Archive for July, 2009

Biotech Disruption Part Deux

July 29th, 2009

I love conversations about ideas worth scaling.  Many of the comments to my BW column on biotech disruption are from industry stalwarts fighting to defend the industry.  Thinking about how biotechnology can help enable a transformed health care system seems worth talking about.

I am not criticizing either the pharmaceutical or biotech industry or any of its companies and executives that work hard every day trying to bring forward life extending and life saving drugs.  I have the utmost respect for the industry having spent nearly my entire career in and around it.  I am suggesting that the current blockbuster industry model may have served its purpose and can be changed by the disruptive potential of biotechnology.  It is this disruptive potential that will enable us to get under the buzzwords of personalized medicine and begin to understand how a new and better health care system can work. Read more

Biotech Disruption

July 27th, 2009

bw_255x5412In my latest Business Week column I make the case that the biotech industry has morphed into Big Pharma.  We need to realize the disruptive potential of biotechnology for personalized medicine if we are going to transform our U.S. health care system.

The national health-care debate is many things to many business interests. To the biotech industry, it seems to be a matter of life and death. Makers of biotech drugs, which are derived by manipulating genetic material in living organisms, insist that their products must be patent-protected from generic “biosimilars” for at least 12 years. That would ensure monopoly prices, which the industry says are required to earn back their big investments in research and development.

To reform the U.S. health-care system, the government shouldn’t be creating a road map to biosimilars, however long the trip. Instead, it should open the floodgate to “biodissimilars” and to the personalized medicine options they will enable.

Continue reading Business Week column here.

Design Vibe

July 20th, 2009

designvibeI got a heavy dose of design vibe last week in NYC.  You know.  Hanging around really smart design thinkers and the places they hang out in hopes that some of it will rub off.  I designed the boondoggle around an invite by Business Week and Smart Design to sit in on an innovation and design discussion hosted by my friend and BIF-5 co-host, Bruce Nussbaum.  Bruce has gotten the design vibe thing longer than the rest of us and has a great new gig at Parson’s.  I needed to go over a few BIF-5 things with Bruce anyway so off to the big apple it was. Read more

Education Rant

July 10th, 2009

sel-ss-02“Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire” W.B. Yeats

Excuse the rant but I am outraged by the state of the U.S. education system.  We have let the pilot light go out and we are failing our youth. It is time to move beyond public policy debates and institutional rugby scrums to try new solutions. What we are doing now isn’t working and far too much of the federal stimulus investment is being spent to sustain the current system.

A report last year from the nonprofit network America’s Promise Alliance showed that 1.2 million students drop out of high school each year. Only about half of the students served by school systems in the nation’s 50 largest cities graduate from high school. The U.S. public education system, especially in the country’s urban centers, must be transformed. Read more

100 Calorie Bite Size Snacks

July 2nd, 2009

images4One of the great things about having the kids around the house this summer is the temporary return of snack food.  But this summer is different; the snacks are all lined up in the cupboard in 100-calorie bite size packages.  As if the packaging alone will ensure portion control and make snacking consistent with our attempts at healthy living.  Of course it only works if you stop with one 100-calorie package, which I seldom do.  While snacking I have been thinking about the idea of bite size packaging and wondering if breaking up big hairy social goals into 100-calorie bite size packages of work tasks would better enable us to harness the power of social media to get more stuff done.   Read more