in the world of Health Technology

I’ve been participating in some of the reviews for applications to present at the Health Data Initiative Forum on June 9 sponsored by the Institute of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health.  I gotta say, it is a lot of fun being the evaluator and hearing some really passionate entrepreneurs describe their health technology projects.

Many of the apps/teams/projects being presented are early-stage ideas, ones that are in the prototyping phase (but past the “just an idea” phase).  It’s actually been incredibly interesting watching the teams pitch their prototypes and apps on how to improve public health.  Many of the projects are awesome and impactful – but sadly I’ve got no money to invest in these projects.  In fact, I don’t think the government should play the role of an investor – this is tax-payer money after all and should be used somewhat conservatively.  However, the one thing the Department can do is help connect the projects with the right people to make things happen.  For example, we can make connections between app developers, government agencies, and industry players where some of their apps can be supported or be distributed to more users.

So what do I personally  look for when reviewing the pitches?

  1. Does the project fulfill a demonstrated need and provide a tangible benefit to users?
  2. Are customers better off after utilizing your project?
  3. Sustainability and scalability – does the project have potential beyond your prototype or beta-test base?
  4. How far along are you – are you just an idea or did you make something?
I’m not the only one reviewing these pitches, and the final decision is still forthcoming, but I gotta say that I’ve been loving the experience.  There is nothing more exciting than working on growing the healthcare technology industry and I can’t wait for the Health Data Initiative Forum on June 9; hope to see you there!
Ah, looks like it’s waitlist only now…  IMO, still worth it.