Week 39 – When in Doubt, Just Shoot Some Hoops
Hope everyone is doing well and is safe and healthy. I really cannot believe how fast this week went by. I know I say that same thing often but I especially feel like that this week. I planned my week on Sunday night like I typically do and before I knew it, here I am writing this blog. Tina usually asks me during the day on Thursday what the blog’s topic will be. Most of the time, I do not have a topic until I start writing. Even if I knew what I was going to write about, I don’t tell her until she proofreads it (it’s one of the things I do to give her a hard time – something I can get away with after 29 years of marriage – so far). To add to this, a week that goes by so quickly can make it challenging to pick a topic. Not that there is not enough there to update you on in any given week, but sometimes it’s tough to really bring that to life in the blog. I know there are much bigger problems in the world but this is my small problem since I feel indebted to the readers to make sure you understand all different aspects of what we do.
As I was driving home yesterday, I was still struggling with selecting a topic. I backed the car down the driveway and realized that Tina was still out running errands. I then happened to look over at our weathered basketball hoop. It was a gift from Tina’s mom over 27 years ago which got a lot of use when the kids were young. I have always loved
basketball, from playing for fun to watching the kids play throughout their youth and serving as their coach. Over the past 10 years, it has not seen much use even after we bought a new net for it right before we stopped using it. A major reason is due to the time it takes to run the business. I know this sounds like an excuse (which maybe it is), but after putting in long days which usually includes time on the weekends, it’s a challenge to do some of the stuff that I enjoy. It was a nice temperature outside and I realized that maybe shooting a few baskets might remove the writer’s block I was experiencing. It would also be good for my soul too so it would be a benefit on two fronts. Of course, my neighbors probably thought I was either locked out of the house or losing it since that hoop has not seen any action for some time.
I realized two key observations as I started to shoot the basketball. First was that shooting the basketball felt so awkward like anything you haven’t done in a while. Secondly, I am getting old and didn’t have that pep in my step that I had 10+ years ago. I guess those were no-brainer observations. After making some easier shots, I began to try to make shots that were more challenging to push my limit. I missed a ton of shots and some were not even close, but I did not give up until I made some of the tough ones. I then started to think about the business and thought that maybe my stubbornness to make some tough baskets sort of represents the determination we have to make BioSurfaces succeed even when things are not going well. Tina and I have always told our kids that there are a lot of life lessons learned from sports and here I am thinking about how this applies to me. We give out a lot of advice as parents and sometimes need to listen to our advice. I also realized that making sure to take advantage of a simple moment has a benefit on your mental health which will keep you moving forward. I ended up shooting around for about an hour and needless to say, it really helped to clear my head.
I really enjoyed this week because I was able to spend a decent amount of time in the lab, more than I have in a long time. I was able to keep working on the business-related aspects of the company that focused on research/manufacturing planning, modifying our technology pitch deck, discussing future product marketing and sales plans related to our cell culture plate technology and organizing upcoming website changes (a big shout out to Maddie Graves for taking images of our various technologies). In the lab, I was able to develop some new applications for our cell culture plates. I also was able to start evaluating some new potential polymers. Our research team was also focused on expanding our applications in the cell culture plates as well as performing initial studies related to some new programs (more to come on that in future blogs). Additionally, the research team continues to evaluate how the body’s cells interact with our Bio-Spun™ materials, some of which are drug-loaded and others that have different surface properties (i.e. surface charge). We are also looking at different ways to use our scaffolds to grow various cells that could be used for areas like drug-screening or how different agents like viruses interact with these cells. On the manufacturing side, our team continues to finalize many of the documents required to successfully produce and test our cell culture insert plates in preparation for selling these plates. Additionally, the team continues to develop the plans for making new electrospinning units for research and manufacturing purposes. While this may seem simple, there is a ton of work that goes into this. As I always say, we are so proud of the team!
Please continue to stay vigilant and keep social distancing, wear a mask where social distancing is not possible to protect yourself and those around you and frequently wash your hands. Doing the simple things gets us back to some sense of normal. The scientific evidence is overwhelming that masks and social distancing have a positive effect on controlling the virus. Please keep supporting your local businesses as they continue to work through these challenging times. We continue to see many businesses that have been open for a long time now closing which really hits home. My heart really feels for these folks. Many other businesses are nowhere near out of the woods yet and won’t be for a long time. If you can, grab some take-out or visit their outdoor seating for restaurants or get an online membership for a local gym. Every little bit helps! Americans are a tough, innovative bunch and we will get through this together!