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Venture Capitalist shifting gears!!

 
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I read in Indian newspaper ( Times of India) that Vinod Khosla (Sun Microsystem founder) is shifting gears from IT investments to biotechnology, material science,chemical and energy technology etc.
He is putting his money in these areas as " IT has become little less aggressive than before as IT is maturing"
 
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Do not know about other fields but I think biotech will certainly zoom.
 
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I thought Khosla drives automatic transmission car instead of stick one!May be the days are changing
What will be the role of Software engineer(or CS in general) in biotechnology?
Will it get a primary importance or secondary one?
Will it be a major shift in thinking?
[ February 23, 2004: Message edited by: Tanga Palti ]
 
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Originally posted by Tanga Palti:
What will be the role of Software engineer(or CS in general) in biotechnology?


CS in general is good, but the demand for the average sweng has been dwindling. For the cool stuff such as bioinformatics, they have been cross-training people now at universities so they can grad with a Phd in Bioinformatics. Companies are looking to hire people like this, not someone with 10 years in IT/CS. The other stuff is really just IT work and follows that trend.

Will it get a primary importance or secondary one?


Software will always play second fiddle to the science. Frequently Bioinformatics is used to rule out cases in the discovery process rather than rule in so it is difficult to say "this drug was discovered independently by software". This puts the wet research ahead.

Will it be a major shift in thinking?


I'm not sure what you mean here - there is a ton of stuff going on in this area now. If you've been developing software and get a job in biotech, it will probably be the same kind of thing - possibly more algorithms, web services, many vendor "enterprise type" applications.
[ February 23, 2004: Message edited by: Jim Baiter ]
 
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Just depends on what your perspective of gear is?
I don't think they ever shift gears. They have only ONE gear - $$$.
Follow the trail.............
[ February 23, 2004: Message edited by: Madhav Lakkapragada ]
 
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the REAL motivation of course is to provide cheap clones of top programmers so there is no more need to hire programmers either at home or outsourced
When that goal's been reached venture capital will shift to bio electronics to enable directly plugging the minds of those clones into the computers so they can do away with the bodies (and maybe the computers as well).
 
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There are many different aspects to the life sciences. There is a bunch of IT type of activities that encompass clinical trials management, manufacturing, quality, etc. From what I hear these are being outsourced hard. I have heard that companies such as Pfizer are even outsourcing (not necessarily offshore) entire datacenters to companies like ATT. Now assume every company in America outsourced their datacenter to one service provider. The IT jobs would be cut probably by 75%. Instead of DBAs at each of 1000's of companies there would only be 100s at the single provider.
On the research side, they've been getting budgets whacked by economic concerns. A certain portion of bioinformatics has proven very useful and probably will stick around but will become commoditized. As far as the gene on a chip and more adventurous projects those seem to be falling more towards academia and government with a few possible startup players.
 
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An investor should diversify his portfolio. Going back to my agrian roots - don't put all your eggs in one basket. In that he is diversifying, does not mean that much.
 
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