Changes and New Directions. I’m back!

If you have followed me in this blog you will have noticed that over the last year I have been somewhere else! I and my colleagues dove deeply into our commitment to grow CareCyte.

In June/July of this year, after two years of continuous effort, Shirah and I, and my partners in the company, decided to stop investing in CareCyte. The company was not moving. We have not closed the company; we are continuing in conversations with possible customers. Our website is still active; we continue to think that the company represents a historic opportunity, and we look forward to bringing it forward at some moment in the future, but the timing is off and we don’t have the millions that would be required to alter the readiness of the country and the industry for this innovation.

To all who supported us in this effort, I extend my heartfelt thanks. The challenge of reforming healthcare is unmet and will become more and more difficult as time goes on and it is not addressed. For now, however, it will no longer be at the center of my attention.

I am returning to consulting and constructing another business that fits with the consulting. Stanley Stein, Chris Majer, and I are forging a new offer to customers who need capital to grow their businesses but are having trouble finding it through traditional sources. The new company, PNW Financial Services, will be the subject of forthcoming postings. I will tell you here when we complete an initial website for the company. For those who talk to me directly, my new email address there is cbell@pnwfs.com.

A brief diagnosis of what happened with CareCyte is that we were stopped by paralysis in the healthcare industry combined with structural weaknesses in our own plans. It was obvious in 2008 that there would be a significant challenge in raising money for the company. However, we received almost universal approval for the ideas involved. We thought that the desperate trouble in the healthcare industry, combined with the big commitment of Barack Obama to address the healthcare disaster in the US, would combine to give the company a place to stand given its vast potential impact on healthcare costs and care quality. Obama declared that the ‘…only real danger to the economy is the rising cost of healthcare,’ and he is right. Spending on healthcare in the US is approaching 20% of GDP, at the same time that we will soon will have the largest aging population ever encountered in the country. It seemed a good bet that our offerings, with their systemic effect on the industry, would attract customers and broad support. No such luck, even with good support from the Washington State Congressional Delegation.

I plan to say more about the situation with healthcare in the country as well, in later postings.

I’m glad to be back.

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6 thoughts on “Changes and New Directions. I’m back!

  1. Glad you are back! Would like to see something on Copenhagen. Was impressed by the corporate talks there – for instance, JohnsonDiversey, a company with operations in 175 countries, has just announced that it will assess the carbon footprint of every product they make and make this information available to the public. JohnsonDiversey is the same company that last month announced a tripling of its emissions reductions commitment by 2013. Here is more in depth detail about the company’s plans: http://bit.ly/jdaction

  2. Chauncey–At the moment, I’m looking down upon the Willamette in South Portland from a pleasing hotel room. It’s the first day of 2010. These facts are relevant, I believe, because the sense of newness–the New Year–has already proven to be illusory…and the river just rolls on.

    Carecyte’s failure to attract major backing–the fact that we don’t see a project underway–confounds me. It is as if, needing water, we overlook the rain. Hello? Maybe this will help!

    A dear friend ran for city council in Olympia, having served out a two-year term very successfully. She ran into a machine that is devoted to resisting any change in downtown Olympia, and includes grand old liberals who will do whatever it takes to stop the likes of my friend, who believes in the potential of the area.

    Downtown Olympia hasn’t changed substantially in decades. (Take, by way of creative and successful contrast, the Portland riverfront, where I now sit.) There is a huge resistance to change in our nation, it seems. That is an anecdotal, not a scientific, judgment–but I notice it everywhere. Even our president is reaffirming the Bush position on war (the “just war” brings Einstein’s observation to mind: You can’t prepare for peace by preparing for war) and the presence of evil in the world.

    What may disturb me the most is the striking cynicism I find in high school students. “Nothing’s ever going to change,” they often declare, in a self-fulfilling prophecy. For me, it cuts deep.

    Surely there is a residual vision, not so much of change as of simply dropping the irrelevant points and positions that make our nation’s political arguments a matter of monkeys talking to elephants.

    Power, and the pursuit of it, after all, is utterly overrated. How much more fun it is to run a dazzling new flag up the flagpole and see what people with good hearts make of it.

    Missing you.

    Bill

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