Thursday, March 14, 2013


Online Healthcare Innovation Forum: Let’s Have a $1 Billion Prize for a BHA (Big, Hairy, Audacious) Innovation
Real contests have to be about BHA – Big Hairy, Audacious Goals. ..Let’s have a real contest with serious prize money…Sergy Brin (of Google)is worth $23 billion and Mark Zuckerberg (of Facebook) $13 billion.  If they really want to have an impact on society, offer a billion-dollar Brin-Zuck prize to prevent or top Alzheimers or to regenerate spinal cords or organs, or to cure obesity. The Big Hairy Audacious stuff still deserves and needs a breakthrough
Andy Kessler, former hedge manager, in “Want to Change the World? How About a Billion-Dollar Prize,” Wall Street Journal, March 13, 2013
Why not have the Steve Jobs’ estate, Bill Gates of Microsoft, Sergy Brin of Google, and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook put up a $1 billion prize for a healthcare breakthrough?    It could go  to an individual, a term of individuals,  an organization,  even an IPO that raises $1 billion. Entrepreneurs would come out of the woodwork to win the $1 billion jackpot. 
The prize would not require taxpayer money or government involvement.  It would be serious money.  As the late Everett McKinley Dirksen (1896-1966), the Senator from Illinois, remarked, “ A billion here. A billion there.  Pretty soon we’re talking about real money.’
Who would win the $1 billion? My guess it would be the developer of an online health care innovation. This is a safe bet. Med apps, fueled by thousands of would-be entrepreneurial billionaires, have come out of nowhere to become a $25 billion growth industry, just as health care is a $2.8 trillion growth industry.
If past is prologue, an online innovation for health care will be the prize winner.  The innovation  will  reveal or unveil the cause or cure of a major disease – diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, or degenerative neurological disease (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). It will have a genomic basis.  It will be backed by massive data analysis and computer-generated artificial intelligence.  In short, it will be about finding a needle in the genomic haystack.

Tweet:  Why not offer a $1 billion prize to entrepreneurs who come up with a cause or cure of a major disease category?