Chamath Palihapitiya He is an atypical investor. Not atypical in the sense that he doesn’t want to make money from his investments (in that sense he’s as typical as any investor). He is atypical in the sense that he plays medium and long term rather than short term. Palihapitiya is CEO of Social Capital, an investment fund that focuses primarily on the healthcare and education markets, two sectors that don’t exactly deliver results in the short term. When he is told about the internal rate of return (the discount rate at which the net present value or present value is zero), he (figuratively) gets a shiver down his spine.
“If you think about it carefully, you realize that quick money repayments can completely impair long-term thinking and good judgement. Moderate growth, moderate composition, that’s the key. That’s worth its weight in gold,” he defended recently at a meeting with Stanford Business School students.
The concept of fail quickly, fail cheaply it also gives him hives (yes, figuratively too):
“The concept of fail quickly, fail cheaply It’s part of standard Silicon Valley jargon. And when it comes to business and consumer apps, that makes sense. Consumer internet companies like Facebook are trying to exploit psychology, and companies have to fail quickly to keep up with changing consumer tastes and desires. But that formula doesn’t work for everything that’s really important,” he says. “That’s not how you solve diabetes. It’s not the way he uses precision medicine to cure cancer. It’s not the way to educate large sections of the world’s population,” he says.
You will usually wonder what kind of business is he investing in? In companies like this:
Brilliant: Math and science problem-solving platform for brilliant learners
Remember the two high school students two years ago who came up with a math theorem that could solve a problem faster than a computer? Yeah, man, they’ve been in all the papers. What all these newspapers fail to mention is where they met and on what platform they developed their theorem. You guessed it: Brilliant, a math and science problem-solving platform for brilliant learners. (Well, okay, they also put many hours into Google Talk and Facebook chat.)
Where is the shop? “Brilliant creates a network where organizations can identify and recruit talented students. Brilliant students were recruited for scholarships and mentors. Such opportunities represent the future of Brilliant. Our long-term goal is to create conditions in which your skills and ambitions can develop,” the founders explain.
Creative Live: 24-hour streaming courses
2,000 million minutes of live training is, you will agree, more than enough time to show that a business model works. Creative Live was invented in 2010 as a hybrid between a teleshopping-like TV channel and a Coursera-style online training platform, but for lighter topics. If you want to learn elementary math, microeconomics, physics and the like, you already have Khan Academy. If you want to learn about data analysis like Princeton, you already have Coursera. However, if you want to learn about photography, video, personal finance, music, and crafts (for commercial purposes), you need to go to Creative Live.
Part of the success of this platform lies in the niche it has chosen but also its model when it comes to training delivery. Unlike traditional pre-recorded online courses, Creative Live courses are streamed live 24 hours a day, seven days a week from five in-house production studios, broadcasting as many channels daily. A fundamental element that differentiates it from other online learning platforms is the interaction by the study audience, who also appear in front of the camera. Students in the studio, typically three to 15 people, ask the instructor questions during class and act as proxies for viewers at home.
your business model? Small surprise here: half freemium model for users, half paid model for teachers (think professionals who want to have a webinar of some scope, but mostly big brands who like to talk about photography or video…). All courses are free during the live broadcast and can be purchased to watch at a later date. Classes are led by a team of live presenters from CreativeLive studios in Seattle and San Francisco.
Straightforward: Prepare entrance exams for non-graduates
Another training platform. In this case e-learning, the combination of videos and online tutors to prepare access to higher education in Brazil. It would be something like an e-learning platform to prepare for the university entrance exam for people over 25 years old.
As a reminder: micropayments for schools
It is a communication tool between schools and parents that has evolved into a more ambitious platform that allows micropayments for activities and school and sports supplies in schools with a credit card. At least one person in 90% of US schools is already using this tool. Incidentally, this idea is one of the projects that received the most money in the early stages worldwide in the first years of life…
Treehouse: Learn programming online
Treehouse is an online technology school that offers paid courses (here we break the business model above) for beginner and intermediate levels in web design, web development, mobile development and game development taught by a team of teachers and experts. The Treehouse tutorial includes videos, interactive quizzes, and code challenges. It has two training packages. On the one hand, Treehouse Tracks is a guided curriculum consisting of courses that train students in broad subject areas. On the other hand, Treehouse Organizations aims to support businesses, organizations, schools and community programs with technology training. A long list of startups, including Simple and LivingSocial, currently use Treehouse to recruit new employees based on their Treehouse progress and achievements.
Athos: training clothing to improve the physical performance of athletes
A line of “smart” workout apparel aimed at improving physical performance and preventing injury by using data generated from wireless fabric, providing insights into muscle performance and heart activity.
Neurotrack: prevention of memory loss
It’s an application that, in just five minutes, examines users for signs of cognitive decline based on their eye movement while looking at some images displayed on their screens. “These tests used to take about 30 minutes and were only possible in doctor’s offices with very expensive equipment,” says company boss and co-founder Elli Kaplan. Neurotrack has been able to reduce their scans to a 5 minute home process thanks to technological advances in eye tracking technology, data analysis, machine learning and computer vision. Depending on the result, activity programs are recommended to prevent memory loss.
business model? The analysis is chargeable ($99) and should be repeated every three to six months depending on the results. They offer the product through some health insurance companies.
Harvey: Alternative telemedicine
Harvey is a telemedicine platform primarily aimed at chronically ill patients, through which qualified doctors recommend pre-at-home saliva, blood and urine tests (from hormone tests to gut tests and biomarkers of natural nutrients to treat chronic stress). , natural therapies to relieve symptoms. Home tests range from $39 to $320. The first medical consultation after the analysis costs $150 and further consultations $75.