Len and George reflect on their long partnership
What you can get done when you don't have any red tape or bureaucracy or any of that stuff. You need something, you get it done. You need labs made, you make them. And I think that may have helped convince George that we actually could do more, not less in this kind of environment rather than an environment where you're constantly... Even if you have money, you got to have space, you got to have people for it. It takes years to do anything of that nature. And in business, I told George, we hire somebody, they work out, they don't work out. We're not saddled in for the rest of our lives. There are some advantages to living in an entrepreneurial business setting that you don't get in the academic setting. Of course you give up a lot that you get in academia, but you get a lot.
I realized he's absolutely right about that. I started realizing the power of what you could do when you didn't have bureaucracy, when you didn't have red tape, when a small group of people that you all knew were really in charge and ran things and could make decisions quickly as opposed to in academia, some sort of faceless bureaucracy. You don't know who's controlling your world and your universe.
What George needed, in my opinion, was somebody who could work for him that he could trust. And that turned out to be me because that's sort of how he viewed me, that I was working for him because I was doing my job so that he could do his job. And that's actually what I preached. That is we're going to build a company where the administration of the company, the business people, the management, whoever were working for the scientists rather than the scientists working for them. And I think that attitude was very appealing because I think that most young scientists sort of resent these deans and these department chairmans and what have you in the academic setting who have this notion that you're working for them. Whereas really, and I used to tell this to everybody who wasn't working in the labs, our job is to make sure that the people in the lab can produce. And so therefore we're working for them rather than they're working for us.
And that shift in attitudes... So for the last 20 years I've worked for George.