I want to be as honest as I can be when I start now looking back into 20 years of pathfinding with the tender cautious hands of insecurity, the sharp blade of the machete of conviction, the high spirits of the visionary, the joyful ignorance of the naive, or the sober dryness of the realist.
Together they have been with me at all times creating an exciting texture of threads and knots, an opalescent assemblage of encounters and paths.
What was meant to give us an economical foundation warding off our existential fears felt like endlessly tilting at windmills. The story I am going to tell shows how impossible it is to foresee the future, especially if you are without precedent.
I learnt so much through all these years I fought for Biestmilch. My learning curve was so steep as never before in my life. I don’t regret a minute of it. I think many a CEO should envy me for the experiences I was so happy to make.
From the outside I may appear delusional, and perhaps I am. But to become an entrepreneur without any backing, with limited resources, with a virgin market spreading in front of you needs a vision that is so strong that it survives the countless kicks in the teeth you receive. From my work in the nineties I had learned to see the immune system not as a war machinery anymore, this metaphor is definitely inadequate to be applied. I had discovered the network theory, complexity science and natural sciences outside the textbooks, natural sciences where they were still part of the currents of the stream of knowledge, not frozen facts yet, where the Pandora box is still open and so you are able to trace the making of a specific fact.
Let's say I had started to reorganize all my knowledge that I had through reading and experience. Looking at the known differently made it different. I began to see the body as a huge highly interactive communication system made up of myriads of feedback loops and circuits, regulatory system that talks only one language.
To discriminate between hardwired parts and soft-wired soluble elements, between the central and the peripheral nervous system, the innate and the acquired immune system as main regulatory components of the body makes sense, but in the end we have to recombine the fragments and look at the whole. I feel this as one of the major challenges Western sciences meet in 21st century. I had to learn through all these years I am working with Biestmilch to recombine the fragments of my knowledge, I had to and I still have to have the courage to speculate and trust my own intellectual abilities, a process of learning, asking questions and finding answers that never ends. Biestmilch is so complex, it never lets you laid back.
Against all »experts'« advices we three were venturing out to get to know this amazing powerful fluid. Not having big funds for huge studies crossing borders and reading publications of brilliant and courageous minds from various disciplines on the one hand and the hundreds of experiences from the field on the other became my daily job and in the end made it possible to create a positioning for Biestmilch that is unique and able to elucidate its manifold effects on well-being and illness. To realize that nobody before had done this is intimidating and encouraging at the same time.
I hope that this presentation will outline some aspects for you why I think that Biestmilch got the power to treat and prevent. I see Biestmilch exactly at the inflection point of well-being and illness, there it's a stronghold of balance.
This headline sounds philosophical and perhaps to some extent a little arrogant, but I could not resist. In the dawning of the industrial age pioneer work was the normal, today it's not, at least in the Western hemisphere. We live in the age of copy and paste.
When I wrote the first business plan for BIESTMILCH, I mentioned as a major concern and issue that we have to conquer a virgin market.
These were empty words. Believe me, I didn't know what I was talking about, today I know it and I had to painfully make the experience what it means to build up things from scratch. Whatever piece of the conventional marketing mix we chose or combined, be it print ads, special offers, attending events, sponsoring athletes,or doing PR work etc., it failed with respect to sales. I had to learn that the return on investment could not be part of my equation yet.
The marketing efforts we had to undertake to achieve a certain position in the market, to build up confidence and credibility that make people buy our product were and are still massive.
Since two decades we are branding Biestmilch now in the niche market of triathlon and medical problem areas as there are tumors and many other inflammatory illnesses. If you are entering a market which does neither know you nor your product, branding is crucial I think. Branding is the job you have to do before you can sell. But absolutely nobody can tell you how long this process will take, and whether you will succeed at all.
Today BIESTMILCH succeeded already to cut quite an impressive road into the jungle, a road not paved with cobblestones but with stories of amazing experiences and failures.
I had to experience that only from a texture of stories a market evolves. For me advertising by creating slogans belongs to the 20th century, the 21st century I see as the century of authentic story-telling. And that's what I am doing everyday, I weave a story carpet made of currents of stories.
BIESTMILCH taught me how hard it is to get heard, accepted and trusted. But I think the substance is worth the investment of passion, pain and patience, and money, lots of money. Whether my pockets will get filled one day is still in the dark. My big advantage compared to many others is that I have the privilege to make experiences everyday anew, that I have the choice to choose, and that I am never bored. That's simply said, magnificent.
»Starting to market a product mostly unknown to the marketplace asks for a branding. Branding the way we see it is the process of creating not only awareness but very important credibility and a sense for quality, all the three not to be taken for granted in a virgin market segment. For us yet another essential feature of the process of branding is authenticity.
Against all odds our aim was right from the beginning to create a brand. The logo and the term Biestmilch guaranteed a high recognition value. We knew that our limited resources demanded this high recognition value.
Until today we try to be trend setters in our niche market triathlon to receive the attention needed to be remembered and get our products to our customer. In this market segment we are perceived the market leader. This is nicely documented by our copycats«.
In the beginning I thought that the »fact« that Biestmilch is natural, and that the trend towards organic certified food and naturopathy was spreading conspicuously would make it easy to achieve sales with Biestmilch, a substance we were so convinced of and had seen such amazing effects in the most distinct conditions. I couldn't have been more wrong.
Now, two decades later I'll try to reconstruct a path that was and is still stony and windy with gusty winds blowing in our faces.
I was totally mistaken assuming that introducing an all natural substance a thousand years old, produced by all mammals including men to the market would be an easy task. We had to realize that almost nobody was familiar with the first milk, even though thousands of mothers have been nourishing their offspring with it, and definitely for the good as scientific studies where meanwhile able to give evidence of. No, this was by far not enough to successfully market our Biestmilch.
I was also wrong assuming that an internet address such as www.biestmilch.com which was back in 2000 not a common thing to have as we were still in the very beginning of the internet, would make people curious and investigate the substance, subsequently get the logic behind it and buy.
We had produced a postcard saying »Biestmilch = Colostrum« because we thought everybody knows colostrum and its benefits, and therefore this simple equation would convince people to buy our Biestmilch. No way! My own passion for Biestmilch had blinded me. Conclusion: all mentioned propositions did not apply. I had to realize that I had to start from scratch.
At this moment of time it began to dawn on me that I had to have a much more profound knowledge about this substance myself, and that I had to discover why I felt such a strong passion for Biestmilch, a passion almost nobody was able to share with me at this point. This meant discarding old premises, assumption, prejudices etc. being ready to press the reset button.
To dig publications is the first step one does if looking for more scientific facts. I found heaps of papers of minor quality, all more or less based on the metaphor that saw the immune system as a defense system. This was obviously a path that didn't lead to anywhere.
I turned my back on colostrum studies. They simply bored me and confronted me with the kind of science I really was done with. I returned to the work of those scientists who had started integrating metaphors of complexity, networks and regulation to interpret their data. They obviously had understood that scales were not the adequate image to use if it comes to depict the states of balance of an organism. They introduced attractors as shapes of balance of an organism. And they looked at healthy, not sick bodies.
How can we define diseases, if we have no idea about the science of well-being. This was the starting point of research for these scientists.
All the reading and discussing and our field experience brought about our first sales proposition: Biestmilch is an immune modulator. And again people couldn't connect with this wording I had been so proud of.
My greatest issue still remained, the observation that Biestmilch had such a broad spectrum of effects in healthy and sick people. Biestmilch is efficacious in allergies, tumors, inflammatory bowel diseases, chronic pain syndrome, genetic diseases, infections, autoimmune diseases, the list seems sheer endless. But it is also of great value in sports, it stabilizes performance, and improves recovery. How should people comprehend, and not consider us as charlatans?
I knew that I had to find the scientific foundation that was able to engulf this incredible diversity. And I had to solve the problem how to communicate the message if finally born. No doubt, we all knew that Biestmilch strengthens immunity, but we actually hadn't yet understood the full scope of that sentence. I was aware of this, and I knew that as long as I had not got the whole story right in my brain, I could not reduce Biestmilch down to a slogan such as »Biestmilch strengthens your immune system«, or »Biestmilch is your second immune system« etc. ... empty words, if you cannot tell the underlying story.
The next step in the process of comprehending Biestmilch's mode of action was that I realized that its actions were obviously not limited to the immune system only. This was when we launched our next sales proposition, namely, we called Biestmilch a broadband immune modulator in association with antibiotics. It failed. Later I came along with the term stress modulator. All of them apply, but unfortunately none of these terms was a metaphor that made people understand or connect with Biestmlich.
During all these years I had developed this gut feeling that it had all to do with the regulation of inflammatory conditions, regardless whether localized or systemic. All publications I studied confirmed my assumption. Inflammations play a crucial role in the bodily balance and integrity, be they healthy or sick. They are a necessary process for sustaining life. Frontline science as well as ancient knowledge from naturopathy see inflammatory processes as the keys to understand health and illness. I started reading whatever I could find on the phenomenon of inflammation.
My understanding for the body as a holistic system grew, my sensitivity towards the language and the metaphors used by scientists to present their data improved. I began to feel the undercurrents that announce a paradigm shift, the rims where the new gets born.
It finally got engraved into my flesh that natural sciences were not about discovering the truth. Only then I was able to observe the drift in metaphors, metaphors of communication and computer science, bidirectional and multidirectional ones taking over, hydraulic and mechanical metaphors vanishing, a very slow inconspicuous process. And an even slower one if it comes to diffusing into medicine and into the societal context. This makes life difficult for Biestmilch.
Overall, to summarize my studies and conclusions of the last 12 years, there is no illness without a chronic inflammatory process smoldering in our body. The milieu of cells is always inflammatory, it depends on the degree of inflammation whether you are sick or well, research results suggest that this phenomenon is a quantitative one. Biestmilch can down- or up-regulate inflammatory states depending on the baseline activity state of the organism. I bought into this story. Since then it became fairly easy for my to understand why Biestmilch can be supportive in so many different conditions and what it means to strengthen immunity.
Before I close this chapter I want to do a quick excursion into the field of stress research. It has always been part and parcel of my deliberations. Nevertheless I mostly avoid it because the term stress is in many mouths and its content remains vague when used. In a strictly biological sense the stress system is the system that keeps our body alive being the central regulation system.
Science has to reduce complexity to be able of tackling the matter of research in the lab. Immune system, nervous system and hormones are such artifacts of the natural scientific method. All together they make up the stress system. I learned from experience that one can only fully fathom the effects of Biestmilch, if one sees it as a substance interacting with the stress system as a whole. This is conspicuously visible in chronic fatigue syndrome, menopause symptoms or endogenous depression.
I am sad when I think how many people could benefit from Biestmilch, if they were open and accepted the incredible power of nature concentrated in Biestmilch. All the drawbacks I went through could not weaken my passion and vision. Biestmilch is the best substance I ever met to treat chronic illnesses whereas medicine's therapeutic options are so very poor.
Finally after two decades I arrived at a positioning of Biestmilch that can elucidate many of its diverse effects. I was able to express myself in a suitable metaphor and I had understood that Biestmilch is food that helps to stay well and to get better if sick.
Inflammation is the underlying physiology that holds the entire body together. The fire of inflammation is always burning, blazing or smouldering within us. That fire needs to burn in order for us to feel well. When it is blazing, we are suffering from a hot, acute illness. If the fire smoulders over decades, at some point we will definitely suffer from a chronic illness.
There is no medicine, no natural remedy that I am so fascinated by like Biestmilch. My words may appear to you that I arrived, I didn't. The expedition and discovery process goes on... Cheers!!