What is your background?
Stanford American Studies & English major > PhD pitch coach > AV tech worker > Proactiv Acne Solution infomercial market researcher > PR intern > LSAT prep lecturer > strategy consultant > Harvard MBA > Amazon Kindle PM, until my wife Anna asked “Does it ever bother you that on your best day you’re writing a footnote in Jeff Bezos’ story?”> 2x founder with 1 exit and counting, plus jobs leading Community at Napster and Growth at Gusto and as an EIR-turned-scout at Foundation Capital between startups. It’s been a weird and magnificent road.
Why were you motivated to join Decent?
I want to help solve big problems for people. Improving healthcare is a worthy challenge. I agree with the Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke who wrote “The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things,” and the Australian race car driver Peter Brock who said “Bite off more than you can chew, and then chew like hell.”
Why is improving healthcare important to you?
During my second year in business school I got an illness called GBS (Guillain-Barré Syndrome) that stripped the protein sheaths around my nerves so they couldn’t take signals from my brain. I became fully paralyzed and was in intensive care for four months and rehab for another six. I was lucky to have good insurance and a strong community. I wrote more about it here.
My parents are also part of my inspiration for Decent. I really admire them and it’s hard not to be biased while talking about them, but hey. They were both family practice doctors for 30 years before going into medical leadership, and my dad retired as the Chief Medical Executive of Group Health, a 600,000 member integrated delivery system in the Pacific Northwest that was acquired last year by Kaiser Permanente. Group Health had a hospitals and doctors side (which my dad led) as well as an insurance side, and I grew up aware of the tensions between the sides.
I believe that healthcare should be affordable for everyone, that compassionate primary care is at the heart of effective health systems, and that all positive change in healthcare comes from aligning with the patient.
Describe something not-work related you are passionate about.
How about three things?