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Old 09-26-2014, 06:35 PM   #1
NextGenSeq
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Default Open Source Social Media Approach vs Rigid Genome Center Approach

I think ONT is being incredibly savvy by using a social media approach to introducing their product instead of a rigid traditional genome center "expert" approach.

It takes guts to throw a product out to the world and say here it is, let's work together and revolutionize genomics. This is very refreshing and enjoyable.

It's like Apple's classic ad where the peon slaves throw a sledge hammer at the repressive monopoly of Microsoft.

Kudos!

Edit
It's pretty obvious who the repressive monopoly is now.

Last edited by NextGenSeq; 09-26-2014 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 09-28-2014, 08:26 AM   #2
ymc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NextGenSeq View Post
I think ONT is being incredibly savvy by using a social media approach to introducing their product instead of a rigid traditional genome center "expert" approach.

It takes guts to throw a product out to the world and say here it is, let's work together and revolutionize genomics. This is very refreshing and enjoyable.

It's like Apple's classic ad where the peon slaves throw a sledge hammer at the repressive monopoly of Microsoft.

Kudos!

Edit
It's pretty obvious who the repressive monopoly is now.
Well, compare to the big bad machines made by Illumina, MinION is a more personal device. So it is natural to use a social media approach
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NextGenSeq View Post
It's like Apple's classic ad where the peon slaves throw a sledge hammer at the repressive monopoly of Microsoft.
You gotta straighten out your metaphors on multiple points:

This was IBM that the sledge hammer was thrown at. In 1984 Microsoft was not anywhere close to being a monopoly. For crying out loud, you had a choice of at least three DOS versions, only one of which was from Microsoft.

The Apple approach has always been ANYTHING BUT collaborative. They have been and remain a closed system that believes in complete end-to-end control and ridid adherance to a "my way or the highway" philosophy. Want a 3-button mouse? Tough! Want keyboard shortcuts? Keep wishing. (yes I know that they eventually relented on some of these). Steve Jobs is famous for saying "it is not the customer's job to know what they need". How is that even remotely related to what ONT is doing?


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Originally Posted by NextGenSeq View Post
It's pretty obvious who the repressive monopoly is now.
Actually, Illumina is behaving very much like the Apple that you espouse - end-to-end solutions in a closed system. NeoPrep is yet another step in that direction. And the NextBio acquisition is a play on the other end. I think the ONT analogy is much closer to Google Glass than anything Apple has ever done. They know they have an interesting device, they know it is not good enough to take on Illumina directly (though they will never admit it), so they throw it out there to see what people do with it. Clever and brave indeed. Despite the wishes/dreams of their investors they have as much chance of displacing Illumina from the sequencing business (as it exists today) as Apple has at overcoming Microsoft's dominance in traditional PCs. Once you reach 80% market share the market is effectively spoken for.

Their best bet is an end run to create a new modality. To quote Herb Kroemer

Quote:
The principal applications of any sufficiently new and innovative technology have always been applications that were created by that technology, rather than being pre-existing applications, where the new technology simply provided improvements. This historical trend is likely to remain true, and it is likely to be true specifically for the emerging nanotechnology
http://www.ece.ucsb.edu/faculty/Kroe.../15_05Nano.pdf

The path that ONT is taking, at least publicly, is to attack the beast head on. That should result in a disappointment, if indeed that is their strategy. Having a nearly $2B valuation is a curse. Investors want returns/exit, and the only way to get there on a timescale consistent with investor's patience is to go after the largest portion of the market, not to gradually build up a new paradigm.

Last edited by BBoy; 10-23-2014 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 10-24-2014, 12:21 AM   #4
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Bboy's last point is what hamstrung PacBio initially. Going after ILMN when everyone in their right minds knew that the RS was a complement to a Hiseq. Now they have a new CEO who knows sequencing and applications, they are making serious headway in a new growing market, hybrid assembly (among others).

Hopefully ONT focuses on what applications their reads are good for.
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Old 10-24-2014, 12:58 AM   #5
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Bboy's last point is what hamstrung PacBio initially. Going after ILMN when everyone in their right minds knew that the RS was a complement to a Hiseq. Now they have a new CEO who knows sequencing and applications, they are making serious headway in a new growing market, hybrid assembly (among others).

Hopefully ONT focuses on what applications their reads are good for.
It took a complete crash of expectations and disillusionment, with VCs bailing out, to give PacBio the breathing room they needed. Someone prominent in the community wrote as recently as 2012:

Quote:
The feeling is that PacBio has built clever technology with value in niche applications, but at a complete commercial dead end. The current trajectory of the company suggests a rapid decline over the next twelve months.
That was shortly before the "mother of all vaporware" talk by ONT at AGBT. As is the usually the case, the truth is somewhere in the middle. ONT's talk was not all vaporware (though there were certainly some whoppers in there, e.g., claims of 4% error rates with indications of future trends to 1%).

It just feels as if ONT has to take a similar path. A partial IPO to allow some capital recovery for the VCs, followed by a period of disillusioment that allows the investing public to accept that wiping Illumina off the face of the earth is not in the cards, at least not on a 5 year timeframe, which in turn allows the company to focus on what they are really good at. The viceral hatred (I don't think that is too strong a word) that some of ONT's senior management have for Illumina doesn't help either.

Before anyone accuses me of being an ONT hater, let me state that I find their technology incredibly sexy and intellectually intriguing. I wish them the best, because for them to be successful they will have to figure out new use models which only benefits the community.
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Old 10-29-2014, 11:41 AM   #6
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100 kB reads is pretty impressive.

Their 2D error rate is nearly equivalent to PacBio.

Also, the iconic Apple ad did not mention either Microsoft or IBM but an iconic Big Brother like in 1984. The estate of George Orwell sued Apple over it.

Last edited by NextGenSeq; 10-29-2014 at 11:45 AM.
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