Hello World! Allow us to introduce ourselves — We are Savvy Cooperative, and by “we” we mean you too! You see, Savvy is a cooperative (or co-op), which means its users own the platform, and anybody and everybody can use Savvy (and we hope you do!).
Savvy’s goal is to crowdsource healthcare solutions. What does that mean? We think that the people who utilize health care — either themselves or as they help a loved one navigate it — are the experts of their experiences and can offer unique insights about how and what new healthcare solutions could improve their lives.
No one knows better than a patient what it feels like to live with a certain condition, sit in a waiting room, make literally (ok, not literally) a million phone calls back and forth between insurance companies and your pharmacy, or start taking a new medication, only to find the side effects make you feel worse.
So at Savvy, we provide a way for people to share their unique expertise through an online platform that serves as a virtual bulletin board for patients and loved ones to find out about opportunities to share their experiences. It might be a survey to better understand patient preferences in choosing a doctor, or a focus group to understand what it’s like to care for someone with Parkinson’s, or an invitation to test out a new on demand pharmacy app that delivers your prescription via drone (Could that exist, please?). These things can seem like brilliant ideas to the person who thought it up, but maybe it’s not what a consumer actually wants or needs (Ok, nevermind, we don’t need an Rx drone).
That’s what brings us to Savvy Cooperative. We want to ensure that what we provide through our online platform adds value to the consumer. And we think the best way to be patient-driven is to be patient-owned. As a cooperative, we give our users the chance to become owners, which gives each user-owner an equal vote in the decisions we make (ie. no one’s voice is more important, democracy!).
Not only do user-owners get a say in decisions, but get to share in the profits (cha-ching!). Companies like Uber, Airbnb and Twitter are also platforms that promote the “sharing economy” — but share of what to whom? Their purpose is to connect people, which they do, but they and their shareholders are the only ones sharing in the profit.
Savvy chose a new business model: platform cooperativism. Imagine Uber owned by the drivers or an Airbnb where those who rent their places owned the company (They exist! Check out other cool platform co-ops here). Or how about if Twitter were owned by its users? Well, that dream may become a reality!
So as Savvy moves forward, we hope that our users will help us steer this ship. We also have the best and brightest helping us navigate this exciting new platform cooperative world. So we’ll throw it to Jason Wiener, our rockstar co-op lawyer, to close it out:
We are living through a renaissance of distributed and equitable ownership. To see Savvy Cooperative launch on the same day Twitter shareholders consider studying a conversion to user ownership is exciting. It shows us that innovation and value can indeed be generated by, for and of contributors. The future will be in platform ownership.
Please join the movement of user ownership at https://savvy.coop!
Originally published at medium.com on May 22, 2017.