About Lisa Suennen
Yes, it’s me
Most Popular Posts
- From Russia With Love
- The Secret to Lower Healthcare Costs: Dying Faster
- You Say You Want a Healthcare Revolution
- We Are the 51%!
- Singing a New Tune: Redefining Innovation in the Medical Device World
- Rap Genius: Healthcare to a Hip Hop Beat?
- When “Cloud-based” Means Technology, Not Heaven: Report from AARP Health Innovation@50+
- A Tale of Two Doctor Visits
- Your CEO May Be A Man, But Your Healthcare Customer is a Woman
- Healthcare IT BINGO!
- I’m On A Boat! The Rising Fleet of Incubators
- Employers and Health Innovation: Will They Go Long or Advance One Yard at a Time?
- Give ‘Em That Old Razzle Dazzle
- Never Let Anyone Make You a Carrot
- What’s Done Cannot Be Undone
- Entrepreneurs: The All Around Pursuit Predator
- Healthcare: Where the Customer is Occasionally Present
- Posing with the Devil
- Invention is the Talent of Youth, As Judgement is of Age
- Got Diabetes? Smoke Two Joints and Call Me in the Morning
- The Star Thrower, or How Healthcare Looks to Consumers
- Medical Technology and Kubler-Ross’ Five Stages of Grief
- There Is No “I” in Team, But There Is In “Win”
- A Soda A Day Keeps Your Lifespan Away
- Investor Comedy Relief: The Missed Investment Opportunity
- Biotech and Genetics
- Consumer Engagement
- Diagnostics and Screening
- Digital Health
- General Business Issues
- Girls Rule!
- Health and Wellness
- Healthcare Information Technology
- Healthcare Policy
- Healthcare private equity
- Healthcare Reform
- Healthcare Venture Capital
- Healthy Eating
- Medical Comedy Relief
- Medical Devices
- Medical Marketing and MediA
- Patient Safety
- Preventive Health
- Private Equity
- Random Thoughts of the Day
- Real Science
- Venture Capital
- Women in Venture Capital & Private Equity
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Monthly Archives: March 2011
Since I’ve started writing this blog (I’m sorry, I refuse to concede that “blogging” is a real verb), readers often send me articles that might spur additional posts. A recent one came from Annette Bianchi, partner at Vantage Point Venture Partners (colleague, friend and cool Bernese Mountain dog owner) entitled, “The Sisters Bite Into McDonalds,” probably in response to the post I wrote about the Heart Attack Grill a few months back.
For those of you following the mega-burger trend, I am sad to report that the Heart Attack Grill’s 29-year old 575 pound spokesman recently died quite suddenly. The conjecture is he died from pneumonia complications after having the flu. While his obesity has not been directly linked to his death, the poor guy made his living eating the restaurant’s Triple Bypass Burgers. Obviously the death of a young person (or any person) isn’t funny, but I have to think that the company’s business strategy of giving anyone weighing over 350 pounds free food isn’t exactly the path to a long-term customer base. On the other hand, I guess if they eat for free it’s better if … (read the rest)
This last week marked the one-year anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also known colloquially as Obamacare. Depending on who you are and where you stand, you might not be sure whether to celebrate or mourn the occasion.
I looked up what gift one is supposed to give on such an occasion and discovered that the official traditional gift one bestows at the one-year anniversary is paper. The official modern day gift is clocks. I couldn’t think of a more appropriate set of gifts for Obamacare.
If you have seen the bill itself, PPACA covers 2409 pages, so it obviously loves paper. Whole forests have been felled to support the thousands of articles, pro and con that have been written about this law. Paper is the perfect gift to enable the 3-ring circus of election flyers, academic papers, letters by constituents to their representatives and government regulations that have swirled around PPACA. Left unchecked, this law may result in the consumption of every last tree on earth as our politicians extol the virtues of their own particular arguments.
As for the gift of a timepiece, it … (read the rest)
I am fascinated by the whole concept of “happiness” as a science and so I was intrigued when I saw an article recently about “The Happiest Man in the America,” so named by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. The Index is the composite of a survey that is done with 1000 random Americans every single day since January 2008, now accounting for over 1 million surveys of 1 million people.
According to the Gallup website, The Well-Being Index (“WBI”) measures six domains of well-being. Each domain is determined based on scientific study of responses to the survey questions and include:
- Life Evaluation
- Emotional Health
- Physical Health
- Healthy Behavior
- Work Environment
- Basic Access
The measurement tool goes from 1-10 in each of these domains and the numbers are aggregated in a way such that you get a score from the 56 various questions that ranks you between 1 and 100 (100 being so damn happy you could burst). Notably, in February 2011, 54.2% of those surveyed reported that they are “thriving” while 42.1% report that they are “struggling.” The balance self-report that they are “suffering,” which is very disconcerting, particularly since … (read the rest)
Between saying and doing,many a pair of shoes is worn out.–Anonymous
This chart came across my desk today and it really illustrates the problem that we, as consumers of healthcare products and services, face today.
While companies and insurance carriers fight over premiums and providers and insurance carriers (including the government as the nation’s largest insurance company) fight over reimbursement rates, the sludge bucket at the bottom of the funnel is the consumer. While employer costs for health premiums have skyrocketed 114% over the last 10 years, employees’ total out-of-pocket costs have risen 147% during that same period. By comparison, over that same 10 years, general inflation has risen 27% in the aggregate (2.4% per year increase on average).
As I’ve highlighted before, the typical price of family coverage now runs about $13,000 a year, but premiums are expected to nearly double, to $24,000, by 2020. That equals nearly a quarter of the projected median family income in 2020. In 2009 the average individual spent about $17,000 on housing and $6000 on food according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Just think about that. By 2020, we might … (read the rest)
I remember that I once won a radio contest where you had to call in and tell a joke to the DJ that made them genuinely laugh. The joke I told was one where the VP of Marketing at Starbucks approaches St. Peter at the Pearly Gates of Heaven and says that the company proposes to give a donation of $1 million if God agrees to change the prayer from “Give us this Day, our Daily Bread” to “Give us this Day, our Daily Coffee.” St. Peter says no way. Marketing guy says how about $10 million? And so it goes back and forth until the bid gets to $100 billion. At that point St. Peter says, “well, ok, but the Wonder Bread people are going have a fit.” Great joke, in my opinion, but I do admit to being a marketing person at heart.
Anyway, I bring it up because I read an article today that reminded me of that moment and made me realize that I could not be happier. The article reported that several recent studies have shown that drinking coffee leads to a lower risk of … (read the rest)
There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it. ~Chinese Proverb
Nobody ever thinks their kids are ugly, but it is especially gratifying when you get independent verification that they are, well, awesome.
As a venture capitalist, my portfolio companies come to feel like my kids. I am invested in them, financially and emotionally. I care about what happens to them. They always need more money than I expected and sometimes don’t want to listen, even when I am right. When they make great strides forward, I feel proud. When they stumble, I feel protective and concerned. Occasionally they infuriate me, but I love them all the same. When people speak ill of my portfolio companies, I get protective. When people say they are awesome, I get that special little glow.
So today I am glowing because the Wall Street Journal published their list of the Top 50 Venture-backed Companies and lo and behold, number 18 is Patient Safe Solutions, Inc., one of my “kids” and a company that truly deserves the honor. The entire article and list of the Top 50 can be … (read the rest)
I went to two women-focused conferences this last week, the Women’s Private Equity Summit and the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business Women in Leadership Conference. Both events were great and there were about 400 experienced professional women at each; 800 women in two days is about 50 times more than I get to interact with in the average 5 years in my business, so they were great experiences and well-worth the time. If I interact with even one woman in my average workday, aside from my very capable and wonderful assistant, it is pretty unusual. Lisa Stone, CEO of BlogHer and a participant in my Haas Women in Leadership panel called “Navigating the VC Process,” said it well, “the VC world is one inhabited by middle-aged white guys with extreme side parts and degrees from Harvard, Wharton, and Stanford.” As Charlie Sheen would say, “Duh, winning!”
I am puzzled why men fail to attend these high quality women-dominated events (if I failed to go to male-dominated events I would never leave the house). For one thing, if you’re trolling for chicks, what better place to do it … (read the rest)
I have previously confessed that one of my guilty pleasures is reading People Magazine. Another is my willingness to devote time to watching TV game shows. They fascinate me–everything from the badly coiffed host to the goofy jumping up and down of the winner. It’s a little embarrassing to admit how much I like to be the first to get the Wheel of Fortune clue or the only one who knows the answer to some obscure Jeopardy question. So naturally I was one of the people who tuned in to watch IBM’s Watson computer kick serious smart guy butt on Jeopardy last month.
For the 8 people who missed the public relations blitz, Watson, brainchild of IBM, is an artificial intelligence supercomputer that can directly and precisely answer natural language questions over an open and broad range of knowledge. It is programmed to have more information resident within it than any army of people could have and it has the means of accessing, culling through and integrating that information faster than the speed of light, or at least faster than the average Jeopardy champion’s reflexes. According to IBM, the secret … (read the rest)