With GeoMetrick Enterprises turning 23, this month, there have been a variety of products involved in the projects delivered.
The Bulk of GeoMetrick Enterprises’ Business
When I started GeoMetrick Enterprises, LabWare was just a small customer of mine and the SampleManager product now owned by Thermo Fisher Scientific was the bulk of my consulting business.
Over the years, that entirely switched over. The LabWare product, both the LIMS and the ELN, have become the largest bulk of business here at GeoMetrick Enterprises and I rarely (very) get calls about working on SampleManager.
There might be some people from my past who happen to know that I began my career with the Beckman CALS LIMS but I promised myself when I started this business that I would never work on that product and have kept that promise to myself. Once in a while, a customer will ask me what my favorite LIMS is and I always tell them I don’t have a favorite because every single one of them has good points and bad points. But for the Beckman system, I will make the exception and say that I just didn’t like working on it and never, again, wanted to be involved with it. When I got the chance to learn the SampleManager (or ANY other) system, I usually jumped at it, hoping to gain enough skills to never, again, touch the CALS system. I just didn’t like working with it and will leave it at that.
In addition, there are a multitude of systems that I’ve “touched” in one way or another, too many to list, here, not all of which are even necessarily LIMS, ELNs or LESs.
Also, customers will ask, “Well, why is is that you don’t work with system X or Y?” There are a few reasons. First of all, you can only be an expert in a small handful of systems. Second of all, most customers don’t want you to work on a system you’ve not before worked on.
While I don’t usually find it that hard to learn a new system, which includes learning the underlying build structures of some of the more complex systems, but most customers would rather not have any work done on their system than use the services of someone who would be learning that system. We can debate whether this is practical but it’s their system and that’s their prerogative.
Yet another issue is this – even if you happen to know that a software vendor doesn’t have enough people to deliver their services, you can’t just go to them and insist on getting involved. In fact, I used to attend a number of conferences and would try to learn which software vendors really needed services people. Then, I would introduce myself, give out my card, talk about how reliable and such I am (and I would try to do this when they weren’t busy with customers because booths are expensive and getting customers is why they’re at the conference, not to talk to me, I know). The great majority sounded really interested but, after the conference, wouldn’t return my phone calls or e-mails (I don’t mean the weeks RIGHT after when they’re busy getting back to business but, like, never, ever). So, to me, that’s a sign they’re just not interested.
My point is that I have nothing against some of these other systems. Once in a while, someone will accuse me of being anti-whatever-the-name-of-the-system-is and, while there are some I actually don’t want to get involved with, they’re in the minority. Most of the time, it’s a matter of the opportunity not presenting itself or the timing on the opportunity doesn’t work out or something more along those lines.
For the near future, it looks as if I’ll still work mainly on the LabWare LIMS and ELN. But opportunity is a strange thing and you can never tell where new opportunities will come up.
Of course, none of this discussion includes other parts of the business where I’m not doing specific product-based work but I’ll talk more about those when I talk about projects in the next post or two.