Time for Resurrection

Dear Reader,

After much thought, I have decided to re-start The Laszlo Letter. Since I last wrote roughly 1 year ago, my business and personal interests have changed and evolved a lot. With this blog already in place, I thought it best to simply change direction here rather than start an entirely new blog.

While I am still very much interested in Life Sciences and the impact that information technology can have in that space, I am also interested in the broader Healthcare arena. For various and sundry reasons, I have also become interested in the worldwide taxi and limousine business and continue to enjoy my hobbies of travel and photography. Once in a while, I also get turned on (i.e. aggravated, upset, disgusted) by things that are going on in the world or in my own back yard.

So, the NEW Laszlo Letter will cover all of these topics. I realize that some of you will drop out, some will stick around and some new readers will also show up. I will keep writing as long as there are readers or until it's no longer fun.

So, stay tuned for my first entry and a somewhat revised look and feel for the site. Since many people find what I have written in the past to be of value, I will leave it here for posterity.

Thanks for dropping by,


About (the future of) this blog

As a lot of you have noticed, I have not created any new posts on this site since February, 2012.

The reason for this inactivity is fairly simple. My own interests have changed and I find myself spending most of my time on things that have nothing to do with my career in the Pharmaceutical / Biotech sector.

All of us experience transitions in life; some that are imposed on us and some that we choose to make ourselves. Luckily, I have been able to control my fate in most cases, including my decision to explore opportunities outside of our industry. Because I do not want to bore you with those details, suffice it to say that I need to cut back (drastically) with my contributions to this web site.

I have considered taking down the site entirely but have decided against this since a lot of people still find the content that is already here of continuing value. And who knows? I may decide at some point in the future to refocus my energies on this always fascinating and controversial industry.

Finally, I want to thank all of you (who have followed this site and/or have commented on what has been written here) for reading my opinions. I truly hope that they have made a difference.




The Laszlo Letter Gets 1,300 Visitors per Month

Sitestats2007 I am happy to report that in 2007, The Laszlo Letter has been getting roughly 1,300 visits per month. As the graph to the left will show, each visitor views at least two pages per visit. I attribute this to my common practice of showing a brief introduction to a new posting on the first page and continuing with the body of the article on the second page.

Months with the highest number of visits are October, September, November and January. October got close to 2,000 visits but I am not able to tell you why. As you would expect, readership drops off in December and picks up again in January.

Readers typically stay on the site somewhere between 2 and 2.5 minutes per visit.

While these statistics are gratifying, my goal for 2008 is to significantly expand the audience base and hopfully triple visits per month. Your help spreading the word will be appreciated.

Revised blog layout

For quite some time I've been concerned that there was too much empty real estate on each blog page. Specifically, there was a pretty wide empty margin on both the left and right sides. I let this go since I did not know how to fix this situation and never had the time to get into it. Then, TypePad, the company I use to host this blog made things easy for me. They sent a news-bulletin specifically showing how this margin issue could be solved. So, I went ahead and did it.

Now, I just need some feedback from you to make sure that I did not create any new problems in the process. Specifically, since your computer display may be set at a lower resolution than mine, you may see some of the page cut off. Now, I hope that this is not the case. But, if it is, please let me know.

2000 Plus Visitors

Laszlolettermap A few days ago the Laszlo Letter welcomed visitor number 2000.

If you recall, it took 3.5 months to reach the 1000 visitor number. The next 1000 took just a little over two months.

I am encouraged by this trend although I would admit that I am also suffering from the disease I call "blog tyranny." Blog Tyrranny is a condition characterized by extreme guilt following a day that a new posting is NOT created. Blog Tyrrany is a relatively new condition but it's taking on epic proportions similar to carpal tunnel syndrome.

I'm sure that some drug company will seize on this new condition and start running DTC ads real soon. Perhaps I can rest easy at night if I take Rozerem or Lunesta or Ambien. Maybe all three.

By the way, the world map shown here represents the location of the last 100 people who connected to this site. Thank you, whoever you are in Jakarta.

Search... - A New Feature of My Web Site

If you are a return visitor, you may have noticed that there is now a Search box on the left side of the screen. You can search either just this site or many others on the Internet.

When you search this site, the search results will show in a new window and under the banner of the search engine chosen. For example, if Google is listed in the pull-down, the results will be served up in a Google-produced window. So, you will see the results AND whatever advertising someone has bought using the search terms you entered. Note that I have no control over this "feature."

If you wish to search the Internet and NOT my site, just push the Web radio button. At that point, I suggest that you look at the entire pull-down list of possible search sites. Choose either a single one (e.g. - Yahoo) or an entire category (e.g. Blog Search).

That's all there is to it.

Note that there are many search widgets that I can use on my site. If you like this one, let me know. If you don't like it, let me know.

1000 Plus Visitors

Sometime this past Tuesday, The Laszlo Letter hit the 1,000th visitor milestone after just  3 1/2 months of life. While I am gratified by this development, there is still a long way to go. When I started this blog, my objective was to reach enough forward thinking professionals in our industry so that the ideas and opinions expressed here would begin to have an impact on the way specific companies use information techology. Not technology for its own sake, but to improve the way work is performed on a daily basis.

It is not yet clear that the blog is starting to make a difference. So, I want to encourage you, the reader, to use your visits to comment back on the entries. Don't just read the entries but also give me feedback.


About the topics on this blog

The subtitle of this blog reads: "Operational Excellence through IT Enablement in the Life Sciences industry." As you can imagine, this gives me a fair amount of latitude about the topics that are covered.

As the number of entries grow, there needs to be a way to organize them so that you can zero in on a particular topic with relative ease. I try to do this by making use of Categories. You can see these Categories on the right side of the page. Note that each entry starts with a number. Without the numbers, the Categories would simply show up in alphabetical order. The numbers allow me to group similar topics.

For example, since "IT Infrastructure" and "Application Hosting" are related, I numbered them 60 and 65, respectively. Since I don't create a Category until I have a posting that requires it, the Category list remains somewhat fluid and organic. And, it is not yet clear whether this type of arrangement is the best. So, send me your comments and recommendations. I promise to pay attention.

When you select a Category entry, all of the posts that belong there should show up in reverse chronological order. A minor problem when you do this is that there is no easy way to return to the HOME page. I am still working on a solution to this problem. In the meantime, click on The Laszlo Letter heading, use the Back button or type in the URL in the address line: www. thelaszloletter.com

Welcome to my Blog

Why this blog?

For quite a few years, I have been following many publications (hard copy and electronic) that carry relevant information related to the way Life Sciences companies are (or could be) run. Based on these readings, I have formed many opinions about these publications, the way the information they contain is disseminated and the quality of the information being published. Among others, I am of the opinion that:

  • There is a lot of good information out there but most is lost or inaccesible;
  • There really is no single place to find best practices;
  • There is really very little being written about best practices;
  • There is too much said about success and not enough about failure;
  • There is too much repetition about the basics and very little of depth;
  • There is too much faith and hope placed on technology; and
  • There is too little attention paid to process and management.

I could go on, but...

The purpose of this Blog is to focus on all the things that would allow a Life Sciences company (Pharmaceuticals, Devices, Diagnostics, Biopharmaceuticals, Animal Health) to achieve operational excellence in every part of its business. So, I will attempt to deal with many subjects across what we consultants call the value chain: Discovery, Development, Manufacturing, Sales, Marketing, Administration, HR, etc. I will also focus on the important role that information and communication technologies do and can play to enable operational excellence.

And yes, I will sometimes rant about things that bother me. In fact, expect a fair amount of this. It is my fervent hope that the squeaky wheel will (once in a while) get the grease.

Happy reading!