A Picture Emerges

As I tweeted this morning, I’m starting a company today with an old friend – our site’s PictureOfHealth.com.

We’re not saying much beyond “we’re focusing on the intersection of innovation and public health,” but we are starting to build out a dev and design team. So if you care about health and technology, we’d love to hear from you here.

Why are we focusing on health? It’s ultimately a personal choice for both of us. For me, perhaps the most satisfying part of my last job was seeing Sun’s technology used in ways and by people that changed the world. Whether that was inventing a new business, creating a new market or creating national infrastructure, I had infinite faith in my team and our technology, so it was easy to sell what we offered.

But the most exciting (and frankly, the largest) opportunities were those that changed lives, that changed the way you thought about or lived in the world (think eBay or Baidu). It wasn’t that I didn’t love winning SAP deals to consolidate regional bank processes, it’s that it was hard to feel an emotional bond to the outcome (especially when the banks were collapsing, and Moore’s Law was miniaturizing those wins).

Health is something different.

Everyone cares about it in a deeply personal way (it’s tough to say the same about specialized microprocessors). Mums, Dads, children, friends, loved ones, nurses, doctors, even insurance companies and governments – everyone on earth, in one form or another, cares about health and well being.

To me, that’s easy to get excited about.

And a pretty big market.

So at the risk of repetition, if you care about health and technology, we’d love to meet you here.

More to come (and with a greater frequency than once every six months, which is a story in and of itself)…

23 Comments

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23 responses to “A Picture Emerges

  1. sounds like an interesting endeavour. i might contact you about it…. :)

  2. Varun

    Hi Jonathan

    Wish you the best of wishes in this new endeavor. Hope you’ll scale great heights, much higher than ever before.

    All the best, look forward to hear more on the ‘next big thing’.

    Welcome back to the arena!

    Regards
    Varun

  3. Very passionate about the combination of technology innovation plus the Internet to solve huge problems for the patient and the health care market.

    We can immediately solve many of the critical issues facing the medical provider as well as give the patient the control and management of their personal medical records.

    This also is of great assistance to the insurance companies processing claims and the provider getting paid.

  4. Tim Spencer

    One recommendation: hire a good sysadmin/infrastructure generalist/IT Architect/whatever person sooner rather than later. Or at least get one on retainer and call them in to look over what you are doing. The consequences of not doing this can be very painful later on as things don’t scale, or are hard to keep running, etc. Software engineers are great, but they often don’t think about operational issues like multi-site scalability, centralized administration, DR, backups, hardware failures, database scalability, etc. They’ve got plenty of other things to worry about, and many of these things are expensive/painful to retrofit in later on.

    If nothing else, have whoever is doing your infrastructure look over http://www.infrastructures.org/. And still get a good IT architect on retainer for the rest of it. :-)

    I hope that helps. Have fun!

    -tspencer

  5. Tobie

    Very interesting. I will pay attention to PictureOfHealth. Greetings, a developer in the IT Health Industry

  6. Hi Jonathan,

    Good to see you back on the software road again. And on the path to health as well.

    Your post immediately triggered me to draw your attention to http://wiki.aardrock.com/WholeCare, a slightly adapted version of Dee Hock’s view on WholeCare from his book One From Many. I created that version in 2006 for http://wiki.aardrock.com/Cheetah_Project_Proposal.

    I wish you good luck, fortune, and health with your new challenge.

  7. Regarding your last sentence I’d be interested in hearing that story!

  8. James E Bernstein, MD

    This is all very interesting and inevitable. in 1976, I started a company called General Health with Dr. Axel Goetz. We had the improbable and, at the time fanciful, idea to harness the emerging PC computer to personal health, health promotion and self-care.
    We pioneered individually printed reports based on individual data and computed risk variables and created the forerunner of what became Web MD and Real Age (a serious reflection of Dr. Goetz’s wisdom and competence.)
    We led and participated in the health promotion revolution.
    I have watched efforts to continue this goal with Netscape pioneers and AOL founders who thought it would be exciting and easy. Not so easy they learned. Still very exciting and necessary! And now we have satellite coverage of the globe, telemedicine, and the potential to slither out of the conventional health care box into changing health care even in remote villages. There emerges an unexpected convergence of preindustrial societies ( read Madagascar or Gilgit-Baltisatan for example) and the most sophisticated technologies to foster improved health and human function. So how about putting together a group of visionary, out of the box folks and creating some specs for your collecting group of designers and software people. Let’s shoot for the galaxies of the future rather than rehashing health IT and the tired descriptors of our current delivery system. This endeavor is custom made for the Unreasonable Man!

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  11. Gabriele Bulfon

    Yes. Me too I’m interested in the story around your last sentence.
    You named this blog “What I Couldn’t Say”, afterall, and I’ve been waiting for these unspoken words.
    But you actually never spoke.
    Please, talk…

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  13. Maggie Sergio

    Hi Jonathan,

    Wonderful to hear what you’re up to these days. I look forward to learning more about Picture of Health. As the saying goes, “it will be revealed”

    Be well,
    Maggie

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  16. I understand that a lot of what you couldn’t say, still cannot be said. I am, however, looking forward to you saying what you can say, particularly a “lessons learned” kind of thing.

    I’m also glad to hear that you’ve jumped right back into the fray, and I’m hoping to hear and see a lot more from this new venture.

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  18. As a professor of community health, I see a trend in health policy discussions toward preventive medicine and public health, that hopefully will take hold in this country to buffer the effect of continued rising health care costs. Technological innovations, such as telehealth, have the capacity to bring preventive medicine to rural and underserved populations and reduce health care inequalities.

  19. Hey Jonathan. Not sure if you remember me from Lighthouse days…

    Congrats on the new enterprise. Do you have a physical location yet?

    –johnt

  20. I’m glad to see, that someone still cares about other people. Just making money doesn’t make you happy….ok, it makes you not unhappy :-). But money is not everything, we all know that.
    So good luck for all, who join that company and of course good luck to you jonathan.

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  22. Hi Jonathan,

    B2B (in a different context, Back to Business). Congrats on your new venture. Hope everything works out and being a ex-sun’ite I wish there is one more great employee friendly fantastic technology company like Sun emerges

    -Sathya

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