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Welcome to Jon Belsher’s WordPress Blog. Please stay tuned for more updates on leadership and healthcare industry.

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Timing Is Everything: Why Some Technologies Fail (At Least Temporarily)

“What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?”

I was asked this question for an interview with Ideamensch, an online community of people with ideas that inspire action among others in their communities. My response was this:

“We started a telemedicine company about ten years ago. While the idea was right, the timing of the service was not. Timing is everything. I used the experience to continue honing my knowledge of the field, recognizing the inevitable impact at some later date.”

Although our telehealth venture did not succeed at the time, I took it in stride because plenty of other companies experience failures due to timing as well.

The Sega Dreamcast

Released in 1999, Sega’s Dreamcast was a video game console ahead of its time. As the first company to capitalize on the internet for gameplay, Sega’s Dreamcast was hyped to be one of the most innovative video game consoles of all time. However, the timing of the Dreamcast’s release was its ultimate downfall.

Although access to the internet for interactive online gameplay was a good idea in theory, the internet was still a new concept in the commercialized market. Therefore, the broadband connection required for the Dreamcast was not up to par and the quality of the gameplay suffered.

TwitterPeek

Released in 2008, the TwitterPeek handheld device was meant to do one thing and one thing only: check your Twitter feed. With Twitter’s launch in 2006, TwitterPeek would have been a successful gadget if it was released at the same time. However, the launch of Apple’s all-in-one iPhone the year prior made the device obsolete. Although the iPhone didn’t become popular until the 2010s, there was still a market for the TwitterPeek to sell — but it was too little too late.

Microsoft SPOT Watch

Before the Apple Watch came onto the tech scene, Microsoft had its shot at wearable technology with its SPOT watch.

When it first hit the market in 2004, Microsoft’s watch used FM waves to beam text messages, stock reports, weather forecasts, news and more directly to the watch. Since this was a time without Wi-Fi, this meant that users could only receive information. This one-way method of exchanging information also wasn’t compatible with any other device, so the watch functioned as a standalone piece of technology.

Considering cellular broadband networks were getting off the ground, few people wanted a watch that could only receive data through FM channels.

The lesson I have learned? My temporary setback didn’t stop me from pursuing my passion for disruption of the healthcare industry. Since then, I have helped create additional companies that are changing the healthcare landscape by making healthcare more affordable and easier to access. For more information about my healthcare business ventures, visit my website here.

This blog was originally posted on Jon Belsher’s website here.

3 Powerful Strategies to Make Your Career Transition Successful

After spending six years as the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of MedSpring Urgent Care, I’m in pursuit of my next adventure in healthcare. Since I stepped down from my role, I’ve employed a few helpful strategies I wanted to share. If you’re looking to transition in your career, take a look at the following insights. It’s my hope that they will inspire you in pursuit of your next professional venture!

Attend a Conference in Your Field

I recently attended the Aspen Ideas Festival: Spotlight Health in Colorado. Not only did I learn about innovations in healthcare, artificial intelligence and precision medicine, but the festival provided a unique networking opportunity. I met with fellow innovators and industry leaders during receptions and break outs. These opportunities provided me with valuable connections as well as useful insights.

Whether it’s a local conference hosted by your industry or a national event, attending a conference can be an excellent opportunity for your career transition. Have your elevator pitch and business cards ready because a quick chat at an industry event could lead to a new opportunity!

To find out more strategies to make a successful career transition, please visit Jon Belsher’s website here.

Startups Are Making Waves in the Healthcare Industry

Pushing the envelope in the healthcare industry is one of my favorite topics to talk about; combined with today’s startup culture, there are many opportunities to creative positive change with technology. Lately, three healthcare startups have been in the news. They are making headlines because of their innovative ideas and outside-the-box thinking. As an innovative executive and visionary leader, I admire their work.

Ascension partners with Silicon Valley startup accelerator” via St. Louis Business Journal

Ascension, the nation’s largest nonprofit health care system, is partnering with Silicon Valley startup accelerator Plug and Play Tech Center. As a company that offers 12-week industry-specific training programs, Plug and Play will serve as a mentor to Ascension and will educate the company about new opportunities available in the healthcare realm. Plug and Play already worked with startup companies like Soundhound, PayPal, and Dropbox, so they are no strangers to companies and entrepreneurs who are looking to turn their potential into concrete success.

“Plug and Play Tech Center offers us a method of spotting innovation in healthcare and wellness to solve problems and meet evolving consumer needs,” said Jim Beckmann, COO of Ascension. “We know the future of healthcare lies in offering greater value and in empowering consumers, and teaming with Plug and Play gives us another tool in the toolbox to achieve that goal.”

To see other startups that are making waves in healthcare, visit Jon Belsher’s website here.

Harnessing Skunk Works in Your Company

Have you ever heard of the term skunk works? This odd sounding term is actually a type of technological project. Spearheaded by Lockheed Martin, the largest aerospace, defense, and security technologies company in the world, Skunk Works is a small group of people that create innovative aircraft technologies to make the impossible, possible. To find out more information about skunk works, read the rest of my blog below!

What is Skunk Works?

From the project’s first WWII-era fighter jets and spy planes to the satellites and missile defense systems of today’s space-age, Skunk Works, formally renamed as Lockheed’s Advanced Development Programs, has made quite a reputation for itself. Known for creating innovative projects at lighting speed, the project has inspired many engineers and business owners from around the world to recreate their business model to encourage and nurture innovation for years to come.

What is Skunk Works’ ideology?

Skunk Works is always looking towards the future, just like its founder Clarence “Kelly” Johnson. As an experimental engineer, Johnson and his team took an offbeat approach that favored breaking the rules for the sake of innovation. The same unconventional dogma is still in place today through a work culture that highly values lessons learned from bold mistakes.

According to the late Johnson, Skunk Works is determined to create technologies that are quick, quiet and of high quality. Today, these unique approaches earned the project seven Collier trophies, which is the highest award administered by the U.S. National Aeronautic Association.

To read the rest of this blog, please visit Jon Belsher’s website here.

3 Big Takeaways from the Aspen Ideas Festival

I traveled to Aspen, Colorado, earlier this summer to attend the Aspen Ideas Festival: Spotlight Health. Presented by the Aspen Institute, which is an international nonprofit think tank that encourages the exchange of innovative ideas, the festival is deemed the nation’s premier public gathering place for leaders around the globe to present and discuss today’s pressing issues and ideas. There are a variety of people from many disciplines that attend; however, I specifically attended the Spotlight Health part of the festival.

With keynotes, interactive sessions and panel discussions, Spotlight Health covers the cutting edge topics of health and medicine that aren’t usually covered by other health care conferences. With a tagline of “Not Your Ordinary Health Conference,” Spotlight Health accurately reflects health care in today’s age of advancing technology and disruptive forces.

I enjoyed attending Spotlight Health because it provided me a unique opportunity to meet thought leaders and innovators like myself. Below are a few highlights about some of the topics that were covered at the festival.

To find out Jon Belsher’s takeaways from the festival, visit his website here

Are You Living Your Greatest Story?

As I was running along a lake in downtown Austin earlier this summer, I passed a message on the trail. It read “Live a great story.” If you’re a resident of Austin, you may recognize the phrase. From the HOPE Outdoor Gallery to bridges and other places around the city, you may spot the message.

But what does it mean?

According to mantra-creator Zach Horvath, “whether it’s traveling, meeting people or taking a back road in a home town, the more experiences [you] collect, the better and more well rounded [you] can make [your]self.”

This phrase caught my attention when I decided to step down from my role as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at MedSpring Urgent Care recently to search for my next adventure. MedSpring was an amazing journey from conception to design and operation that today serves hundreds of thousands of people nationally. We successfully built a company that increased healthcare access, drove down costs, and served every patient in a manner consistent with what we all would want for our own families.

To read the rest of this post, visit Jon Belsher’s website here

Tips to Fundraise for Your Philanthropy

Although I’m an accomplished business executive, I don’t forget about my roots and my commitment to philanthropy. My father passed away when I was young, and as the eldest of four boys, I assumed the head of the family. My desire to care for children who need love and support didn’t go away as I got older, so I became a Big Brother for the United Way. I also volunteered for many other organizations, and each was a unique eye-opening and rewarding experience.

No matter which organization I was with, I realized how important it is to fundraise. There are so many great organizations out there that help children and families — but they can’t help them without the funds to do so. Here are a few key ways to fundraise for your philanthropy.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a form of fundraising that’s gained traction over the past few years. When you create a page for your fundraising campaign, it’s important to have information about what the money will be used for and why it’s needed. Not all crowdfunding sites are for philanthropies, so here’s a small list of philanthropic-centered crowdfunding sites to help you get started:

  • CrowdRise – CrowdRise is the world’s largest and fastest-growing fundraising platform dedicated exclusively to charitable giving. Used by millions, CrowdRise has been named the best place to raise money online by Mashable.
  • Indiegogo – Indiegogo has had substantial international growth because of their flexibility, broad approach and their early start in the crowdfunding industry. Through Generosity by Indiegogo, nonprofits and socially minded are able to get discounts with a 0% platform fee. Some examples of fundraising campaigns on this site include causes in the medical, education and sports fields.
  • Razoo – Razoo was formed out of a desire to offer a service for underfunded nonprofits and people in need. The platform empowers nonprofit organizations, highlights teamwork and gives individuals a voice for what they care about.

To see more tips about how to fundraise for your philanthropy, visit Jon Belsher’s website here.