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Business Truths of Silicon Valley

By Dr. Marcus Ranney

At the end of my first week in Silicon Valley, I can truly say that some learning in life occurs merely via osmosis – a scientific term in which molecules migrate from an environment of high concentration to a lower one. I have felt the spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship, and ‘gusto’ make its way into my psyche merely from being here in the moment.

Everyday brands which we take for granted – Facebook, Google, Mozilla Firefox, Survey Monkey, 23&me, Uber, Twitter, Apple and many more have their global HQs in this tiny stretch of land here in the Californian countryside. Visiting their offices, meeting their employees, talking with the locals, you get a sense of how they look at the world and that every moment is really about disruption: a supply chain, a network, a community, an industry. These guys dream and they dream BIG.

Sitting with professors and mentors from Stanford, and some of the leading startup accelerators in the world has instilled a sense of pride in the work we are doing in the healthcare space in India. It’s not as though the West has all the answers, and as I reflect upon my conversations with Indian entrepreneurs from recent months and their vision for healthcare, I come back to India with a sense that we aren’t necessarily always copying the status quo but can indeed leap frog, provided we keep design thinking at the very heart of what we produce.

I will say that we need better clarity in thought back home. Distill the business idea into its most basic fundamentals and show how, in three simple steps, it is addressing the real pain point of the industry. I go back with a renewed affirmation for the one slide business pitch deck; if you need to show anything more, then it’s not been cracked yet. Three acronyms have a new sense of purpose in my vocabulary – CAC, PBP and LTV. Metrics, which if you don’t know the full versions of, means that you need to go back and think about your revenue model deeper.

The Californian sun has been good for my mind, body, and soul. The balance in the way people live their lives here, their priority on staying healthy, their sense of acceptance for different view points and philosophies, their tenacity to ask questions, to just try, and the comfort that they have in their own skin are values which we should all live by. As I leave this week, I know that this will in no way be my last trip here. Till we meet again San Francisco, stay exactly as you are.

Dr. Marcus Ranney is Vice-President at RoundGlass Partners and a Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum. He completed his Bachelors of Science and Medical degrees from University College Medical School in London. He is passionate about sports, extreme medicine and physiology and has been conducting field research across the planet for more than a decade. He has served as a medical officer in the Royal Air Force and at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for a shuttle mission to the International Space Station.

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