Aug 26, 2014

In Business, Let's Stop Using The Language of War #

Roy Bahat:

Does it do any good to see business as war? Does it make us more productive, spur us? Maybe, who knows. Sometimes I think it’s a trick to convince us to act. There is, of course, truth in the metaphor. The danger is that we may begin to live by it. And at what cost?

There are many better metaphors. Business as science. Business as art (one Steve Jobs used often). Business as love. Business as farming (planting seeds, cash cows and all). Business as a game. Business as raising children. Even business as struggle — sometimes business is hard, brutally hard. That’s still different from war.

[…] Maybe, as industries mature, companies by nature fight over fixed pies—another reason I love startups. They’re more about making than taking.

Aug 24, 2014


Sickness And Death Are Unnecessary

I have two goals in life:

  1. To be the first human being in another solar system.
  2. To give anyone the ability to live forever.

More on goal #1 another time…1

You Don’t Have A Choice

What does “give anyone the ability to live forever” mean? It means everyone should be able to live as long as they want, as healthily as they want. The point is: choice. It’s your life.

Sickness and death are unnecessary. They are outdated concepts forced on humans. They remove our choice to do what we wish with our lives. They were a weakness to humanity of the past and will be an ancient memory to humanity of the future.

Advances in human health and longevity are obvious. They have been happening since the dawn of humanity and are increasing faster than ever today. We are already living longer and healthier. Soon we will live a little longer and a little healthier than we are today. And soon after that… and so on. This inevitably reaches a logical conclusion: barring global self-destruction, we will eventually be able to choose immortality.

It’s Your Right

At its core, this is no different than what we all believe today: we believe each individual should have the freedom to choose how they live.

Now it is time to take that belief to its logical next step: if you shouldn’t be denied your right to quality of life while you’re alive, it stands to reason you also shouldn’t be denied your right to length of life as well. If it’s wrong for another individual to take your life from you, it is also wrong for the Universe to take your life from you. You have the right to do with your life what you wish, fully and unencumbered.

Why This Matters to Me

These beliefs are an extension of a question I started to ask myself at a young age, and started writing about four years ago. I have always wanted to live forever myself, but didn’t realize I thought of it as a fundamental human right that I wanted to defend until two years ago—I started to realize a belief: that sickness sucks. When I wrote that, I had arrived at an inflection point but I didn’t know what I wanted to do about it:

I don’t know what my next steps are but the whole idea of Next Steps has been on my mind a lot more lately. Thoughts are brewing and I’m sure I’ll pen them here soon. I look forward to writing this post’s optimistic counterpart. Until then, I’m sick of sickness. It’s not fair to anyone. If I could only accomplish one life goal, and it could be anything, it would be to give humankind the ability to live healthy forever. So maybe that’s what I’ll do.

That was frustrating. But I did have a good laugh looking back at them one year later when we launched Prime. Prime is a direct realization of those final two sentences. Hindsight is fun like that. And Prime has relieved that frustration.

Now, another year later, I can say with complete conviction that those two goals are purely what I want to do with my life. As someone who spent most of my life bordering on perennial anger at not knowing what I wanted to do with my life—I eventually realized I was trying every activity, sport, and program possible to figure out what I liked vs. what I didn’t—this is a welcome change.

And if it’s inevitable, why not start working toward it now? I only have about 10,000 waking days left in my life anyway.


  1. Ordering by priority, goal #2 comes first. It’s a stronger personal desire. And to be pragmatic, it’s effectively a precursor to making #1 possible. I only have about 50 years left and at our current exploration rate we’re not going to send someone to another solar system in that time. 

Aug 21, 2014

Prime:

We made a little video showing how families use Prime.

Just shot this today. I like how it turned out.

#
Aug 13, 2014

Bullet to The Head #

Over the last year since starting Prime I’ve spent a lot more of my life than I used to meeting with other founders to exchange wisdom, applying to accelerators, fundraising, recruiting employees, and helping friends get jobs.

One thing that his continually stood out as a consistent experience everyone has, regardless of job or journey: rejection. Usually a lot of it.

I’ve always found Moneyball has the single best advice on how to reject someone: “Just be straight. No fluff.”

This is not unique to baseball.

Aug 11, 2014

Calico Gets A Website #

Turns out Calico is short for California Life Company. Neat.

Aug 6, 2014

'The Theory of Everything' Trailer #

It’s the story of Stephen Hawking’s life so far. It’s not a documentary, it’s a feature film.

This looks absolutely marvelous.

Jul 31, 2014

Success in Healthcare Means Bridging the Gap between Doctors and Technology Entrepreneurs #

Devin Christiansen, for Venture Scanner:

Digital Health sits at the intersection of healthcare, technology and business and within this intersection there is A LOT of talent. But…these parties see it through slightly different lenses. To frame simply, doctors generally do not become technology entrepreneurs and technology entrepreneurs are generally more apprehensive to touch highly regulated sectors like healthcare. That said, achieving success in Digital Health is absolutely possible (and evidenced) but “complete” success is a product all of these parties working together.

I’m really enjoying Venture Scanner’s weekly updates.

Jul 27, 2014

The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened? #

Wait. Tim Burton almost made a Superman movie?

Based on a Kevin Smith script?

Starring Nicolas Cage as Superman and Chris Rock as Jimmy Olsen?

And now Jon Schnepp is directing a documentary about it? And just needs some final funds to help finish post-production.

In. So very, very in.

Jul 25, 2014

reviewinhaiku:

Gravity

reviewinhaiku:

Gravity

#
Jul 24, 2014

Prime:

Prime is currently being featured by Apple in the App Store!

:)

Prime:

Prime is currently being featured by Apple in the App Store!

:)

#
Jul 22, 2014

Prime Techstars 2014 Demo Day Presentation #

Put on a pair of judgmental sunglasses and watch this: here’s the fully unedited video of Prime’s Techstars Demo Day presentation.

This went down at the Kaufman Center for the Performing Arts, an amazing and beautiful facility in Kansas City. About 1,500 people were in attendance and it was just a blast.

Jul 16, 2014

The 3D World of Futurama's New New York #

Put this in full explorable-world game form, then shut up and take my money.

Jul 13, 2014

'We Really Have to Pivot And Adapt to The Demands Of The Consumer' #

Healthcare, finally catching up to the rest of the world.

Jul 12, 2014

Jason Jones Breaks 11-Year Silence #

Jason Jones, co-founder of Bungie and creator of Halo, breaks his decade-long silence and discusses all things Bungie, Halo, and Destiny with Ryan McCaffrey for IGN. A very thoughtful interview; Jones clearly deserves the success he’s earned and the joy he’s brought to the world.

He even talks about the mythical Halo 2 ending (or lack thereof) that has yet to be uncovered to this day and… well, I won’t spoil it for you.

Jul 9, 2014

'This Is Nuts' #

David Lazarus, for the LA Times:

In 2010, [Bill Erickson] had his right knee replaced after “lots of abuse” as a high school and college baseball coach. His insurer, Anthem Blue Cross, apparently covered everything.

Erickson, 64, had his left knee replaced last year. “Same doctor, same hospital, same procedure,” he told me.

But not the same medical bill. This time, Anthem said Erickson was on the hook for about $15,000 in charges related to a medical device used for post-surgery rehabilitation. He received no such bill the first time.

Long story short, here’s why:

Anthem’s Ng said the machine was never covered. Affiliated Home Health Care, he said, wasn’t part of the insurer’s network during both of Erickson’s operations.

It’s possible, Ng said, that once Affiliated received its $4,000 from Anthem, it decided not to pursue the remaining $13,500 that Erickson ostensibly owed. […]

After his second surgery, though, Affiliated once again received a partial payment from Anthem. But this time Affiliated chose to go after Erickson for the remaining $15,000 that it believed it was due.

That bit of speculation around the first payment is important and should be resolved. But regardless, for whatever reason, Affiliated never pursued Erickson for payment owed to them. That doesn’t make the second payment any less required or fair. But it does show that the system is ultimately broken.

The burden is on the patient to make sure every aspect of treatment is covered — an absurd expectation given the circumstances.

Lazarus does a good job of pointing out the details but not of summarizing. And this last sentence is very important for the summary.

In a nutshell, Erickson did his due diligence to make sure his doctor and hospital were approved by his insurance provider, Anthem. But Erickson did not check to make sure the post-surgery recovery device for his knee was covered by his insurance. (How does one even do that?) Turns out: it wasn’t. Ever. But the company that makes the device didn’t charge him the first time, for some unknown reason. Therein lies the rub.

Either way, absurd is right.

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