Health Tech Reads: The Originals by Adam Grant

This week our review was written by Jen Horonjeff who founded Savvy Cooperative- We will have a discussion on Twitter about the book on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at 9:30 PM EST. Please follow Savvy on Twitter!  I am consistently impressed with Jen's intelligence and hard work to work with patients for fair representation in medicine. When I have a question about fair treatment for patients I ask her.

Want to find the chat? If you go to HealthTechReads or click on the Hashtag #htreads you can follow along. If you haven't finished this book a twitter chat can serve as a great preview. Need to get a copy? A great fast option is to get it on Amazon. Want to give this book as a gift? You can offer to give away a copy (not everyone can afford awesome books). Our main mission is to increase reading and great books for those interested in Health Tech. We want to promote women in STEM as well through literacy- knowledge inspires action.  - janae

The Originals: a review from Jen Horonjeff

Adam Grant starts his book, The Originals, with a quote from George Bernard Shaw, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” Grant lays out what it takes to be a trailblazer and challenge the status quo--and it’s not likely what you think. He dispels the assumption that successful entrepreneurs are risk-takers and lone wolves and, in fact, that those who take that approach are ripe to fail. Instead, he takes the reader on a journey through stories and research studies, across time, discipline and geography, that illustrates quite the opposite. Some of the most impactful originals are often those who are generally risk averse, thoughtful about execution and purposely surrounded by diverse perspectives. Grant describes how all of us have the opportunity to recognize good ideas, overcome anxieties and find allies in unlikely places.


I read this book in the summer of 2016 while I was quietly researching what it would take to launch a radical new idea of my own. I didn’t fit the typical entrepreneur stereotype, nor did I have any experience launching a business. I was just a lifelong patient with a chronic illness and a scientific research PhD (the most risk averse breed!). This book gave me the courage to recognize the original in me and inspired me to found what is now Savvy Cooperative, a patient-owned co-op that restores power back to patients by giving them a voice in healthcare innovations. And to make the radical even radical-er, Savvy uses a business model, called platform cooperativism, that lets patients co-own the co-op, have a say in what we do and benefit from equitable profit-sharing back to them. So whether you’re starting your own endeavor or looking to be more original in your current work or relationships, I hope that you will read this book and cultivate your own inner-trailblazer.


  1. Grant notes that “practice makes perfect, but it doesn’t make new.” Where have we seen this in healthcare and what is the impact on innovation?

  2. What fears/barriers exist in healthcare that keep us from innovating?

  3. “Groupthink is the enemy of originality.” What can people do to surround themselves with diverse perspectives?

  4. Originals may have great ideas, but it takes personal stories from users to bring them to life. With so many stakeholders in healthcare, which stories matter?

  5. BONUS: Which people or companies stand out as originals and trailblazers in your mind?

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