Business Model

Guy Kawasaki Take-Aways

There are many take-aways from Guy Kawasaki’s talk on the “Art of the Start” which our team will integrate into our sickle cell anemia project.

First, I was really inspired by his point to make a mantra instead of a mission statement. I think having a mantra that explains to the employees why they work there is especially important to make sure everyone in the company stays focused on the big goal. As we progress through our project, and employee other individuals, we will definitely incorporate a meaningful and memorable mantra in order to help our employees stay motivated.

Additionally, our project will definitely incorporate Guy Kawasaki’s concept of “weaving a MAT.” By prioritizing milestones, assumptions, and tasks, I think we will all be able to stay focused and motivated on the big goals and how to accomplish them. For example, our group considers our current milestones to be having a fully functioning test strip, proving that our test strip is better than other options on the market, getting our test approved for use, establishing production, distribution, and funding partners, and getting the test strip accessible to individuals in Sierra Leone. In order to accomplish these big goals over the next 5-10 years, our team will also need to write down and test assumptions (such as those seen in last weeks blog), and tasks (such as how we are currently working on small sub-steps of making a functioning test strip).

Next, our project will also incorporate the strategy of thinking differently, instead of just doing things better. Already, with our test strip, we are trying to incorporate different aspects of low-cost devices, instead of simply improving the isoelectric focusing method which is currently used in the US. Additionally, in the future, we will try to incorporate this strategy when we begin organizing production and distribution. For example, instead of relying on slow, traditional distribution methods seen in rural Sierra Leone, we might try partnering with an organization trying new ideas, such as utilizing drones.

In order to accomplish and incorporate all of these goals and strategies, we will also need to follow one of Guy Kawasaki’s most important points: “hire infected people.” Already, I have found that because everyone in our group is really excited by the project, we are getting a lot accomplished and coming up with unique and creative ideas. Having seen how positively working with “infected” people can be on the project, our group will definitely have to continue focusing on this concept in the future as we partner with more individuals and organizations.

Finally, our group will definitely have to incorporate Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 rule. As we try to secure funding and partners, we will have to make sure to impress people with our presentations. Because of this, by limiting our presentations to 10 slides, 20 minutes, and 30 point font, we will be able to ensure that we keep our audience engaged and excited about joining our project.

Business Model Canvas

1. Value Proposition: We deliver value to our customers by allowing healthcare workers to better treat their patients through sickle cell anemia diagnosis. Although at this point we are unsure whether our customers will be healthcare facilities directly or local/global health NGOs, either of these customers would receive value from our product through the health improvements in the patient populations they are trying to serve.

2. Customer Segments: At this point, we are not sure exactly who will be purchasing our product. Although we will primarily be creating value for our patients and healthcare workers by allowing them to receive and give better treatments, we have not determined who will be paying for the devices. Right now, there is a Free Healthcare Initiative (FHCI) in Sierra Leone, which provides free, basic healthcare services to pregnant women, lactating mothers, and children under 5. This initiative is funded by other governments (especially the UK department of International Development), the UN, and financial NGOs. Because of this, if we are able to prove the utility of our product in Sierra Leone, we could hopefully get our product to become a part of this initiative as a free, commonplace screening device among all newborns. If we are able to accomplish this, our direct customers would be those funders of the FHCI, who we would create value for by hopefully reducing other medical costs due to the better treatment of individuals with sickle cell anemia.

3. Channels: Our customers will be reached through several different channels. Specifically, our patients will receive the test strips from healthcare workers in healthcare facilities. These healthcare workers and facilities will receive the device through on the ground partners, who will deliver the devices. The on the ground partners will receive the devices from a production partner in the US who will produce the test strip. Finally, each of these units will receive money through our funding partners.

4. Customer Relationships: We will have to maintain different relationships with each of our customer segments. For example, we will have to educate NGOs financing the strips and train healthcare workers administering the test.

5. Revenue Streams: Our customers will be paying for the better treatment of the patient populations they are responsible for. Because sickle cell diagnosis is currently symptom-based and unreliable, healthcare facilities have to spend a lot more money on treating patients for the wrong condition (ex. Malaria, which has similar symptoms), and the side-effects of sickle cell anemia which can be prevented through cheap, penicillin prophylaxis treatments (ex. Pneumonia infections). In this way, by paying for the test strips, our customers will also be getting cost-saving value.

6. Cost Structure: The most important costs in our business model are those attributed with making our test strip, distributing it (transport and employees), and outreach (advertising, education, spreading awareness, and pushing for our test to be included as a standard screening device). Our business will be cost driven, with the goal of creating a low-cost device to ensure maximum utilization.

7. Key Partners: Our key partner currently is World Hope International, who will allow us to learn more about the health system and needs in Sierra Leone. Additionally, we have several key suppliers where we get materials for the test strip. In the future, we will have several additional key partners who will be responsible for mass producing the strip and distributing it.

8. Key Activities: Our value proposition requires several key activities, including test strip production, distribution, and education.

9. Key Resources: Our value proposition requires several key resources, including the physical test strip components (nitrocellulose membrane, antibodies, beads, etc), packaging for the test strip, the intellectual design of the test and its possible patent, and the human resources required to distribute and do outreach with the strip.

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