Brace for Impact

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For the last several years I’ve been building software businesses in the epicenter of the tech industry. The experience has been many things (fun, challenging, exhilarating, exhausting), but mostly educational. The intersection of speed and scale you see everyday in the Bay Area is almost unbelievable, except it’s very real indeed. Over the past five years I’ve met more new millionaires than I can recall, and worked with a few billionaires along the way. It’s an era of my career (and life) I’ll always appreciate. But it’s time to move on.

The Tech Gap

One common theme from this season of life has been “every company is a tech company”. Surely we’ve heard that one, right? Heck, many of us have said it aloud and most have no choice but to believe it on some level. But here’s the rub: I’ve listened to dozens of executives from companies in nearly every industry as they expressed crippling FOMO amid innovation that looks eerily like the stuff of science fiction, while my peers and leaders watched dumbfounded by their customers’ presumed inability to move forward. It’s a painful experience I’ve taken to calling the “tech gap”.

I’ve struggled with how to address this “tech gap” for a couple of years now, and it’s only widening. The “haves” are building a future, while the “have nots” are clinging to a present that cannot continue to exist. I’ll spare you the allegories and trust that you see it too….

Time for a change

So, with that as a backdrop, I’ll stop rambling and get to the point: I’m leaving Google to make a bigger impact.

I firmly believe that the industry most ripe for impact is healthcare. It’s complex, monolithic, interdependent, lethargic, and directly involved in everyone’s life. What a mess, right? Well, while we’re at it, let’s shift gears just a bit to tackle non-profit, faith-based healthcare…. I can’t wait to get started!

Tomorrow morning I’ll show up to my first day at Ascension Health, and everyday thereafter I’ll be serving with some of the best leaders I know on a mission to transform a 400-year old institution with over 170,000 employees and 2,500 sites of care around the world. I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity to watch our work directly translate into care for millions of people – regardless of their ability to pay. Direct, powerful, impact.

This gig lines up with my values, skills, and experience so perfectly that I can’t help believing it’s a calling. I also believe it will require a community of practice, so if you’re in my network expect to hear from me in the coming months. I appreciate all the great people at Google, Pivotal, and Savvis who helped me learn the ins and outs of an incredible industry. Now it’s time to apply it where the world needs it most!

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