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Last Update: Thursday July 29, 2021

Learn how people LIKE YOU start a business and make it grow!

"You're crazy. No way! It'll never work."

Kim Blicketnstaff, one of the three founders of Biosite in San Diego

San Diego: Early insights by three people, Dr. Gunars Valkirs, Kim Blickenstaff  (pcitured above) and Dr. Ken Buechler, opened the way to develop devices that are now used virtually every second of a day to aid hundreds of thousands of emergency medical technicians, nurses, doctors and patients to diagnose medical conditions faster and more accurately. In this episode of the show, you will see their little device, Biosite Triage® for rapid diagnostic testing, in action.

What people said.  When they had the idea, everyone told them, "You're crazy. No way! It'll never work."  They began their business in 1988. Today, it is a global organization with annual revenues over $250 million. And it is all based on a product line that never ever existed before they created it.

$300 million in sales.  We are looking at the first phase of the Biosite Triage® rapid diagnostic tests. First, they invaded the emergency rooms and the emergency vehicles. Now, they are moving into doctor's offices. It shouldn't be too long before a version is available for the home.

Tests with devices like theirs will change the way we see ourselves forever. You'll put a drop of blood (or urine) inside what looks like a fat credit card. Taken inside their little machine and as many as 1000 basic tests, all answers to key questions about a person's most basic medical conditions, are read out in 15 minutes or less.

Their creativity and courage is extraordinary. Ten out of ten MBAs from Harvard and other fine schools said, "It's stupid. Impossible." Yet, these three founders of Biosite nurtured their dream. They could see ways to improve the deep diagnosis of critical health conditions with rapid, accurate diagnostics. They knew the technology could be made. They were on the front edge of very sophisticated protein analysis. Why not put the two together? They persevered.

The firm's first product, The Triage Drugs of Abuse Panel, was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1992.

They didn't stop there. They now test for congestive heart failure, heart attack, and a long check list of medical emergencies with very strange names. Beyond their unstoppable energy and passion for continued research and exploration is the belief that their success to date does not begin to scratch the surface of the potential of diagnostics.

Go to all the Key Ideas and Videos of this episode...  

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These people are loved within their community and respected in their industry. Watch and listen to their insights and wisdom. From over 200 episodes prepared for PBS – over 1000 video clips – you get the real story of how a person, just like you, started then grew a very strong company. Learn how to plant, grow and harvest your dreams.

What do you want to do?

Start a Business

Marty started small. He has great advice for those starting and even for those who want to grow their business! He grew his business to over $100 Million per year with fewer than 100 employees!

LeonorFerrer_1.jpg Grow a Business

Help others go global! She says, "Outserve the big guys."  And, she does.  Go to all the key ideas of this episode!


Buy a Business
Look for trouble.  One way to get into business is to buy a distressed company. That what John Hawkins did!


Sell a Business
Do an IPO! That's selling. Yet, most who do, expected to do an IPO when they started the business.  A very different mindset, every owner should ask the question, "Is my vision large enough?"

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