ECON: Nanotech profit
Sun, 22 Aug 1999 21:00:54 EDT

In a message dated 99-08-22 20:37:14 EDT, the usually pretty damned smart (Robert J. Bradbury) wrote:

> It is worth noting that *no* business will ever fund the

> development of self-replicating factories (unless they have
> the patents on them and are guaranteed royalties from the
> production). This needs to be mostly done by governments.
> Why? Simple -- no business will ever build something that
> destroys the market for the thing they are building.
> No business will make a toaster factory factory because
> once you sell the first one, the market for toasters
> rapidly gets saturated and you no longer need toasters
> or their factories. Simple economics.

Perhaps the most important thing my father ever said to me was to give me the advise not to go into the buggy whip business when the automobile was about to be invented. I can imagine his reaction to the above quote: "Right -- no carriage maker will EVER build a self-propelled vehicle; it would put the carriage industry out of business!" Seriously, a self-replicating "anything box" will certainly put the MANUFACTURING industry on its ear, but will only make the DESIGN industry all the more profitable, because the demand for diverse and clever product designs will skyrocket. Who will want to sell "anything boxes"? DESIGNERS will.

     Greg Burch     <>----<>
     Attorney  :::  Vice President, Extropy Institute  :::  Wilderness Guide   -or-
                         "Civilization is protest against nature; 
                  progress requires us to take control of evolution."
                                      -- Thomas Huxley