Mrs. Popper’s Penguins

June 16th, 2011
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In business life as in the movies, change can come unexpectedly and throw us for a loop. An individual career – as well as entire industries – can move in unpredictable ways. Some days are ordinary, and on other days we arrive home, as does Mr. Popper in the new movie Mr. Popper’s Penguins, to find a giant box of birds!
As it is for driven businessman Mr. Popper, so it can also be for life science companies. And so, as a life sciences consulting firm named Popper and Company, we just couldn’t resist a light-hearted post relating what we do to the movie (we know, it’s a stretch).
Mr. Popper is a business guy who doesn’t know anything about penguins when a box of these birds unexpectedly enters his life. Now, if the movie’s Mr. Popper had a Mrs. Popper like our own, he wouldn’t have had a problem at all. To demonstrate the point: When I mentioned the movie as a potential topic for our blog, the first thing Caroline did was google “penguin genomes.” Of course she did.

Take a look at the Wired Science article Caroline found (“Penguins Evolving Faster Than Thought”).  The article states that “penguins are evolving on a molecular scale two to six times faster than standard calculations indicated.” Think of it, at some point, penguins are going to demand quality healthcare like the rest of us. Who’s going to insure all of these penguins?  Are medical schools equipped to train the next generation of physicians who will need to cross specialize in human and penguin care? And the treadmill stress test may have to be completely rethought – both in terms of administration and reimbursement.
Fortunately, Caroline and the rest of us here at Popper and Company think ahead. We constantly monitor the changes and trends – the evolution – of the life science industry. Take, for example, our 10-year interest in personalized health care – a field we were tracking long before the topic became a buzz word. Then there’s the emergence of eHealth into mHealth and the current impact of an increasingly empowered consumer in healthcare who can hold medical decision making in the palm of his (or her) hand via a smartphone. We’ve been watching all of this closely and the life science trends haven’t taken us by surprise.
Okay, you say, so what would happen if a box of birds did happen to land on Popper and Company’s doorstep…or in other words, what if something totally unexpected happened? We quickly dive into emerging health related topics to help prepare for the next “big thing,” even if it turns out to be the health needs of penguins. As a creative, flexible and adaptable life science consultancy, we’re ready to be at the forefront of where the life science industry’s changes are occurring.
Welcome to summer everyone!  We hope you had fun with this post and that you have some time to get away, maybe even to see this movie in a cool air-conditioned theatre. And, we hope you’ll let us know your thoughts about bird evolution, if you’re so inclined! Stay cool!

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About the Author:

I co-founded Popper and Company more than ten years ago to help life science companies at all stages of development and of all sizes address inefficiencies in health care. Along with my team members, I focus on helping clients develop and implement strategies that enable the application of technology and processes to improve health care in novel ways, often through the establishment of relationships with industry partners. Click to send me an email.