A Market for Health Literacy quickly achieves social and economic impact.

Reductionism is how we promote science to non scientists. And also how we present opportunity to investors. After all a pitch deck, a commercialization plan, a valuation, a business model: all are simplifications that make innovation easier to understand and risk easier to accept.

A handy tool of reductionism is the CSF: critical success factor. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by the many ways our venture could fail, we focus instead on a few that increase the probability of success. Do we know what our CSFs are?

Reductionism itself is certainly one. By virtue of integrated modeling, simulation, game mechanics, and visualization, we think we’ve come up with powerful technology to handle reductionism efficiently. Consumers become health literate with Humaginarium because we make it fun and easy for them.

Two other CSFs are speed and scale. They mean we must:

  • Make things really fast
  • Offer many different things to a very diverse audience

Pondering these CSFs changes the role of Humaginarium. We’ve been seeing ourselves as product developers; we are pivoting into market makers.

Why? Because product developers can’t make things fast enough, with enough variety, and for enough people, to satisfy customer demand. They are relatively slow and specialized, like a tool maker that comes out with one new tool every so often; relying on it to fire up customers. This is cottage industry. A bad idea.

On the other hand, a market maker is fast and comprehensive. By making a Market for Health Literacy we (along with many other organizations and individuals) can offer a wide range of products and services, all with the common denominator of nudging consumers to wellness.

As the market maker we define standards and protocols for the marketplace. We set the bar high for things like quality and security. And we unleash the creativity and prowess of the market to fulfill our mission.

Market making somewhat follows the examples of Ebay and Amazon, Facebook and Reddit, Wikipedia and the App Store; it doesn’t follow analogs like WebMD or Lumocity. A Market for Health Literacy achieves social and economic impact of great magnitude, far greater than any product development model is likely to attain, in a relatively short time.

This paradigm shift suggests another CSF: reliability (so important in anything to do with health and science). That one’s for another discussion.


Scientific entertainment. Variation on Jeune Homme nu assis au bord de la mer, by Jean-Hippolyte Flandrin,

Author: Robert S. Becker, Phd

Founder and CEO of Humaginarium LLC

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