Monday, December 23, 2013

Everyone loves a posed picture

This Quartz piece on the misadventures of a battery/electrochemistry startup that worked with GM on some of the technology for the Volt is pretty interesting. Seems to me that the GM side was quite new to battery chemistry and did not know the right questions to ask or specifications to set.

One little detail I really liked from the story was the posed picture of the two managers from Envia. Of course, it's a posed picture, but the best part is the creases in the brand-new-from-the-wrapper paper lab coats that they decided that both folks should wear. 

9 comments:

  1. They could have saved some money by using someone else's labcoats, rather than buying brand-new ones.

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  2. Perhaps they just wanted clean lab coats for the picture rather than dingy, used ones.

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  3. Maybe it was their lab coats, they've just never warn them before, and will never again.

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    1. Perhaps so.

      (My experience with the Blue Pill Factory is that they'd bring in the higher-ups for lab tours and make them put on PPE/disposable lab coats that were made from paper/plastic. You could tell because you could see through the lab coats, and you could see the creases.)

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  4. Good thing one of them is wearing nitrile gloves.....

    I still recall working for a particularly arrogantly managed biotech, 100 years of management experience!, (that ended up going kaput after I left) and whenever investors were scheduled to come in on a tour the CEO would email everyone in the co telling them to be at their lab benches working busily. I found that amusing.

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  5. I like the paragraph:

    "On Aug. 28, Kapadia and a subordinate boarded a red-eye flight to Detroit. Meeting the next day at GM’s offices in the Detroit suburb of Warren, they confronted a “visibly and justifiably angry” Joshua and Nitz, according to Kapadia. Kapadia tried to appeal to their sense of decency. Envia had committed mistakes but the two companies should try “to mitigate the employment and immigration risk on the hard-working scientists at Envia who were likely to be adversely affected” if the startup collapsed, Kapadia argued."

    H1B factory?

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    1. At least they viewed their employees as human beings. That's more than I can say about the senior management at most companies.

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  6. I don't think I've ever seen anybody who actually works in lab that wears a tie while doing it...

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  7. Well, at least they are wearing PPE. Lab coat, safety glass, gloves. Nice.

    People that work at my company who started in late 70s early 80s said wearing a tie to work used to be required.

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