• Karl Schmieder

Blog Post Zero

Technological change is exponential, contrary to the common-sense “intuitive linear” view. So, we won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century — it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate).

- Ray Kurzweil, The Law of Accelerating Returns, 2001

When I started messagingLAB in 2001, I had an idea to become a branding shop that would help companies at the very beginning of their lives. I, and my partner at the time, knew (and continue to know) that building a killer brand was difficult.

Since then, communications technologies have multiplied. Information is everywhere. Attention spans are shrinking. And content is being consumed in smaller bits.

Yet, the need to create a lasting impression in the mind of your target audience is greater than ever.

For us, that impression is based on a great story.

We refocused messagingLAB as a strategy and growth marketing agency for life sciences companies with storytelling as our core offering.

This is an exciting time for the life sciences. Biotech IPOs and new venture formation continue unabated. Drops in the cost of DNA sequencing and printing have opened up new ways to understand the human genome and quickly iterate and test DNA-based technologies.

Biotech is becoming ubiquitous. The application of engineering principles to biotech have given us synthetic biology. The technologies that power biotech are becoming more accessible. Community labs and biohacker spaces have sprouted around the world and biotechnology accelerators and incubators are making news. Digital technologies are advancing the rapid democratization of biotechnology and playing an increasing role across the clinical research. Ongoing access to scientific and operational data helps biotechnology companies address issues quickly and efficiently to make strategic decisions faster and tactical decisions more effectively.

At the same time, life sciences companies face unprecedented challenges.

The general public is woefully misinformed about science and distrusts scientists and their research.

This is leading to real problems: Scientists and the general public diverge wildly in their opinions on the safety of genetically modified food, vaccination requirements, and climate change.

As storytellers, this presents opportunities for us to build brands and grow markets for companies driving innovation in the life sciences. This gives us opportunities to create and deliver meaningful, timely and differentiated stories that connect company and customers.

We know this is not always straightforward.

Stories need to be developed with the audience in mind.

Company leaders and scientists need to tell their stories. They need to lead and inspire. Unfortunately, that often is unnatural for them.

I believe the exponential change Ray Kurzweil referred to requires stories. Those stories must inspire and resonate. They must have a personality. They must make clear what you promise to solve. In some cases, those stories need to be co-created with your audience.

We have ambitious goals. We plan to grow quickly. Stay tuned. It’s going to be a fun ride.

+ Karl Schmieder, Brooklyn 2013