Re: a new thread

From: Adrian Tymes (
Date: Thu May 18 2000 - 21:06:41 MDT

Ian Field wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Adrian Tymes" <>

> > > Consider a dedicated neural "processing" center for i/o and decoding
> (becaue
> > > it's bidirectional communication) - similiar to speech centers? Add a
> "high
> > > capacity" nerve which connects this center to an ending in, say, your
> left
> > > wrist. When a physical interface is required to an external machine,
> the
> > > nano-entities create microscopic electronic passageways to the surface
> of
> > > the skin, which interact directly with hardware. Advantages to this: 1)
> you
> > > might not need a "standard" physical interface to connect to (nanotech
> > > adaptability), 2) probably no infection worries, 3) the nanotech could
> > > probably insulate the body from any raw electricity or radiation. Also,
> > > since I've got nano-entities in my world - they might as well repair any
> > > tissue damage that does occur. :-) Primary disadvantage: this all
> depends
> > > on currently nonexistent technology.
> >
> > Intermediate step: determine the nature of those microscopic electronic
> > passageways. Could you come up with some that could be implanted and
> > left in? If so, then there's no need for nanotech to create them on
> > demand, thus bringing this much closer to current tech. (The neural
> > processing center still has to be developed, of course.)
> You're making sense here. Nanotech is sexy, but not immediately practical.

<nods> It is definitely something to keep in mind long-term, though.
Try to set a specific date now, and > 99% chance you'll be too early or
too late. Best to keep an eye on the field (say, by reading a certain
list which discusses that and other topics, whose name begins with
"extro" ^_-), while setting up your business such that, when it does
become close enough to practical that resources you can tap can bring it
the rest of the way, everything else is in place.

> > > | * Tymes, Adrian. Direct Sensory Feedback from Prostheses. Diss.
> > > | UCLA, 1996.)
> > >
> > > :')
> >
> > Hey, if you've got it, use it (as appropriate). I can send you an HTML
> > version of this if you want, though it's not the best dissertation out
> > there, and most of what it argues for has already come into commercial
> > reality since it was written.
> Please do.

Done. (Off-list, so as not to spam those who are not interested.)

> Question - what is required to get regulatory approval on an invasive
> prosthetic device? What about medical associations?

For the USA, at least, not that much - at least as compared to drugs.
The less it is designed to interact with the body (at a subcellular
level, anyway), the easier. The trick is in how you spin it: convince
The Powers That Be that this is as harmless as a tatoo (i.e., for the
drive: "it just sits inside the body; it don't do anything to it"), and
you've got it made. I don't know the exact procedures at this time, but
I'd bet that information could be extracted fairly easily from whichever
organization you wish to get the procedures from. (Just be able to
recognize, and avoid asking, beauracracies which don't have
jurisdiction. For instance, since this is neither food nor drug, the
Food and Drug Administration would not be my first choice to ask. The
mere fact of your asking may make them think they do or should have said

> Your forcing me to reevaluate - thank you.

You're welcome. I would like to see your idea become reality, too, so I
would not mind seeing you not repeat the mistakes that I, and people
like myself who have told me their experiences, have made.

> > BTW, having retired, what would you do then? If you've been working on
> > this for ten years, and now that it hits the market, people are coming
> > up with all kinds of uses, would you really be content to only further
> > your vision for a mere two years? (Maybe you *could* retire
> > financially. There's a reason why people like Bill Gates and Larry
> > Ellison are still with their current companies, regardless of what one
> > thinks of said companies.)
> You're right, I was being dramatic. There is almost nothing that could keep
> me from my work - at least, for as long as my efforts are valuable. Anyway,
> thanks for your input. If you don't mind, I might contact you one of these
> days to discuss further.

No problem.

> For now, I only have time to dream...

Take this as a first round, then. You wish to get to the point where
you are running a startup full time with plans to implement these ideas,
right? By that point, you'll have to have an idea of where you'd like
to go from there, slightly more rigorous than you already do, but that
shouldn't be too hard to do en route. More importantly, how do you get
from where you are now to that situation?

The main thing you'll need is funding and a plan. If you've got those,
everything else can be hired or bought. Fortunately, venture
capitalists and other investors are willing to give you money, if you
can convince them that your plan will give them a good return.
Therefore, you need a business plan.

How to make a business plan? You'll need the following:
* summary (1-2 pages)
* what are you trying to solve (1-2 pages)
* proposed solution (2-3 pages)
* target market(s) (you'll want details here)
* existing competition (and that which could easily come up once you've
  proved the concept)
* design of product(s)/service(s)
* outside components (what will you need supplied to make your stuff)
* product development plan (machines, people, facilities, capital;
  basically, where's the most likely stumbling blocks)
* marketing plan (you'll want details here, too)
* financial projections (income vs. costs)
* major risks
* analysis of strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats
* management plan (big companies, and even most startups, ain't exactly
  one person shows)

Cobble the outline together, then start working on those parts you think
you can do now. Do as much as you can; the rest, you'll have to
research. Schedule time and set milestones for that research; you would
not *believe* how much that will help you avoid procrastinating forever
(which effectively kills the whole dream - and, believe me, it's
typically a painful death, marked by a prolonged refusal to accept the
demise). This is not to say you can not adjust the schedule if
emergencies arise or certain things take longer than expected; just
don't let any adjustments slide into procrastination.

Set a date for when you want to have a complete first draft of the
plan...then, once you have the first draft, revise the plan, bouncing it
off friends, especially friends in the relevant fields. (Anyone you'd
need an NDA for isn't worth it at this stage.) Set a date for the
second draft, then do one more round of bounces (no more than a couple
weeks) before coming to the final draft.

Then, submit, submit, submit. (Flip side for the NDAs: require them
here, and most investors will discard your submission unread. So,
don't, no matter how innovative and unique and worth protecting you
think your plan is. Try to find out which investors have a reputation
for ripping off plans; you can probably trust all other investors right
now, but they've got no reason to trust you yet.) This is the time to
sell your plan; believe in it utterly, or they won't risk the chance
that you're ripping them off. Be prepared to be rejected; it doesn't
matter how many say "no", so long as one eventually says "yes". (But
don't be afraid to ask why the nay-sayers say no: some of them might be
willing to say yes, if you're willing to make adjustments that are
simple to you but they don't dare ask.)

With work, perserverance, and luck - blood, sweat, and tears - you might
just get where you want to go. But you have to go there; dreaming is
only the first step.

(Fair criticism: why am I not doing this myself? Answer: I've lucked
into a potentially more rewarding path - for the next several months, at
least. I'll probably do the above if and when my current work's rewards
peter out.)

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:11:23 MDT