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The Morning Grumpy – 9/19/12

19 Sep

All the news, views, and filtered excellence fit to consume during your morning grumpy.


1. How the U.S. healthcare systems wastes $750BN annually.

The report underscores how much we could save just by encouraging doctors to order fewer procedures and, on the patient side, by taking a more active interest in lifestyle monitoring. The IOM offers a few specific examples:

  • Patients don’t need to get more than one colonoscopy every 10 years. 
  • If you had a fainting spell but it didn’t come with a seizure, you can safely forego a $2,000 MRI. 
  • Avoiding expensive imaging studies for early complaints of back pain.

The dirty little secret of Obamacare is that it addresses these problems head-on and the healthcare industry itself is implementing reforms to reduce cost and waste.

2. The people at Bad Lip Reading return with a new instant classic. Don’t rub on your messy parts.

“Gotta ask a black boy who did it.”

3. Further dispelling the myth that technology startups and entrepreneurs can’t succeed in rust belt towns; Grand Rapids, MI is home to one of the most creative seed funding ventures in the country.

StartGarden, a local seed fund with the wildest model I’ve ever heard of. Every two weeks, the $15 million fund gives $5,000 to two new ideas. Here’s the crazy part: while the StartGarden team picks one idea, you, that is to say, the community, pick the other one.

The rapidfire nature of the funding model means that ideas pour in constantly. There are 41 more ideas currently posted to the site, waiting to see if they’ll get funded one way or the other. And obviously, there is still a lot more money to play with.

Sounds a little bit like an idea I’ve written about in the past, Community Funded Venture Capital. We just need a rich guy to help us make it happen.

4. How does a city tell entrepreneurs that it is a place that is open to technology startups and welcomes innovation? It’s pretty simple, actually.

If you’re a city, how can you send a message to entrepreneurs – the student at a local university, a visiting business manager, a start-up in someone’s garage – a message to say that you understand technology? Put OPEN in big neon lights and display it proudly: on your website, your data, your strategic plans. Word gets around: “These guys have a ton of data online.” “This app will work with any bus system that has an API.” “Who do you think got the city on GitHub?” Either you’ve overheard things like this at a hackathon, or you ought to visit one.

Cities are opening up their treasure trove of municipal data and asking tech startups to play with it. Data has incredible value and it’s an underutilized asset here in Buffalo. Let’s open it up like New York City, St. Louis, Chicago, Portland, and Chattanooga have done and see what happens.

5. If you work in an office, you probably work with more than a few co-workers who have space heaters turned up to “nuclear” in both the summer and winter months. As it turns out, the temperature setting on your office thermostat is crucial to productivity and efficiency.

To find out just how much, Cornell University researchers conducted a study that involved tinkering with the thermostat of an insurance office. When temperatures were low (68 degrees, to be precise), employees committed 44% more errors and were less than half as productive as when temperatures were warm (a cozy 77 degrees).

Cold employees weren’t just uncomfortable, they were distracted. The drop in performance was costing employers 10% more per hour, per employee. Which makes sense. When our body’s temperature drops, we expend energy keeping ourselves warm, making less energy available for concentration, inspiration, and insight.

It’s the little things.

Fact Of The Day: The life expectancy of a circulating coin is 30 years, while paper money usually only lasts for 18 months.

Quote Of The Day: “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” – Aldous Huxley

Video Of The Day: Watch Jewel sell her soul for a few bucks at Wal-Mart. This begs the question, who will save her soul?

Song Of The Day: “Never Say Never” – Romeo Void

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