Archive for the ‘empowerment’ Category

Creation conversations

July 13, 2007

The whole economy is about creating stuff, goods and services for people to use, consume, experience etc. The industrial revolution heralding in the economic term, economies of scale based on the mass production of products. At the start society required this injection of volume of production, there were shortages of pretty much all the basics for an individual and their home. However, today for some economies the opposite is now true but the production base keeps pumping out exponentially more volume of products and success is priced in selling all that you can produce. This has created new industries, retailing to on-line ad’s in all their shapes and forms to help in that new game. These are one way conversations bar in large: Production has been made and needs to be sold.

Conversations can be much richer. Products are created because of the demand from one individual, the person with the idea to a person experiencing a negative with an existing product to a new scientific break through that makes new things possible. The internet allows for rich and meaningful conversations to occur through the whole process of creating a product, brand new to evolving an existing one. The mepath marketplace we are working on is focused on creating a supportive environment for such conversations to take place.


democratizing the creation of food

June 1, 2007

We all need to eat.  This food does not magically grow, even if supermarkets tell us buy one, get one free, free does not produce food.  The land, weather, farmers to the cook all contribute to the food on our plate.  I like to say that all of us that eat food are also farmers.  Maybe not hands in the dirt but farmers none the less.  The Internet gives us all the opportunity to connect more closely with our food. wine created by ‘me’

May 26, 2007

I listened to the founder of Crushpad talk about his passion for empowering individuals to reconnect with the products they consume. In their case, reconnect and get hands on in a digital way with the creation of wine. They have created a state of the art winery that is run by individual online wine makers, select your grapes to labelling to bottling to selling it to your fellow wine enthusiasts. A question came last night whether their was any quality issues? No, was the reply, the community would not support poor quality wine, I recall that some of the wines are up for winning prizes.

Crushpad gives us a look at the future of the whole food and drink industry, today.

democratising the creation of products

April 11, 2007

Most of the products and service that we consume have already been made.  If we want to personalize a product or service then by definition we need to be able to tell the manufacturer of that before the product is made.  As individuals we have that personal information, we just want to express that to the manufacturers that we want to service our demands.  From the manufacturers point of view, they do not want to make products that will not sell.  There seems to be a clear win for both sides to allow personalization conversations to happen.  Democratising these conversations is what is working on.


April 9, 2007

We want to share the idea of a meContract. This will allow those individuals that choose to sign up to in the future to tell the service the terms and conditions that you want to use the service under. This will have an limited scope as we learn, hopefully together how this meContract can be used. One way to demonstrate individual empowerment is for individuals to have a mechanism to tell a business, in this case that you are using the service and that all the data that you enter into the website is owned by the individual. We seek your feedback on the concept of a meContract.

Real life: peer to peer

November 27, 2006

I have taken 5 long haul flights this year with one to go. Jet lag has been pretty hard on me until by pure chance, on my third flight I sat next to a medical student. In their fourth year of studies, they also had four years of long haul flight experience, real life experience, to share. The magic formula: stay up to 10pm on the US leg of the trip. Now, this is hard to do, but I battled through the heavy eye lids and the outcome, I did not wake up to 6am rather than 2am. It is now my golden rule of jet lag prevention.

The thing about life is that we can only try things in real time. It’s not like building a website were you can experiment and iterate the look and feel over and over again in a few seconds. In medical research papers or pharmaceutical trials, we take a sample of the population and use statistics to provide a wider meaning. Sample sizes are very small and their focus is limited. Real life is more than statistics and is far richer than the research topics covered. Can we expand beyond this?

Yes, we can empower individuals with the tools and scientific models that are limited and restricted to a few (researchers or corporations) today. There is no reason why everyone can’t have access to such services. Clearly, there a some key challenges ahead, from making them easy to use and ensuring the quality of data analysed is trusted by the community. But these are challenges we can find answers to by collaborating, peer to peer.

It is too high risk, at least for me, to rely on bumping into the right person that provides the information that can empower my life and health decision making. However, we are lucky the Internet is providing a big peer cloud of such real life experience and this is growing bigger every day. The challenge is to bring back information that matters from the peer cloud that is most relevant to the life we choose to live.

Peer to peer we have all the answers.


empowering individuals to practice prevention

November 27, 2006

I have been told that it is with almost certainty that we will develop a chronic disease; heart, cancer, diabetes or Alzheimer’s etc. in our life time. That does not sound like good odds to me and we still have to add all those spells, usually in winter months, of colds and flu viruses that strike some of us down.

This summer I listened to one of the founding fathers of the biotechnology and a highly successful entrepreneur give the closing speech at a health-care conference. After sharing the thrills and spills of life as a biotech entrepreneur he used the second half of his speech to set out a vision for the future of the industry. One big theme, Personalization, and of Prevention and Medicine the slide simply stated. While the word prevention was displayed in front of the word medicine all of the remainder of the talk focused on personalized medicine. In an open question and answer session I asked why that was the case?

The answer was that the world of science was unable to deliver the personalized information that would empower the individuals decision making. The speaker gave an examples, some individuals smoke their whole lives and never get cancer; he concluded, ‘today we do not know the reason for that’.

What about tomorrow? Can we deliver the personalized prevention information that is required? We feel this is an attainable long term goal. But right now we can make a start by empowering individuals to capture their own lifestyle and health stories and then we can find a trusted environment where we can share the combined wisdom of our personal experiences.

If we get that data in control of the individual then we can build from there.