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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.

Why Blockbusters?

Summary: 

We insist on blockbuster potential as our measure of success. It’s unambiguous and eliminates many otherwise bothersome details.

Blockbusters are an unambiguous measure. You know when you have them. You know whether a science platform has the potential to achieve them. You have great latitude in how to value them when they arrive.

Blockbusters are interocular+. They hit you between the eyes. You don’t need quantitative analyses to detect them. NPV+ and IIR need not apply.

Blockbusters help overcome many common investor behaviors. Sunk costs are easily dismissed. Regrets+ are easily managed. Churn+ is reduced or eliminated.

Blockbusters focus research efforts. Interesting science isn’t easily conflated with blockbuster science. Blockbuster focus narrows down alternate future paths. Alternate competing hypotheses+ are sharpened. We focus our entire research team on what matters most: running experiments that allow us to ask even sharper questions about the variables in our commercial equation+. Which chemical route gives the lowest materials cost? Can we design products attractive to different customer segments, derived from the same base physical product? Can we construct a longer term commercial equation, giving away if necessary early products in order to gain the loyalty of customers for more profitable follow-on products? Blockbuster focus takes research and makes it commercial-oriented.

Blockbuster means better research. We don’t take shortcuts hoping someone else will later find a way to kill the research and cover up the shortcut. We don’t ignore commercialization+ or marketing needs, intending to pass off those worries to someone else by selling pre-commercial research. We see clearly there is not one correct answer. At each of the thousands of interrelated steps taken on the route to commercialization we tack and turn through to the finished product. Blockbuster success only comes by paying close attention to all the myriad of product details, from keeping an eye on the finish line during the design of that next research study.

Blockbuster results keep the entire team of one mind: R&D, branding, industrial design+, marketing and sales. Everyone monitors and revises the same commercial equation. The variables in this equation may settle down over time, but mostly they are in flux: raw material prices, competition, government changes in regulations, consumer expectations, and technology breakthroughs. Variables are interrelated, and changes to any one get reflected in tomorrow’s work plans across all team members. There is no master project plan to which all team members march. It’s more like a master chef adding and tweaking ingredients to a new recipe, looking for a unique taste to be used as the signature item for the new menu. Only we have many master chefs focused on what it takes to keep the output of the equation at the blockbuster threshold, even if it means doing a 180-degree about-face at any point during the process.

Blockbusters generate excitement. We command much higher multiples from investors simply by virtue of a blockbuster focus. We generate passion across the entire effort, in both R&D and commercial, by going for the gold. We generate intense interest on the part of new investors and owners of intellectual property+. Think about any industry. Big movie producers don’t get known for their also-rans. The same is true for new products in the financial industry, the consulting industry or any industry built on the passions and excitement of the staff. This train’s bound for glory and I want to be on it!


Editor's Picks for April, 2011

Further Reading
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Reba Tull
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Joined: 03/30/2011
Focus on Sub-blockbusters, Take Blockbusters as Windfalls

Blockbuster+ results are by definition exceptional, perhaps occurring once in a decade or more. We can't build a viable business model on blockbusters. Why not instead come up with a model that increases sub-blockbuster+ successes? Science progresses by many small steps punctuated by very infrequent breakthroughs (here). I need to continuously make money in small steps in order to be around long enough to enjoy the infrequent breakthroughs.

In the pharmaceutical industry the holy grail is to predict diseases before they happen, so individuals will purchase our durgs to forestall onset of the disease (Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Old Age). The earlier we can predict the disease (and show our drug slows or prevents the disease) the more drugs we can sell to individuals. Pulling off this feat requires 10-15 years of clinical trials. We'll need to find individuals with the predisposition toward that disease and show these individuals fare better 10-15 years down the line as a result of taking our drug.

What this means is we need many sub-blockbuster products in the meantime in order to fund this holy grail pursuit over the long term.