Every year I read a handful of shareholder letters. I like the accountability and optimism. Here is what worked--and over here, not so much. It made me think of sustainers of this blog. Many appreciate insights that impact your bottom line. Scalable solutions you can try internally or consider as you launch your next big idea. Maybe you are interested in how I manage your generosity. Or even more likely--what is it I actually do...
Amazon has always intrigued me. Even in the early days when the reach seemed omnipresent--I read how they were not and had never been profitable. Financial pundits pondered their longterm viability and observed with arched eyebrows. Think about Jeff Bezos and his slow burn methodological focus on investing to attain long-term market leadership rather than short-term profitability. In my case, it would be easier to write the words or analyze the numbers focused on a singular objective dictated to me by clients. Those clients are easy to find. They know what they want to say and want you to find the data to support it. Low hanging fruit is often overly ripe and pest ridden--move on.
So this year, I read only one shareholder letter. Yup, you guessed it. The line that grabbed me, "A remarkable customer experience starts with heart, intuition, curiosity, play, guts, taste."
Here is Jeff Bezos Shareholder letter.
Data & Donuts is small but nimble. We scale up when needed and percolate along--lean and mean--when appropriate. For the most part it is me. Forever curious and committed to helping all of us navigate data insights. The donut in data & donuts is a constant reminder that if it isn't fun or accessible, what is the point?
Data & donuts does not have shareholders but patrons, sustainers, and supporters. Many are fiduciary but many send positive notes, invite connections, introduce themselves after presentations, and are true collaborative partners. This quick note is for all of you.
This year has brought many opportunities and realizations. We are spinning off a data analytics function because you asked for it. My initial goal was digital media--tell stories and start conversations but along the way the requests for collaborations became too frequent to ignore. Datamonger.health will serve that role--connect over on twitter and we will keep you in the loop datamongerbonny.
A few questions I am asked constantly. The name. Why data & donuts? I worked in Internal Medicine, specifically cardiology, as a newbie editor and writer for a talented and creative cardiologist. The fellows presented their research findings and struggled with finding an audience to share their insights. Voila--we offered donuts and they meandered in. My mantra was "Come for the donuts, stay for the data" so when I ventured out on my own, it became the name of our company.
Good process serves you so you can serve customers. But if you’re not watchful, the process can become the thing. This can happen very easily in large organizations. The process becomes the proxy for the result you want. You stop looking at outcomes and just make sure you’re doing the process right. Gulp.
Travel is required. Let's face it, you really do need to be present to win. I attend dozens of panel discussions, society meetings, and conferences each year. I have an unyielding metric for which conferences to attend. I require press access. I will use company funds for accommodation and travel but only if I am granted access to the event at no charge. The majority of conferences see the value--some do not. I am about access and on my own terms. For example, I am not a fan of the scheduled interview. What is the point? Rehearsed talking points and agenda spreading is of no interest to me and you can find those conversations every where.
I was recently invited to attend a major statistical conference. I listen and ask questions for clarity or context. I jot down mathematical models or terms I want to revisit later. The clear winner is heteroscedasticity. Especially if like me, you never met a scatter plot you didn't like...
The main goal is to have a front row seat at discussions relevant to the evolving data fueled economy in healthcare. We can all read articles and headlines but what if we had the opportunity to not only ask questions--but question answers?
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In a world of "evidence-based" medicine I am a bigger fan of practice-based evidence.
Remember the quote by Upton Sinclair...
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”