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Last Update: Saturday September 18, 2021

Key Idea: Stop And Think

This tiny machine is busy saving lives because the inventors wouldn't give up on their dream.

Key Question:


Keep thinking.

This is easy to say but hard for most people to do. In fact, some psychologists argue that most people don't think most of the time. We run on automatic pilot. Each person's automatic pilot is following the paths set in place by early childhood development. You've heard it say, "first we make our habits then our habits make us."

With a stoic expression on his face, Ken told us that when he has a problem, he thinks. We have the conversation on tape and we looked at it over and over. It sounds too simple. Here is a man who has worked on a big problem for nearly three decades and in working on it, he has encountered thousands of new problems.

He has two partners. That seems impossible too. Most founders can't get along with one partner, much less two.

Q: What do most people do when they are confronted with a problem?

Well, if we just step back and look at the lives people live, we guess that they don't face up to most problems. They accept the status quo, run from the difficult and if they do try to solve a problem, they often quit before they arrive at a solution.

Here's what we leaned from Ken.

First, face the problem and acknowledge it.
Second, stay calm, cool and collected.
Third, take time to think.

You probably know the famous story of the founder of IBM, Thomas Watson. He must have believed in people more than they believed in themselves because when he noticed that his employees were not being as productive as he had hoped, he printed up signs for everyone. The sign simply said, THINK.

When faced with a problem then, try sitting and thinking. You may not need to call people or sign up for a class or read ten books or hire new people. You may be surprised what happens when you just think.

Think about it

What problem do you need to tackle now? How will you feel when this problem is solved?

Clip from: Biosite is helping to save healthcare.

San Diego: Early insights by three people, Dr. Gunars Valkirs, Kim Blickenstaff 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.

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. 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 diseases 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. Here you look into the heart of creativity.  

Editor's Note:  Since this episode was taped, Biosite was purchases by Innverness Medical Innovations.

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Biosite, Inc.

Kenneth Buechler, co-founder, President, Chief Scientific Officer

9975 Summers Ridge Road
888.BIOSITE (Customer Service)
San Diego, CA 92121

Visit our web site:

Office: 858.805.8378

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1988

Stop And Think

HATTIE: Was there a time that you wanted to quit on Biosite?

KEN: No never.

HATTIE: When you're personally stuck on a problem, what do you do?

KEN: Think.


KEN: I think in developing new products, the Triage Meter for example and the Microcapillary chip --

HATTIE: It's in here.

KEN: Yes, it took us about five to six years to develop that technology. And although we did have skeptics in the beginning, people who thought that this could never be done, it was clear that it could be done and it was just a matter of doing it and solving all the problems. So really the issue is the ability to solve problems as quickly as possible.

GUNARS: We haven't even scratched the surface on the potential of diagnostics. We're really probably the first diagnostics company to take a very global perspective and treat diagnostics more like the pharmaceutical company treats the pharmaceutical business.

KIM: It's fun. It's fun going on to the next problem, figuring it out, based upon the experience that you're gaining. You know, winning in that sense is fun but then seen a lot of people that are new to the organization are working their way up at that same sort of buzz that Gunars, Ken and I got when we read Hibritech, and we did our first product here, seeing that sort of spread.

GUNARS: The Multi Marker Index that we pioneered makes simple the interpretation of a very complex situation.



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