Cultivate friendship and do cool science

So the past two weeks have been pretty crazy, in a good way.  I’ve managed to meet up with people from MIT, BOSSLab, and a few local biotechs on the North Shore.  It’s been strange not having to wake up to go to a 9-5.  I wouldn’t say it’s good, because distractions abound, but I was able to meet more people in two weeks in regards to pure science and business development than I ever had in a year prior.  I suppose a 9-5 for someone else is equal to a 9-midnight job you do for yourself.  Being able to meet at any time and anywhere is a good thing when it comes to progressing an entrepreneurial endeavor.  Not being payed while you meet these people, though, is the downside.   I can live with raman noodles and rainwater for now though.

Some people can pull off starting a side-business while working their main job, but I found that starting DNA extractions and PCR’s at 8 pm just wasn’t fun, couple that with spending the weekends in the lab and you felt like you weren’t even living life for someone in their twenties.  Hard work is important, yes, but hard work and torture are two different things.  We only get a finite amount of time on this planet and it can’t all be spent reading journal articles and running gels…human interaction is important to happiness and sanity.

I’d venture to say that starting a biotech company is not something that is easy to moonlight.  Wittling soap into gnomes for beer money might be something you can pull off in your spare time, but multi-step organic synthesis is not.

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We managed to acquire from T.K. an Eppendorf 5417C centrifuge along with some unique bacterial strains for use in a current project.  I have no idea how people feel about their name being used on the internet so I will bypass naming and use just initials.  We also managed to acquire from A.L. the parts for the Lightbulb PCR machine which had been developed over the past year at http://tequals0.wordpress.com/  and http://bosslab.org/

K.G. hooked it up with some E. Coli strains including a ccDB toxin/antitoxin containing strain.

All in all it has been a good two weeks.  Met a lot of really interesting people all doing really inspiring work.  I hope one day we’ll all make it big, and if only one of us make sit big, they’ll help the rest of us out!

But in all seriousness, the point of this post wasn’t just a quick update, but it was to mention the importance of human interaction in achieving what it is you want to achieve.  Humans, by nature, want to help each other.  You’d think if natural selection had its way, everything would be out to kill everything else, but that’s not the way it turned out.  People feel good helping one another, and rightly so.  We are all in this struggle together on Earth, each awkwardly living our own life trying to make it better for ourselves, our friends, and our family…and hopefully strangers once in a while.

So if there is one piece of advice I could give you if you are trying to start your own company, or even just living your life day to day, it would be to cultivate friendship and cultivate kindness.  Random acts of kindness go a long way.   Do something because it is the right thing to do, not because you hope for a reward.

Also attached are random pictures of us making some growth media for transformation experiments, followed by my strain cultivation of three different kinds of oyster mushrooms; king oyster, golden oyster, blue oyster…and last but not least the boxes that contained our $1,200 set of reagents from NEB for our future experiments.  SCIENCE TIME BABY

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