When a nanotech company matures and becomes a real business, it becomes something else. It becomes a biotech company or a cleantech company or a memory chip company. Nanotechnology has fueled the core innovations in electronics and energy.
The first generation of biotech physically cut and pasted from one organism to another. You learned that taxol helped cure cancer, then you found the source organism and extracted the genes to make your drug. Now physical science is becoming information science.
Biotech 1.0 is slow, like a lab science, and Version 2.0 is more like computational sciences.
Flourishing is everyone's birthright. I'm trying to break this hold that being smiley and cheery has on what people think the good life is.
Beyond self-driving cars, I think all airplanes should go pilotless. Get the pilots out of there. Even better, have no cockpit at all, and turn it into a nice lounge with a bar. Why give people the illusion of control with a steering wheel?
I don't want to be a driving machine on my daily commute; I want to be driven by a machine.
The beauty of compounding iterative algorithms - evolution, fractals, organic growth, art - derives from their irreducibility.
My interest in space started early, but for many years, I could not find any space-related investments that really penciled-out for venture. That changed in 2009 when Elon Musk came to us with a big vision to explore Mars while producing rockets at a fraction of a price and making space accessible.
Elon Musk is a remarkable individual.
Elon Musk wins you over with his elegant mastery of engineering, be it for the rocket or the car. But what blew my socks off was when our conversation veered way off topic. We started musing about whether it was possible we all lived in the matrix, and Musk still had deep knowledge.
Elon Musk is an incredibly prolific entrepreneur, having come up with, or been at the founding team of Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity, PayPal, all different industries that seem to have nothing to do with each other.
Elon Musk is an incredible leader and entrepreneur. I have known him since 1995 when he first came to Silicon Valley.
SpaceX is very unusual. I don't know of any other startup where the founder put in $100 million of his own money before looking for any outside capital. They have wildly exceeded any reasonable expectations.
Every new industry has exuberance in advance of reality. The techies get carried away. There is a period of despair. Then the pendulum swings the other way, and people see the long term potential. It's like when the Internet bubble crashed.
If you thought financial crises came and went, just count on them - another economic collapse, it's almost going to be like not news any more. But for startups this is great, because it's a perpetual driver of disruption.
When the venture capital industry invests, it's usually because they sense there is money in them hills. And often it takes a high-profile winner to wake everyone up in the category. SpaceX is that company.
In manufacturing, too much work is beyond repetitive - it is inhumane. The people doing this work aren't doing it because they want to - they are doing it because they have families to feed and clothe.
I do lament how many investors focus on all the short-term sugar buzz of some marginal improvement in something - nothing history books are ever going to be written about. In many cases, these are quick and easy ways to make money.
Truly original thinkers tend not to be entrepreneurs who've spent 10 years at Cisco and can be trusted to know what they're doing. They tend to be 26 years old and highflying. They often have a very childlike mind, with some naivete.
Development of space will improve life on Earth. Access to space is important for agriculture, humanitarian efforts, communications, and navigation.