Where We Are Investing Now: Our Current View on Health and Happiness Science
Since the initiation of Joyance Partners in 2016, our funds have pivoted forcefully toward the emerging science of health and happiness; our investments are now dominated by companies from those areas. We feel this is a shift dramatically in our and our investors’ interests. Health and happiness science is one of the most profound investment opportunities in decades. We feel it is natural and appropriate to make the most of the transformation of these core human experiences in all our current and upcoming funds.
To restate our fundamental view: Health and happiness exist in a continuum. Greater health unlocks the potential for happiness; absence of health closes off paths toward happiness. Conversely, a happier human has greater potential to be a healthier human. No greater example of this exists than the biome, which shows a clear connection between biology and mood in both directions. Our focus is on emerging science and technology at any point on this continuum.
Beyond this truth, we believe value can be found at any point of development. Toward that end, we should organize our investment around the concept of the Happiness Stack. This has a bit of TCP/IP about it, as well as a bit of Maslow. Happiness science and tech grows from deep roots, developed along broadly applicable pathways until they can emerge in a perfected form to impact individuals and, so, create new market power.
Here is our current view of the Happiness Stack:
Deep science creates a potentiality. That potentiality is realized through applied science. In many cases, data is essential for the applied science or is created as a result of that application. Individual applied science capabilities are then integrated to form effective market solutions (AI tied to sensors tied to biological or neurological signals; VR tied to brain waves tied to AI). These integrated solutions tie to existing, or drive the creation of, new distribution systems to reach customers. The endpoints of those distribution systems are existing or new forms or customer connection. The initial customer connection is enhanced and extended via online and real-world community. This produces a density of data and interaction that makes precise personalization of product and experience possible. Thus, the flow is from deep science breakthroughs toward fully personalized products, all with the impact of delivering some aspect of the health/happiness continuum to an individual human.
While this presents as a stack, we can think of it, in reality, as more like a wheel. Deep science opens new potentialities, some of which bloom into solutions, combinations and products that address real human needs and change individual behavior. Those human changes open new opportunities for change that science can then respond to, setting the cycle off again.
So, as we seek investment opportunity, we should look up and down this stack and determine where we think the greatest activity and value potential might lie. On the face of it, the biggest jump in value will come when the top levels of the stack are energized. But we may realize the best return by getting involved in the right areas at the bottom of the stack and then capturing their rise in value as they ascend the layers. The key is to always be thinking about how deep science gets applied, how applied science gets productized, how individual products blend into solutions, how solutions get to market to find and hold customers, and how solutions generate market incentives to innovate new science.
In my upcoming blog posts, I’ll review the areas we currently feel hold the greatest near-term investment promise.
By Managing Partner Mike Edelhart