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Do we want Celera to place a high value on signing agreements with pharmaceutical companies and labs as soon as possible. Or would it be better to be more patient and wait until the value of the database is seen to be invaluable?

It seems that Celera's bargaining position might be stronger if they wait a little. They should be able to get a higher price in 6 months than they could now. I don't want them to be desperate for deals now and give away the store.

Suppose Celera negotiates with, say, Merck (I don't know if they already have an agreement there or not). Right now, Merck says, "well the really good stuff isn't here yet. Our perception of the value of a subscription justifies a 5 year commitment of 10mil a year, but due to uncertainty, no more than that."

Suppose Celera waits 6 months, when they have the human genome assembled and well-annotated, and they get some really useful database techniques developed. Then they negotiate with, say, Merck. Then Merck might reason, "Wow! Celera has cleared up the uncertainty. What they've got is really valuable. If we don't subscribe, we'll fall behind our competitors over the years. We'd be foolish to pass up a deal for only $25mil a year."

It's not apparent to me that the best strategy is to sign as many agreements as possible in the really near term.

Let me know what you think.

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