Why VCs Hate Science

Georges van Hoegaerden has an interesting comparison between how the venture capital model is supposed to work (the Vinhod Khosla model), and how it actually works (the Subprime VC model) these days – as illustrated by the charts below. It’s a nice comparison and neatly illustrates how the low risk subprime model forces VCs to invest in technologies where much …

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Building a .-tech economy from the ashes of the current one

Thomas Friedman in this weekends New York Times echoes my recent thoughts on how to get us out of the credit crunch recession: As we invest taxpayer money, let’s do it with an eye to starting a new generation of biotech, info-tech, nanotech and clean-tech companies, with real innovators, real 21st-century jobs and potentially real profits for taxpayers. Our motto …

Hello Fleshy Ones!

The Foresight Institute are continuing their series on the Singularity – it’s fascinating stuff, it really is. I would guess — and this is blatantly a speculation, albeit a fairly well informed one, that the “secret trick” of AI will fall in the next decade. That means that the 20s will see robots not just as good as humans at …

Mind The Gap – in 2012

One of the major obstacles to restarting the economy is the burden of regulation that has been piled onto businesses (but obviously not onto the banks) meaning that compliance becomes a major headache for every small business. The EU seems set to change all of that with a new suggestion from the European Parliament concerned with “establishing a framework for …

Out of the Lab

I have long been a fan of the mathematical modelling of materials – it does seem to offer a number of ways to both optimise existing materials and rapidly develop new ones. A growing number of chemists are now suggesting that their time would be better spent working on a computer than fiddling around in the lab, but I’ll keep …

Let A Million Flowers Bloom

Given the global gloom emanating from all sources, it was at least nice to see that our little bit of the world, nanotechnologies, got a mention in Davos and Andrew Maynard who is also on the nanotechnologies council with me has the background details here. However, I’m still a bit worried that most discussions about nanotechnology tend to focus on …

A Lazy, Moribund, Oligopolistic Industry Bereft of the Incentive for Innovation

Following on from my previous post, and addressing the thesis that imitation – not innovation – is woven into the fabric of the 20th century venture economy, Umair Haque at recently penned a nice article at harvardbusiness.org called “Asleep at the Wheel of Creative Destruction” Here’s the question everyone wants to ask: Q. Why does President Obama have to invest …

Science to Save Us?

New president Obama’s speech was an oratorial tour de force, if somewhat grim in it’s outlook, but it was good to hear that he understands what many politicians don’t – that to get out of the current mess we find ourselves in, it all starts with great science (although this may take longer than from now to the next election). …

Does RBS Work For Me?

I’m surrounded here by offices of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and what used to be ABNAMRO until RBS paid “between £15 and £20Bn too much” for it, which probably also explains why a growing number of local pubs and sandwich bars catering to the financial workers have been closing in the last few month, and why the crowd …