Wednesday, May 10, 2006

This blog has moved

In case no one noticed, I am now using Wordpress for my Blog

Monday, January 30, 2006

The future of medicine

Pharmacogenomics might finally be making its mark. Even if this drug does not pass trials, it is just a sign of the times.

read more | digg story

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Moved to WordPress

For the few who do read this blog, I have moved to WordPress, partly cause I wanted my own domain and partly cause I wanted some of the additional features that WP provides and partly just cause I could.

For future posting, please go to http://mndoci.com

If you subscribe to the feedburner feed, no changes will be required. That feed is at http://feeds.feedburner.com/mndoci

I will be modifying and customizing the new page over time (my command of php is a little limited)

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Science magazine achievement of the year

This has been reported ad nauseum in the blogosphere, so I will add to the list.  I am glad that Science chose Evolution as its achievement for 2005.  The Chimp sequence is great, but the SNP project and the sequence of the 1918 flu pandemic virus are much more interesting. And despite the misgivings of Bill Joy and Ray Kurzweil (subscription required) about the flu virus, science needs to understand disease and other phenomena.  This is just the start.  Hopefully the years to come will allow us to learn a lot more about our evolutionary history.

Science's Breakthrough of the Year: Watching evolution in action | Science Blog


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Sunday, December 25, 2005

Moving

I am in the process of moving my blog to wordpress and my own site. Watch this space

I have also shut off comments for now while I try and get things moved over




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Friday, December 23, 2005

Geoffrey Moore, strategy and business models

In the December issue of Harvard Business Review, Geoffrey Moore has an article entitled  Strategy and the Stronger Hand where he talks about two distinct models of businesses.   While I generally agree with some of what Geoffrey has to say in this article, it  brought to mind another set of articles by Chris Anderson at Wired, where he talks about "The Long Tail".  In Geoffrey's view there are two kinds of company: those with a complex systems model (IBM comes to mind) and those with a volume model, e.g. Dell.  The rest of the article focuses on the differences in the value chain for each type of business and the potential pitfalls of one business model merging with the other.  In "The Long Tail" fit into this scenario, Chris talks about the many niche markets that can be very profitable.  Where does this fit into the Moore article?  Well it does not fit in directly, since Chris talks more about companies that fit the volume model.  But it got me thinking about the smaller niche companies that fit the "complex systems" model.  Companies that do not do billion dollar deals but form part of a complex system in the Moore model.  Does the success of such a company depend on finding the right alliances so that it can be part of a complete solution?  Is there a place for a smaller specialized company to be highly profitable on its own?  My opinion is that in todays market, such a company can fill the following two roles: 
  • A disruptive role, where the company throws a wrench into the entire fabric of the value chain that Moore describes.  Under this model for the parts of the process that the company fills the customer will be willing to pay a premium for the product.  The end-to-end solution provider then has two choices (1) to either understand that for a particular niche they can't provide the solution or (2) work with the disruptive force to ensure that the customer has the best user experience.  This would be the ideal situation for the niche company, but a potentially risky one
  • A collaborative role where the company builds itself  up to be part of an end-to-end solution.  This would require a  product that easily fits into existing end-to-end solutions and, very likely, an alignment with a complex systems provider.  This is a lower risk solution and one that many companies probably aspire to.


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The "Live Forever" crowd

Ah the "Live Forever" crowd. I have never understood the obsession with extending life. It is one thing to beat disease and illness. It is another to want to reverse or slow down aging to an extent that we live for a couple of hundred years. I strongly believe that those technologists that spend a large portion of their thought process on this subject would be doing society a service by channeling their thoughts elsewhere. I know many of them already do that, but I would spend a lot more time thinking about energy, healthcare, communication and the means of building a world which does not have to worry about making ends meet. There are aspects of anti-aging that fall within the above topics, which are very relevant.

What confuses me is how absolutely brilliant people like Ray Kurzweil, for whom I have a lot of respect, focus on the regenerative aspects and medicine. Question becomes: Do we want to alter our natural aging process, or do we want to live healthy, disease free lives. Longevity will be a natural offshoot of the latter, but IMHO, that's where our focus should be. Science and technology are meant to be leveraged to improve how we live and what we know. Lets use them responsibly and for the right reasons ("right" being VERY subjective)

Further Reading
The Impact of Emerging Technologies: Fictional Science
I am going to live forever
Immortality

Beyond Human





Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Cell-based nano machine

From the Whitehead Institute

Cell-based nano machine breaks record | Science Blog