Why Nanotech Hype Is Good

from the unless-you-lose-all-your-money dept

Bubbles come and go - especially in the technology world. As this article points out, in the sixties, if your company had "tron" or "tronics" in your name, you were hot. More recently there were the dot coms or the e-something or i-something companies. Nowadays, it seems that nano-anything is setting Wall Street on fire, despite most of the companies being years away from actually proving themselves as viable businesses. Still, while many will invest lots of money into these bubbles that will disappear down the blackhole of failed companies, the article points out that this is a good thing, for the most part. Some bubbles are just silly - but when it comes to bubbles surrounding general-purpose technology that is clearly useful in some way, the most efficient way to figure out how to use that technology seems to be to throw an awful lot of money at an awful lot of companies and see what sticks. Certainly, a lot of people end up losing money that way, but the success stories do show up, and by placing so many bets, it allows lots of different ideas to get tested (and rejected) very quickly. So, while it's no fun riding the wrong horse, and people complain about the hype surrounding a bubble, if the core technology holds promise, maybe a bubble isn't such a bad thing.

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  1. icon
    Daniel (profile), Oct 11th, 2006 @ 6:45am


    I wouldn't say that the investors are getting screwed in these cases. They are knowingly making a high risk investment - one that is easily more honest than your average lottery (which guarantees that half of all money put in gets scooped out of the pot and put into government projects before anyone gets anything).

    And if there is any misunderstanding of the risks involved, it is more often the result of the false sense of security provided by SEC regulations that, while punishing businesses and investors, offers no hope of compensation - or really any promise of ethical behavior - from the companies they "regulate."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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