• Karl Schmieder

You Don't Need Permission

Updated: May 6, 2020

Two weeks ago, during one of SynBioBeta's Townhalls, synthetic biology pioneer Drew Endy reminded us to define the future.

Earlier this week, Mark Cuban made the point that this is one of those rare occasions to take the initiative and lead. The billionaire, Shark Tank host, suggested to listeners of Kara Swisher's podcast, Recode, that this Pandemic Pause, allows us to radically rethink what we want America 2.0 to look like. 

(For Endy, 2030 is about the Bionet - a free, connected biological inventory and browsers - and the Personal Biocomputer. So the 2020s are about the steps to get there.)

Things aren't going back to the old normal. So, if there is a change you want to make, you have to do it.

Small plants that look like cabbage growing on a forest floor
Skunkweed emerges from swampy soil

Over the past few weeks, we've witnessed national leadership prove it is confusing at best, misleading and divisive at worse. New leaders have stepped up. Companies have pivoted to focus on solving the pandemic (Ginkgo Bioworks offered $25 million in free services on its platform for COVID19 projects, and HelixNano called for a Manhattan Project for Vaccine Development). 

Cuban and Endy are telling us to define the future.

What neither said is you don't need permission to define that future and make a difference right now.

If you're looking for approval, you're not going to get it because NO ONE IS GOING TO GIVE YOU PERMISSION.


You have permission.