We have over 35 years of experience in applying technology to the problems of life.
Starting from a Computer Science degree from University of California at Santa Cruz, I entered the healthcare industry as a lead developer for a healthcare software company that was purchased by Shared Medical Systems (SMS). I quickly rose to be lead designer for systems as diverse as a Time and Attendance system to a Clinical Order Entry system.
Very quickly in these circumstances, I learned the key principles of design:
- Systems grow from their data. Keep data designs clean and the system design will be cleaner.
- Design Debt is a part of every systems life. It can be reduced by rarely eliminated and must be managed.
- As C. E. R Hoare observed:“There are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult.”
- Development teams are made of people with passion for technology. That passion must be nurtured and cared for. If you lose it, you never get it back. Teams without passion develop mediocre results.
During about 15 years working in healthcare, I developed many software components dedicated to the care of people and the maintenance of a hospital is a place of healing. I also worked as part of SMS’s efforts to evaluate companies for acquisition as well as post-acquisition working to integrate the software with SMS’s offerings. When SMS needed someone to work in the technical sales process, I would work with hospital teams to design our product into their existing software and data systems.
In about 2000, and after a period working in New Zealand, I want to work for General Electric first as a lead architect and then as Chief Enterprise Architect. As one of the first in the company to hold that title, I defined many of the elements of that that role meant for the company. I and my excellent team would guide as many as 200 technology projects in the course of a year, and could claim savings directly attributable to that guidance of over $50 million in most years. During my time with GE, I was frequently called on to work with businesses to help them establish technology innovation groups, identify ventures for investment and work to adopt technology. I constantly worked to improve our development process as well as the processes used to manage the intake of technology. When I observed that GE did not have an active technology adoption pipeline, I created the first technology horizon for GE, outlining the perspective technologies for the company and how they would impact the divisions.
Just to keep my hand in things, I also worked with many startups to help them design and manage their product and development process.
In about 2016, I started to feel that GE was no longer fun for me, and I was in danger of losing my own passion. I decided to make a break with the company, and went into the venture capital industry working with Arcis Capital as a Senior Advisor.