The Biotech Hero's Journey
Or how to explain your company's research without losing your soul.
Your company's story is unique - filled with all the ups and downs that make up the human experience. This piece takes the quintessential hero's journey, and maps it to the journey you and your company are on.
This journey involves blindingly good insights, tragic failures and Phoenix-like resurrections that are woven together in a narrative about the science that will make your company profitable and make people healthier. It only needs to be shown to others in a way that helps them truly understand what you've done.
And we are the ones to help you do that.
The Beginning – life in the ordinary world.
Morgan* was a typical kid - he liked pizza and video games. At 12 years old, he didn't really have any aspirations about what do to with his life, until a pivotal, tragic event - his father developed Lupus, which tore through the family like a wrecking ball. After a valient fight, his dad died. Morgan was completely undone.
The Call to Adventure – the birth of an idea, R&D.
But something good came out of that experience. As he grew up, Morgan realized he had a mission in life - to figure out why people develop Lupus and to find a cure. He gradually worked his way up to a C level position within a biotech company focused on auto-immune diseases. With determination, he helped push research on their promising new drug candidates forward.
The Offer of Assistance – how do you want to tell your story?
Though he was doing everything humanly possible to pilot his company through the maze of technological and governmental complexities, he felt that somehow his audience didn’t really get it. He kept getting asked the same questions, leading him to believe that his message wasn’t translating.
That's where we come in...
In the early stages
We can help you to visually articulate your complex biology to other researchers, collaborators and investment firms who require a rigorous examination of your company’s research.
It’s technically deep, dispassionate and laser-focused on the intricacies of that disease state.
Later in your journey
The message, while vastly simplified, is equally important, because now you’ll be talking to a very different audience, with completely different reasons for wanting to understand what you do.
Here the main point is to explain what the research will mean for people suffering from this disease.
Both are extremely important
in order to move your company and its technology along the path toward its ultimate realization – a therapy that helps to alleviate or possibly halts the progression of a specific disease.
The core message evolves over time. depending on the audience you need to reach.
Departure – getting the idea out there via papers, websites, conferences
Armed with dynamic new visual content that targeted the appropriate audience, Morgan now had the tools to convince others that his company's research into the mechanisms behind Lupus was worth a serious look. Our content was used on the company's website, and as speaker support. Language created around the visuals helped drive home key messages about the science.
Trials and Tribulations – scientifically and economically.
During this period, the company went into stealth mode while it gathered data gleaned from patient trials. However, these trials cost a great deal of money, therefore remaining silent couldn’t last long. It was going to be a long, hard road ahead, and Morgan had to suit up for what was coming. This turned out to be the perfect time to develop the message further.
The Battle - the approach to the moment of truth: FDA/pharma.
The time had come to lay it all out in black and white and wait for the verdict. A “yes” would move the company forward, a “no” would probably tank it. The company needed money, it needed to generate data, and it needed acceptance of the science. Morgan had to walk a very fine line… without looking at all worried…
The Crisis - more money, more visibility. Second offer of assistance.
GRANTED! The FDA had given its blessing to move the therapy forward. Although elated by the news, Morgan knew he now needed orders of magnitude higher infusions of capital to take the product to market. The audience was now the public, and they’d need to know the how and the why. But he also had to continue to talk to investors, so how to manage both messages simultaneously?
Speak too much - bad idea. Speak too little - get lost in the roar of other companies. So he had to make his point elegantly, distinctly and accurately, without losing either audience in the weeds.
We pride ourselves on understanding both sides of the equation – the scientific side and the lay side. And that all-important fulcrum – investment.
The bar has been set very high regarding visuals, and the public is not the only audience one needs to be careful of. Investors will be looking at how you plan on speaking to the public, should your therapy make it all the way to fullfillment. They need to see, though your eyes, how you plan on talking to your customers. It's an advance peek at what the marketing angle might be like.
Regardless of which audience is being targeted, it's critical to speak with compassion, clarity and focus on what your therapy will mean to people and their families. Because, in the final analysis, that's all that matters to anyone, when loved ones are ill. And what that yields, is...
The Rebirth – this is changing lives.
Morgan had reached the far shore and planted a flag on the healthcare landscape, offering a chance for a person to live a healthier, happier life. The company stood as a beacon to people who've been suffering for a long time. On a very personal level, he felt he had finally kept his promise to his dad. And that translated to...
The Reward – market share, acceptance, visibility.
The company's drug had become a hit! The company's status was golden. People came up to him at conferences, offering their heartfelt congratulations. Emails from people whose lives had been changed for the better flooded in. He knew that all the hard work and worry had been worth it.
The Result – the company was in the black, with a great reputation.
Morale at the company was at an all-time high! Morgan could tell that everyone in the company felt they’d collectively done something ground-breaking. Offers of collaboration from pharma and other biotechs flowed in. Companies studied the path the his company had taken to achieve this. And once it all sank in, he realized…
A New Life – the next challenge.
Together, he and his company had weathered dangerous seas to bring a completely new idea in therapeutics to market. Whether the new goal now was to roll out the next blockbuster drug, or to court big pharma with a mind toward acquisition, the stage had now been set for those types of discussions. And a not-insignificant part of that journey was the way he’d spoken about and visually described his company’s research.
He understood why his approach had worked. He’d spoken honestly and passionately about the promise of that therapy, in ways that resonated with each audience specifically. They got it. He now had the blueprint for launching the next cycle of research.
And that's where we shine - we tell a compelling story about your science.
Lives are collections of experiences, and we think that ours, though unusual and seemingly random, have shaped our unique approach to storytelling. Cameraman, producer, director, professional ballet dancer, professional musician/composer, sign painter, biotech instrumentation designer and manufacturer, lab rat, high-tech jewelry designer, and a host of other, less far-flung careers all boil down to this: we have a broad palette. We see complex systems from a number of different angles, and that only helps us tell your story better.
No journey is complete without a beginning, a middle and an end. You and your company have already embarked on yours, we can help you reach your goal by creating effective visual content that illustrates some of the great mysteries of the human condition, that translates the rarified language of science and technology into dynamic visualizations comprehensible to scientists and lay people alike.
You've made your point. People get it. And they will remember it, which gives your company a distinct edge over your competitors. Everybody wants the what, but what they really need is the why.
We help people understand you, so you can help people. And that is a beautiful story.
Brought to life by visualizations like these...