Conclusions and Serendipity
Although the business of biotechnology sounds calculated and well-planned, one can always find an element of serendipity buried deep within its roots. Things do not always arise from what was originally intended. Throughout this book the importance of planning, setting goals, and anticipating problems have been emphasized. Success is never possible without good planning – but the truth is, no matter how carefully laid the plans, events do not always unfold as expected. New challenges constantly present themselves, and one needs to know when to press forward, and when to adjust and take advantage of an opportunity for change. Sometimes these “new opportunities” do not first appear like opportunities. Louis Pasteur, the French Chemist and Microbiologist, said “Chance favors the prepared mind.” Indeed, when one prepares themselves and is observant, they can take advantage of the opportunity chance provides. Peter Morgan Kash, in his book titled “Make Your Own Luck – Success Tactics You Won’t Learn in Business School,” describes the importance of constantly being aware of “opportunities” in everyday situations that we encounter but rarely take advantage of. He sites his own example of a financial news network executive dialing a wrong number, and during their conversation he told the executive if he ever needed a person knowledgeable in the Japanese economy and biotechnology to let him know. Six months later, that wrong number turned into a future opportunity to host a TV program for two years. He also described a chance encounter in an elevator with a relative of a head of state, that resulted in diplomatic relations and business opportunities for him in another country. He calls these encounters the “web of life,” but they can be also called “missed opportunities,” depending upon how we respond. Call it serendipity, opportunity, or divine intervention – what matters most is one’s response to each situation.