Just sent a dispatch off to Ms. Carlysle (Whose nom-du-geurre is Laughing Cow Cheese.) about investment in nanotech. The resulting letter was so witty I figured it would make a good entry here.
What spurred the letter was some news yesterday that Lucent had managed to make a breakthrough in molecular transistors and, I guess, some earlier research that Hewlett-Packard did–never mind the decade of work that IBM has done.
While looking into the Lucent story (I notice there are lot of gratuitous photos of the young, freshly scrubbed and photogenic researchers over there at Bell.*) I cited yesterday, I came across a site that claims to be investment news geared towards nano.
The trouble is that investing in nano now is sort of like investing, at the turn of the twentieth century, in Edison Electric (Which, after a byzantine series of buyouts, mergers and other financial chicanery, would eventually become the enormous multinational know as GE), Siemens (Still a chemical lab run by some German academics trying to make some money out of a nineteenth century toxic waste called coal tar.) and Mitsubishi (Still privately owned by a family of post-meiji, ex-samurai capitalists.) in hopes that you might be able to make some big coin on some vaguely imagined future of consumer electronics and the potential of radio (having heard of the tuned rod experiments of Hertz, Hemholtz and Marconi.).
In other words: Total blue sky.
* It makes me wonder if they have what it takes. If their science geeks looked like real nerds (dandruff, glasses, don’t-give-a-damn haircuts and bad skin.) maybe I’d be more assured.