Requiring just four hours of sleep a night, Feiger typically has energy to burn. So while most of his classmates were grinding through their studies at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, he’d wake up at 4 a.m., listen at double speed to the recorded lectures he’d missed, then go to work at First Round Capital, where he moonlighted as a portfolio consultant.
The then 24-year old, who had studied health policy and technology at Penn before earning a master’s in operations management from Cambridge, was fascinated by wearable technology like Google Glass, the eye-glass computer invented by Google X. He felt that a head-mounted display could play a role in improving healthcare by allowing doctors to access a patient’s medical records without interrupting an examination.
Feiger found the opportunity so compelling that after his first year of med school, he quit his VC job and put his studies on hold so he could start a company with two like-minded serial entrepreneurs, Ryan Junee and Yan-David Erlich. Their startup, called Wearable Intelligence, launched in June 2013 with $1.3m in seed funding from First Round Capital and others. But as with Feiger’s career plans, the company took an early detour, shifting its focus from hospitals to factories and abandoning Google Glass in favor of making software for industrial workers.
Now called Parsable, the San Francisco-based company is trying to fundamentally change the way factory work gets done by creating a digital record of human activity and seamlessly melding it into automated manufacturing systems to help companies improve productivity, quality and safety. It’s the 21st-century version of Frederick Winslow Taylor’s scientific management theory, which sought to improve efficiency by methodically timing workers’ motions to find the best way to perform a task. Like Taylor, who wanted to make humans work like another cog on the assembly line, Parsable aims to make people as precise as machines, says Feiger, a member of the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30. “Our vision was to turn the human into an IoT [internet of things] device.”
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