Creating Clarity from Chaos

Alloy #33 – Week of December 1, 2020

I imagine that to the casual observer the process of building Project Alloy may look a bit… chaotic. And to some degree it is. Starting a company and building an app are fairly chaotic things. Especially when there is no clear path to success.

In my opinion, the above graphic doesn’t just apply to junior vs senior designers but to startups as well. We could spend all of our time on the left side. Winding our way to a finished product, or we could start lots of small things and figure out what works and what doesn’t to more efficiently get to a finished product.

I think this is where a plan and strategy are very important. The plan is the steps you’re going to take to accomplish a specific task. The strategy is the goal, purpose, and intent behind those steps. The thing is that the strategy probably won’t change much whereas the plan (the steps) will change pretty frequently. This is probably why, to many people, it may look like a haphazard process to build this project.


Strategy

Let’s start with the strategy, or more specifically the goal behind the strategy. For any product or startup, you want to ensure you’re building the right thing. This is referred to as “product-market fit.” Does the market want what you’re building? For us this boils down a simple list:

  • Build an EHR that is easy to use

  • Market and sell that EHR to the key buyers in healthcare orgs

  • Attract primarily “primary care” practices with clinician owners

This is the overarching goal. Build an easy to use EHR (called HealthcareOS) and market it to primary care practices. We know the market wants a new EHR, we know that primary care is simpler to break into than inpatient care. And we know that we need to market to specific buyers in healthcare oganizations.

Our strategy to do this is a combination of the plan/steps and the unique differentiators that we think make us uniquely equipped to do this:

  • HealthcareOS instead of an EHR

  • User-centered design mindset

  • Lightweight, fast technology stack

We believe these differentiators will help us accomplish that goal in a way that adds tremendous value to our customers and users.


The Plan

Now, the plan to do this can take many different shapes. And indeed resembles the graphic above. We’ve tried and are trying several different things to confirm our “fit.” Right now this boils down to this:

  • Build Carbon to ensure that our design does what we intend

  • Scale Carbon to include the “most useful” features to eventually build HealthcareOS

  • Attract users, practices, and customers through Carbon to gauge “traction” of our product/idea

  • Continue building HealthcareOS prototypes to test usability and features

  • Work with clinical advisors to learn about what works and what doesn’t

  • Bring on a Chief Medical Officer (as a co-founder) to help guide product strategy and clinical operations

This plan has changed a bit over the last few months. We developed the concept for HealthcareOS. We’ve gone from building HealthcareOS to building Carbon. We’ve learned a lot about the clinical environments our products will live in. We’ve learned about Health Informatics and how all of this impacts the greater healthcare ecosystem. At each step, we intend for the plan to serve the strategy and our goal. Chances are that our plan will change in the next month or two as new information becomes available, but that’s ok because when it does, it helps us narrow down to where we’re going.


Ok now that we’ve gone over all that, I want to highlight some of these steps that we’ve taken in the last week.

  • You can now join a waitlist for Carbon here.

  • We’ll be launching a public prototype of HealthcareOS in the coming weeks.

  • We are actively searching for clinical advisors.

  • Our goal is to turn a clinical advisor into a Chief Medical Officer co-founder.

More details to follow on the search for advisors and a co-founder. If that is something that you or someone you know may be interested in, get in touch with us at robert@alloyhealthcare.org.

Until next week, ✌️

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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