Sunday, July 12, 2009

Shut-downs, RunMyErrand, Healthcare IT cluster: Three recent Globe columns

I've been remiss about posting my last three Globe columns. Here they are:

1. On what happens to start-ups when they become shut-downs

    It’s suddenly a buyer’s market for all kinds of assets belonging to once-promising companies, from office furniture to patents to laboratory equipment.

    “We’re seeing anywhere from a doubling to a tripling in volume, compared to this time last year,’’ says Myron Kassaraba, a Belmont-based partner at Pluritas LLC, a firm that helps sell patents and other intellectual property. Barry Kallander, a Bolton consultant who helps wind down companies that have run out of cash, predicts: “We still may see the deluge.’’

Gregg Favalora, founder of Actuality Systems, mentioned in the article, wrote this blog post after it ran, and this one just before.

2. On RunMyErrand, a Cambridge company started by a former IBM programmer, Leah Busque

    Last June, Leah Busque quit her job at IBM. It was the first job she’d had since graduating from college in 2001, and she was a software developer on the fast track there.

    But ever since she and her husband had run out of dog food a few months earlier, Busque had become obsessed with a start-up idea: creating a network of “runners’’ around Boston who would take care of errands for busy people for a small fee.

    “I was just passionate about the idea,’’ Busque says, “and so even though the economy was already in a downturn, I was really excited to take the leap.’’

Here's Busque's blog entry elaborating on the piece.

3. On the Massachusetts people and companies that are involved with helping Obama reach his goal of a digital medical record for every American (and also spending $20 billion in stimulus money)

    Almost 50 years ago, a Harvard-educated president gave voice to a lofty ambition: to send men to the moon before the end of the 1960s. A collection of brainiacs at MIT and Raytheon designed and built the electronic navigation system that safely guided six Apollo spacecraft to the lunar surface.

    Earlier this year, another Harvard-educated president laid down another big challenge: By 2014, every American will have an electronic medical record, with the goal of cutting the cost - and improving the quality - of healthcare.

    While having your healthcare history digitized may not be as inspirational as seeing Neil Armstrong step off that ladder, it’s likely to affect your life much more directly over the next decade.

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