After the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) international convention last week, I spent the weekend in a small waterfront New England town. As I relaxed, I (literally) ran across a visual that made me think of the biotechnology industry and the discussions at BIO about the best way to build a therapeutic biotech company. I saw large stretches of old stone walls, which are formed from rocks of all shapes and sizes. For these walls, choosing the proper next stone is not based on the uniformity of the stones but on how well they fit with the surrounding pieces.
I continued thinking about this theme over the weekend as I ran by other walls and fences, which serve different purposes. The right type of fence is dictated by the purpose of the fence and the materials on hand and a parallel can be drawn to the resources (e.g. technology, funding) needed to build a business.
When you think about building a therapeutic biotech company, what does it look like? The company that we have built seems more in line with building a stone fence than a brick wall. We’ve built an organization with the resources available to us, yet they aren’t what may be anticipated to be the well shaped, clean lined building blocks that others use. Recognizing how we’re built is important in understanding what materials are a good fit going forward, particularly as we evaluate potential partners and/or funding sources. Our finished product will require the skill of the craftsman who selects and positions the stone to make it work with the larger whole.