reflecting on the virtual experience and user experience

What’s going to happen in five to ten years?

This is everybody’s favorite question at the moment, ranging from VCs to experienced executives in tech companies. There is a lot of hype and trends that can inform these hypotheses. If the history of venture capital is of any significance, investment volume is not necessarily a guarantee of a successful venture, though it’s definitely a signal that the underlying hypothetical change could drive immense societal value.

Things that got my thoughts rolling are:

I. The future of work and education.
My observation on education is that there is a continuous prevalent attitude that it is too expensive, and not pragmatic considering the risks of debt could outweigh the benefits of immediate employment rewards. After speaking with a venture capitalist, the key performance indicator here is retention rates. It makes sense that the school does not want more students to drop-off because that would mean lower revenues. We can see where this conversation is leading to: the methods that educators deploy are catered to the marketability of specific degrees, the completion of such degrees, and not necessarily the depth of learning.
What about the future of work that requires humans collaborating with artificial intelligence? Furthermore, what’s the point of a university education if not for employability? Aren’t we all deriving our value to society through our contribution in employment? This question ignores the impact of innovation through technology. Traditional employment is unlikely to be in the future. Regardless, there used to be an (now perhaps archaic) implicit assumption that people go to elite universities because they want to tackle ambitious goals like changing society for the better. Education startups really do make access and choice possible though they are not perfect and lack the networking effects of communities associated with the reputable school’s brand.
This certainly doesn’t bode well for a society that democratic and requires advanced critical thinking skills of their citizens to navigate an increasingly complex world. Do we think the current education system will be able to adapt? Alternatively, it could be the right time to re-imagine the next generation of EdTech products and identify new performance metrics of effectiveness. Are the current learning outcomes actually useful and applicable to the real world?

Why do you care about the problem?

This is apparently quite important because to understand the customer, the founder most likely need to have the same problem. You’re in healthcare, solving this problem not only because this is an obvious opportunity that can impact a variety of people, but because you’re also solving this problem for yourself. If you have experienced severe illness in the past and have trouble finding the right doctors and medical specialists, then you’re probably the right person to do it. And of course, most recently, my realization that preventive checks are crucial to intervening any late diagnosis in the possibility of cancer. I was also rather discouraged after reading that consulting and other startups have previously tried to tackle the digital personal medical records problem unsuccessfully. Because it’s really not solving the root problem of the lack of timely access, which is an operational problem, caused by poor user experience and uneven distribution of healthcare resources. The next psychological barrier to confront is in the medical specialists’ minds that they are not financially motivated enough to take on additional patients through improving their workflow due to higher taxes. While on the surface, this suggests a barrier to adoption, it also suggests that if there is an enough financial incentive and perhaps other intangible motivating factors, it could work. Well, anything can be hacked. That’s the principle and attitude we want to keep having.

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Jacqueline Chan

Jacqueline Chan

An online diary regarding reflections, thoughts on emerging tech, sales and stuff. Drop me a message at Jacqueline [dot] gotomarket [at] gmail [dot] com