How the entrepreneur, philanthropist and inventor Bill Erbey applies his philosophy to machines and medicine.
It’s rare to meet a serial entrepreneur who founded six multibillion-dollar publicly-listed companies, who applies mathematical and statistical concepts to his business projects. When questioned about their success, others choose happenstance over conspiracy; for William Erbey, it’s the application of math and statistics each time.
“For the last 50 years I have applied those concepts to my businesses wherever possible-my goal is to devise products that provide greater value to the customer, that can be produced at a lower cost, so I can compete on price if need be,” said Bill. In his case those projects almost always involved a technological solution grounded in math and statistics.
Bill has invented a patent-pending control system for generators and electric motors. In simple terms, it reduces the heat generated by half, and increases the engine’s efficiency by about 8%. The Kira motor technology will radically enhance the modern electric motor by increasing its driving range, which will significantly increase electric vehicles mass adoption.
A recent investment close to Bill’s heart is in the futuristic area of medical devices, and more specifically, in the medical technology associated with kidney failure.
“Of course, there’s obviously math and analytics involved here, but not the same type. What are the three biggest medical spends? – Kidney, cancer and cardiac. Do you realise that medical treatment involving kidneys in the United States will represent a $1.4 trillion spend by 2030, so it’s a massive issue”, he said in a recent RealVision interview.
What interested Bill specifically was John Erbey’s idea, changing the whole way of thinking about how one deals with kidney problems.
In essence most of today’s solutions are all about pushing fluid through the kidney, or “renal preload”. “Today, we try and put more fluid through the system, and we use drugs as well”.
For Bill it was the way the fledgling company is looking at the whole issue from outside the box. “The reason I invested in the company, besides him being my nephew” he smiled “was the fact that his solution was so elegant. “Why didn’t anybody think of looking at the problem in that way before? Why do you push fluid through the kidney-why wouldn’t you pull fluid through it instead? It is a very elegant and simple solution to a major problem”.
According to the Strataca Systems’ official website, the company believes ‘expensive medical problems require effective solutions’. Few problems are as large or as expensive as acute decompensated heart failure, which leads over 1 million hospital admissions in the USA each year. The primary reason for hospitalisation is congestion-fluid overload-which leads to shortness of breath’. Since the kidneys are responsible for fluid management, as renal function is compromised, the morbidity, mortality and costs for these patients rise. The company is developing patented technology to improve urine output and decrease congestion.
The problem that is being addressed is hugely significant in numbers alone; between eight and 10% of the world’s population suffers from cardiorenal syndrome-that is, kidney failure. In real terms that’s 12 Americans dying each day.
What separates Bill from many investors, is that he really is interested in the minute detail of how the product or service works. He’s a man who really cares about making people’s lives better – it’s his key to success. He wanted to know exactly how the medical device worked and what was the thought behind it. And he’s therefore able to explain the details.
“By pushing liquid through the kidney, you put more pressure on it-the kidney itself is in a semirigid sack, so it actually starts deteriorating the kidney function. So it was interesting when my nephew explained to me exactly how they deal with the problem today. It was like my understanding of the Internet”. Today, the cure for this ‘congestion’, rather like the cure for the increased Internet congestion, is again trying to push more stuff through the system. The kidney pushes back and basically nothing happens. John spent four months thinking about why nobody had ever thought about the problem in his way. So what he does is use negative pressure to pull the urine out of the kidney. It’s already through the animal testing stage and is now going through human testing”.
And like his other projects combining investment with innovation, machinery, conservation, Internet streaming, Bill believes that this will ultimately help people to not have to go on dialysis.
“It’s a horrible thing and certainly significantly truncates one’s life expectancy. As I said it’s a $1.4 trillion market which is amazing. And that figure represents the US alone. Globally it’s probably closer to $3 trillion. So it’s a massive market, and he has a very strong patented protection around the idea”.
It’s no wonder that they call Bill Erbey a Renaissance man; looking at his myriad of inventions and investments, he certainly seems to exemplify the expression “the man with the Midas touch”. Watch this space.
Choosing a Reliable Roofing Contractor: 10 Questions to Ask
The durability and safeguarding of your home are heavily reliant on the state of your roof. Whether you’re confronted with repairs, a full replacement, or the installation of a new roof, the selection of the perfect roofing contractor holds paramount significance. Determining whether you’re selecting the best option among the abundance of choices available can be difficult. In order to help you with this crucial decision-making process, we have painstakingly put together a list of 10 crucial inquiries to ask potential roofing contractors.
1. Are You Licensed and Insured?
Verify the contractor’s eligibility to operate in your locality by scrutinizing their credentials, and be sure to demand evidence of insurance. The significance of this step lies in its role as a protective shield, guarding you against potential liability should any accidents or property damage transpire during the course of the project.
2. How Long Have You Been in Business?
Experience matters in the roofing industry. Contractors with a long history of successful projects are often more reliable and capable of handling various roofing issues.
3. Can You Provide References?
In the process of choosing a contractor, it is imperative to request references from their previous clients. A trustworthy contractor will not only furnish you with a roster of contented customers but will also supply their contact details, affording you the opportunity to reach out directly and delve into their firsthand experiences. This direct feedback will provide invaluable insights into the contractor’s performance, professionalism, and dependability, empowering you to make a well-informed decision.
4. What is Your Specialty?
Roofing contractors may specialize in specific types of roofing materials or projects. Make sure they have experience with the type of work you need, whether it’s asphalt shingles, metal roofing, or commercial roofing.
5. Do You Offer Written Estimates?
To foster clarity and preempt potential misunderstandings, it is strongly advised to refrain from solely relying on verbal estimates. Instead, it is prudent to seek a thorough, written estimate that encompasses all critical facets of the project. This written estimate should include a complete analysis of the necessary materials, an estimate of labor expenses, and a clearly defined schedule outlining the project’s key checkpoints and the anticipated completion date. By employing this tactic, you can provide the groundwork for good communication and guarantee that all stakeholders are aware of the needs and parameters of the project.
6. What Warranty Do You Offer?
Inquire about the warranties they offer for both materials and workmanship when choosing a contractor. An honest and reliable contractor will always stand behind their work and provide thorough warranties that shield you from any potential flaws or problems that might develop later. These guarantees not only give you peace of mind, but they also show how dedicated the contractor is to producing top-notch outcomes and assuring your pleasure throughout the entire process. So, don’t hesitate to ask about the warranties and make an informed decision that gives you added confidence in your choice of contractor.
7. Do You Have Proper Permits and Documentation?
Ensuring that the contractor you hire will manage all the necessary permits and paperwork on your behalf is of utmost importance. This proactive approach not only conserves your valuable time and effort but also serves as a protective barrier against potential legal complications or entanglements that could surface down the road. By entrusting these responsibilities to a dependable contractor, you can enjoy peace of mind and dedicate your focus to other aspects of your project or business with unwavering confidence.
8. What Safety Measures Do You Have in Place?
Ensuring safety should always be a paramount concern when undertaking any roofing project. It is crucial to inquire about the contractor’s safety practices, which encompass not only the equipment they utilize but also the extent of their training. By doing so, you can help guarantee the well-being and security of all individuals involved in the project, fostering an environment that prioritizes safety above all else.
9. How Will You Handle Unexpected Issues?
When embarking on roofing projects, it’s essential to acknowledge that they can occasionally unveil unforeseen issues that were not initially apparent. Engaging in a candid conversation with your contractor regarding their contingency plans for addressing these unexpected challenges is of paramount importance. Furthermore, it is prudent to inquire about the potential extra expenses that might arise due to these unanticipated circumstances. Establishing a transparent understanding of how the contractor intends to manage such situations contributes to a more streamlined and prosperous roofing project.
10. What Is Your Timeline for Completion?
To maintain a seamless workflow, it’s essential to gain a thorough grasp of the project’s schedule. Delays can be a source of significant frustration, which underscores the importance of having a precise understanding of what lies ahead. This knowledge empowers you to plan and allocate resources with precision. Being well-informed about the project’s timeline enables you to anticipate and address any possible challenges or obstacles that may emerge, ultimately contributing to a more successful and efficient execution.
*Bonus Tip: Check Online Reviews and Ratings
Prior to reaching a final decision, it’s advisable to conduct an online review and rating check for the roofing contractor. Platforms such as Yelp, Google, and the Better Business Bureau can furnish valuable insights regarding their reputation and levels of customer satisfaction.
Selecting the appropriate roofing contractor is a momentous decision that holds the potential to influence the long-term structural soundness and overall value of your home. By posing these 10 critical questions and undertaking comprehensive research, you’ll be fully equipped to choose a dependable roofing contractor capable of delivering top-notch workmanship and providing you with peace of mind throughout your roofing project.
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