Start Ups

Theranos Finds a Doctor and The Future Arrives in Palo Alto

Institute for the Future

Institute for the Future is moving into a new home on Hamilton Ave in downtown Palo Alto. They picked a fitting space.  It used to be Institute for the Past.  Well, not really, but it was an antique store. How cool would it be if they took up the floor where the steps used to be to the huge finished basement and did some tech and futurism interactive activity there. Call it “Walk into the Future” and have some robots. An interactive wall. Grand opening with Scarlett Johannsen (voice of the OS for HER) for starters. Hollywood and tech IS the future, just as porn pushed tech, tech and entertainment push each other. Just ask Mike Judge. Invite Matternet to bring some drones to fly around with cocktails.  Buy them with Bitcoins. (Marc Andreeson backs both). We need FUN in tech in downtown Palo Alto. Does anyone remember when we actually had music here? (Jerry Garcia for one, Joan Baez for another.)

What a great space Institute for the Future has picked for a huge cocktail party.  If you do have a party,  I want an invite.  The Silicon Valley Story began in a garage on Addison Ave (That’s HP for those who don’t know) and the Silicon Valley Story continues in a garage on Addison (that would be us). We have a start up in the garage right now in biometrics  and we already had one huge massive VC funding when the CEO was living here (not in the garage though). It’s one of the biggies and the reason we are not VC’s is because we did not see the future of what it was to become. We have had another start up founder living here, get  Zappos funded and move on to Fortune. (shout out to Scott!). The Silicon Valley story is alive and well in another house and garage on Addison!

I have a soft spot for Institute for the Future because of Paul Saffo. But that’s another story.  (One time he was asked to comment about something I did.  I’ll tell that story another time.) Alas, he is there no more, and hasn’t been for a while. What a great treat if he were to return. Can’t see it coming to pass. That’s the future I see.

And here’s another story – Theranos, the start up with the little blood tests and the big new building has finally put a medical, not a military, person on the Board. They have added former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. Frist is also a professor of surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Meharry Medical Medical School as well as serving on the boards of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Kaiser, and Harvard Medical School Board of Fellows.

Theranos recently put Riley Bechtel from Bechtel corporation on the Board. Bechtel on the Board makes sense with the military. And Frist makes sense too. I’d have asked Ray Kurzweil but Elizabeth Holmes didn’t ask me for a recommendation. I’d also add Paul Saffo, come to think of it. And my cousin who won a MacArthur Genius Grant.

But it looks like Theranos is building for the international military scene. Walgreens looks like small potatoes in comparison. Come to think of it why doesn’t the Board have a retail person in it? The retail experience at Palo Alto Walgreens has some ups and downs. I went there on a quest: get my blood done. They had told me I could do so with ANY doctor’s orders. I had that. But, they would not send the results to me, only the MD.

Nope. That doesn’t work for me. The person there was incredibly helpful and friendly. She was a good representative for the company. It certainly isn’t her fault I can’t get my results. But, you have to go see the pharmacist first before you go to Theranos. That didn’t sit well with me. No, Theranos is like using Bitcoins at Coupa Cafe. Great idea but not ready for prime time.

But hey, Theranos, congratulations on getting a medical person on the military Board. Of course, he’s embedded with the government but this is not a surprise. N.B. Theranos: People query the engines on this very topic. I know because they find my site asking “why doesn’t Theranos have a doctor on the board?”

Speaking of med tech, everyone here, please check out this site, it is really important for so many. I’m trying to support Mike in this endeavor not because I know him – we only met once – but because I so believe in his app and what it can do. There are children who need this now.  Adults too. GO:  For Those Who Have No Voice

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  • Reply
    April 18, 2014 at 9:51 am

    keep up the good work! for what it’s worth, a doctor’s order is required for CLIA certified lab testing – these regulations vary by state, but there are only a very few number of tests in california that labs can offer directly to patients without an order. this is a legal requirement for all labs in the state.

  • Reply
    April 19, 2014 at 4:23 am

    Hi VALLEYEGR – Thanks!

    As to the Rx for the blood work: I did have doctor’s order for the testing. I ordered and paid for it through Life Extension. Life Extension sends you to Lab Corps. But I wanted the Theranos experience so I went in with the doctor’ s orders. Theranos would have tested me (and I would have been paying twice!) but the results would not have come to me. They would have gone to the Life Extension MD. I don’t want that. I want the results. Also, Theranos did not have one of the tests I wanted. I write about this in another post on Theranos. Their prices are so low, it almost makes you want to get a blood test just to get such a bargain. But, you still have to go through a middleman and pay to get the tests, AND the results. This system is nuts.

  • Reply
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