It is always fun discussing new product ideas, solutions to existing problems and potential new markets. A couple of markets that consistently crop up in discussions I have had lately include: education, healthcare and banking.
Healthcare is an emotive subject, especially in the US, and a space ready for some new innovation.
“Don’t listen to the naysayers. The time to jump into healthcare IT is now, said Frank Moss, director of new media medicine at MIT’s Media Lab.”
This is easier said than done due to the complex nature of the market. I am interested in learning more about this space and as part of my research came across a few start ups:
- Cake Health [The best free way to manage your healthcare expenses.]
- Omadahealth [We’re revolutionizing health care through group-based programs for chronic disease prevention.]
- StickK [The smartest way to set and achieve your goals]
- ZocDoc [Find a doctor and make your appointment online]
- HealthTap [Answers from 7,000 U.S. licensed physicians No waiting room]
- http://techcrunch.com/2012/01/01/healthtech-2012/ (6 Big HealthTech Ideas That Will Change Medicine In 2012)
Given the current economic climate and considering many point a finger towards the banking sector, for the role they played in contributing to the problems, it is no wonder this industry crops up in discussions about change. However, like healthcare, it does not appear to be an easy space in which to innovate and disrupt. Tight rules, regulations and legal requirements along with a close knit community ensure challenging the status quo is tough. That said, we are seeing new services beginning to emerge including:
Compared to the time when I was active in the education space, we are now seeing a real increase in innovation via a range of new online services. There is no doubt that the web, technology and networks of connected users can have a positive impact on education and learning.
Here are a couple of examples:
- Kahn Academy
- Open Sesame
- Curatr (I interviewed Ben Betts from Curatr last year)
If you are considering entering the market, this blog post provides some thought provoking, and different, commentary.
“Most entrepreneurs in education build the wrong type of business, because entrepreneurs think of education as a quality problem. The average person thinks of it as a cost problem.”
“Don’t believe that building a better product will make you successful. Delivering something for cheaper will.”
Not sure I agree, but it is food for thought.
Finally, I would like to add one more to this list: recruitment and in particular recruitment agencies. They were the bane of my existence when trying to hire in a previous role. Job Boards and classifieds are not working as effectively as they could in matching those seeking work to those needing employees. It would be great to see something new emerge eliminating the need for these agencies and in doing so, help fill more openings, with the right people.