TED Community » Eric Henry

About Me

United States, Northridge, CA
Current organization:
Medtronic, Inc
Current role:
Director, Software Quality
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  • TEDCred score: +4.50 TEDCred reflects your contribution to the TED community.

  • A reply on Conversation: Why not pay doctors after getting rid of disease...?

    Sep 26 2012: Interesting point, Linda. This approach would certainly require a great deal of extra thinking about what metrics would be used to judge outcomes. Of course insurance companies would likely be the drivers of those metrics in the U.S., so I'm not sure how that would turn out.
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    A comment on Conversation: What does the modern office really look like?

    Sep 26 2012: This totally depends on the nature of the business. For an environment full of introverts (e.g. engineers, scientists), it is important to provide both an area of quiet and privacy as well as areas for collaboration. For purely creative environments, the emphasis should be more on collaborative space, with laptops and mobile devices being king.

    Regardless of the nature of the employees, here are a few suggestions to make things run more smoothly:

    - invest in teleconference and video conference / telepresence capability so that people can work from anywhere and still collaborate.
    - Have an abundance of projectors, white boards, and "smart boards" (allows drawings to be transmitted via telepresence or to a PC)
    - Make PowerPoint uncool (not really an office environment idea, but it will surely increase productivity). If people can't stand at a whiteboard and speak to their topic, they likely don't know it well enough.
    - Lots of little enclaves and meeting areas, where people can meet and collaborate, without disturbing those trying to concentrate.
    - Free drinks and snacks. Don't get cheap with the things that lubricate productivity.
    - Billiards table or other table-top game in a common area for people to take a break from thinking for a few minutes.
    - Outdoor space, with seating and a pleasant view.
    - Sound-cancelling headphones as part of the standard PC setup
    - People need a place to belong and call their own. Even though setting everything up like a Starbucks Coffee Shop or a Google Office seems hip, it is important to have a place to put pictures of your family and have a drawer of snacks.
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    A comment on Conversation: Why not pay doctors after getting rid of disease...?

    Sep 26 2012: Outcome-based payment is very tempting, but it seems impractical to me. Here are a few thoughts:

    - What about doctors treating injuries? Not all injuries can be totally healed.
    - What about incurable diseases?
    - What would motivate a doctor to take on difficult cases, if s/he was only being paid when someone felt better or was cured. Doctors would only be motivated to take on easy-to-solve cases.
    - Since many people in the U.S. are not the direct customer of their physicians (insurance companies are), how much sense does it make to give insurance companies even more control over the decisions made by a physician?

    Great question!
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    A comment on Conversation: What motivates you?

    Sep 24 2012: Simple question, and I thought it was rather shallow at first. The problem is that now I can't seem to develop a coherent answer.

    In the past, I would state and convince myself I was motivated by one thing, but my actions would indicate I was motivated by something else. I am a ball of inconsistency even in this simple area.

    As a result, today I would have to say I am motivated by the desire to be better today than the lazy and often selfish idiot I was yesterday. It's not much more complicated than that, it's day-to-day, and my success rate is spotty, but there you are.

    Great question!
  • A reply on Conversation: Do you support unrestricted Immigration?

    Sep 21 2012: Well, I see more stories of tragedies, but I'm still not seeing any statistical data to support your implication that a large number of kids under the age of 18 are killed by illegal aliens driving drunk with no papers of any kind. In a country of over 300 million people, 5, 50, or even 500 stories would speak to tragedies that must be addressed at an individual or maybe even a local level, but it wouldn't support your statement that seems to encompass something statistically significant on a national level.

    Give me something we could trend to show that a significant percentage of the tens of thousands of people killed each year in driving-related accidents met your criteria.

    I'm not saying you're wrong. You're just tugging on heartstrings, when you will need something more solid to drive the change you desire.
  • A reply on Conversation: What do you think primarily motivates charitable gestures by the very rich?

    Sep 21 2012: John, I took your question pretty seriously until I saw this exchange with Pat. I'm afraid I agree with both Pat and Krisztian in their responses here. People are complex and do things for their own reasons, which cannot typically be boiled down to 3 or 4 broad categories. I'm sure most truly mean to make a difference in the world, while not being irresponsible with their resources.

    Rich people (even the ultra rich) are also typically VERY hard working and carry daily schedules that would likely exhaust most other people. Although there are exceptions to every generalization, in percentage terms, I believe the days of the idle rich reached their peak from Victorian times through about the 1930s. I don't have any data to back up that perception but it's probably about as sound an argument as yours that "the very rich don't work."

    It's a great fantasy to believe that if a person can just get enough wealth, they can just sit back and enjoy it for the rest of their lives, and I'm sure that's what drives the success of lotteries. Unfortunately, watching stock portfolios magically rise, while sitting by the pool 24x7 is indeed just a fantasy.
  • A comment on Conversation: Why doesn't the world pool together and disclose UFO and alien phenomenons?

    Sep 21 2012: Actually, it wouldn't require the entire world to collaborate for this kind of disclosure. Don't aliens ONLY visit the United States? ;-)
  • A reply on Conversation: Do you support unrestricted Immigration?

    Sep 20 2012: Todd, I detect tons of bitterness in your comment, but I would be interested in seeing the data proving your point over the tragic anecdotes.
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    A reply on Conversation: Do you support unrestricted Immigration?

    Sep 20 2012: Jerry, great goal, but see some of my other comments below. Until nations are brought more into equal alignment in terms of economy, rule of law, political stability, etc, sudden liberation of this nature would be catastrophic.

    I hate to sound like an apologist for strict immigration, but the more I think about it the more I believe we should focus on helping others rise within their own national and cultural context before opening the floodgates.
  • A reply on Conversation: Do you support unrestricted Immigration?

    Sep 20 2012: And that's different from now in what way other than scale?
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