Thrilling Three 2016

December 22, 2016

2016 will be recorded as the year of the “surprise” – a year that illustrated more than any in recent memory our inability to predict the outcome of near-term events, a real failure to move beyond “big data” into clear and precise “insights.” To not just “know the numbers” but to truly understand what data trends and population sentiments are “actually telling us.”

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Prove It

December 6, 2016

Proof is an elusive thing. As we witness exponential increases in information exposure, our ability to decipher fact from fiction has become exponentially more difficult as well.

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“Turn Offs”

October 13, 2016

What is sleep and why is it needed? In medical textbooks, sleep is generally defined as “a reversible behavioral state of perceptual disengagement from, and unresponsiveness to, the environment.” A state entered into by all animals, all the way down to lizards (and perhaps beyond). But why? Although much has been associated with the consequences of sleep (good and bad) the jury is still out on the biological nature of its requirement. But its evolutionary persistence – coupled with even the lethality of extreme deprivation – help to underscore its importance.

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Open

August 8, 2016

“Home is where our heart is” or so we say. Where we live, where we are from – who is part of our group and who is not – has deep and durable evolutionary and psychological roots. Along with food and clothing, shelter completes the base of Maslow’s hierarchal pyramid of human needs.

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What do online ordering and option-to-acquire B2B transactions have in common? Perhaps, more than you may think. From shoes to technologies, the right-to-return mechanism is a powerful incentive that has defined and optimized commercial transactions for centuries.

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Back to the Future

February 16, 2016

We are obsessed with the future. Many explanations are offered for this, but most boil down to our general anxiety about the present. This tendency has some advantages and our “future obsession” may be, in fact, one of the key evolutionary advances that has propelled humans forward. By worrying and wondering, we seek to “see” and in so doing imagine paths that could enable our future.

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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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