Middle C

I have always thought of the guitar as one of the most emotive instruments.  I suppose that’s why I gravitated to it at such a young age.

What really stuck me the other day was how many ways there are to play a single note.  A pianist would kill to have so many options and ways of hitting a single note.

It’s so strange that when we play this instrument we leave our DNA in each note.  My family and others who listen to my music would immediately be able to tell that it was my music they were listening to after just a couple of notes.

Yngwie, Guthrie, Tosin – I can tell I’m listening to them after just a few notes.

I have a theory:  The better the guitarist, the less notes they have to play before you know whose playing.

Defining Cleverness

I was trying to figure out how to define cleverness the other day.  I was coming up with all sorts of ideas and thoughts.

But, it was too difficult for me to define it in a succinct way so I asked my girlfriend how she would define cleverness.  She immediately said:

“It’s having knowledge and putting it to good use!”

I think she’s pretty clever….

Flattening The Bell Curve

2014-10-03-blogbellcurveThe Bell Curve

This is a bell curve and is what the world used to look like.  People used to watch the same movies and TV shows as one another, listen to the same songs on the radio as one another and even talk about the same topics as one another.

Then the Internet happened.

All of a sudden people are watching all sorts of stuff online and listening to music that no-one in their immediate vicinity has probably even heard of.  It turns out that we’re all freaks when it comes to our wants and needs.

In a lot of respects the Bell Curve has flattened as technology has allowed people to become exposed to so many different ideologies, art and knowledge.

What has also flattened is The Market.  All of a sudden entrepreneurs have access to all sorts of clients from all over the world who like what they’re doing.

It used to be that large companies would make a product or service aimed solely at the middle of the bell curve as a strategy to please everyone.  Now this strength has become their weakness.  Small startups are continually eating away at the fringes and coming after more and more of the large incumbents profit margins.

Nowadays, something for everyone is actually nothing for no one.

NHS Startup Part XV – “It’s Up To Us Now.”

We launched a new phase of our app for our patients and Primary Care services this week.  The build for this phase was huge and we have been steadily working on it for the previous four months (designing, building, testing, messing up ad nauseum).

I think we’ve really nailed what we intended to do.  As we collect more data, it should show that we’ve increased how efficient things are running at the practice, that more revenue is being made and that patients also prefer our new app to the existing means.

My main fear for this launch was actually the practice and the number of staff that work there.

As our app continues to expand and increase in its abilities it requires a concerted effort by everyone at the surgery for it to really work to its full potential.

I was initially worried about this.  Up to now, a small number of staff at the practice have been doing everything and they didn’t even need to do much to make the app as successful as it has been.  Now everyone in the practice has a small part to play to make it really grow and have a bigger impact.

Could they do it?  Would they do anything wrong?  What happens if they simply don’t want to?

These were the questions running through my head.  Although the launch itself went without a hitch, I was leaving the surgery still thinking that someone may mess something up.  That’s when someone from the team said:

“It’s up to us now”

At that point I just felt a massive sense of relief.  I truly do believe that the team are all bought in now.  I realised that giving people something to do with regards to my app isn’t bad.  It’s actually good, because now everyone is bought in and involved in the mission.

I guess being a leader is about leading from the front, aligning people and then creating change.  Maybe I was trying to create change from the back and by not leading all this time.

One thing’s for sure though – if someone does mess up.  I won’t be upset or angry.  I’ll be grateful they tried.

Decisions

The decisions you’ve made so far have gotten you to where you are.  

However, the decisions that you make now, going forward, don’t need to be and in a lot of cases should not be influenced by what you’ve done in the past.  

Every decision is an opportunity to stand still for a second, look at where you are currently and decide “Right now, what’s the best way forward?”.  

NHS Hacked! The Great FHIR Wall Of The NHS Is Broken.

It’s ironic how badly the NHS has been affected by ransomware.  I’ve been having talks with people about this a lot recently.

Right now my startup is jumping through hoops to comply with (outdated) data compliance issues and get access to the NHS N3 network, which is supposedly the NHS’ secure server system.  The actual fact is that N3 is just like any other network infrastructure which is connected to the internet.  And thus it has many access points.

It’s clear to any outside observer how insecure the whole thing is.  The Information Governance aspect of creating software for the NHS is just a case of paying some lawyers thousands of pounds to create documentation.  A money making scheme…

Others who I’ve spoken to, who already have access to N3, are saying that once you’re on N3 it’s very easy to move about from one organisation to another, hack data and plant lots of back doors.

What does this mean for budding NHS startups?  

I think that much like any other NHS issue which comes to the public conscience; an overhaul will be due.  This may mean that any startups who have already engaged in the process of getting access to N3 will have to pay even more to jump through more compliance protocols.  This obviously won’t make things safer, but will look good for the NHS as the public will see that something’s being done.  

My advice would be that anyone already engaged in the process should try and get access within the next three months, which is definitely doable.  Otherwise you may risk having to jump through the extra hoops with no support from the NHS.