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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Biotech's Back Bullshit

Are Cargo Cult leaders honest, liars or bullshitters?

What is the motivation behind the "Biotech's Back in Seattle" forum.

In order for a Cargo Cult to survive you must convince people that the airplanes will arrive. The tribesmen are easy to convince. In the case of Seattle there are plenty of people around with the proper credentials to don a white lab coat and convince investors that there is a company engaged in research. You can find them working at Starbucks or the grocery store or even at the few remaining biotech firms up here. The investors are the real problem.

I want to point out the difference between what a tribesman thinks is in the Cargo planes and what an investor thinks. The tribesmen think that it will be great science that leads to lifelong prosperity making useful drugs. Investors think it's cash.

What does it take to get investor money? It takes bullshit. Investors in biotech have been notoriously susceptible to bullshit. That is because they are bullshitters too. They know bullshit when they see it. And when they think it's being done to the proper standards, they invest. Just check out the portfolio of the FrontPoint hedgefund.

Imagine the potential losses you could incur by running an investment firm with nothing but Seattle Biotechnology companies. I know what you're going to say, "you have to diversify". The point of this horrific financial scenario is to put yourself in the shoes of the target audience at Biotechs Back in Seattle. How much of what they are going to say will be bullshit and how much will be an honest assessment of the state of Seattle Biotech? Just look at the title of the forum! It's bullshit!

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