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Category Archives: Thoughts from beam®

A Modern Approach to Data Transfer and Security for Insurance Enrollment

By | Thoughts from beam® | No Comments

In most cases, B2B data transfer solutions are bloated, insecure, and lacking in prompt feedback. This is especially true in the insurance industry. At Beam®, we have concentrated on solving these issues to the benefit of both our partners and our members. In the healthcare world, a primary example of the existing B2B data transfer landscape is the enrollment and maintenance file format version 5010. Because businesses love arbitrary numbers and acronyms, this is typically called an 834 file. What is an 834? This file communicates health insurance enrollment between companies and government entities, as dictated by HIPAA, and further…

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Why Beam® is Making Dental Benefits Better

By | Insurance, Thoughts from beam® | No Comments

One of the most common questions I get when doing an interview or introducing Beam® dental to a new person is ‘how the heck did you get into dental benefits?’ Fair question. There is nothing in my background, nor the backgrounds of our co-founders, that suggests that we would be the perfect people to bring a disruptive idea to the dental industry. In fact, our high level CV looks extremely typical for a tech startup: 3 young males who met in engineering school and started building things together when we got bored with classes. However, our story diverges quickly from…

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How Having, and Articulating, Core Values Attracts the Right People to Your Startup

By | Thoughts from beam® | 2 Comments

When my co-founders and I came together in 2012 to found Beam around an idea to use sensors and mobile technology to usher in the era of data-driven dentistry, we connected around our mutual interest in hardware startups and the future of medicine. We never ‘vetted’ each other or interviewed each other. In fact, we could have never explained how we managed to work together so well, beyond the obvious complementary skill sets and our existing friendship in engineering school. When we completed our Series A raise, Drive Capital for the first time made us aware of the importance of…

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Creating Experience For The All New Beam Brush

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In the past year, we have seen a huge shift in how the tech industry, investors, and the public perceive, and act upon, hardware products.  In large part, this shift has been led by the impressive growth of wearables, which contain the popular FitBit, Jawbone UP, and now the Apple Watch and are inherently health products. In addition, top acquirers like Google (Boston Dynamics, Nest) and Facebook (Oculus Rift) have made aggressive moves in robotics, drones, and the internet of things.  Perhaps the two coolest companies on the planet right now are Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Tesla Motors. Beam has…

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Google CEO’s Crazy Toothbrush Test

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A couple weeks ago, a headline from Inc. caught my attention: Why Google’s CEO Only Buys Companies That Pass His Crazy Toothbrush Test. Larry Page talking about toothbrushes? Count me in. The post starts by noting that Larry does not subscribe to many of the classic finance driven metrics when looking at buying a company; they then reveal the ‘toothbrush test’: So what is it that Larry Page is really looking for, if not sales or proven performance, in a company when Google is considering an acquisition? Page will ask, “Is this something you will use once or twice per day, and…

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The Case for the Mass Market Hardware Device

By | Thoughts from beam® | One Comment

I recently overhead a phone conversation between two venture capitalists who were comparing Google and Samsung, specifically their newest hardware sales numbers.  The key difference between Google’s rising market share in this category versus Samsung’s stagnation was, as one VC put it, ‘because Samsung wants to sell you hardware. Google wants you to help deepen their user base and ecosystem.’ This technique gives Google the flexibility to craft an experience and a suite of products not concerned with maximizing the off the shelf margin, but instead on thinking in terms of the lifetime value of a customer. This perfectly underscores…

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