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Take 05. Sustaining product discovery when working remote; the rise of telemedicine; the rise of passion economy
Hi 👋 Enjoy this week’s top links on product, health tech, and digital media. Something new I’m trying: more comprehensive TL;DR summaries of each article. Let me know if this is helpful. By the way, what’s your favorite Tweet this week?
“Discovery” when working remote. With more companies shifting towards a remote workforce, discovery (or product innovation) will be more prone to being impacted than delivery. The change in the dynamic of collaboration between product managers, designers, and engineers can create a number of problems. 1. Each party starts producing their own artifacts. This reverts team back to waterfall-like process, with discussions moving back to output rather than outcome. To avoid: the main artifact should be prototype! 2. Trust can be lost during written communication. Use video chats as much as possible to prevent miscommunication over messages. 3. Home environment produces variability in when people are most productive. Be flexible with your team mates.
Wartime churn reduction strategies. Paddle wrote a comprehensive playbook for reducing churns during wartime. Your Q2 churn strategy should not be the same as Q4. Start by classifying active and passive churns, mapped against pre-churn and post-churn events. Focus on lagging indicators, eg. cancellation requests, and follow the suggested strategies for each quadrant. 1. Provide cancellation flows and offers for active churns, post churn. 2. Using Dunning program (recover failed subscription payments) for involuntary churns, post churn. 3. Re-engage and reactivate existing users pre-churn. 4. Improve subscription payment acceptance for involuntary churns, pre-churn. (Chart by Paddle below.)
Build virality into product. It might sound click-baity but this is quite a no BS list of ways and examples to grow awareness and consideration of your product. Some tactics are based on behavior biases, such as offering instant sense of reward and appealing to vanity, while some are driven by convenience, such as producing sharable artifacts and embeds. Many are dead simple and effective, like MailChimp’s email signature plug. The key is that virality is not something to patch on a product later, it has to be built into the core mechanics of the product from the very beginning. (There’s also an accompanying piece on building retention into product.)
Telemedicine’s rise. American Well raised $194 million as demand for its Telemedicine service skyrocketed. The company now has over 50,000 medical providers in its network. It has been experiencing 1000% growth in visits since the pandemic, and the growth is expected to stay post-pandemic. Telehealth providers focusing on chronic care management have also been experiencing dramatic growth. Omada, behavior health company that provides digital health tools for hypertension and diabetes, recently raised $57 million and acquired a virtual physical therapy company for $30 million.
💡Good idea: Telehealth companies have a unique opportunity to run experiment on virtual care behavior pre- and post-pandemic.
Primary care needs a new operating system. Primary care physicians handle the majority of visit volume (52% of ~1B annual outpatient visits) and only 5% - 8% of overall healthcare spend. @julesyoo makes the case for primary care to be unbundled, segmenting patients by function and demographics for more personalized care. Service mix can be optimized for each segment, for example, serve higher need patients with established reimbursement, and allow younger, healthier people to self select out-of-pocket services for more convenience.
Honest lessons on making healthcare better. It’s always easier to read and write about the challenges and complexities in healthcare than it is to act. But Sachin’s summary outlines realistic considerations about how people think and make decisions, why outsiders entering healthcare often fail, and how speed and timing impact change. Reason #5 about new entrants’ dilemma to disrupt is particularly enlightening: we rely on the incumbents to meet today’s patient needs, which makes it hard to work on putting them out of business tomorrow.
Passion economy disrupting media. The passion economy is defined as new digital platforms that make it easy for creators to earn income by sharing their passion and unique skills. Drawing parallel to Clayton Christensen’s disruption innovation theory, the passion economy can disrupt incumbent companies by competing against both non-production and non-consumption. New digital tools (like Substack and Patreon) make it easy for creators to product content and monetize their skills. Consumers who previously can’t afford traditional products now have more affordable and niche choices. This is particularly opportunistic post-pandemic, as unemployment rate surges and more people could be pushed to turn into creators. (Follow Li Jin’s Substack for everything Passion Economy)