March 4th, 2016 was the GeoMetrick Enterprises twenty year anniversary. Some things have changed, others haven’t.
When I began my business in 1996, I was actually just looking for a permanent position but the LIMS industry didn’t have much to choose from. Since I do actually like to eat and pay the rent, I went ahead and went into business for myself. That, by the way, allowed me to finally reach my dream of home ownership. As we all know, that is less of a dream once you’ve done it, but I’ve now had a mortgage hanging over me for fourteen years, something I never was able to accomplish with the crummy jobs my spouse and I tended to land, when we could find anything, at all.
But I digress because my goal was to talk about business changes. However, for those of you planning to start your own business, it will also change your life in many ways that you won’t expect.
When I began my business, I thought I would be fairly evenly splitting my time between the LabWare LIMS and the Thermo Fisher Scientific SampleManager LIMS. These were my first customers, in order:
- LabWare, Ltd.
- Biogen, using SampleManager, at the time.
- E. Gilbert, a consulting company subcontracting SampleManager work to GeoMetrick Enterprises.
- The Coca-Cola Company, who was, at the time, using the LabSystems eLIMS.
- 3M, using two SampleManager systems, at the time.
Strangely, starting out, almost all of the work was SampleManager work, as LabWare was tiny and didn’t have much project work. Strangely, or maybe because of this, after LabWare and I parted ways, the LabWare portion of my business really took off. I really don’t get phone calls from customers for SampleManager work. I think it’s because I stopped waiting for LabWare to subcontract work to my business that I finally got enough of that work to make that part of my business strong. If it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t be the expert I am today because it was by my own business development work that I got that part of my business (and expertise) going.
So, today, as I sit here with a new customer, iVention US, I have to wonder how things will turn out. We’re all hoping thing will take off for iVention US the way they did for LabWare so that, in twenty years, we can all comfortably retire. And I’m hoping that they turn into a strong customer providing quite a lot of work for me, eventually. Unlike with LabWare, though, I’m a lot more involved with the actual business of iVention so I’m hoping that means I’ll be kept in the work loop. Only time with tell.
Meanwhile, here are my expectations:
- That the LabWare LIMS / ELN part of my business will continue to take a good bit of my time. I think that I will continue to get new customers in that space for a long time to come.
- That the SampleManager portion of my business will stay dead – that I won’t get new customers in that space.
- That the iVention US work will start to take more of my time and that I’ll stop thinking about the loss of customers in spaces like SampleManager. However, in order to support iVention’s iLES, we do believe that our combined experiences in order products will help us replace those products and/or connect with those products. So, that knowledge never really goes away.
Or, as someone once said, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans,” and none of this will turn out as I expect. For my part, I’ll do a lot of planning, but will remain aware of what’s going on around me so that, when opportunity comes knocking, I won’t have my headsets on and so loud that I don’t hear it to answer. 🙂