A guest post by Elliot Hershberg on the four forces reshaping biotech startups
Interesting post. Thanks for writing it, Elliot. Here are a couple of thoughts on your piece. It'd be great to learn from your reactions to them!
So, it seems that we want more founder-led biotechs that can grow quickly to massive outcomes burning relatively low capital, ideally as independent, enduring companies. Using this as a summary for what we're after:
- As much as there have been great progress in several dimensions (as you've described very well), I guess the ability to grow quickly and cheaply is a key piece that is still missing... For instance, I'd love to see stats on the costs of building a biotech over the years. Is it getting cheaper and cheaper? Have the time-to-"success" been compressed?
- Incidentally, I guess the two critical points that enable tech companies' quick and cheap growth are: (1) basically-global, almost-instant, not-strictly-gated networks (i.e. the internet, but also app stores, OSes, etc) and (2) quasi-zero marginal costs. From this point of view, it seems that biotech has a looong way still...
- Maybe an even less optimistic take is that we are not going to get much "techbio" until there are significant breakthroughs in life sciences that shift the key challenges in biotech from tech/science risk (will this solution even work?) to "merely" market risk (can we find and serve customers at some viable level of profitability?).
I do hope my comments don't sound too pessimistic. I am actually optimistic about the century of biology! Keep up the great work.
PS: Quick suggestion, instead of "deep integration", what do you think of "deep interdependence"? Isn't it more descriptive?
Is this the full article? Feels like it got cut off - or is there a part 2 coming?