Some years ago I visited a researcher at one of the leading universities on the US East Coast. This researcher, a distinguished professor with many awards, discovered a treatment that was helping thousands of patients suffering from chronic disease. Someone chose to publicize his phone number on a popular website and he was receiving calls from patients throughout the day. Our meeting was constantly interrupted with him picking up the phone to callers, with apologies to me, “just in case it’s an important call”.
Saving Time is Clever
On my next visit to this researcher, I brought him a gift. A telephone with caller ID. I suggested he not pick up those calls he didn’t recognize, and leave a message that if people are calling him about his drug discovery, they should email him instead. He was elated. “Moshe, you are a genius, an absolute genius!” he exclaimed, with the excitement of a child who was flying on a plane for the first time.
“Moshe, all I am doing all day is answering people’s emails. I have to answer them, they are people who are suffering. But I don’t have time.”
On my next visit to him, the phone issues had been resolved. But he complained. “Moshe, all I am doing all day is answering people’s emails. I have to answer them, they are people who are suffering. But I don’t have time.” So I made this suggestion to him. “Why don’t I help you put up a website where you will place all your frequently asked questions, and answer them just once. You can set up an autoresponder on your email and send everyone to that site”. This time he must have felt that he had met Einstein himself. “Moshe, what an ingenious idea!! Absolute genius!!” – he almost broke out in a dance.
I had one of my employees work with him to build a website that would save him a ton of time, allow him to spend his time on research rather than answering emails and continue helping those who needed it. Unfortunately, once the site was completed and ready for launch, he recalled that he had to obtain clearance from university officials. It didn’t take more than a few hours for them to shoot the idea down. Oh well, at least I tried. And in the process I learned that university policies and efficiency are kind-of antonyms.
Sharing Good Ideas is Brilliant
I shall never cease to be amazed by this distinguished professor’s excitement in the face of apparently simple yet novel solutions. However, now I realize it has taken me years to embark on the same time-saving solution I so easily proposed for the distinguished professor. I too find myself constantly having to repeat stories over and over, in order to convince people (patients or doctors) about how things work, don’t work or should work. But I am moved by the urgent necessity to continue my research into solutions for some of the world’s most pressing health issues. Thus, at long last, here is my blog—a repository of my knowledge and experience that allows you to find the solutions and answers you need whilst allowing me to continue my research.
So this post is a thank you. It’s a thank you for taking the time to read my musings and stories of my experience, and in the process supporting my ongoing research. And if in this blog you have found some good news to share, pass on the good news to others. Start broadcasting, and be the genius of the day.