Andy Hargadon's recent post, The Forks in the Road, gave me thoughts of Thanksgiving, and not just due to the utensil reference. He opens with:

In the commercialization of university research, it’s important to recognize that not every research project becomes a new venture—nor should it. For every research project, there is a range of possible outcomes. This range is often lost when federal commercialization policies, universities technology transfer offices, and enterpreneurship programs focus too much on the number of startups launched or the amount of licensing revenue received in a given year.

Hargadon presents some different possible outcomes:

  • Starting a new venture
  • Licensing
  • Partnering
  • Transitioning the research from a basic science to an applied focus, while staying in the laboratory
  • Moving on when it becomes clear that the time isn't right for the particular project

Yes, we must be thankful for what we have. The ideas we do come up with, the ideas that "take," the implementations that are successful, and the ones that teach us through their failure. Happy Thanksgiving.