I have been in the industry for a while now. Worked on the bench, oversaw projects, worked for a number of leading device companies and now a number of years in running a consumables company. Every day I get to learn something new.
There have been a couple common questions I try to ask just about every person I meet, "How do you solve your problems?" As you could imagine, everyone has different problems and everyone looks for their solutions in different places.
As a founder of a labware consumables company the conversations have been directed towards where we are growing our company. What has surprised me is how the answers have been changing over time.
Back when I started working on the bench the go to information place was the seasoned scientist in the lab you worked in. They more often than not could rattle off a part and part number that allowed me to get done what I needed.
Later on things changed and grew beyond the traditional capacity of the environment I was in. Picking up the phone and calling a distributor with a bag of solutions was where I turned. More often than not I would engage in a thoughtful conversation and be able to apply an existing solution from the distributor to my problem.
Now I am interacting with more and more people needing solutions that can not be provided be either an internal Sr. Scientist type or the product bank from a distributor with a bag of parts. The web is the most common place I hear people starting their difficult search now. Tecan www.tecan.com as an example offers unique adapters for their automation platforms. The SLAS page www.SLAS.org has a network of companies providing unique solutions. Even searching around the web sites small device companies like INHECO www.INHECO.com has helped out many people I know find specific nuggets of information they needed.
It sounds obvious, as the wealth of information moves from individuals to the global web their is developing a double edge sword effect of shifting knowledge. More and more can be sought after online while less is help locally.
There will always be value in a conversation with a distributor or coworker. I feel the conversation about your problem often helps you revisit your problem. That act of reflection can be powerful.
I don't see this trend changing anytime soon and plan on making sure the solutions Click Bio www.Click-Bio.com offers is found in all the places people look.
What am I missing? Where will scientists turn to in the future to keep learning something new everyday?