Guest Post: An Exciting Innovation and MVP – The “Uber Sensei” App


Mark's Note: You might remember Dr. Muda from his “Lean healthcare comedy” video or the PEX Network interview that I posted with him back in 2011 (or you might have forgotten him). He reached out recently about his new product development efforts… and, like any good entrepreneur (or bad), he's persistent… so I posted this… you're welcome.

Hi, Dr. Les Muda here. It's been a while. As the world's “leading” Lean Healthcare standup comedian (visit my website), I've been very busy (believe it or not). I'm still hoping for an invitation to do my act at the upcoming Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit… but they haven't said yes yet.

I've been working with Uber… not to improve their culture (yikes, what an uber mess). I've been working with them to disrupt another stale industry… not just taxi drivers, but Lean Sensei (or is it “senseis?”).

I was glad that Mark Graban wrote about the term “sensei” recently. Sure, you shouldn't call yourself “sensei.” That's why I'm not “the world's first Lean Healthcare sensei.” I'm humble, even for a doctor.

It's hard to find somebody you'd readily call a “sensei.” Or is it??

Uber isn't yet launching this product, since they are following “Lean Startup” principles. They've asked me to do some mockups to ask the market, “Would you use this?”

They've answered the one Lean Startup / Customer Development question of “Can we build it?” Now we're tying to find out “Should we build it?”

Here's how UberSensei works. It's way easier than putting out long RFPs…

Enter Your Current State and Destination

UberSensei Enter DestinationLean is a journey, right? Uber takes you on your journey in many ways, whether it's a car to take you across down to a concert or an expert to guide you down your value stream.

You first enter your gemba location and a target condition or destination, as shown here:


Note how the app helpfully shows your recent searches and destinations to make it easy to repeatedly call in the same sensei.

Choose a Sensei Level

Not all problems and trips on your journey require the same level of sensei expertise and experience. Just as Uber gives you options like UberX, Uber Select, and Uber SUV, UberSensei will offer different assistance at different price points.

For example, our base level is UberSenseiX, a service that includes Green Belts of all types and certifications.

In the future, we hope to offer an even-cheaper “UberSenseiPool” which will allow you and nearby organizations to buddy up and share the cost of a sensei if you're headed to the same destination. But, that's not part of our “Minimum Viable Product,” as I'm sure you can understand.

You'll see qualified Green Belts on the map as they are often out there circling your organization just waiting to help:

You'll see the price and how far away your UberSenseiX is.

Request one and you'll quickly get a sensei automatically assigned to you. You can see their name, photos, license plate, certification, and customer rating:

We assure quality by removing sensei with poor client ratings. You've never been more protected from “hacks and quacks,” as Dr. W. Edwards Deming called them.

You'll be notified when your Belt arrives so you can greet them warmly efficiently and get right to work.

Splurge on an UberGuru

If you want to spend more and have a roomier or more luxurious improvement journey, you can use our “Uber Sensei Premium” levels of service.

If you want a Black Belt, that, of course, costs more. There are usually fewer available, so you might wait a bit longer (but good things come to those who wait, right?). We all hate the “waste of waiting,” but our app shows you exactly how long you'll wait.

UberSenseiXL is usually our “Black Belt” level, although you might occasionally find a Master Black Belt or the rare “Six Sigma Black Belt Ultra.”

We are most excited that can offer our most premium and exclusive service to the most discerning clients… something we call “UberGuru.”

Because they are usually flying to you from Japan, the typical arrival time will be shown in the app in terms of days, not minutes. But, you can track their progress through our handy app. You can even tap a button to send them an in-flight drink.

When Done, Rate Your Sensei

Again, quality is very important to us. At the end of your engagement, your consulting fee (including meals and other expenses) is clearly displayed in the app, along with the opportunity to rate your sensei:

What Do You Think?

Please let me know what you think about this planned service. What's your Voice of the Customer?

What other features would you want? Do you want to be an early adopter?

Would you list your consulting services through our app?

Oh, and please be sure to check out my schedule of stand-up dates. Maybe I'm coming to your area. Is there an app for that?

Dr. Muda… out! Mic drop!


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Les Muda, MD FACHE FART FACP helps heal patients with the healing power of laughter – that and a large toolbox full of orthopedic surgery instruments. After graduating from Hartford Medical School, the Ohio College of Clown Arts, and the improv studies program at the Second City (Kankakee extension campus), Dr. Muda has practiced for the last 30 years within the Kaizen Continuente health system near Las Vegas. Dr. Muda occasionally performs as an opening act at numerous casino show rooms and as a featured performer at the Funny Bone in Boulder City, NV. Dr. Muda asks that you not make cheap jokes about an orthopedic surgeon performing at the Funny Bone. He has heard it before. His time is valuable. Graced with a soaring intellect and world-class humility, Dr. Muda has never once forgotten a joke, let he still uses checklists to prevent surgical errors and to prepare for his standup act, including his upcoming 4-city tour of Manitoba. He was host of a TV pilot called “So You Think You Can Operate?” that might still be picked up as a mid-season replacement on NBC and he is also pitching the show “Hospital Nightmares” to Gordon Ramsay and FOX. Dr. Muda has four unflinching Toyota-based principles in his act and his life: perfect quality continuos improvement and respect for humor.


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