Reconciling the Research and Development Mindsets with David Giltner

On this episode, I will be bringing you my interview with David Giltner, who is launching his book « It’s a Game, Not a Formula: How to Succeed as a Scientist Working in the Private Sector », about his experience bridging the gap between the research mindset and the development mindset, in the context of career transitions from academia to the private sector.


David Giltner has spent more than twenty years developing cutting-edge photonics technologies into commercial products in the fields of optical communications, remote sensing, directed energy, and scientific instrumentation.

In 2017 he started TurningScience to provide
training and support for scientists of all disciplines seeking to enter the private sector as employees, collaborators, or entrepreneurs. David is the author of the books ‘Turning Science into Things People Need’ and ‘It’s a Game, Not a Formula,’ and is an internationally recognized speaker and mentor on the topics of technology commercialization, product development, and career design.

David has a BS and PhD in physics and holds seven patents in the fields of laser spectroscopy and optical communications.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • The working habits you bring from academia that work against you in the private sector
  • Why focusing on being the smartest person in the room is counterproductive in the private sector
  • Breaking the taboo that for profit research is « dirty »
  • How developing work in both worlds can benefit researchers and graduate students
  • Why leaving academia after the PhD is not tantamount to having lost the years you invested in graduate school
  • Why scientists can become excellent, creative entrepreneurs

Thank you, David Giltner !

If you enjoyed this conversation with David, let him know by clicking the link below and leaving him a message on Twitter:

Send David Giltner a thank you message on Twitter!

Click here to share your key take-away from this interview with David!

This episode’s resources:

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