Take 15. Build ritual into product; consumerization of healthcare; audio's opportunity

Welcome to this week’s Double Take on product, health tech, and digital media.

I let myself miss the last bi-weekly schedule because things got busy (blah blah) and I procrastinated. I did discover this life-change read, structured procrastination, which is why I now have a list of fun things to do when procrastinating/avoiding a more important task. It’s quite a brilliant tactic.

Here’s good old 2 x 2 framework for decision making in a time of change, by a16z’s Chris Dixon. The best investments fall into the structurally positive changes or ephemerally negative changes bucket. Telemedicine and remote work tools are examples of structurally positive changes. These are things that are better and cheaper than existing defaults that finally caught on mass market, and we’re not going back. As for ephemerally negative changes, like travel and dining out, consumer sentiment is deep and demand will rebound once the temporary restrictions are lifted.

From a different angle, if you want to build strong technology that molds the world to it rather than adapt to the world as it currently exists, revisit this piece.

Now onto the regular programming 👇

💻 Product

  • How to price your SaaS product. Pricing has the biggest impact on the monetization potential of your product. The actual number to settle on at the beginning doesn’t matter as much as the value metric and the ideal customer segments. The right value metric ensures you grow with the customer - more value delivered leads to more revenue for you too. Quantifying target segments by their size, preferences, willingness to pay, LTV, and CAC, can help you validate the segment to target vs ignore.

  • Build ritual into your product. Like the cult following of separating Oreo cookies and licking the cream, people enjoy the product more and are willing to pay more when there’s a ritual associated with it. A ritual is a systematic set of behavior experienced when consuming the product. It makes people feel like they’re more involved with the product.

  • How Apple is organized for innovation. Apple, despite its size, has a functional org structure that allows those with the most expertise in a domain to have decision rights. Why let experts lead rather than general managers of business units? When rates of disruption are so high, the company relies on the judgement & intuition of people with deep knowledge and experience in the domain. They are more apt to balance costs with value for the user, and are committed to separate “how right” from “how hard” a path is.

📠 Health Tech

  • Consumerization of healthcare. This year saw the greatest number of consumer health startups go public, successfully. One Medical, Good Rx, Hims/Hers, are all centered around improving the access to and experience of care with transparent pricing and measure of outcome. Finally, the consumer first business model is getting proven out and the low bar of healthcare delivery is getting raised.

  • Upfront pricing phenomenon. There’s a wave of consumer health companies that make pricing transparent upfront for patients. Deductibles are almost impossible to understand, cash pay patients are on the rise, and more data is available to predict costs. So upfront pricing becomes a value proposition and gives consumers a lot of convenience to price shop.

  • How Covid shifted tech priorities of healthcare execs. There’s still uncertainty on the reimbursement of telehealth. Many reported using AI in applications such as clinical decision support, bed management, and analytics. Budget constraints and uncertainty about the future may tamper bigger innovations and projects.

📣 Media

  • The New York Times’ turnaround. A fascinating presentation & break down of how The New York Times flipped its business model, reinvented content, made big bets on digital, and turned around its failing business to today’s success.

  • Audio’s opportunity & who will capture it. We tend to think of technology as the tool used to express media. But media is technology. Over recent years, audio has not only been growing quickly, it’s also diversifying and changing quickly. Spotify’s podcast creation platform Anchor will now allow podcaster to use licensed songs from its library of 40 million songs.

  • Snap outperforms expectations. Snap shares soared after Q3 earnings was shown to beat expectations. It reported $679 million in revenue and has 250 million daily active users.

Thanks for reading! If you liked this edition, hit the 🖤and share with someone. Find me on Twitter.
- Christine