Your business in the Gartner Hype Cycle

File:Gartner Hype Cycle.svgI was recently asked to contribute to a series of articles for the Scalable Startups project at UC Berkeley. The first of my articles is now up and available for reading.

“Most new businesses that are based on new technology of any kind are at the mercy of the Hype Cycle.”

The gist of the article is that knowing where you are in the hype cycle is an important part of startup self-awareness.

Comments welcome!

Incentives without pricing?

When I get to refilling a prescription on the CVS website I am amused, and then sickened, by the announcement that “Price will vary based on insurance”. When I click on the link “Why can’t you tell me the price?” I get the response in the pop-up as shown in this screen-capture.


I could complain about the fact that they do have my insurance details on file and could at least tell me the the expected price assuming my insurance doesn’t change by the time I pick it up in two hours.

However, this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Ask your doctor how much that blood test will be – he or she will likely not even know what the “list price” is, let alone what the negotiated rate for your insurer, or the status of your annual deductible. If you are referred to a specialist you can’t shop by price for the same reason.

This means that all this market based reform which is supposed to incent patients to use healthcare services “more wisely” is crippled from the beginning. If I can’t find out how much something costs ahead of time, how can I decide which is the cheapest. It goes without saying that I can consider various quality metrics to my thinking (some of which are possible to find ahead of time), but come on, be serious! Consumer oriented market based incentives without pricing information – it’s a fallacy.

Happy Chanukah


My family, along with many others, is currently celebrating Chanukah, which is a minor Jewish festival made more significant only by its proximity to Christmas. I am blessed with family, friends and good health and am glad to celebrate even as the days get shorter and colder, and the bicycling season (in Boston, at least) draws to a close. The theme of light in dark times is universal, and Chanukah is a joyous reminder that darkness is driven out not by more darkness but by light.

As a Venture Cyclist this whimsical Chanukah Menorah is a particular treat, although I am looking for a recumbent version for future years!