What is your idea that got away?

Please feel free to share:ShareTweet

Please feel free to share:

cover of the book "Bit Rot" by Douglas Coupland

Bit Rot by Douglas Coupland

The One That Got Away

This is another of my ‘BitRot’ inspired doodles from the summer, transferred from a google note into this blog piece. I did actually voice type it on google, maybe I should have just recorded it as an audio file. Another time.

In the book Bit Rot, Douglas Coupland talks of his thoughts of wishing he had invested in coffee shops early in the ‘Starbucks’ boom. It made me think of a few thoughts I had but didn’t take up and still think about (because they could have been massive, earnt me millions or just moved me into a different place).

I’m sure we can all think of things that we had a fleeting thought about. It could be a scientific breakthrough that you thought of but didn’t do the experiment. A grant we didn’t submit because you didn’t have time, or thought it was rubbish only to see someone else do the same a year or two later. An experiment you should have done but forgot over the weekend only to remember a year too late. Some ideas though get stuck in your head and always wonder what if?

I remember being early in my PhD and there were loads of athletes testing positive for nandrolone and lots of talk of contaminated supplements. My thought was “we should test these supplements so they can be used by sportspeople”.  I discussed the idea with my supervisors, suggesting we should start a batch testing service. At the time the lab was not contractually allowed to do so, so it went no further.

A few years later (probably 2007 or so) I was chatting to a distributer of bars and gels in New Zealand and discussed it. There was no such service being offered to manufacturers there then. I decided to revisit it with my employer. They gave me the opportunity to pitch it to the board, which I did. We did a brief business case and it looked like it could be worth a lot of money but they decided not to divert efforts away from the core business.

I tried to make a business plan of my own to see what would would be reasonable to do myself. I quickly realised that it would be way to expensive without a significant start up fund.  There are now a few businesses that do such testing and presumably make a reasonable profit. Not a massive idea or world changing but one of those thoughts that nag at you.

Anyway, I’d better get back to not getting grants in, and not writing papers, and so on….

Informed sport logo. https://sport.wetestyoutrust.com/

Please feel free to share:

About Dr Tom Bassindale

Dr Tom Bassindale is a forensic scientist, and the founder of We Are Forensic. He is currently the subject lead for chemistry and forensic science at Sheffield Hallam University. He's managed hundreds of forensic toxicology cases, and is an experienced court witness. He has specialist expertise in forensic toxicology and drug testing in sport. And yes... he watches CSI.