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Last Update: Saturday September 18, 2021

Key Idea: Keep Working Even When You're Rich

Gunars Valkirs, Kim Blickenstaff and Ken Buechler love the challenges work presents.

Key Question:


The founders keep coming to work when they certainly could retire because work is life to them, and this work they are doing is noble. They are totally dedicated to the mission of making health care better and more affordable.

They are not just going to work; they are changing the world.

The more successful they are, the more people's lives are dependent on their future success. Most business owners take this responsibility very seriously. They are able to deal with the pressure and the stress when they have a real passion for their work, their customers, and their employees. They jump out of bed in the morning and can't wait to get to work because they love what they do. The work is the juice and the juice is the fountain of youth. Any kind of business that has a powerful and large mission can consume you in a positive way. When IBM said the PC was a toy, Bill Gates dreamed of a PC on every desk. Big mission? Yes. Has his pursuit of his dream been worth his time? You decide.

There are 25 million business owners, 8 million who employ others. The more we study this group, the more diversity we find. This is precisely the reason this segment of the population is so fascinating. Most of us are proud to sing along with Frank Sinatra, "I Did It My Way." The founders of Biosite represent the segment of business owners who are on a personal mission and the business simply supports that mission.

Think about it

What jazzes you up? Does the mission of your business excite you? Do you love what you do?

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

Keep Working Even When You're Rich

HATTIE: It's exciting.

KIM: Waking up, yeah, satisfied and excited.

KEN: No doubt we had some maybe fear that we wouldn't succeed, and I think that really drives a person to succeed because one should not ever accept failure. And I think that that attitude has permeated throughout Biosite and it's created people who actually like to take risks and like to take chances and actually succeed. I want to continue to work. I enjoy working. This is fun. If I go on vacation, I usually get bored, and so 20 years from now probably, hopefully I will still be working.

GUNARS: I would say there's no other diagnostics company in the world that has the focus on research and innovation that we do

HATTIE: Why do you have to work? KIM: Why do I have to work? It's part of man's soul. You have to achieve. I wouldn't give it up because I think it's a very, very rare thing. In fact Ted Greene said that, he said it continually, he said a good company is a very rare thing. Cherish it and don't give it up.

HATTIE: (In the Studio) Biosite is part of the universal thrust to know more, to go even deeper inside and into mysteries that have existed for all time. It is all about interiority, truly understanding the intricacies of life itself. By going deeply inside like Biosite we can bring new insights to the surface. I'll see you next time.

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