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Author: salaryguru Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 61201  
Subject: Re: killer CFL bulbs hazard? Date: 1/4/2013 2:15 PM
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I don't think an agreement to manufacture is "science by press release."

I use the term "science by press release" to apply to all non-peer reviewed literature discussions of science and technology.

I am not really very familiar with this particular technology, but I have learned to be very skeptical of virtually anything I read about science and technology in the popular press. People can make any wild claim they want to a reporter and see it printed. Often, reality is stretched wildly . . . especially if people are looking for investments and investors.

The production of this particular technology sounds very similar to semiconductor material development work that I am very familiar with. I have quite a bit of experience developing technology from scientific proof-of-concept to manufacturing. In every project I ever worked on, initial claims by investors and management for cost and schedule were off by an order of magnitude or more. I learned that nobody really wanted to hear the truth. Tell a venture capitalist or angel investor that it is likely to take 3 years to initial product and 5 to 7 to profit, and they will walk away. So everyone lies to them.

In this case, these guys were still publishing scientific exploration data aimed at trying to identify optimum doping levels, E-field requirements and frequency as recently as October 2012. Going from there to an inexpensive, rugged and reproducible electronic design to drive their devices from standard 110 power takes time. Similarly, developing a high volume material manufacturing process takes time. Just hiring the right design and manufacturing people, producing the required procedural descriptions and documentation, establishing manufacturing tests and metrics, putting an effective Q/A organization in place, etc., etc. all takes time. And all of that has to be going on simultaneously with infrastructure and organizational development. (You have to find appropriate office and manufacturing facilities, staff and stock an office, report progress and expenditures to your investors, etc. etc.) I have always noticed that when you have achieved 90% of your requirements, you are usually only about 10% of the way to completion.

I really do wish these guys the best of luck. I hope I'm wrong and that they will be very much on their way to prosperity by next year. It is certainly possible that there is part of this story that I am just not aware of and they really are that close. But based on my experience in similar situations and the data I've been able to pick up from a handful of articles, I'm still not holding my breath.
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