“The Life Science Entrepreneur: A Practical Guide to Forming, Financing, Building, and Exiting a Life Science Company“
Author: Jack J. Luchese, BA, MBA – Contact Jack J. Luchese
Chapter 1. The Compelling Idea
The The world still loves a great idea! One of the most important things to remember when forming a business is that you must offer something new and special to the marketplace. Sameness is not sexy, nor does it attract capital, the best management talent, or the best advisors and board members.
The “better mousetrap” concept is always useful to consider when deciding upon any business venture. The life sciences business relies on technology, capital, and highly skilled talent to succeed. The newer, better idea or technology draws a crowd, and the other ideas usually struggle and have to settle for less. However, it is the truly disruptive technologies that often get the most attention and capital.
The word disruptive is often misused to mean anything that presents a positive change or better idea. On the contrary, a disruptive technology is a market/business-model game changer that is generally unexpected. Its introduction strategically and materially impacts the current use of products, service providers, distribution channels, and pricing. This creates a situation that is certainly unwanted by established competitive players in the current market. Truly disruptive technologies are few and far between, and they represent the Holy Grail sought by every entrepreneur. If you have one, you will know it because the world will beat a path to your doorway; if you have to convince everyone you meet that your idea is disruptive, it probably is not. Some examples that we all know of include the Internet, e-mail, the iPhone, Amazon.com, and Facebook. Be careful to wisely and appropriately use the word “disruptive” in your communications so as not to lose credibility with your audience.
I cannot overemphasize the importance of selecting a truly exceptional idea to build your business. However, for that idea to develop into a successful business investment, it must be all of these things:
- Favorably positioned
- Protected by patents and/or trade secrets
- Feasible to develop and commercialize
- Financed by patient third-party investment sources
- Designed to meet the specific needs of a target market that will readily embrace it
The compelling idea can come in many forms. It could be a biomedical discovery that shows a compelling therapeutic pathway to a cure for a major disease. It could be a new system of distribution to a new sales channel or to all existing channels. Or it could be the merging of several great product concepts into one business model that brings synergy and can command a premium price in the marketplace, to name a few. This compelling idea is something you will present thousands of times to customers, employees, investors, agencies, and service providers. Celebrate your idea, simplify it, communicate it, and make it part of everything you do going forward. Yes, of course you will develop new ideas, but it is imperative that your first idea succeeds, because you may not get a chance to fund a second one.
Contact Jack J. Luchese for support in M&A, Licensing, Financing for your company.