Let’s delve deeper in to this ‘User first technology later’ conundrum discussed in the last chapter with another case.

This one is right out of DK’s crystal ball.

Somewhere in 2007, DK was approached by a company in the pharmaceuticals business. This is a large multinational with operations across the world. Their problem statement was, “What should we be doing in 2030?” DK thought to himself, “What a weird question? Are they joking? Looks like they are pulling a fast one on me.” DK didn’t discuss much further. That evening, he made a passing reference to his wife, about this company’s demand. She had spent 26 years in the pharma industry, heading the sales and marketing functions for three pharma companies in the latter half of her career. She did not seem amused with what he told her. Across the dining table, she explained to him the workings of the pharma industry. From initial drug discovery to the marketplace, back then, it generally took around 15 to 18 years (sometimes even more). She added, with such long development schedules, what the pharma company was asking was a logical question. With this reassurance, DK recommenced his dialog with the company.

Initial approach and the ‘low-hanging’ fruit

DK’s first question was, “What is the intent of engaging me?” The CEO responded, “We want to be a major player in the globe by 2030.”

“Is that it? Or there’s anything else?”, DK asked.

DK could sense the quizzical look on his face.The marketing head chimed in,

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