I am writing this on a break from packing to attend the HLTH show. While I have made a few forays outside of my home and donned my bubble boy suit to interact with the occasional work colleague, this is the real deal. Starting tomorrow I’ll be wading into the throng of digital health has-beens, it-people, and wannabes. It’s going to be weird to engage with all of these humans without a mute button, a fake background and an eyebrow-enhancing filter. As the saying goes, this could be heaven or this could be hell
It seems that approximately everybody I’ve ever known is planning to show up at HLTH this year, making it the first full bore coming out party since 2020. Lordy, I’m excited and worried. I’m thrilled to see friends and meet new ones. I’m delighted to meet my new Canary colleagues in actual person. And I’m scared as hell that we are all going to be swimming in each other’s bodily fluid-filled meeting rooms, exhibit halls and party sites.
While sitting all day on Zoom has its own challenges, it has been a Godsend in many ways. Many of us have been able to dodge the COVID monster and tend to our pets while wearing fuzzy slippers all day long.
On the other hand, I almost forget what 3-dimensional life looks like. I used to love going to conferences because I definitely do derive energy from the social scene and general hub-bub. But I can only imagine the weirdness – the half hugs will definitely result in some hilarious body collisions; the tentative handshakes will hopefully deliver some really awkward Miss Mary Mack like moments. I can’t wait to watch that part.
Someone should have thought to make masking a requirement and, rather than put colored ribbons on badges, pass out category-specific personalized masks to make it easier to recognize people. VCs can all have badges that look like dollar bills. Startup CEOs can have a repeating AI pattern. I think that a design contest would have been an excellent addition to this mix.
I’m looking forward to surveying the scene and then, hopefully, to leaving it germ-free. What are the chances? I’m wondering if the casino is offering odds on this bet? Win or lose, I am pretty pumped to get to the craps tables, as they are the closest thing to the last three years investment environment that I can imagine. Note: I have written on the similarities between Vegas and Venture before.
And then, Monday, back to Zoom Life. I have created a Zoom bingo card for after HLTH so I can continue gambling with my dog while in my fuzzy slippers. Enjoy and see you in Vegas, baby.