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Your Worst Problem is a Beautiful Blue Ocean at Dawn

By Daniel Foster14 Mar 2023

I used to think that life shortchanged us, but at the same time gave us more problems than we could handle. However, an idea has crept upon me that’s changing everything…

Think of a blue ocean at dawn. The sun climbs, dispelling the darkness above the water. The bright day stretches across the water until it curves away at the horizon, but as you stand on the beach, you know that the end of your sight isn’t even the beginning of the ocean beyond. If you believe this ocean is something you are forced to cross, then it can feel endless. But if you realize that its vastness is actually a blank canvass, a featureless map upon which you set to sail and discover, then an endless problem becomes a limitless opportunity.

We struggle every day to avoid problems and seek opportunities, but our death-grip on that perceived difference is what creates the struggle, because problems and opportunities are conjoined twins. The distinction lies in how we handle them.

Transonic’s founder, Cornelis Drost, came from The Netherlands to Cornell University to find a way (at Cornell’s behest) to determine volume blood flow using doppler technology. Much frustrating research ensued. Doppler (pitch change caused by compression and rarefaction of wavefronts as they reflect from a passing object) had always previously been used to determine velocity, and after a period of time, Drost determined that this was its only application.

I.e., Cornell University’s request was impossible to fulfill.

That could understatedly be called an impasse. Mr. Drost had come halfway around the world to research a premise that proved to be fundamentally untenable. But instead of quitting, he reinterpreted the question. The Doppler Effect occurs in soundwaves, so could there be a way to apply sound waves, other than Doppler—to measure volume? Indeed, there was: transit time ultrasound. His persistence not only birthed an answer that was better than the initial question, but it gave rise to an entirely new medical diagnostics tool. Apparently, Henry J. Kaiser was right: “Problems are only opportunities in work clothes.”

From this met opportunity, we now build the industry’s most precise, reliable flow measurement technology. Gone are the days of palpating a graft and hoping for the best. From aneurysm obliterations to CABG surgeries, Transonic’s tech gives accurate measurement of flow inside vessels, surprising surgeons and prompting graft revisions in life-saving surgeries again and again. And every device we’ve built is based upon transit time ultrasound. None of it would have been possible if Mr. Drost had simply reported his dead-end Doppler findings and then left, as logic might have dictated.

So, in reality, Transonic’s existence isn’t about new tech, or even new procedures, it’s about the determination to press ahead, even when it seems like everything is already lost. Perhaps John Burroughs said it better than anyone:

“Leap. And the net will appear.”

Click here to read about the safety net that we continue to provide to countless surgeons, from cardiothoracic, to cerebrovascular, to transplant. Physicians across the world rely on our blue ocean to help guide patient’s safely across theirs.

Thanks for reading,

                Transonic Systems, Inc.

                                The Measure of Better Results