Icarus, Daedalus, or Somewhere in Between
Icarus and Daedalus by Charles Paul Landon, 1799
I have long noted the difference between technically adept Fathers and Sons. We seem to alternate generations between scientists and engineers, and I believe this denotes more of a difference in risk taking behavior rather than aptitude. The story of Icarus and Daedalus exemplifies this to an extreme, as does my own. In brief, my Dad was one of the guys on IBM’s design teams for many of the computer technologies that formed the foundation of what you see today, RISC, COBOL, BASIC, and even the PC itself. I always wondered why he wasn’t another Steve Jobs or Bill Gates instead of being just another IBMer and this was probably a big factor in my own career path. Choosing to be a scientist rather than an engineer, I studied under a Nobelist and sought to cure cancer with my technical abilities skills. This may not sound risky to an outsider, but compared to the stability of a programming or engineering job, it is, trust me. I eventually blended my love of science, some engineering skills, and an unhealthy affinity for risk taking behavior, resulting in dozens of new ideas both in and out of healthcare. I wouldn’t have it any other way, but having flown too close to the sun on many occasions, I can see the wisdom of my Dad and Daedalus. I suspect my son will be an engineer.
Over 1,300 doctors, engineers, passionate patients, hospital leaders, and scientists have applied to be on MedStartr in our first 16 months of business and I see many on the ledge as father and son are in Charles Landon’s famous painting. Many times I want to say, “STOP, don’t do it! The Sun is too hot and your wings are made of wax!” Many times I want to say, “Let’s Go! What are you waiting for?” Most times I ask, “Are your really ready for this, because it won’t be easy or safe.”
Being a physician or engineer is much like the Daedalus role, conservative and safe. People who become Doctors are those who listened to the wisdom of elders and studied and didn’t take great risks. They fill important roles and can be amazing sources of ideas and solutions, but essentially they are risk averse and this is difficult when you are creating a startup. I know, I work with them every day. From my first startup, powered by the expertise of the amazing Doctor who eventually became my wife, to MedStartr where we meet and help many such experts daily. But without their knowledge and understanding, programmers and entrepreneurs like me would never have a clue what to make next. But Icaruses they are not, and this is a good thing.
As with much of mythology, the story of Daedelus and Icarus is one of extremes and for those of us who walk the earth, we are somewhere in between. This is one of the reasons we created MedStartr, to enable the experts to have the wings to fly so that they can escape the tower of Minos in safety and bring new ideas to the world of healthcare. Getting 70,000 people to watch your video or winning a challenge can make a huge difference and helps make amazing things happen. This is one of the reasons we are so enthused to bring you challenges like the American Heart Association Challenge, because they can de-risk the process of inventing and solving what ails our healthcare system. Crowdfunding also de-risks health innovation investing, as you can see by the success of our clients like Avado, NotOnlyFor, YNIO, Captricity, Refresh Cards, and many others that have scored significant outside investors and partners and been acquired by the likes of WebMD and Bausc & Lomb. If you agree, please sign up for MedFundr, where healthcare innovation investing will have an online home soon!
So are you ready to strap on your wings? Call us at 530.MED.STAR anytime. We have special wax to help those wings stay together too!