Skip to main content
Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 0
Thanks for the kind words, Fox.

First, I want to clarify a couple of things. While I did once know a lot about superconductors, that was about 7 years ago and I have not kept up with the field. I'm afraid I'm really not qualified to comment on the relative merits of thin vs thick films, beyond what is available in the companies' literature. It sounds like there are tradeoffs between the two technologies. It's not a bit obvious to me which will emerge the leader, except that to my eyes it looks like thin films have more powerful backing at the moment.

As far as ease of hooking up with cellular base stations, I was probably too harsh. Looking again at the companies' web sites, it sounds like it's not too big a deal. I do think there is a concern with the coolant issue, since the companies go to great lengths to emphasize how "reliable and proven" their refrigeration systems are, and in ISCO's recent press release, they played up the bypass capabilities of their filter in case it ever rises in temperature and loses its' superconducting properties. I think there is probably just some hesitation on the wireless company's part to hook up a piece of equipment that involves a big mechanical refrigerator to their nice, low maintenance, electrical systems.

I don't really have a good handle on the manufacturing capacities of the various players but my guess is that is where the biggest hangup will be. I actually had a brief period in grad school where I was trying to make these things, and it was a serious pain in the a**. No doubt they've come a long way since then, but I'm still a little concerned about it.

I'm optimistic about the technology in the long term, but I think there is going to be a lot of capital investment between these companies and any meaningful earnings. That's what I meant by there being substantial speculation in the current price. That being said, the market is discounting future earnings of high-tech companies earlier and earlier, and maybe many of the current and future investors will be fine with negative earnings numbers for some unspecified number of quarters to come. God knows they have been with a lot of other companies in this market.

Just to reiterate, I'm not really an expert and I probably don't know any more than you do! Best of luck with your investing decisions!


Print the post  


What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.