Introduction

Three Revolutions: Jim Carnes

Genomics’ Revolution: Wes Cosand

Genomics’ Promise: Robert Johnston

Spiegel: High Technology For Small Business:

Corrections or additions?

Wisdom for the Millennium

Top Of Page
Introduction

It’s a new year, a new decade, a new century, a new

millennium, and — of course — a new era and a time for

dramatic

change for all of civilization as we know it.

Or is it? For most mortal humans, a mere new year is enough to unleash

the passion for renewal — we will lose weight, work out, stop

smoking, cut back on drinking, clean our office, floss our teeth

daily.

Put all the big numbers of change on the same drop of the ball and

you have the formula for a milestone of epic — and epoch —

proportions.

Of course, you also have the formula for endless rhetoric and

boundless

hyperbole. But this time, at least, we think that some of the

predictions

are justified. Jim Carnes of Sarnoff likens the period to that of

the dawn of the automotive age a century ago — except that this

time the changes are taking place in three basic industries, not just

one (see below).

And Steve Sashihara, president of Princeton Consultants, sees three

fundamental changes sweeping through the business environment,

including

expectations of faster response times, customization replacing mass

production; and increasing globalization of business (see page 26).

These are not trivial matters passed along lightly by ivory tower

denizens. And their views of the future are augmented in this issue

by similar thoughts from several dozen more contributors. We hope

you will take a minute or two out of this new millennium to ponder

this issue. Perhaps you will even find a thought that serve you in

the days or years ahead. And remember: Every time you do, you will

be taking one more step into the 21st century.

Top Of Page
Three Revolutions: Jim Carnes

"The end of the 20th century could

be

a turning point for more than just chronology. We’re like people in

horse-drawn carriages seeing the first sputtering, smoking

automobiles:

we know something is happening, but we can’t imagine the huge effect

it’s going to have," says James E. Carnes, president and

CEO of Sarnoff Corporation.

"As the century changes, we’re at the nexus of three revolutions:

the information revolution, the semiconductor revolution, and the

genomics revolution. Fundamental changes in how we work, communicate,

get information, and entertain ourselves are occurring right now.

Meanwhile biology and genomics promise to transform our approach to

the prevention, treatment, and healing of disease. These movements

will improve the human condition in ways we cannot yet imagine in

detail."

Says Carnes: "Whatever the future holds in these fields, I predict

Sarnoff will play a significant role in bringing it all to pass."

Top Of Page
Genomics’ Revolution: Wes Cosand

Gene research will impact not only the discovery of

drug targets, but also the development of new drugs and the use of

those drugs in the health care system, says Wes Cosand, director

of genomic technology and bioinformatics at Bristol-Myers Squibb’s

laboratory in Hopewell.

"Reasonably conservative companies are betting that this new

discipline

will change the way that drugs are not only discovered but also the

way they are developed in the clinic and the way they are sold in

the marketplace," says Cosand (http://www.bms.com).

At its simplest level, genomics (gee-NO-mix) is the science of gene

discovery, but it also encompasses a variety of technologies used

to determine the structure, function, and interaction of genes in

biological systems — and beyond that, to form the basis of a new

generation of life sciences research that many hope will lead to

diagnostic

and treatment breakthroughs.

"In the last year the view of genomics has certainly changed and

become perhaps more sophisticated," says Cosand. Sophistication

often reveals an ability to admit ignorance. As Cosand says, "We

really do not entirely understand the impact or the effect that

genomics

will have."

Top Of Page
Genomics’ Promise: Robert Johnston

The genomic revolution will proceed more slowly than

expected and it will also present difficult ethical questions, says

Robert Johnston, venture capitalist and investment banker. His

firm on Cherry Valley Road, Johnston Associates, provides seed capital

for healthcare and biotechnology start-ups (E-mail:

jaincorp@aol.com).

"Clearly it will take longer than we thought two or three years

ago to come up with the gene-based therapies," says Johnston.

"The human system is a lot more complex than we give it credit

for."

"But given sufficient time, in 5 to 10 years, there will be some

major therapies to cure genetic diseases — the simpler genetic

diseases, not the multifactorial diseases, such as cancer," he

says. "Within a shorter time frame there will be good diagnostics

for many of the genetic diseases."

Too much lag time between diagnosis and cure is going to present an

uncomfortable ethical dilemma, says Johnston. Take a disease that

has a gene-based diagnostic but no available therapy. "That raises

the ethical issue — do you want to know if you have it if there

is nothing you can do about it? Those with a propensity for some

diseases

can change their lifestyles, but for some of the genetic diseases,

there is no cure known today."

Top Of Page
Spiegel: High Technology For Small Business:

<D>Herb Spiegel credits the semiconductor revolution

for an accomplishment rarely recognized. He says that this technology

has made it possible for entrepreneurs to flourish. Why? Because new

electronic office tools are being produced in quantities at low prices

and in small sizes. As director of Mercer County College’s Small

Business

Development Center, Spiegel has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs start

their businesses.

"From the end of the 20th century to the beginning of the

21st,"

says Spiegel, "the biggest change has been the overwhelming

acceptance

of low-overhead small business operations.

"This change can be traced back to the introduction of the

inexpensive

telephone answering machine, which became accepted as an alternative

to a more costly answering service. This was followed by the pager,

which allowed a business person to be reached in a matter of minutes.

"The lowering of the price of fax machines for home use and the

introduction of the home computer and laser printer made it very easy

to produce professional marketing letters and brochures. The computer

brought us the Internet and the use of E-mail for both domestic and

international purposes.

"In the 1990s the cell phone and the pocket organizer became

commonplace,

and you literally can run a full-service business out of your car

or office space in the home. Add to this the proliferation of

packaging

and mailing services, and you can now ship goods rather effortlessly.

The pocket organizers, i.e. Palm Pilots, enable you to send and

receive

E-mail from anywhere. In Europe some cell phone companies are

advertising

phones with scanners so that you can receive an image while you are

talking to your client or other resource."

Who knows what the next century will bring, says Spiegel. Can faxes

on the wrist or watches with interactive TVs be far behind? (E-mail:

sbdc@mccc.edu, http://www.mccc.edu/~hss).


Next Story


Corrections or additions?


This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com

— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.

Facebook Comments