In 1992-93 I worked as a Consultant for Life Medical Sciences, Inc. in Princeton, NJ. I was hired through a temp agency to assist with writing a securities prospectus for a public offering. After six months, my supervisor arranged it so that I would work as an employee. After financing and regulatory approval, LMS began selling its first product (Sure-Closure Skin Stretching Device, for surgical procedures) and developing another product (Cariel® wound dressing gel). I ramped-up on Paradox for Windows, the DBMS used to track sales/use of the products. Below are screenshots of the prospectus cover and database front-ends. LMS was acquired by Boston Scientific.
below: screenshot of Data Entry screen
LMS was a fun and challenging job. I learned and contributed much. However, that said, what's funniest of all is that my mentor there (Robert Crane, CFO at the time) came off as talking a good game as regards his own storied background -- "I have degrees from 'name-brand schools'," as he once put it (MIT and Stanford) -- yet I had to correct his draft prospectus right off the bat, when I was first hired, because he'd made a rookie mistake. In describing his company's patents therein, he (Bob) incorrectly-if-tentatively stated for potential investors that the patents offered his company legal protection against competition for "13 years". I asked him whether they were utility patents or design patents. He made a call to the owners; they told him the patents were utility patents. "Your patents are good for 17 years, not 13" I informed him. "If they were design patents, it would be correct to say '13' in the prospectus. But they're utility, so we need to change it to '17'." (nb: At the time, utility patents had a term of 17 years, as opposed to the 20-year term currently in place.) He waxed pretty sheepish, he did, and then thanked me somewhat effusively. The only other (minor) problem I had with Bob is that he'd promised to send me to Washington, DC to file the S-1 when it was ready, but he had trouble making good on his hasty promise. Unfortunately, it later seemed like he'd been "talking out his ass" so to speak -- as the time for filing drew near, one of his bosses started acting like a Nervous Nellie, half-scolding Bob that the S-1 filing errand was too importqant to be entrusted to a mere underling like me -- and that he, the CFO, should perfect the filing. To his credit, Bob did let me ride shotgun with him when he ended up droving a battered old 4x4 south to the SEC Offices in Washington; so in that sense, he did keep his promise. But he was also properly chagrined as regards the age-old problem of Thinking You Can Run Before You Can Walk. Bob had worked shoulder-to-shoulder with me, night after night, sometimes 'til 3 a.m. with the Chinese take-out food keeping us going, and he'd reposed a great deal of confidence in me as far as helping him tune-up the securities prospectus. And later on, of course, he tasked me with programming the company's databases with Paradox. But it was clear that his own bosses hadn't trusted him enough to trust me, re a simple perfunctory filing job, even knowing that I was a law school grad who'd also been recently working part-time for a professor of Aerospace Engineering at Princeton.
Other than that, I recall that I did bear witness to a curious incident which is described in my memoirs. Here is what I wrote about LMS in my memoirs [incl. “as unpacked” from terse (placeholder) notation in current manuscript]:
Life Medical Sciences, originally hired to do some word processing and maybe some spreadsheet stuff, temp agency, Bob MIT/Stanford MBA / VP/CFO surprised to find the patent law background, that’s what can happen in a small startup company, boom, suddenly you’re promoted, in some cases to a vice presidency within a matter of hours. The S1 statement for the SEC, 3 a.m. with Bob and Chinese food, “shared command” not quite, but lots o' work into it. But there were also scenes like these. Saleem Noorani and the odd thing about his would-be commission; even though Bob was hyper-thorough, he was not a lawyer and got surprised by this controversy . . . Dr. Borgia was very particular about his coffee, and his comments reminded me of the secretary from Old Rundon’s office and her question about mud. The important coffee “discovery” from Dr. Borgia: “What we’ve discovered, Jonathan, is that you should use the separate container for pouring water into the coffee maker. If you use the coffee pot to pour the water, even if you rinse it, small particles of coffee get into the machine.”
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page last updated: 03-21-2021