Trends and I are friends. I am always hunting for niche news publications and newsletters willing to make bold, informed asserts about what’s around the corner. 

This morning, I finally signed up for Trends.co, a subscription-based extension of the geniusly entertaining and unexpected newsletter, The Hustle. In a particular article, the author detailed category trends across start-ups that received funding since the date that Trump declared a travel ban to Europe due to COVD-19 (March 11th). 

In short, biotech and health tech, according to the article’s analysis, have been clear winners of VC backing over the past few months. 

But the provocation of the article that truly struck me is quote below: 

“Balaji Srinivasan — one of the earliest and most astute commentators on the current crisis and former general partner at venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz — believes that “the 2020s will be the decade of biomedicine… almost everything else may crash, but budgets for this will be unlimited… what the internet was to software, or crypto was to finance, the virus will be to biomedicine.” (Trends.co, May 2020) 

This idea has particular resonance for me because I’m a strategist, and as said, I’m a lover of trends and predictions. This analogy also hit home because, at present, my primary client Kaiser Permanente is one of the largest nonprofit healthcare plans in the United States, To partner with such an essential company in the time of COVID-19 is a challenging, revealing and fulfilling experience. 

If biotech and other healthcare-related spheres are poised to be the darling of this decade, it’s time the key players in this space invest in brand building. Differentiation and simplicity will be key in communicating value within a fast-growing field – Most importantly, though, will be vision. As the market becomes more saturated, health-related companies will need a clear and consistent vision, defining the role they play in society. 

Innovation, in healthcare and otherwise, needs direction otherwise what is it improving? So the question is the same for start-ups and established players: Why do you exist? What is your contribution to society? 

Kaiser Permente’s mission is “to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve.” It’s a noble start…but leveling up, what do they offer the world beyond their services? 

It’s time to find out… 

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