After reading through Steve Blank’s “Why Facebook is Killing Silicon Valley”, I’ve finally decided to put into words some thoughts on what I want to do with my life. If you ask any of my friends what kind of dreams I have, they’ll probably tell you something about healthcare. If you talk to my mom, she’ll tell you I’ve had this dream since I was 16. United States healthcare is notoriously expensive and inefficient compared to other developed nations. This chart is very telling:
As a computer programmer and designer, the solutions that intuitively come to mind in terms of healthcare have to do with health records and databases. The great thing about being a computer programmer today is that there is huge variety in available tools, and most of those tools are very high quality. You can learn Ruby on Rails, and learn how to make a Twitter-clone from a free 12 chapter online PDF. You can buy a subscription to Unreal Engine 4 for $19 a month, which gives you access to some of the best tools in the game industry. But as Steve Blank points out, a lot of time, energy and money is being spent towards quick-return, social media apps. Few web engineers tackle the bigger data issues or make solutions for academia or healthcare. Facebook has managed to organize social data of over a billion people. Let’s use these awesome tools and do the same for healthcare and education.