Month: April 2014

Why Do We Need More Women in The Healthcare Revolution?

A couple of weeks ago I attended the XX in Health retreat in the Bay Area. One of the Rock Health’s initiatives, XX in Health, aims to drive change in healthcare by connecting and empowering female visionaries. At this retreat, a selected group of 130 female leaders came together to share their stories and discuss healthcare challenges and opportunities. The event had a particular significance for me, as it was a combination of two of my biggest passions: health/healthcare and women initiatives.

Hearing the stories of “battle to success” from female leaders such as Colleen Retain (COO, Health Care Services Corporation – with $50bn in revenues), Janet Widmann (Executive VP of Markets, Blue Shield), Bridget Duffy (Chief Medical Officer, Vocera), and Julie Goonewardene (President, KU Innovation and Collaboration & AMA Board of Trustees) was fascinating! Although I knew this would be a great event from the beginning, I walked away a lot more informed, inspired, and empowered than expected.

RockHealth XX in Health

It’s important to increase the participation and leadership of women in any industry. However, after the event, I realized that women are uniquely positioned to have a particularly high impact in the healthcare industry. Read on to see my highlights for why women play such an important role in the healthcare reform.

1) Women are Chief Medical Officers in families: As Anula Jayasuriya (MD & Founder of Evolvence Fund) talked about, 80% of women are currently the Chief Medical Officers at their homes. They are the ones making decisions about the family’s health insurance, choosing doctors when needed, and taking care of family members when they are ill. As potential customers and decision makers, women are uniquely positioned to understand and tackle healthcare issues and design creative and scalable solutions. (more…)

Can You Be a Rockstar Product Manager?

By: Yasi Baiani, Product Manager @ athenahealth & Matthew Jaffe, Product Manager @ Dropbox.
This Blog Post was also published on The Harvard Business School Student Magazine. 

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As Marc Andreessen said: “Software is eating the world.” With more and more businesses moving online, there’s an ever-growing demand for talented designers and developers to design and build the best products. There’s also a critical need for solid product managers (PMs) to determine what products and features to build. Product management has become that sexy role in the Valley and elsewhere. In fact, many top tech companies’ CEOs have previously been highly respected product people (e.g. Marisa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo; Jack Dorsey, Founder of Twitter & Square).

The product manager is the liaison between the customer voice and the technical team. She understands and speaks the languages of the developers and designers. She is a bridge between the market and the product. She is the reality between customer needs and technical possibilities (and challenges).

You may wonder if the product manager role is right for you. Below, we lay out the main responsibilities of a PM and what attributes make a top 1% PM:

1)   Comprehends markets and customer needs:  The PM’s ability to empathize with customers and understand their needs – as well as the competitive landscape – is a PM’s most crucial skill. Everyone in the company relies on the PM’s clear understanding of customer needs (via research, surveys, and interviews) and the succinct communication of those needs (via user stories).  Read Steve Blank’s “The Four Steps to the Epiphany” book to help you understand and implement these techniques. (more…)