Week 19- Time to Take a Breath

Hope all is going well. For our US readers, hope you enjoyed the long Labor Day weekend. It’s been a while but I wanted to say thanks to all of you that continue to read this blog as well as our #FactualFriday posts. I had a conversation with someone this past week and he made a nice comment about the blog. It is amazing when I am speaking with different people and they’ll tell me that they either enjoy the posts, begin to ask questions about what was posted or start a discussion off of the post. The support we have received is truly humbling. That you take time out of your busy week to hear what we have to say is very appreciated. We are not a typical blog where we spew out some fluffy spin that is full of roses and rainbows about the company. You can get that from many other companies. Nothing infuriates me more when I’ll see a blog or report about a company and they’ll use terms that seem positive but usually are not. For example, I saw one company that touted how they got their technology back from another company and it was going to be great (2 different press releases on the same topic). Within a few weeks, they issued another using action verbs like “leveraging” and “repositioning” which are usually code words for layoffs and technology issues. Sadly, I was correct about my observation when they announced a week later that they were downsizing the company.


Some weeks it is a challenge to write the blog because there are so many things I would like to be able to tell you, from different things going on with regards to the business itself and some really cool research data or manufacturing process we’ve developed to when we’ve had a challenging week in one way or another. As I always promised when first started writing this blog, I would be as open and transparent with you as possible. I try not to sugar-coat my feelings. Tina will say that I can sometimes come off negative in tone, but there are times that are tough and I want to convey that instead of what I just described above with that company. They making losing your job sound like fun, which we all know it isn’t. I also need to stay within the bounds of not disclosing different areas that I have agreed to. That is a big challenge. Sometimes you feel great like when you’ve solved a really complex puzzle (or Wordle by today’s standards) but are not allowed to tell anyone. Bottom line is I will try to give you as much real insight as possible.


The next several weeks are shaping up to be very busy on the business and science fronts. Some of the research programs we have been working on with our partners are starting to wind down and the decision to move forward will need to be made by them. I am happy to say that the data we’ve been generating has been positive so the decisions to move forward will likely be a result of that company’s priorities and not because the data is an issue. Sometimes I “wish” that was the case since you can understand it more if the science is bad and it wouldn’t make sense for the company to move forward. We tend to see that the data is good and the company cannot get out of its own way in moving something forward due to bureaucracy, siloed groups or re-organization. I was sent this great 18-minute video (https://youtu.be/Rp4RCIfX66I) of why small companies such as ours work faster, more aggressively and more efficiently than larger companies. It is an outstanding look at why large companies tend to have issues like what I just described and why they should look to operate like we do (except with more revenue). I highly recommend this video because it really describes all of the roadblocks we regularly face. This is something we are going to try to avoid as we continue to grow.


Over the past several days, members of the team are starting to come into my office with ideas that they want to look at related to the programs we are working on. We sometimes get so buried on deliverables for the programs that we barely have time to really think about the next steps. It has been so nice to have the team be able to get their heads slightly above the water and begin to think of what they want to tackle in the near future. I have a few programs of my own that I want to start diving into as well. Unfortunately, we need to take care of what brings in revenue first even when it’s not the most exciting thing we could be working on. This also applies to the business side as well. The team is excited about some upcoming programs that we are in the process of finalizing that will really grow the business. We can’t wait to provide some additional information in the coming weeks. We have also begun to look again at different funding mechanisms to move some of the products we have further along such as government grants and contracts. Success rate for getting grants and contracts is fairly low (10-20%), but the upside is that if you are successful in securing one, there is no ownership given up in the company (non-equity funding).


Next blog will focus on extending some information about one of our development programs that has now concluded. It will be great to give you some background about it and provide some data. Please check out our next #FactualFriday on September 23rd. We’ll see you back here on September 30th.


Matt