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Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Manual for Discovery

How arrogant must I be to propose that I could help anyone discover the truth about anything? But of course, this is just a thought experiment. I'm doing it on a blog that I assume no one reads. So I can do it. I can invent a biotechnology company that does succeed.

We are talking about business, of which I know nothing. But since biotechs are run by people who know nothing of science then I will put together a business plan. I will assume the executive and administrative are simple. I will search for people with the proper qualifications and looks. There will be no board since this company is run on my own vast fortune. Therefore, the executive staff will answer to me. They will all be paid a cut below the scientific staff. A new paradigm for sure. Our mission will be to create a company that has a platform of discovery that can be sold to others. That is our product, a platform for discovery.

Scientific progress is not done by hiring smart people to figure out that which you do not know. You are the ones who start your business. You must hire smart people to follow your plan. If your plan is to tell other people to discover a cure for cancer and the only thing you give them to go on is RNAi technology or monoclonal antibody technology, you are going to fail. If my company is hired, we will run a scenario, start to finish, of your plan. How do you go from a basic concept of using technology X to cure disease Y?

But we are here to help. You will be writing a manual for The Company with our help. Like any act of writing, you can't just start with a pencil and a piece of paper. We'll give you a template. When any employee in the corporate world is told to evaluate themselves, they are given a template. What were your goals? Did you acheive all of your goals? What could you have done better? So our template would help you evaluate your company discovery platform. Fill in your introduction and mission statement. Lay out your justifications and methods. Explain the kind of people who you need and what the scope of their work will be. Timelines? Fill in the data where we have provided the space in our template. All you will need will be the answers to the questions.

It's easier for the board and the execs and all of the potential partners to not have such a template. But the high rate of failure has provided a good reason to rethink the old business model. So step one is to acknowledge that you need a platform of discovery. It needs to be put into writing in a specific way.

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