Trilogy Tidings
June 2010
in this issue

     I talked about Due Diligence last year in these pages, but I've found a reason to talk about it again.  You could claim that this redux topic is self-serving, since due diligence is a significant part of our practice; that claim would be spot on.  But I really am contributing something new - not the content but a different way to deliver the message.

    Then there's the "I word", Innovation.   It's everyone's prescription for economic growth, wealth creation, and general nirvana.  A survey organization concludes that drug and device firms don't stack up well on the I-measure.  I respond.

    Finally, where would you rather be right now?  Check out some recommendations of the best places to live or do business in the U.S. 
    Happy Summer!
Change Ahead
A New Way to Look at Due Diligence 

Due DiligenceLast October I pointed you to my brief white paper entitled "Get Better at Due Diligence: 10 Tips for Improving Your Due Diligence Projects".  (All the MARCOM experts suggest titles that say things like "10 tips" or "25 secrets" or "4 dangers", so I took their advice.)  Actually it was rather well received.

I'm a stickler for messaging, and last month I stumbled upon a new presentation tool called Prezi, which is the latest tool (or maybe not) to replace or augment Microsoft's Powerpoint.  I found the demos and accolades intriguing, so I tried it using the aforementioned white paper as the source material.  The result of my efforts, after about 2 hours of learning and doing, can be found here.

     I won't share my opinion of this new tool.  I would much rather hear yours.  Please have a look and spend two minutes sharing your impressions in an email or phone call.  I'm not asking you to critique the content of my message, just the means of delivery.
Do Pharma & MedTech Companies Come Up Short on Innovation? 

Due DiligenceWell, I don't know.  (Sorry I can't hit you with a grand conclusion.)  But I carefully read a recent report based upon a survey of "over eight thousand consumers and business customers" of the rated companies, the report and survey resulting from a collaboration between Strategos and wRatings.  Innovation was loosely defined as "delivering new-to-the-world benefits to end-customers ".  The researchers found that the average innovation scores of the top 10 pharmaceutical and medical device companies (of which only one was a medical device company) was about 46, whereas the averages of the top 10 for the food and beverage industry and the consumer electronics industry were about 76 and 84, respectively.  (By the way, the top 20 included six medical device firms.)

     That's kind of interesting with regard to pharma, as I've always believed that industry was not very productive or innovative when measured by ROI in R&D, partly (but not totally) because they have a a high bar to surmount.  But medical devices not innovative?  That seems counterintuitive.   Then I discovered several problems with the survey after thoroughly reading the article and communicating with one of its sponsors.

     The researchers measured "innovation" by weighted ratings of seven attributes: usefulness, quality, simplicity, coolness, uniqueness, variety and competence.  Well, I guess I could buy into several of those.  But coolness?  Okay, that could be one problem.  But the more significant deficiency, in my view, is characterization of the survey respondents; all we know is that they are some undefined mix of "consumers and business customers" of the rated companies.  What can consumers, i.e. patients, be expected to know about the degree of innovation of a product, let alone its producer?  Should we not ask physicians, nurses, buyers, other suppliers, even insurers in particular?  Certainly not consumers of healthcare services.  They are more likely to judge medical innovation based upon the "coolness" of a handheld device in the ER or a TV commercial sponsored by a supplier or hospital system.

     So, do pharma and medtech companies come up short on innovation?  I don't know, but this reported survey does not shed sufficient light on the issue.
Where to next? 
USAWhat's the next destination for your home or business?  To support your decision all you have to do is consult one of the many sources that rank places to live or places to site a business.  I know, I don't put much stock in them either.  But our local business rag published the findings of a survey conducted by Portfolio.com/bizjournals that's worth a look.  Not just because it ranks our own location in the Triangle of North Carolina as offering the best quality of life in America - good decision to relocate here, Joe - but because of the clever way it reports the data.
     Check out the article here, and be sure to click on the " interactive chart" link.  That takes you to a series of pages that rank the chosen 67 metro areas on 20 measures of goodness.  It's a neat way to succinctly summarize the data you're most interested in.  Is it the ultimate reference on the subject?  Maybe not, but it's fun to compare where you are to where you might like to be.
Resources from our Archives 
     Check out our Reading Room to view my published articles, presentations and white papers on a variety of topics.
     And, you can examine an archive of my prior newsletters (since February 2007).
What does Trilogy do? 
     Trilogy Associates facilitates business growth and renewal through commercialization of new products, providing the following services:
  • Opportunity assessment
  • Business planning and enterprise growth strategies
  • New-product conceptualization, commercialization and marketing
  • Market research and competitive assessment
  • Business development and partnering
  • Market and technological due diligence
  • Assessment of the therapeutic and diagnostic potential of novel technologies
  • Design of efficient and effective development strategies for early-stage biomedical products
  • Business and technical writing/publishing

     Inquiries to establish whether and how we might support your business initiatives are always welcome.  Contact us.

Contact Information
ContactInfoJoseph J. Kalinowski, Principal
LinkedIn Profile: www.linkedin.com/in/trilogy