How to find the Truth Behind a Rumor (Competitive Intelligence for Biotech and Pharma) | Drea Burbank, MD | Skillshare

How to find the Truth Behind a Rumor (Competitive Intelligence for Biotech and Pharma)

Drea Burbank, MD, High-tech in medicine

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6 Lessons (19m)
    • 1. The Rumor

    • 2. Google Rumor

    • 3. McKinsey Rumor

    • 4. VC Trends

    • 5. What I Wrote

    • 6. Rumor Conclusion


About This Class

This class sums up the cognitive steps I use to validate facts for popular science writing, competitive analysis for biotech and pharma, and other trending medical topics. 

It's basically a stream-of-consciousness description of behind-the-scenes fact-finding.  With screen capture and final written products. 

  • Why find the truth behind a rumor? 
  • Googling a rumor, and assessing the information you find
  • Analysis of the sources behind a rumor
  • How to accurately summarize the fact behind a rumor


1. The Rumor: I mean, a mystery. A Burbank. I'm an m d technologist consulting for high tech and medicine. So I get hired to write competitive intelligence articles, business strategy, um, process optimization, Um, a lot of, like analysis, novel analysis to predict where the market's gonna go for medicine. Um, the reason I'm able to consent stoned, consistently deliver this kind of content is because I talked to a lot of really smart people, and they tell me, thinks the problem is that just because somebody tells you doesn't mean it's true. So actually spent a lot of time researching rumors to see if there's a fact behind them, Um, or finding the facts behind a rumor either way, like what I actually using my business is the facts, not the rumor, but the rumor helps gloomy and where to look. So today I'm gonna teach you how I do that. It's not that complicated idea with a lot of facts and a lot of rumors, so I kind of do this all the time. So we're gonna start with the rumor. The rumor is that, um, I heard it last week and I don't remember who told me. I wish I did. I'm sorry because I usually like to get people credit. The best thing about science is you can actually give people credit, and it's cool. Um, but the rumor is that over the last two years, the majority of VC funding has gone to a I and medicine technologies. So this is a valuable rumor, if it's true, because it indicates that we can expect within 6 to 10 years to see a lot of new startups producing product for a I medicine, which would disrupt the market right now. Um, so let's go through the steps to see if this rumor is true. 2. Google Rumor: So the first thing that I do is I search for the actual rumor itself. So I'm looking for VC funding for air medicine. Pretty basic. The first thing I noticed when I searched word is that there's a number of ads targeted for this exact thing. So there's obviously a market looking for this search. Um, I scroll down until I find four articles that air exactly for promoting this rumor. So this one's talking about AI and healthcare. Early stage BC's this one saying investment for AI and health care sores and health care E eyes moving. Um, so I want to know why these people are saying this. And if there's any truth behind it, so the 1st 1 they look at us health care ai is moving by biotech. Now that seems like it would be a fairly on by a source, although it's not like a mean player. Um, so let's look at that. Um, So what I see here is healthcare is booming. Obviously, these keywords or something they want to promote. Um, they're looking at the investor forum experts in the field. All this it was very vague. Um, did you digits do tickles these air catchphrases. I'm not that impressed. Um, I really don't like this graph because it looks like exponential growth, and it's clearly like, not really, it's just made by an algorithm. So already, I think, Okay, they're probably not talking about an actual trends. And then here they say about to take off like a rocket. Anytime somebody started saying stuff like that, I'm less interested. Um, a report by global market insides forecasts. So when I were talking about a forecast another, they made this this this graph with a lot of arrhythmic function. So already I think that there they're promoting a turn they predict will happen, But I don't see any fact behind it, So I dropped it the next time looking at his KPMG. You know, I don't know who these guys are, but they actually have some facts behind their stuff. So here it looks like they're saying the same thing that air solutions are are soaring and health care, investment for A and healthcare sores. But they actually have some facts behind what they're saying. So here they say. Since 2015 bc investments has soared, they actually have numbers and dates and they're showing like an actual trend now where they got this information, I don't know. I have to look into it further, but it looks reasonable to me that they're actually talking about a real trend. I need to look up their motivation, though, like if they're selling air in health care, we have a different problem. Also, where they got those numbers from the last one is a little bit interesting. So this is a single person talking about his opinion. Also, like not as reputable, Um, but what he's done is he's actually, like, looked at. So first off, he says, there's there's potential for a I medicine. We all know that there's potential for robots and human hurt services, but we don't have them yet, so I appreciate that He sees the potential know what he's actually done. Is that an analysis of more than 200 companies in the healthcare space y Combinator etcetera and looked at where they're at and in their funding stage, and he has 70 start ups and he scored them all like he actually put a lot of time into this and made a cohesive effort to look at the start ups. Now what I'm seeing here, he has prenatal genetics testing, um, on demand stopping marketplace. I mean, this step has all been around since 2014. This is not new technology. Um, stimulation platform for drug discovery up. That's like a diamond us. And they're seeing 10 start ups doing that. Um, insurance, pre authorization from provider side. Interesting, but not novel. Um, so seed funded rapid at home blood test diagnostics. And then they have that for pets. No, Um, that's a tough marketplace. So none of this stuff is like, actually new anomalies and brain scans. Also, like that's been out for a long time. None of this stuff is new, but nothing that makes it into medicine is new. Um, I think that what's interesting is that he's actually looked at it in depth, but he also only talks about 70 start ups. So I'm not saying like this huge, like, sudden surge of novel technology ai medicine getting funding. But I do like like him as a non analyst, and I trust his analysis. So that's alley tennis up 3. McKinsey Rumor: next thing I'm gonna do is take a little bit broader view. I just took a look at the of rumor itself and I'm not seeing much behind it. I'm saying people with a vested interest in promoting the rumor, but not a lot of facts behind it. So I'm gonna look at a reputable source and see if I could take a broader view on the subject. So I know McKinsey's good. Everybody respects them. They do a good job on their analysis and they have a lot of public stuff out there. So I'm just gonna look and see if McKinsey has done an analysis on BC funding by industry for 2019. That will tell me a lot. So the first thing that I find is I find to two different analysis. The 1st 1 is a global private markets review, and then mobility start up in investment trends both 2019 both McKinsey. So what I find is that McKinsey's private market, they're like private markets come of age looks pretty interesting. When I scroll down, I find that they have a little section on V. C um, gross over private equity. Just to summarize it looks like you're saying that private equity hasn't changed, whereas BC keeps growing and growing. So it's actually really interesting, Um, that we might be seeing, like, a change in or in the market distribution, but it doesn't have anything about AI and medicine. And so all it does is kind of tell me on the broader scale that, um, what BC Markets do is no over, like, so much high risk. But now it could be like industry standards. So this is an interesting fact that I found it's related, not directly, but I think it's a good, solid, um, observation. And it could also impact some my writing in the future. So I've already, like, written it down. And just to be clear, I've, like, highlighted the way that I I wrote it. So first up and make sure that when I write it out for some of my further writing, I keep it in what I call a scrap pile. Um, that I like. I put the year in so that my writing doesn't really go out of date like two or three years from now. This statement will still be valuable. I always credit a source and I out link it water. What client hires me, they're probably gonna want, like, good out linking. So I've out linked and credited to this report. And then I just mentioned that there's a decrease in private equity fund raising. Um, while venture capital has grown 18% annually since 2015. So I've taken what they wrote and made made a synopsis, and I kept the fact for later I'm gonna be using it in this argument or this analysis, but it's a good, solid, like observation and facts. So I found one fact behind this rumor, which is kind of unrelated. It's a relevant The next thing I look at is the McKinsey's analysis of mobile mobility investments and where they're going. So I just scroll down in the report to look at, like, the different industries. And actually, I don't see anything about Aaron medicine, but I do see is kind of predictable batteries, electric vehicles. Uh, h h c I human machine interface, voice recognition semiconductors. So actually, I found the opposite of this fact. I found that on the mobility landscape police, we're not seeing a lot of ai and medicine. Now, this is just the mobile world. So it But it does tell me that we're not seeing any air and medicine stuff on moveable. So, um, it's, ah, somewhat unrelated fact, but it's not really supporting my initial river. 4. VC Trends: data. The first thing I noticed when I went to go right, His all out for you guys is that the mobility investments. I was like, Wait a minute, mobility. I'm thinking mobile phones, but what they actually meant and no, this is the problem with doing a lot of review of data fast is that you can get stuck if you're looking at different disciplines, you can get sites stuck on search terms. So I thought mobility, I'm looking fast. I'm skimming articles at that mobility meant mobile phones. But when I look at the top of the white paper, I'm seeing that mobility refers to the automotive industry and transportation so immediately, this white paper becomes useless to my question, Um, this is not like a unusual problem when you go cross disciplinary, Google searching, looking for information, you have to like, have a really high threshold for questioning yourself in your assumption. So in this case, I made the assumption that mobility met mobile phones. It didn't amend tick in meant transportation. So I took. I took another step back and I thought, OK, how do I even know what we see is investing in, um like maybe I don't even know where the deals are being done. So how can I even figure out if the deals are being done for a medicine or not? Maybe I'm full of crap, which actually is a great question to ask yourself at any stage of assessing rumor. What if the rumor isn't true? Would have have made a bad assumption. What if I'm full of crap? Um, I asked myself this constantly, and it really helps the quality of my work as much as I as painful as it could be. So the first, the next thing I asked was had a tower VC money is going and I hit the jackpot. The first to the 1st 2 of the 1st 3 hits were Bloomberg and Wall Street Journal. So actually, it was a really good question to ask. And here's what I found. So the three articles I took a look at him almost immediately where what start ups are getting the most easy funding A deep dive into what's changed. Venture capital and more venture capital is going into fewer deals. So, looking at Blue, Bloomberg actually did this amazing analysis. This article is gold. I'm So what? I found it. I'm adding into my scrap. I'll be using it in all of my work. Going forward actually looked at where the venture capital was going. Like where In the U. S. It was. The deals were being done. What industry is like. This is genius. Um, looked at the value of the deals, etcetera. And then what stage of the venture capital? It's being done at so here. And these are actually see, that's like a riel chart. And whenever you see, like, a perfect like line, you know that it's been modeled. But this is actual real data. So, um, the one that really interested me the chart, the really interested me. Like I concede biopharmaceuticals and therapeutics. There are some big deals being done in medicine, but those aren't necessarily for AI medicine. So here, if you look at all the different deals, this is the best chart every US start up in the database that have VC funding in 2017 or the date of the deal and the company's industry. Nowhere in here do I see a I and medicine SC communications. Uh, consumer. The closest of that is technology. There's a lot of deals being done, but it's not really clear that Aaron Medicine deals and certainly they're not getting the majority of the sea farming. It's pretty evenly distributed across these sectors. Um, looking deep dive into what's changed. Venture capital. This is actually really interesting and not related at all. To my original question, um, they're saying that the majority of these deals are being done for companies like far, far out in the development cycle. Not early stage companies at all. Like the 70 that were initially I needed. Um, but like they're looking at like Google eso some of the companies they're talking about here are cool Post a repeal companies eso value that used to be invested pre i p o is now being invested in companies that were normally post ideo of late stage capital. So Google, Amazon salesforce, eBay, these air, not ai medicine companies. These are well established companies that everybody loves and they're accounted for a significant portion of east investments. So I think that when we're talking about a venture capital, it would be ludicrous to suggest that ai and medicine, which is way far back here on the development cycle is accounting for the majority of venture capital investments. So right away, I know that rumor is false. It might have some substance Thio in that, like company's coming out of, um y Combinator and stuff are coming out with a I and medicine. They're getting BC funding. But that doesn't mean their accounting for the majority of you see funding looks like BC Funding is taking over where private equity used to start. And just to validate that, you're seeing this here in the Wall Street Journal. They're saying the venture capital money is being concentrated into well established industries. Um, startups that everybody knows they're going to be successful and they're already far along in their development cycle. So and the seed funding deals are much higher. So I believe that this rumor has probably been invalidated. So the next question is, what would I say about the rumor? Because I've investigated it. Um, somebody told it to me. I found the fact behind the rumor. Now, how do I process that that that fact into something that I can use to talk about the topic 5. What I Wrote: so I just want to walk you through really quick. What I actually wrote as much as I wanted the truth, to be that veces love ai and medicine because I love medicine. It wasn't actually the truth. So, um, I wrote some content and then we'll see where I end up using it. But the content is basically that, um, yes, I looked at KPMG, and they are an independent accounting firm, so they're fairly reliable is an independent source. So I said that Yeah. You know what? They're showing a real trend. There is a funds going into a I in medicine. I quoted the independent analysis of Crunch based on Y Combinator. Um, this guy, like I said, um, where is he? Mr. Ali Thomas AB did an amazing job of looking articles. He did a good, like primary review, so But I didn't call him by name because nobody would possibly recognize his name. So I just said an independent analysis. Hopefully, the back wing cool. Give him some credit, and then I also like, referred to each of the different themes by name, because, I mean, I worked on with AI and all of these so genetics, testing provider networks, brain imaging and drug discovery. These are kind of like generic terms for the more specific companies, But I like to get companies credit, and Aly did a good job of like starting out the wheat from the chapter. So that's how I incorporated his work. Um, I said that overall, and then I just kind of take a step back because I did all that work and to kind of put it in the wider context that we see investment is rising. I used this quote already, and then I finished out it. In that Bloomberg reports that, um, the investing is kind of evenly distributed, and The Wall Street Journal points out that the investments being made across for your companies at a later stage of mega rounds what I said earlier about Google was incorrect. I looked back at the article, and Google was kind of used as an example, like if Google had waited to get their investments and we find it again, if Google had waited to get there a VC investments till later, they would have kind of been in this large make around, which is where lift and uber were so actually was lifting uber that we're gonna groans. Um, so but I just kind of skimmed over all of that and that we're getting big around because that's not the main point. So And my final conclusion is that while AI medicine is an attractive investment and may prove to capture a bigger market share in the future, it is not yet the lion share of PC Investments. So, um, and I'll talk about that in a second. 6. Rumor Conclusion: so it's a bit later in the day. I'm a bit more frazzled, but I feel like I found the truth behind the rumor, which is that yes, I am. Medicine is getting funding, but it's not getting the lion share of the funding. Hello. I love the rumor. It's not true. So if I heard somebody say it to me in the future, I would say, Hey, where you get in the info? Because I looked into it and I couldn't find that to be the truth. So I'm always open to like being uprooted or having my research questions. But if I was asked by somebody independent, I'd say, Hey, you know, am Medicine is coming out awake. Why Combinator? It's coming out of crunch based. There are companies getting funding. It's primarily in established fields that we know are hotbeds like, you know, uh uh, sorry provider networks. Or, like jean interpretation. So these are all like established fields. I haven't seen anything new come out yet, but I'm always excited to find out something. And, hey, I would always give credit to this alley guy who did a great analysis, um, talking about the Wall Street Journal article. The V C one like So I have a bunch of, like stuff that I can use content that I can use for other sites. Other articles and it was a time will spend the majority of my work kind of intersex. So whatever time I spent on this, it might not necessarily help me out with the article on currently writing. But if anybody asked me about private equity, your venture capital trends, I'm gonna know a lot about it. Even if it talking about transportation or mobility. I have the mobility article. So, um, it's kind of an odd job, but I really love it. Sorting out the meat from the chap is what really gets me excited about my day. I hope it helped. Thanks, but