Charu Raghu | October 16, 2014
Dr. Richard Foster, a jack-of-all-trades in healthcare innovation and venture sat down with Rock Health to discuss industry trends and the future of entrepreneurship. He is the author of two best-selling books: Innovation: The Attacker’s Advantage (1986) and Creative Destruction (2001). He was also named one of Harvard Business Review’s “Masters of Innovation” in the past century.
We’ve seen rapid growth in this field in the past few years from startups, and now in the past couple months from larger companies such as Apple and Google. Do you see the industry controlled by a few hands in the future?
I don’t—I do think that Apple, and particularly Google, have taken all the messages about why big companies can’t innovate to heart, and are working on solutions. Google has proven their willingness to shut things down that they’re experimenting with. The hardest part is not coming up with the creative idea, the hardest part is shutting down what you already have—your noble experiments that don’t work. The market doesn’t have any problem shutting things down. It’s called: “We’re not going to fund you for round B.” But corporations have traditionally had a harder time—Google has fixed that problem.
In healthcare IT, we have Epic, Cerner, athenaHealth, Allscripts, and five or six others that are important. Except if you actually look at the number of healthcare IT companies out there (I’m currently tracking 2,167 of them)—I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again—I think in fifteen years, 75% of the S&P 500 will be companies that we don’t know today. That’s not because we don’t know their names, but because they don’t exist. There’s no way with that amount of change, that we have to worry about monopolies.