But what surprised me most was that at the end of the essay, after having described his fear of facing such uncertainty in NIH funding, the author mentions that he left academia to co-found a startup making software for life scientists.
Wait a minute — don't small software startups have equally poor success rates? (e.g. http://www.quora.com/What-is-the-truth-behind-9-out-of-10-st...)
If uncertainty of success was his major concern, hasn't the author chosen a pretty poor next step in life?