Market Research Blog Series --> Getting Organized

By Greg Kuehn

Ok Josh Bueller has been bugging me all summer about getting a blog started so here it goes.  First things first... Let me introduce myself.. my name is Greg Kuehn.. I'm just about to start the second year of the MBA program at the CU Leeds School of Business and I'm interested in pursuing a career in Biotech... Why? You ask... Well, My undergraduate degree is in Biology and Computer Science from William and Mary and after a brief professional football career I found myself marketing real estate in Vail, Colorado. Needless to say, the luxury real estate market has tough for the last few years and the real estate industry was never really part of my "master plan."  I put "master plan" in quotes because I absolutely do not have a "master plan."  To reference Pirates of the Caribbean... "It's more a set of guidelines than rules." 

One thing I do know is that I will always be fascinated by science.  A second thing I know is that you should try as hard as you can to work on something you're fascinated by.  Thus, Biotechnology entrepreneurship has long been the general direction I've allowed myself to drift.  I'll elaborate more in future blogs but I've been procrastinating too long and Josh is going to kick my butt if I don't write anything of value in this post so I'll have to allocate the blathering across several posts. 

I've been working for two Biotech*** related startups this summer, one is a greater Denver area medical devices company that is developing machine learning techniques for analyzing physiological data and the second is a Washington DC area based molecular diagnostics company that is studying the human microbiome and developing diagnostics for gastrointestinal and autoimmune diseases.  For both projects I have been working on doing market research and developing business and marketing plans.  The market research experience is something that I think has been very valuable and worth sharing with all of you.  

Here's the "master plan" for my first couple posts.
Subject: Market Research

If you're going to pursue a career in biotechnology at some point you're going to be doing market research.  Somehow you've gotta figure out how much your technology is worth and how you're going to demonstrate that value. 

- 1 Getting Organized - using the free evernote tool to organize your research
- 2 Following Market Trends - using rss feeds and key industry news sites to stay up to date on the bioscience industry  
- 3 Using Colorado library resources
- 4 Digging for the numbers - advanced research databases
- 5 Presenting the Report - What do investors expect to see?

1. Getting Organized

I use 3 main tools for organizing my research and following industry trends
3. RSS Feeds

Evernote has become an absolutely indispensable research organization tool for.  It works both of my computers and my iphone and syncs my research notes across all three.  Evernote is seamlessly integrated with your web browser and allows you to clip whole webpages.  You can also grab screenshots and take your own notes.  Everything that you capture is automatically indexed and made searchable.  Also, you can add tags to notes and organize notes into different notebooks.  Perhaps most importantly, Evernote notebooks can be shared online with your collaborators so they can follow your progress and read the stuff that you find. 

Evernote Tips: 

You can clip whole web pages by clicking on the evernote button in the top of your browser.  Make sure you've installed the appropriate plugin for Safari, Firefox or IE.  You can also highlight small sections of text and clip only that section.  You can also drag .pdf's and a few other filetypes into a new note and save those.  I've used evernote to clip market research reports, competitors websites, news articles and more.  

Always tag your notes as you create them to keep your notebook organized.  One great thing about tags is that you can add multiple tags to each note so that a note can be found in several different tag groups. For example, you might find an article that contains information about multiple subjects that you're researching or has several different characteristics that you want to keep track of. 

I've taken tags to the extreme by creating a pseudo hierarchy.  The tags are automatically ordered alphabetically so I put numbers before some of my tags to force some key tags to appear at the top.  I put a 0 in front of tag groups that I want to highlight for my collaborators or groups that I use very often.  I put a 1 in front of tags that indicate what type of note it is. (article, market report, company, competitor... for note SUBJECT I don't add a number so that they'll be sorted alphabetically.  You'll have to play with it to figure it out.... 

Here's what my tag list ends up looking like:
0 Greg's Pics
0 Imported
0 For Review
0 To DO
0 Meetings
1 ---> BY TYPE - ATTRIBUTES <---
1 articles
1 Market Reports - Full
1 Market Reports - Outline
1 Patent Info
1 Links
1 Competitors
1 Market Data
2 ---> BY TOPIC <---
Autoimmune Disorders
DNA Sequencing
Colorectal Cancer
Crohn's Disease

This means that if I find a market report about the Colorectal Cancer Market that contains market data I'd tag it like this:  (1 Market Reports - Full) (1 Market Data) (Colorectal Cancer).  This means that when I go back and have to write something that needs market data or information about Colorectal Cancer I can find the report in both groups. 

xMarks is a cool tool that syncs all your passwords across all your computers and browsers.  This has saved me a lot of time over the past few years. 

RSS Feeds 
I'm burned out so I'm not going to write as much as I should about RSS feeds.  Basically RSS feeds allow you to subscribe to various industry news sources and have all the news updates compiled automatically in an RSS reader.  You can use Outlook, Mail or google reader to read RSS Feeds.

 ok that's it for now.