By 1986, the biotech industry had taken a firm footing in the minds (and pockets) of the financial community and its to-be-iconic annual gathering, now called the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference (then called Hambrecht & Quist or H&Q), had convened the biotech market makers for the fifth time. The energy was high. Since the 1980 IPO of Genetech, the industry’s iconic poster child, 41 subsequent companies had found their way onto the public stock markets, including companies such as Biogen, Immunex, Amgen, Chiron, and Scios (then known as Cal Bio), among others.

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Another remarkable year enabled by the remarkable. Moments captured, built upon, tested and iterated. Futures built by those who leaped beyond barriers to bring forward the possible. From those who imagine and then stay focused to grind out the stuff of our tomorrows. From those that have “the gift (and grit) of giving.”

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Living, dangerously

December 8, 2015

Humans crave risk, sort of. Danger heightens our senses and races our hearts. When threatened, we come to full and focused attention. All of which are well-honed reflexes built from millennia of natural selection. Those who paid attention survived and those who didn’t, well they didn’t. Our risk perception systems were highly tuned to focus on the “downside,” (i.e., survival) and that remains encoded in us even today.

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The Crucial Question

November 11, 2015

Why, what, how, whom, when, the so called “interrogative” represents a crowning evolutionary achievement. To ponder, toBlog image 3 wonder, to question and then seek to explain sets humans apart. Yet too often our assumptions fill in – when we believe we already know, fail to question, to confirm, and fail to dig deeper.

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On Sale!

October 1, 2015

Few things catch our attention more than discounts. The notion of getting a “good deal” drives a large fraction of consumer purchasing, and as a result, the world’s economy. Just the perception of getting a great price can in fact entice even the most discriminating shopper into buying things for which they have absolutely no need nor real interest. That’s powerful.

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New Gig?

September 3, 2015

As reward driven creatures, the invention of monetary systems may represent the single most transformative moment in history. Beyond food, shelter and family, perhaps nothing drives humans more. As individuals in societies moved beyond simply bartering with each other to employer/employee based relationships, a new type of compensation – one that could not be quantified in specific units had to be invented as well.

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Making Sense

August 3, 2015

We are visual creatures. To help us emphasize this we often use phrases like, “a picture is worth a thousand words” or “seeing is believing.” When we “look” inside ourselves using a functional MRI (fMRI), we can see just how neurologically intensive our visual acuity brain regions are. Even for most of those who are visually impaired, their other senses – hearing, touch and smell – fill the visual void with dynamic spatial maps of what surrounds them. With these neurologic landscapes, we codify our status and activate the memory heuristics from which we elect our next actions.

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In January of 1968, the expected holiday truce between North and South Vietnam was shattered when the North Vietnamese caught the U.S. and South Vietnamese allies off guard in the Tet Offensive, beginning what would prove to be the most expensive and deadliest year of the Vietnam War.

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Got Time?

June 1, 2015

Few things seem to be so quantified, tracked or valued as “time.” Adorned on wrists, perched atop town square bell towers and pulsing on night stands, time surrounds us. We covet controlling it, owning it, and having “our” time. This focus on precision and timeliness is a relatively new invention, but our quest to control time is an old one, and catalyzed the concept of eternity – a timeless existence that people and cultures across the world have long strived toward.

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We see our lives through the lens of our belief systems. We are happy, safe, anxious or mad at any given moment based on how we interpret our conditions as mapped against our expectations. But beyond the emotional, our belief systems also provide the foundation on which we build who we are — both as individuals, couples, teams, companies and communities. “On the tight-wire of shared beliefs, precariously dances the human condition.”

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