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Week 14 – Catching Up on Some Summer Reading

Hope all is going well. I know you are probably asking yourself: 1) is this the announcement? and 2) why is the blog this week when I told you it would be next week on 7/30? To answer the first part of that question, this is not the news announcement I was talking about two weeks ago. One part of the news that I am excited to tell you about is coming next Monday 7/26. It has taken this long to get everyone onboard to approve the release of the news. It is always simpler when it is just BioSurfaces releasing information, but this is par for the course when you have a large company as a partner. Unfortunately, the second part of the news we wanted to share has to be delayed (which is out of our control). Our partner would like to keep this research under wraps for now. I can tell you at a high level that we are beginning to work with a world-leader in medical devices to explore using our Bio-Spun™ materials in place of the current woven polyester materials that have been used for over 60 years. We are very excited about both programs as well as the other programs we have ongoing here at the company. We are working on so many different applications for the technology, from medical devices and benchtop testing tools to consumer products. We look forward to finally releasing some of our news next week. Fingers crossed that there are no other hold ups.

The second part of the original question about why I decided to release the blog this week stemmed from the first part of the question. I am/was frustrated that I was telling you that a release was coming soon and people were asking if/when the news was going to be released so I figured I would tell you in the best way I know how to and that is this blog. It gives me a forum to give you the reason why things have been delayed instead of posting a few words on our social media.

That takes us into this week’s blog. Like many of you, I am trying to take a few days off to try to recharge the batteries a little. Being a small business owner, it is hard to take long stretches off (a week or two is long) since you like to be around to make sure projects are progressing or to allow other team members to take time off as well. The few times I’ve been able to take a week or two off was really nice. Most small business owners know what I’m talking about. During my time off, I try to do some reading outside of typical science articles. It is a slow process since I am not an avid reader but I have come to enjoy it. This past week, I finished a great book called The Formula – The Five Laws Behind Why We Succeed or Fail by Albert-László Barabási (thanks to Vincent Ling for the recommendation). Dr. Barabási is the Robert Gray Dodge Professor of Network Science at Northeastern University, which is about 20 miles east of where BioSurfaces is located. I was not sure about this book since I thought it could be too scientific for my pleasure reading, but I was wrong. Do not let the title of the book or his academic title put you off from reading this. His writing style is so pleasant to read.

To give you a high-level overview of the book, Dr. Barabási and his team look to use data in different areas such as golf, Nobel Prize winners, wine tasting judges, etc. over a period of time to determine how and why certain people are successful. Additionally, Dr. Barabási looks to determine if this specific set of data can be used as predictor of past or future success. Using this information, Dr. Barabási and his team developed 5 laws that can be used to predict success or failure. This is not to say this book dumps numbers on you. It does not do that at all. I highly recommend this book.

There were a couple of specific areas that really got me thinking about our life at BioSurfaces. The first is directly related to our technology and our work and how to bring it into the mainstream. When we’ve talked to different companies since our inception, it always felt like we’ve had to prove ourselves. Even when they would see the great data we were generating with our Bio-Spun™ materials, they continued to reference that they were okay with using technology that had been used for 60 years, even if it was subpar. They did not appear willing to give it a chance and were good using the status quo. This quote made me think that a lot of companies follow this philosophy:

“But when we crowdsource our choices, are we investing our time and money in superior items, or are we simply flocking toward the flock?”

I think many companies are simply flocking toward the flock, not willing to challenge the status quo. We are seeing some companies now starting to consider superior technology. It continues to be a battle but we are seeing some progress. We are waiting for the company/partner that bucks the trend, sees the data and understands the promise of what our technology can do.

The last area that stuck with me was this quote:

“With persistence success can come at any time”

We have had this belief ever since we’ve started the company. We’ve been very fortunate to be in business for over 18 years. I do think it is due to our persistence as a team to move our technology forward. We believe that it can make a difference in so many areas. We will continue to live this thought.

Be on the lookout next Monday 7/26 for our news (not barring any unforeseen delays) and we’ll see you back for our next blog on August 6th (yes I will stick to this date - hopefully).



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