Nanotech's Bubble/Bust/Boom Cycle Hardly Qualifies for Any of These
I just read Glenn Reynoldsâ'' take on how nanotech had a bubble up until 2005 and then a bust over the last four years and now is beginning to resurge (or boom, if you prefer).
I too like to make comparisons to the Dot.com Bubble and the Nanotech version. But letâ''s face it, itâ''s like comparing the demise of a kidâ''s lemonade stand to the end of General Motors. The difference in scale makes it hardly a worthy comparison.
But what is really troubling about Reynoldsâ'' piece is that in order to demonstrate how nanotech is making a resurgence (or a new boom, I imagine) he points to a number of different reported research projects. Meanwhile the bust he describes in 2005 is most definitely business oriented with tales of failed IPOs and scaled down market research reports.
It might be possible that Reynolds may have had his Google alert feed turned off between 2005 and the beginning of this year because mine has been filled daily with the latest research developments and over the last four years there has not been any let up.
However, the problem over the last four years, and for which I have not seen any real signs of recovery, is that none of these research projects are leading to much commercialization.
The general sense I have of the last eight years when nanotech has been talked about in terms such as the Next Industrial Revolution is that its bubble was not much of a bubble (how many nanotech companies are publicly traded again?); the bust was hardly a bust (shortened market research reports hardly qualifies as signaling the demise of a sector); and the boom is not much of a boom (another litany of research projects with little to indicate that they are any more likely to be commercial successes than any of the others just doesnâ''t inspire me with new confidence).
I think I have better way to describe nanotech's cycle thus far: it is in its very essence a tortoise, but analysts and pundits and other observers want to describe it as though it was a hare. Being a tortoise is not so bad. It may be slow, but it's steady and it will get there eventually .