Notes on Josh Wolfe Nanotechnology Presentation

Josh Wolfe, co-founder and Managing Partner of Lux Capital, the owner of Lux Research and Editor of Forbes’ monthly investment publication, the “Forbes/Wolfe Nanotech Report,” gave a “state of the industry” overview at The Business of Nano - PA Nanotechnology Conference 2005.

What follows are my notes from his presentation.

Mr. Wolfe defined nanotechnology as purposeful engineering on a scale of less than 100 nanometers to achieve desired properties, functions and performance characteristics.

Nanotechnology is not just about size; it is about creating new properties to change existing markets and products. New properties open new markets.

Nanotechnology is highly multi-disciplinary in nature and applies accross a broad spectrum of industries.

Nanotech is important becaouse control of the structural properties of matter leads to new high performance products, improvements, markets and industries.

Nanotechnology leads to "simplexity" -- taking complexity and simplifying it. Owners of recipes (patents) in this area will be most successful. Growth in GDP comes from new combinations of existing resources. Nanotechnology contributes to growth by making use of new compounds in more valuable ways.

The nanotechnology phenomenon may play out like the railroad and electricity industries; from infrastructure to applications; from experiments to proofs; from speculation to common sense.

Seven examples of the types of impact nanotechnology will have:

1. Decisively improving existing products, e.g. nanotech coatings and nanofabrics;
2. Creating new products and markets;
3. Disrupting existing competitive dynamics and cost structures, e.g. flat panel displays;
4. Cutting manufacturing costs;
5. Medium-scale platform shifts;
6. Large-scale platform shifts, e.g. bio-assembled electronic deposition
7. Unexpected derivative effects, similar to those which caused an increase in the sales of razors when nylon stockings came into fashion.