Andy Jacobson could have been in the movie business, but thought he was getting a better deal when he took a job at DoubleTwist.
He had the perfect background for the company — pharmacology and databases — but it was far from the perfect job. Jacobson was working more hours than he wanted to at a place that “was not an ideal company to be working at.” But, had he gone down that other road and accepted the job offer he had from a movie studio, he would likely not have been named US operating officer at the BioBridge subsidiary in San Francisco. Jacobson, 39, is happy to be spending more time in the Bay Area: “It’s nice to be home,” he says.
BioBridge, a 12-person company based in Sweden, makes software for peak extraction and protein identification. The firm plans to hire a few more employees for software development by the end of the year.
As the 13th employee hired by then-Pangea Systems, Jacobson developed a database product called Gene Thesaurus, but encountered conflicts as the company wanted it done faster and “I insisted that we really needed to do things right,” he says.
“I had a showdown with them and they told me that they didn’t want me to stick around. I wasn’t planning to,” he says. “What I see as the failure of the company was in the years of 1999 to 2000 when they really wasted a lot of time and a lot of money trying to put something together that was just never going to be viable.”
After DoubleTwist, Jacobson went to Bio-Rad’s life sciences group, where he managed a bioinformatics platform for proteomics researchers.
— Amanda Urban