Hey, I'm Dan! I invest in startups at Madrona and write the DL, a weekly newsletter about tech in the Pacific Northwest

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Haven Shuts Down

Three years ago, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase teamed up to launch Haven, a joint venture to lower healthcare costs through technology solutions. Here’s what happened:

  • No one really knew what they were going to do, but all the big health care stocks dropped in anticipation of a new competitor
  • In 2019, Haven hired Atul Gawande (famous surgeon, author of Being Mortal) as CEO
  • It looked like their primary product was going to be Starfield, an app to help patients interact more frequently with primary care physicians
  • Over the next year, the Starfield launch went very poorly, and the board could not agree on what Haven should work on next
  • Now they are shutting it down, and each of the companies is pursuing its own healthcare initiatives independently


Moral of the story: Just focus on what you’re building, and don’t worry about what Amazon (or another competitor) is announcing! If an investor asks you if you’re worried about competitor XYZ, just tell them it validates your market opportunity, why you’re better, and move on.

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