Archive for December, 2014

LinkedIn vs Facebook for professionals

Facebook is supposed to be building a professional network, but for now, I believe LinkedIn is still the default professional social network for many people. But maybe the two aren’t so different after all. I found this info-graphic by Brighton School of Business & Management and feel that everybody here should have a look at it to understand the differences between the two networks in somewhat holistic manner:


 LinkedIn vs Facebook-Infographic

December 29th, 2014

Benefits of shifting from Paper based Patient Records to Electronic Health Records

Healthcare as a sector in India has always been hot. The need for innovation is huge and it presents a big business opportunity. There are multiple factors behind the growth of the sector like rising incomes, easier access to high-quality healthcare facilities and greater awareness of personal health and hygiene.There have been efforts from the government and the private sector to create an impact in the area but the space remains open for innovation and start-ups can create a dent.

What ever problem, the start-up may try to solve, it will have to deal with the patient records. Technology these days have sorted this problem of  digitisation of records. But digitising patient records have always involved multiple issues — especially legal, communication, accreditation, research, regulatory, decision making and education. The primary change during recent years has revolved around the evolution from paper-based personal health records to electronic health records. Here we will compare how the two differ and what benefits one provides over the other.

Accessibility of Patient Records

The accessibility questions surrounding paper versus electronic records boil down to “who?” and “when?” — electronic health records (EHR) are accessible by all authorized professionals simultaneously and immediately as long as they have access to the main storage system. On the other hand, paper-based patient records (PPR) are available on only a one-at-a-time basis — sharing requires mailing or conversion into an electronic format by scanning or emailing. With the physical mail option for PPR, accessibility can be a matter of days instead of seconds with EHR.

Paper medical records discourage interactivity among stakeholders while electronic health records create an opportunity for immediate feedback. With PPR, many patients never see their own health files. One of the most striking changes with EHR procedures is the active inclusion of patients in keeping and reviewing personal health records on web and on all other devices including wearables. With the rapidly advancing state of technology, both health care professionals and patients want “real-time information” that is standard with EHR — this is one of the primary benefits of electronic health records.

Reliability of Patient Records

When health care organizations transition from paper to electronic records, improved reliability is a major goal of the entire process. For example, poor penmanship by doctors and other health care professionals has always been a serious potential flaw when dealing with paper medical records. EHR computers and word-processing applications eliminate this major PPR source of unreliability.

Electronic health records are organized in ways that are literally impossible with a paper filing arrangement. Errors and improper documentation in EHRs produce alerts that highlight improper entries.

Cost Factors

Prudent health care organizations cannot afford to overlook any opportunity to save both time and money — an EHR process does both.

A reduction in storage costs means much more than eliminating warehouses filled with paper records. Electronic records are also eco-friendly and can be stored indefinitely without deterioration in quality. For example, this feature of EHR can result in important medical data being available long after physical files have already faded — or destroyed entirely by a natural disaster.

Quality of Care Considerations

Delivering better care to patients serves a primary mission for any health care professional. One way that EHR can actively contribute to a higher quality of care is by improving public health monitoring — speedier reporting of infectious diseases can be facilitated by more detail and quicker feedback made possible by electronic records processes. Automatic EHR reminders typically reduce mistakes, errors and omissions.

Security and Compliance Considerations

Security vulnerabilities can be present in both PPRs and EHRs. Both formats can result in theft and be exposed to the risk of loss from other events such as floods and fire. With paper records that are limited to one copy, EHR provides a security edge with backup copies. Health care professionals should devote plenty of attention to this area — don’t cut corners when deciding how to handle compliance and security concerns for your records transition process.

Productivity

What is it worth to save the time required to pull a chart? — or to eliminate lost charts? According to one study, overall efficiency will improve by 6 percent annually with EHRs.

Productivity will improve in ways that you might not expect with electronic health records. For example:

  • Fewer pharmacy callbacks
  • Ease of communicating with the entire care team
  • Less overall time filling out forms
  • More clarity when reading prescriptions and medical terminology

December 29th, 2014

Importance of Social Media for Start-ups

Social media sprouted at the latter part of 20th century; and had a vibrant impact on every business, bringing distinctive solutions for all the business requirements. Perhaps every other day, a new technology is coming up to manage the rising demand of social media in the marketing platform to bring up sales. Both small and large businesses have started utilizing social media as an important tool on every aspect that gives a better revenue for their brand, therefore it is no wonder that social media gives a wide opportunity for the people who are venturing to have a business of their own.

Many newly raised organizations and entrepreneurs use social media channels like Facebook, twitter, myspace, pinteresst, instagram, google+ any many others for their marketing and promotion strategy. Effective online presence of a start-up through social media gives a wider reach at a lesser cost and time. Below info-graphic shows 15 top uses of the social media :

Infographic - Uses-of-Social-Media-Marketing

(Image Credit: Saleoid.com)

December 28th, 2014

Do What You Love!! Passion Drives Success…

Passion is one of those intangibles that drives an entrepreneur, gets them through the good times and the bad times, and ultimately dictates the success of any startup.  If you are not passionate about what you are building, you might as well pack up your bags right now, as your startup will never work.

Webster’s Dictionary defines passion as “an intense, driving or overmastering feeling of conviction” or “a strong desire for or devotion to some activity or concept”.  I couldn’t have said it any better.  Passion needs to ooze from every pore of a startup entrepreneur.  This passion is usually instilled by some core knowledge of the product or service that is being built, which translates into clear domain expertise and first-hand knowledge and confidence that you are heading in the right direction.  This passion also translates into infectious enthusiasm, that ultimately feeds the energy and drive of every employee in your office.  And, most importantly, this passion is the glue that holds the company together and gets it through its most difficult times.

December 14th, 2014

The Importance of Blogging for Startups

All companies should have a blog, to demonstrate their expertise in a particular subject matter and provide a vehicle for two-way communications and engagement with their customers.

This blog that you are reading now is an example of that.  I, as the Founding Partner of CellStrat, a consulting and start-up mentoring firm, am trying to come across as an expert in startups who has lived through the same battles you now find yourself fighting through.  Not to mention, for many of you, this is your first time ever hearing about CellStrat.  You may be asking, “why should I trust this firm to help me solve my startup-related problems?”.  Well, hopefully the quality of the content on this blog not only educates the readers on various topics, but it also instills trust to get prospective clients to actually pick up the phone and engage with me on their various needs.

Also, this blog gives my readers the chance to voice their agreement or disagreement with various points that I am making.  For example, when I wrote a guest post on Apple Pay on a famous social media site, two readers gave their contradictory and supporting views respectively.  Hence, further enhancing reader education on the topic, and creating a two-way dialog with my readers, so they too feel like they are participating in the discussion.

There are two other clear marketing advantages of writing a blog.  Firstly, search engines love rich content pages, and the more content you write, the more free search traffic you will drive into your website.  For example, this blog is about 7 years old, and is getting 10000+ visitors per month, largely coming from people searching for information related to the posted topics via Google and some through our regular followers.  That is a lot a traffic for a small consulting firm, which I didn’t have to spend one penny on, other than the 30 minutes or so that it takes me to write one post.

The second key marketing advantage is the virility of the content on social media sites like LinkedIn, face book and twitter.  And, since our connections and followers are largely business people related to startups/ technology or the digital media industry in which we have worked for the last 35 years combined, there are very high odds that: (i) the articles are not only interesting reading for them; but (ii) they will most likely forward or re-tweet the articles to their thousands of collective connections and followers of their own, all ripe new prospects for my own business.

So, for the reasons above, consider a blog a vital component of your website, search marketing and social marketing strategies.  And, don’t forget to ask for new followers, as I do in my last sentence below in all posts.

For future posts, please subscribe to our newsletter at:  www.cellstrat.com

December 11th, 2014

Can Founders have their Family Members in their team?

Primafacie, yes. But, with a thought to this question, my reaction is no, working with family members is not a good idea.  But, if structured correctly, a family-related team can work.

The biggest and most important reason I think, the answer is no, is the normal work-life balance can get completely thrown out of alignment.  Normally, you have your work life and relationships, you go home after work, and enter your personal life and relationships.  A nice balance of ying and yang.  When you work with the same people in your family, there is a risk that balance is not achieved.
Other reasons but not as big as the first one are succession planning, ego issues that arise when family members work on same levels and designations in the company etc. But these are comparatively easier to handle than the first one…

December 10th, 2014

Validated Learning

Progress in manufacturing is measured by the production of high quality goods. The unit of progress for Startups is validated learning – a rigorous method for demonstrating progress when one is embedded in the soil of extreme uncertainty. Once entrepreneurs embrace validated learning, the development process can shrink substantially. When you focus on figuring the right thing to build-the thing customers want and will pay for-you need not spend months waiting for a product beta launch to change the company’s direction. Instead, entrepreneurs can adapt their plans incrementally, inch by inch, minute by minute with continuous market feedback.

December 9th, 2014

Importance of Networking for Start-ups

I am a firm believer of an old age adage, “it is not what you know, it is who you know” and resonates particularly well for startup entrepreneurs.  And, it holds true across most sales departments of large corporates as well as most all areas of a startup’s business, including driving sales, hiring employees, raising capital and securing key partnerships.  Therefore, establishing, nurturing and mining a deep network of relationships can often make or break the success of a startup.  I know many of you may be uncomfortable with networking, but hopefully this post will help you understand the importance of networking and the need to break down any barriers between you and your network. Let’s discuss the various types of networking opportunities available to you.

Firstly, when people think networking, they think attending events to meet people that may be able to help them.  This could be industry specific events related to your business, (e.g., strategy, marketing, technology) related to certain specific business needs, or other events bringing together like minded individuals (e.g., fellow CEO’s, fellow startups).  Do your best to stay abreast of all of these types of events via your respective industry trade associations, professional associations or local startup groups with the calendars posted on their websites.

I used to think time spent on networking was time away from the business, and tried to avoid it.  But, over time, I quickly learned,  a strong network can actually help me build my business faster than I could on my own, and should be a vital part of a startup executive’s efforts.  You never know what new client, investor, employee or other business colleague will come out of events like these.

But, you do need to be sensitive to investing your networking time wisely, to get the biggest bang for your buck.  When assessing in-person networking opportunities, I try to have a good sense to:

(i) the expected size of the event (hoping to meet more people than less).

(ii) the quality of the attendees (hoping to meet more CEO’s than lower level staff members).

(iii) the location of the event.

(iv) the type of event itself (e.g., hoping to avoid dinner events where locked into one table of people, instead of roaming the room)

(v) the reputation of the hosting organization.

Equally importantly, I want to make sure I have a clear mission for the event (e.g., what specific companies or executives do I want to meet based on announced presenter or attendee lists made available prior to the event).  And, keep in mind, you don’t always have to be the “hunter” at networking events.  Sometimes you can get in front of more people faster, by being the “hunted” as a featured speaker or panelist at the events.  So, figure out a reason for you to be the “featured attraction” (e.g., “one of the hottest startups in town”, “pro in online marketing”), which can also save you on any event fees.

But, your networking efforts should not be limited to in-person events.  Networking has never been easier with the internet.  You should be an active user on networking sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or other sites.  This means having a rich profile page that positions you as an expert in your field, posting relevant news and updates to your status updates and joining/ engaging with the relevant “sub-groups” within that network.  But, remember, when networking online, it should not be a “one way sale” to the audience; it must be a “two way conversation” to get the dialog started.  So, an example, answering forum questions (in a “non-salesy” way) can also be a great way to make new relationships.

We all know how busy you are as a start-up executive.  But, you can’t bury yourself in your office, and you can’t be bashful when building your business.  Start building your network, and great things (e.g., new clients, employees, investors, and partners) are sure to follow.  And, don’t forget, networking is more than simply the networking event itself:  you are building long term relationships and need to follow up with these new colleagues after the event, and over time.  So, manage this network nurturing process accordingly.

December 5th, 2014

Start-ups Dilemmas

Envisioning success is key when it comes to establishing a startup. After all, if you’re an entrepreneur and you don’t think big, chances of ever seeing your idea materialise are close to nil. But often times – especially in a startup’s first year – entrepreneurs find themselves in Catch-22 situations and don’t quite know how to escape them. Two of the many  possible examples below with solutions teach us a lot:

1.  No money, no honey

PROBLEM

In order for start-ups to finalise their product and establish a proof-of-concept, they need funding – and lots of it. The dilemma is that you need money to finish the product, but it is difficult to obtain funding without that finished product.

How can entrepreneurs get their hands on some cash so they can start operations and launch their product?

SOLUTION

Three words: Minimum Viable Product (MVP). This is one of the most important principles of “The Lean Startup”. MVP is a version of a new product that allows a team to collect and gather the greatest amount of knowledge about customers with the minimum amount of effort or resources involved. By employing this technique, startups with limited resources can carry out a strategic plan and focus on the creation and selling of their product to customers.

2. You get what you pay for

PROBLEM

It has been reported that when investors evaluate a startup’s proposal, around 25 per cent of their final decision is based on the team alone. In fact, most investors believe the success or failure of a startup rests in the assembly and quality of the team.

Most of the high-tech products built today are very complex and require a handful of experts to take part in the creation and launch of the product. Having the right mix of people with diverse backgrounds and skill-sets is necessary for the operation of the startup and will be the key to success.

However, the problem is that it is rare for startups to offer a substantial salary to attract Grade-A employees when building their team.

SOLUTION

Build a strong team using equity. Be generous to the team – few investors will look at a one-person company. If the team members won’t join until the money comes in, sign a letter of intent that will allow you to include them in your team and secure funds.

Alternatively, you can hire junior members or interns that don’t demand high wages for ancillary positions. However, you will definitely need to have enough funds to hire experienced and highly qualified people for specialised positions, such as programmers.

One of the main strengths of successful startups is the ability to pivot. It’s possible that the product or service isn’t groundbreaking, but the company succeeds because it was able to adapt and overcome the challenges they were confronted with. Think Microsoft versus Apple.

Entrepreneurs see a list of problems in front of them and can quickly grow discouraged. In these cases it is imperative for entrepreneurs to acknowledge the problems they are faced with, seek valuable advice and understand that there are always solutions that could help them put this ongoing dilemma cycle to an end – once and for all.

December 2nd, 2014

Big Data Education joins The CellStrat Hub

Big Data Education has a mission to simplify your big data journey. You can use this place to interact with fellow colleagues in the space via forums, read interesting news via our facebook page, look for interesting training programs which suit your needs. If you are a big enthusiast in the area or would like to share your thoughts please contact us to pin your thoughts via our blog page.
To begin with attend a free overview session or watch an overview video. You can also plan to attend our foundation level analytics program which is a like basic hygiene if you want to start exploring the big data field.
Good luck with your big data needs and hope to see you around at Big Data Education

December 1st, 2014


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