Biotechnology 101 Slides for Singularity University

Biotechnology 101 for Singularity University

As many of you are aware, I recently gave a talk at the very prestigious Singularity University.  This is a program co-funded by NASA and Google to study how exponential technologies can solve the global challenges that afflict 1 billion people or more.

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Biotechnology 101 for Singularity University SLIDES

The 2011 Graduate Studies Program or GSP11 as it is known among the Singularitans, is a 12 week program where 80 of the brightest and most accomplished individuals from over 35 countries have assembled at NASA AMES to learn the exponential technologies in the following areas

Technology Tracks AI & Robotics
Networks & Computing Systems
Biotechnology & Bioinformatics
Medicine & Neuroscience
Resource Tracks Futures Studies & Forecasting
Policy, Law & Ethics
Finance & Entrepreneurship
Application Tracks Energy & Ecological Systems
Space & Physical Sciences

I was lucky enough to be invited to give them the basics of Biotechnology and Genomics and for those of you that are interested, my slides are posted above.

Measuring ROI For Social Media Campaigns In The Life Sciences

In my last post, Why Life Sciences Companies Must Embrace Social Media Now One of the comments was about ROI for social media.  I wanted to share with you a few of thoughts on this very important topic.

ROI  for any type of campaign needs to be defined at the beginning during the planning stage.  You should ask yourself  these two questions –

What are my Goals for this campaign?

Traditional Goals Include Awareness, Lead Generation, Branding and Revenue Generation.  While these all remain true for Biotechnology Marketing 2.0 I would also add Customer Engagement as a goal if you are planning a social media campaign.

How will 1 measure the success of this campaign ?

When you have generated XX new leads? XX Hot Leads? XX Qualified Leads? When XX number of 100 people recognize my brand?

Again these all remain true for Biotechnology Marketing 2.0 but the use of social media requires a whole new set of metrics which can be used to measure customer engagement

  • How often was your message or post liked, shared or re-tweeted. Did people comment or share their opinion? This is a very important indicator of the value of the content you produced.
  • Click through rates to a link you shared – how many people viewed it?
  • Follow through on a call to action – how many people downloaded XXX or visited your website for more information? This is often a very good indicator that both your message was strong and your so was your incentive to the customer – you are providing them with something of value to them
  • Engagement with your website or content – how long did they spend on it, did they go to other links from your page and do they return regularly?
  • How many people are subscribing to your updates, i.e.  opting in to hear your messages
  • An interesting one I like, is how you are ‘Listed’ on twitter – this gives a nice indication of how your followers view you. If your goal is to be perceived as the ‘leading supplier of technology for cancer research’ how many times are you listed with names that are associated with your target market – ‘cancer research’?
  • What are people saying about your company/campaign or product? Is the feedback mostly positive? If its negative – its just giving you the golden opportunity to improve – very very valuable feedback.
  • How often are people recommending or endorsing your products or services to their friends and colleagues?  Sometimes they don’t only recommend the product they will go on to sell it for you – listing a whole host of benefits that you yourself may not have even thought of!
  • If you ask a question to your subscribers – how many respond to you? this is often a good indicator of your following actively ‘listening’ to you

As you can see the metrics for measuring success are very different when using social media – but with careful planning and setting the right goals – you can be very successful at engaging your customers

If the holy grail of marketing is getting the right message to the right person at the right time then the holy grail of sales is simple – REVENUE!

I would like to share with you a success story of a company who used social media to experiment with their  marketing reach, motivate their employees and generate revenue simultaneously.  Unfortunately this company needs to remain anonymous for now.

Company R decided to hold a promotion – To reduce the price of one of their products by 50% and only use social media to tell people about it.  In addition  the management set a challenge for the 20 employees of the company.  They were each given their own unique promotion code and asked to propagate it using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn or any other social network. The person whose promotion code was used the most would win a prize.  Typically this product sold approximately 75 units per day.

The promotion ran for 3 days only and once it started, for three days there was a frenzy on Twitter and Facebook.  Each of the employees posted their promo code, asked their friends and networks share it with their friends and networks.  After 3 days the net result of this experiment was the following

  • 20 employees completely engaged in a competition
  • Approximately 26,000 retweets and Shares of the promo codes on twitter and Facebook
  • Approximately 11400 hits to the website with about 65% of them from New IPs
  • 3000 Units of product sold in 3 days
  • 1 winning employee whose promo code was used 478 times
  • Total cost of implementing the campaign $0

I loved this experiment because it is an excellent example of crowd sourcing, employee engagement, customer engagement, creating buzz in the market utilizing new media and revenue generation.

I will let you do the maths to work out the ROI on this one 🙂

Paraplegic Man Walks Using Bionic Technology

Today at SingularityU the power that technology has to improve human life was demonstrated through a touching and inspirational tech demonstration.

A Spin off from Berkeley – Berkeley Bionics demonstrated how their product the eLEGS could give mobility to a paraplegic man.  The young man who is only 24 years old suffered from a severe spinal injury as a result of a motorcycle accident.    He has no feeling or motion  below the waist.  Many of these types of injuries happen to young people in their 20s and in an age of technology – its heartbreaking to hear the words you will never walk/dance/run/skate again.

Berkeley Bionics’ innovation, the eLEGS allow him to walk using crutches and a series of sensors and robotics.  The eLEGs exoskeleton is a lightweight structure can be worn all day (battery lasts for over 6 hours) and can carry the weight of about 220lbs.

As the CEO finished describing the technology, in walked the young man – it was an incredible show of bravery and hope which touched the hearts and minds of everyone in the room

What The Hell is SingularityU Anyway?

This week I am experiencing one of the most mind bending, eye opening, future looking weeks of my life. I am indulging the technology enthusiast and the geeky side of me by attending the Executive Program at Singularity University.

For those of you not familiar with the concept of the Singularity let me start by explaining what it is.  To understand the Singularity concept we must first understand the principle of Moores Law.

Gordon Moore is a co founder of the chip maker Intel.  40 years ago he predicted the following

The number of transistors incorporated in a chip will approximately double every 24 months.”

This prediction has held true for computer technology and explains the rapid and exponential pace of the computer industry – their increasing power, memory, speed, functionality and the rapidly decreasing costs in a relatively short time frame.  It is thought that this trend will continue in an exponential manner.

Moores law has also applied to a number of technologies in other industries, for example semiconductors, camera pixels and microarrays or DNA chips

For more information on Moores law click HERE

Ok back to the Singularity. What happens if innovations in numerous technology disciplines occur exponentially at a rate faster than Moore’s law, to the point where they can supersede human intelligence and understanding?  This is the principle behind the Singularity.  The Singularity is hypothetical futuristic event thought to occur when disruptive technology innovations develop so fast that they cause radical and unpredictable changes to the future.  It will involve cross pollination of disciplines such as

  • Artificial intelligence and robotics
  • Networks and computing systems
  • Nanotechnology
  • Biotechnology and bioinformatics
  • Medicine and neuroscience
  • Energy and environmental systems

Singularity University in Silicon Valley is the first multidisciplinary university of its kind aiming to give participants a macro view across all disciplines, an understanding of the applications of the technology and to inspire and foster entrepreneurship and innovation.

It is hoped that the convergence of two or more on these disciplines may serve to solve large global issues that affect 1 billion or more people. Examples of such problems include housing, green energy, water, health care, education.

Cross pollination of technologies from different industries have historically been involved in  driving the genomics revolution.  The problem of viewing the all the genes in the genome simultaneously wasn’t solved by biology.  It was first solved by technology advancements from the semiconductor industry.  The convergence of semiconductor technology, engineering and chemistry is what gave us the ability to view all the genes in the genome on the first microarrays commercialized by Affymetrix.

Another example is the effect that imaging and computing technologies have had on medicine and health care.  The ability to see inside the human body at high resolution without invasive surgical procedures has rapidly advanced the field of medical diagnostics, prognostics and therapeutic interventions.

This week at Singularity University I am learning all of the disciplines above from some of the thought leaders in these areas.  I’m here because as biotechnology and genomics start to play a major role in clinical and medical practice, I would like to have a view of emerging technologies from other disciplines which may be key to solving some of the critical problems in genomic medicine.

The next few posts I will share with you some of the incredible things I have learned and witnessed from some of the most inspirational people in the world.

Watch this space…..

For more info – check THIS out from the founder