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Is Big Science racist?

elysionpro lhr revolution Jul 26, 2020

Many African Americans have white blood cell counts below the normal range of people of European descent. Many African Americans are more susceptible to inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s. Racial and Ethnic Differences in Mortality at Older Ages by Irma T. Elo and Samuel H. Preston shows that, ‘Black death rates consistently exceed white death rates’ up to the age of 70.

These, and many other comparisons of the imbalance between races are facts. They are backed by large scale epidemiological studies, and census information going back nearly a century. I’ll tell you why I have become more aware of this in a moment, but first I’d like to look at the question: Is Big Science therefore racist?


Name a scientist


Personally I don’t like the terms ‘black’ or ‘white’ to describe people. It’s a lazy shorthand, but as we all know how it is used, here’s a challenge: Name ten white scientists, and ten black scientists....

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The gold standard for gold standards

At the beginning of the year my wife, Hanna, had a laser hair removal treatment session. Nothing remarkable about that, except she reported that it was comfortable, painless, and with no nasty side effects. Now that was remarkable. She asked her Budapest beautician if this was a new technology, and learned that it was something called the Elysion-Pro system. Hanna figured that when we returned home to Florida, she would track down salons using the new device. Big surprise – it was still pending FDA approval, and had not yet been introduced into the US market. Hanna scented a business opportunity, and together we started to explore the possibilities of becoming the American distributors. Spoiler Alert – You can read more about how this story has turned out in the blog section of our new Elysion-Pro North American website!

The meaningless standard

During the months building up to FDA approval, which has now enabled the distribution launch, Hanna, myself, and our team have...

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Information to burn

I recently posted a short blog where I was suggesting that to thrive in difficult times, everyone in a business should think like a founder. I expressed this idea as if I was considering a new hire, and the qualities I’d be looking for in them. To my surprise, I was flooded with responses from people thanking me for the job! My team was then engaged for a day writing back to assure the correspondents that as and when I have a place in my company, I advertise it through the correct channels, with a proper job description, the qualities I’m looking for in an employee, and the geographic location. The blog was a piece of figurative writing.
I’m sorry if it briefly raised the hopes of people looking for new work, especially in the current economic climate, but it did set me thinking about how shallowly messages are read. And when they are read, how people feel the need to instantly respond. To think about, and weigh-up situations is no longer fashionable, and if we...

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Think like a founder

Here’s a thought for you: starting a company is like doing a jigsaw puzzle. In the beginning, the founder has pieces scattered all over the table, and is trying to figure out how to fit them together into a cohesive, credible whole. There are pieces labelled ‘Innovation’, and ‘Market Penetration’, and ‘Business Plan’ and ‘Attracting Investors’, and so on, and so on. Even for a relatively simple business, there will be many pieces spread around, all of which need to be integrated so that the enterprise can become successful.

The thing that determines if it will be successful is the founder’s sense of vision. Even if they don’t know how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together, they can visualize what the completed picture will look like. Without that vision, they’ll endlessly be arranging and re-arranging the pieces, trying to figure out which part fits with the next part. In my experience, that sense of...

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Stalling

There are many things you don’t want to do if you’re piloting a plane. One of the most fundamental is to not go into a stall. This is a sudden reduction in lift, even though the plane is still moving, and the engines are still running. You are however no longer technically ‘flying’. To recover from the stall you need to increase power, or point the aircraft towards earth and pick up speed. Pilots do this routinely and instinctively, always watching out that they are not approaching ‘stall speed.’

Companies take off too


The analogy to business growth is notable. Enterprises initially tend to ‘get airborne’ because of the energy and drive of the Founding team. We talk about startups reaching escape velocity, and taking off. We recognize when an organization is at cruising altitude. And then what? Cruising implies that the desired state has been reached. Time for the crew to take their hands off the controls, flick on the autopilot and...

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The virtual haircut

The other day I went for a virtual haircut at a virtual barbershop. While I was there I was offered a delicious virtual cappuccino, which I drank from a very nice virtual cup.
Or not.

There are many activities where the virtual world can’t substitute for the world where barbers use sharp scissors to cut hair, and real coffee is drunk from real cups. Sometimes that’s easy to forget, especially at a time like this, when so much of our interfacing with the world is through our computer screens. Amazingly, many people have found that they can still accomplish a lot of their work while staying at home. Imagine describing this situation thirty years ago, and telling someone back then how whole office blocks would be closed down, and yet major businesses could continue to function, from people’s bedrooms!

Sometimes you just have to be there…


But, like my haircut and cup of coffee, some business offerings simply must happen between people, trading solid goods and...

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Just do it. Again and again.

I’m not the greatest fan of the global sports company, Nike. There have been big questions asked about their manufacturing ethics, for example.
What I do celebrate is Nike’s brilliant advertising slogan, ‘Just Do It’, which has been at the forefront of the company’s powerful messaging since 1988. ‘Just Do It’ describes someone taking the initiative to improve their own fitness, at whatever level they start. It means taking personal responsibility. Most of all it means being persistent.

Being persistent is the power of repeating and repeating activities, in the knowledge that they will eventually bear fruit. As a golfer, I know that my swing will not one day magically improve all by itself. I have to put in the time, again and again, to practice. Eventually I will achieve another small step forward in improving my game. To succeed, every human activity requires persistence – the capacity to return many times to the same set of...

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Who coaches the coaches?

IMPORTANT: If you are a Coach, first check in to my new Coach Assessment page.

There’s a very old TV commercial for Volkswagen, which won the gold prize at the Cannes festival in 1964. Well before your time (and mine too!), but it asks a great question: “Have you ever wondered how the man who drives a snow plough, drives to the snow plough?” The answer was that he used an ultra-reliable VW Beetle, of course. I’m interested in the philosophy of the question, and how it applies to my own work, because how does someone who coaches others find their own coaching? In other words, who coaches the coaches?

Ultimate goals


There are very few activities where we can say the ultimate goal has been reached by someone. Perhaps walking on the moon, or climbing to the peak of Mount Everest for the first time. But then later there will be someone who walks on Mars, and there are many people who have ascended Everest, only quicker, or by harder routes, or without oxygen,...

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Dig that goldmine

matyas zaborszky read May 17, 2020

Lately I have been asking clients and colleagues to do something very simple, and at the same time very enriching: read books. Not just any books, but those great business writings, and motivational pieces by successful entrepreneurs that we can all learn from. My reason for insisting on the importance of such works is that it has come to my attention that many of my clients are – at best – only vaguely familiar with books that have been fundamental steps in my own business life. My job is to coach and help startups and new businesses reach their potential. It is therefore my duty to continue with the process of trying to convince you to read!

Squeeze that book

Many people understand that reading can be a useful, but then they ask me, ‘So how do I do it?’ That’s a simple question, but a good one. If you simply ‘dip in’ to books as a form of entertainment, or to ‘kill time’, then you’ll only get a fraction out of them that...

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Information is not knowledge

We live in a time when we can access information more easily, and more quickly than ever before. Name any topic – any topic at all – and we can find information about it with just a few mouse clicks. Most of the time those few clicks will be enough to satisfy our curiosity, or the need for a basic outline of a subject. We don’t feel the need to go any deeper, and a three minute YouTube tutorial will usually be enough to help us feel informed. 

Information is not knowledge however, and while we are drowning in information, knowledge is getting rarer. Knowledge comes from real experience, and our putting the work into truly learning about a subject. We expect professionals – for example doctors – to have studied their subject in great depth, over a long period of time. A three minute YouTube info video on brain surgery isn’t going to make the grade! And yet, in the world of the entrepreneur and new businesses, I am often surprised to find that...

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