20:55

Roadmap 04/11 (click here to expand/collapse)

Below is the Roadmap for select April 2011 website articles.    Please note  the website contains many more articles covering these same topics. For example, pre-game is integral to our program for attracting better R&D investment opportunities.

Provide Predictable Funding for Unpredictable R&D+
(Introduction to Franchise Capital Mgmt.)

Make funding more predictable (From Unpredictable R&D to Predictable Investor Returns)

  Attract and Retain Long-Term Investors

– Make a Market (You Have to See It to Believe It)

  Reinvest Interim Windfalls+

Make R&D success more frequent * (Execution is the Key to Success)

  Get Smarter at Tracking R&D Advancements+ and Transitions+ (Exits)
  Attract Better R&D-centric Investments
  Increase R&D Productivity (Execution is the Key to Success)

* Although it's still unpredictable

As funding agent+ we match investors and investments (owners of intellectual property+). Our role as funding agent (as middleman) is to keep investors happy, thereby ensuring steady funding for investments. We do this by packaging unpredictable R&D investments into an offering that is more attractive for investors (the perpetual fund). We do this by direct mediation into our unpredictable R&D investments (via franchise operations+), to ensure above-market productivity. Above-market R&D productivity is the only reliable means to ensure predictable funding.

Execution is the Key to Success

Summary: 

Presents a summary of over 1,000 pages of website material, on how we make R&D more effective – it’s not cheap.

This is a long article. A .pdf is provided here for your reading comfort.

Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Faith, if it is ever right about anything, is right by accident. Sam Harris (2011). Cited in A Means for Ought from Is? - Michael A. Goldman

Introduction

It’s not interocular+. If I come to you and offer to put in automation to reduce headcount, it’s a fairly straightforward calculation to compare the cost of automation to the savings from reduced headcount. It’s not like that with productivity in unpredictable R&D+. To understand how we intend to increase productivity we must delve into the nature of effectiveness (...more).

There is no master plan to which we all execute. We have a feel for the landscape, but it is one crisscrossed by many overgrown paths leading to many alternate destinations. We don’t pave the path we're on because we don’t know if we’ll ever be back. Our job is to beat a skinny path to a destination, to see if it’s worth the hoe, and only then to come back and pave the path for commercial exploitation.

There are no metrics for our explorations. We don’t know how many paths there are, or how much effort to spend on each path, especially as progress becomes more difficult on a particular path. Difficult paths have led to major breakthroughs in the past, but often they don’t. There are many more false paths than true. Over time we look back on our travels, detect patterns, and formulate theories as to the best places to search (here). Sometimes they help. Often they don’t. We know where we start, our science platform. We know this is fertile ground to be tilled. We just don’t know where it's going to lead until we get there.

Progress is uneven. We see lulls punctuated by intermittent breakthroughs. Breakthroughs go fast: a feeding frenzy. Lulls are long and arduous. Funding agents track the burn rate+ during the lulls and get anxious. What if there are no more breakthroughs to be found? What happened to all the progress and excitement I saw with that last breakthrough? Time is money. Do something!

To speed up our explorations, that is to say, to increase productivity in R&D, we provide recommendations under two broad rubrics: 1) improved decision making, and 2) improved evidence gathering. Evidence gathering is where we achieve the greatest productivity gains, but you can’t get there without first fixing decision making. One bad (funding agent) decision can wipe out years of productivity gains in evidence gathering. Recommendations fall within six headings, tagged for decision making (d), and for evidence gathering (e):

  • formal decision mechanisms (d)
  • improved operational effectiveness in research (e)
  • sense of ownership (d, e)
  • management competencies+ (d)
  • membership+ to an exclusive club (d, e)
  • organizational behavior management (d, e)

These are, for the most part, tactical recommendations. You can pick them up, implement them, and push ahead. They work best as part of our selected strategic direction (e.g., blockbuster definition & focus, commercialization and consumer focus, focus on a scientific competitive edge+, phase one industries+). Do these recommendations well and you allow success to happen. There are no guarantees but compared to alternate funding approaches these will provide interocular improvements.

Recommendations to Improve Effectiveness in Research
Below we provide summary descriptions excerpted from the 2010 World Class R&D Institute website. This represents a condensation of over 1,000 pages of text from the website. Much more background information exists, at your fingertips, for more in–depth readings on each recommendation.

(Click each heading to expand and view its description)
Expand all | Collapse all

It’s not interocular. You look back across these recommendations and may feel empty. How do these recommendations get me to more blockbuster products? I don’t get a sense of ‘do this and out pops a product.’ Where’s the concrete ‘fix’ I can buy to magically increase the number of products coming out the exit door?

Unpredictable R&D takes a promising science platform and creatively exploits it to meet subjective consumer needs. We start with ink on paper (the original science patent) and we end with ink on paper (the commercially-exploitable patent). Everything in-between is applied creativity. Motivations, enthusiasms and drive make this happen. These must well up from within the individual researchers. Our recommendations tap into this well in a way that is deliberate and systematic.

You can’t whip a team into being more creative. You can’t gain greater productivity in unpredictable R&D by doing more of what you’re doing today, or even doing it better. We seek a brand new approach to research, one not tried (or allowed to thrive) in the past. There are plenty of new approaches in the marketplace of ideas (e.g., collaboration, virtualization, meta-analysis of online resources, research ecologies). You have literally millions of researchers globally looking for the next blockbuster product. We need to do better. To make this happen we need to think and act differently toward the challenge at hand.

Pre-game, our shake-out period for new investments, is where each team defines their own unique approach to the marketplace: how they will approach their research, how they will set up and motivate team members, etc. We introduce many new off-the-shelf ingredients, but the recipe is left to the discretion of the chef(s). Execution is the key to success, and we set it up so teams choose from the best ingredients available, blend them together into their own unique recipe, and display their creation to food-critics with very sophisticated palates. We take 100-150 researchers, get them all up-to-speed and excited about a new research pursuit, and keep them pumped even during long lulls. Having great ingredients and an award-winning recipe is fine, but we need the team to come to work and to execute this recipe faithfully, potentially over decades.

Conclusion

More importantly we do all the above for all our teams. Assume for the moment success in unpredictable R&D is 1/3 nature, 1/3 nurture and 1/3 random.5 If we get a fair shake, our success rate can be as high as 50% (1/6 nature + ~1/3 nurture + 1/6 random). This is a best case scenario, that is to say, if we work really hard in each investment we can achieve these ratios.6 We have laid out an approach to achieve the best case scenario for our investments over and over, and we do this without a need for ‘the personal touch’ of the funding agent. Our approach gives us the best answer across a wide variety of personalities, team dynamics and levels of maturity in the science platforms. Success is unpredictable, but as far as ‘nature’ and ‘random’ permit, we will have maximized success across all our investments.

Our recommendations are not interocular, but they're the best you can do in dealing with unpredictable R&D. This is not a mechanical activity (our recipe is conceptual not physical). Don’t waste your time trying to find a ‘fix’ that doesn’t wrestle with messy, unpredictable and self-interested human behaviors and motivations. You don’t get effectiveness in unpredictable R&D the same way you do in a factory (...more). Design for piecemeal work and you’ll get a bunch of piecemeal work, but no blockbuster products. Our approach leaves creativity unscathed, but pointed in the direction of commercial success. We take this on faith, but on a faith backed up by an in–depth analysis of what went wrong with today’s industrial R&D.


Editor's Picks for April, 2011

  • 1. That is to say, focus on the customer, bodies of evidence+, alternate hypotheses, weaknesses in quantitative approaches, etc.
  • 2. For example, we address concerns of our old curmudgeon who refuses to recognize the results of earlier studies, because they don’t fit into his or her conception of the problem.
  • 3. Single (quicky) studies are sufficient while we’re still beating out the skinny path.
  • 4. Which hinges upon commercial success (here).
  • 5. Random refers to exogenous events that make it impractical to continue exploitation of the science platform, for example, death of one or a few key players from chemical exposures from the science platform.
  • 6. Recall this is not ‘shots on goal+’ – you only get these ratios by applying significant amounts of attention to each investment. The more investments, the less attention each investment receives, the poorer the success rate. Lack of attention can easily give a much lower yield for nature, e.g. 1/100).
Further Reading
Reba Tull
Offline
Joined: 03/30/2011
You demand too much thought on the part of investors

This presents a nice, elegant, logically consistent framework. Logic isn't the missing ingredient for success. It's pizazz. You need to be able to stand up in front of battle-scarred money managers and dazzle them with the brilliance of this here-to-fore undiscovered investment opportunity, one in which they stand to quickly make obscene profits. Remember these investment brokers live for their annual commissions, and these had better be in the six figures or don't waste their time.

It may be that the concept of unpredictable R&D+ is just too complex for most investors to take in. Ideas like exclusive membership+, organizational behavior management+, and management competencies+ will ring as academic drivel or 'noise' to investors. Why do you think 'shots on goal+' found such ready acceptance in the board rooms of America? It doesn't overtax the brain.

Don't talk to me about aesthetics or tradition. Talk to me about what sells and what's good right now. And what the American people like, is to think the underdog still has a chance. George Steinbrenner