2020 Year in Review (kinda)

Alloy #34 – End of December 2020

It’s currently that weird week between Christmas and New Years’ where you’re at work but also kinda still in vacation mode. I figured I would take this week to do a Year in Review and talk a bit about lessons learned.

The Year of Patience

This year, I think, is the year of Patience. For many of us, we had to adjust to new ways of working and living due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We had to be patient with our co-workers, with our communities, and with each other. We have to be patient as we await a vaccine that promises to restore some sense of normalcy to our society. We have to be patient as we wait for job applications to go through or while we wait for unemployment benefits to arrive.

One thing I’ve learned about patience this year is that patience is an active verb. Being patient doesn’t mean just sitting around doing nothing waiting for what you want. It is the active process of allowing yourself to grow, to mess up, to be frustrated, to be excited, to get it wrong 3,421 times before you get it right once, all in the pursuit of what you want.

This year we have had to be patient with ourselves. We have been patient with the act of learning a very complex industry. We have been patient while life gets in the way of achieving goals we wanted to meet. We have been patient while figuring out how to build what we want to build. Crticially, we have been pushing towards our goal even when it seems like progress is elusive. We have gotten back up and kept marching forward. We have regrouped more times than I can count.

One day, things will fall into place. Whether that is a critical advisor we need to refine our ideas. Or if it’s an influx of interested users and customers to try out our prototypes or demos. Or if it’s investors interested in backing Alloy in a seed-stage funding round. The important thing is that through our patience we continue to chip away at this problem. We’re not waiting for these people to come to us, but when the time is right, we’ll be ready.


What Went Well This Year

  1. Carlos joins as CTO and engineer.

  2. The first prototype for our block-based SOAP note builder

  3. Defined HealthcareOS concept and prototype

  4. We built Alloy Carbon! (hopefully launching in early 2021)

  5. First investor “intro call”

  6. Plenty of design and exploration

  7. Health Informatics learning and research

  8. New relationships in other healthcare organizations

  9. Created a new pitch deck with a refined product strategy

What Didn’t Go Well This Year

  1. Technology indecision created extra time

  2. Communication losses lost us critical momentum

  3. We didn’t talk about what we were working on enough

  4. Didn’t get Carbon launched

  5. Didn’t talk to any clinicians (outside of a few short digital conversations)

The last point on that list is the most important. Not talking to clinicians is a critical failure as it means we haven’t validated any of our ideas that we came up with this year. This, I hope, we can correct next year. I am fairly pleased that the “Went Well” list is longer than the “Didn’t Go Well” list.

I’m excited about what we’ve learned in 2020. I’m even more excited about how we’ll apply what we’ve learned in 2021.

Until next year, ✌️

Project Alloy is a passion project started in 2017 by Robert Floyd, a Savannah-based product designer. Project Alloy aims to redesign the EHR.
You can find more information at alloyhealthcare.org
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