jordan peterson derick cooper

Derick Cooper

Derick Cooper is the Chief Executive Officer of QOL Medical, LLC, a prominent private specialty biopharmaceutical company specializing in drugs and biologics for rare diseases. QOL Medical, established in 2003, operates in various sectors, including sales, marketing, drug development, and bioprocess-based manufacturing. Before becoming CEO, Cooper had an extensive career spanning 16 years in investment banking, mergers and acquisitions, venture capital, corporate finance, and operations. His experience includes working with The Robinson-Humphrey Company in Atlanta, serving as a portfolio manager with Sirrom Capital, and involvement with CooperSmith, a major independent baked foods company in the US.

The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast #417 with Guest Derek Cooper: A Dive into Business, Biology, and Philosophy

In episode #417 of the Jordan B. Peterson Podcast, host Jordan Peterson welcomes guest Derek Cooper, CEO of Q Medical, a pharmaceutical company specializing in treatments for rare diseases. This discussion offers a deep dive into various topics, including business strategy, immunological functions, and philosophical aspects of human interactions and achievements.

Jordan Peterson’s New Tour and Book Announcement

The episode begins with Peterson announcing his upcoming tour for 2024 and the release of his new book, “We Who Wrestle with God,” in November 2024. The tour will cover 51 cities in the U.S. from February to June.

Derek Cooper: A Manifold Expertise

Derek Cooper’s extensive background includes working in various industries, from baked foods to investment banking, before leading Q Medical. His journey illustrates a blend of scientific knowledge and business acumen. Cooper’s role in Ralston College, Savannah, Georgia, as a benefactor, and his adventures in Greece with students and other benefactors are highlighted.

Exploring Immunological Functions and Business Strategies

A significant part of the conversation revolves around the parallels between the human immune system and business strategies. Cooper explains how the immune system adapts to pathogens, drawing an analogy to how businesses must adapt to changing environments. The discussion delves into the concept of ‘reciprocity bank’ in business and personal relationships, emphasizing the importance of reputation and mutual support systems.

The Journey from Baked Foods to Pharmaceuticals

Cooper’s transition from the baked foods industry to pharmaceuticals showcases his versatile skill set. He discusses the differences between cost-driven businesses and those driven by intellectual property development. His insights into managing costs and focusing on product development offer valuable lessons for entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Investment Banking and its Role in Business Growth

Cooper reflects on his time in investment banking, emphasizing the learning opportunities it provided by exposing him to various successful CEOs and CFOs. He talks about the technical and conscientious nature of the work, highlighting the importance of understanding a company’s competence and growth potential.

The Ethical Aspect of Profitable Business in Pharmaceuticals

Addressing the ethical considerations of running a profitable pharmaceutical company, Cooper argues that developing drugs that significantly benefit people’s lives is an ethical trade. He underscores the importance of aligning business goals with positive societal impacts.

The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast #417 with Guest Derek Cooper: Exploring the Interplay of Biology, Business, and Behavioral Patterns

In the second part of episode #417, Jordan Peterson and Derek Cooper delve into the intricacies of the immune system, drawing parallels to human thought processes and business strategies. They explore how the immune system’s adaptation to pathogens mirrors the way businesses and individuals adapt to challenges. This section highlights the immune system’s ability to identify and target pathogens through a process of mapping and adaptation, which is likened to effective problem-solving and strategy development in business.

From Randomness to Specificity: A Key to Success

The discussion emphasizes the transition from randomness to specificity, both in biological and business contexts. Cooper and Peterson explore how starting with a broad focus and gradually narrowing down to specifics can lead to more effective solutions. This approach is compared to how children learn, starting from general concepts and moving towards more specific ones.

Adventure, Conscience, and Calling

Peterson introduces the concept of ‘conscience and calling’ as dynamic processes guiding human actions. He suggests that our interests and conscience can lead us towards meaningful goals. Cooper reflects on his journey from investment banking to pharmaceuticals, attributing his shift to curiosity and the challenge of filling knowledge gaps.

The Ethical Dimensions of Business

Cooper discusses the ethical aspects of running a profitable pharmaceutical company, emphasizing the importance of developing drugs that significantly benefit people’s lives. He argues that this approach represents an ethical exchange, contributing positively to society.

The Role of Education in Business

The conversation then shifts to the importance of a liberal arts education in business. Cooper points out that a multidisciplinary approach provides a broader perspective, enabling better problem-solving and decision-making. He stresses the importance of not being constrained by traditional methods and approaches in one’s field.

Biological Analogies: Bees and Human Behavior

Drawing further parallels from nature, Cooper discusses how bees’ behavior in finding flower beds and responding to threats can be analogous to human behaviors in business and society. They explore how bees rank order flower beds based on value, comparing this to how humans prioritize tasks and goals.

The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast #417 with Guest Derek Cooper: A Synthesis of Nature, Business, and Human Nature

In the final third of episode #417, Jordan Peterson and Derek Cooper further explore the themes of chaos and order. They discuss how these concepts are present in various aspects of life, from the behavior of bees and prey animals to human societal structures. The idea that chaos can be a response to a threat, leading to innovation and adaptability, is a central theme.

The Impact of Victimhood Narratives in Society

The conversation shifts to the role of victimhood narratives in society. Cooper and Peterson delve into how teaching young people that they are victims can lead to a prey-like response, fostering a sense of powerlessness. They argue that this approach is detrimental to individual growth and societal development.

The Balance of Predator and Prey Dynamics in Humans

Peterson and Cooper discuss how the balance between predator and prey dynamics plays out in human behavior. They note that while predatory behavior can lead to success and goal achievement, it can also devolve into narcissistic and destructive tendencies. Conversely, an overemphasis on victimhood can lead to a loss of agency and innovation.

The Importance of a Multidimensional Education

The discussion emphasizes the value of a multidimensional education in fostering a well-rounded understanding of the world. Cooper highlights how his varied background in different industries has given him a unique perspective in the pharmaceutical field. He stresses the importance of not being limited to a single specialization, which can lead to narrow-mindedness and missed opportunities.

The Role of Stories and Archetypes in Shaping Behavior

Peterson and Cooper explore how stories and archetypes play a crucial role in shaping human behavior and societal norms. They discuss how these narratives provide frameworks for understanding the world and making decisions. The conversation highlights the importance of these stories in providing a sense of direction and purpose.

The Interplay of Biological and Psychological Concepts

The podcast concludes with a synthesis of biological and psychological concepts, discussing how they intersect in the realm of business and personal development. Cooper and Peterson reflect on the parallels between the natural world and human society, emphasizing the need to understand and navigate the complexities of both.


The final part of the Jordan B. Peterson Podcast with guest Derek Cooper offers a thought-provoking blend of ideas from nature, business, and psychology. The discussion provides insights into how understanding natural processes can inform business strategies, ethical considerations, and personal growth. It highlights the importance of adaptability, multidisciplinary learning, and the power of narratives in shaping human behavior and society.