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Alan Shalleck
NanoClarity LLC

If you are a nanotechnology executive you probably have been spending sleepless nights trying to determine a survival strategy for your company. You need to focus on "Jobs."

January 28th, 2009


Create Nanotech "Jobs" to get Funding
Alan B. Shalleck
NanoClarity LLC
January 2009

If you are a nanotechnology executive you probably have been spending sleepless nights trying to determine a survival strategy for your company. You need to focus on "Jobs."

Today's economic climate is worse than any of us modeled or imagined. No one is spending money. Sales are down drastically. Massive layoffs are everywhere. Project cutbacks and reduced budgets characterize your potential customers. New products that are delayed or completely postponed appear daily. It is hard to find a fully budgeted potential customer to pitch your new commercialized nanotech product.

Our university economic models indicate that improvement is far off and possibly over two years away. Reductions and cutbacks are to be expected in a downturn, but what seems to be making this downturn the worst in my lifetime, and getting worse every day, is the ubiquitous psychology of fear, negativism and pessimism spreading worldwide. When the long term future to many looks worse than today's condition, something systemic is broken and a long way from repair.

When I have talked to nanotech people these last thirty days, I have not found anyone with survival answers for their business' and careers that make economic sense. Every proposal or "strategy" is ad hoc and conditional. There are no "school solutions" for a self-feeding contraction. There are no empirical or theoretical models for what the US and other world economies are experiencing. The world resembles a self-reinforcing downward plunge … like a giant magnet falling into an abyss pulling everyone and every thing made of iron downward with it… even the non-ferric stuff is being pulled in.

In large companies, the layoffs are in the tens of thousands. Today, that cash cow Microsoft announced a 5,000 employee RIF (reduction in force). In the small company arena, the number of bankruptcies and business failures is soaring exponentially…. taking disposable income out of the consumers hands which, through the multiplier effect (which works downward as well as on the upswing), drives supporting business's low and also out of business. The vortex is insidious and all catching. What to do? What to do? A few suggestions.

First, be practical. To get out of this mess, someone or some institution has to inject or spend money to drive up core demand. Find the money and go for it.

Forget the industrial and commercial wastelands emerging. Forget the VC's … they just want to survive the downturn with a modicum of the money they invested in your company in tact. They could care less about what you make, how you make it, what you need development wise for the next five years, or what your vision meant to them six to nine months ago. The want you to just cutback, RIF and keep the doors open while they try to lay your company off on a larger company.

Forget the street as a source of funds… for a very long long time. No further comment is necessary.

Forget the consumer. He or she is in the pits. Home value down, 401.k at 50% of peak value. He is possibly living off savings.

So where to look? Well, Look in the morning headlines! The money you need is in the Obama stimulus plan and the new focus on "job creation." Notice the phrase is "job creation," not "job reduction." Hint! Hint! Create "jobs" using your nanotechnology expertise to get survival money!

The proposed $825 billion economic recovery plan contains the means for survival if you are flexible and if your board and investors practical. Estimates are that 30,000 jobs are created by each $1 billion of Government investment in stimulus. A few examples. There are $37 billion for electrical grid upgrade, and high-speed Internet stuff. There is $100 billion for building energy efficiency improvement. There is a massive amount of proposed funding for infrastructure repair. There is money for healthcare investment. Go into the details of the current bill and find an area for your company. All can involve nanotech technologies … if you are creative enough.

Examine your assets to use in one or all of those "Government funded" arenas … remembering that much of this money will be funneled through State and Local governments, and send your congressmen and senators multiple proposals to create "nanotech jobs" in your congressional district. Use your nanotechnology skills and core competencies to get a piece of the "Obama" pie and keep your doors open. The key is "Job Creation", not nanotech or science or what you make. What you now do is not going to get you money but "creating jobs" will.

Alan B. Shalleck
NanoClarity LLC

© NanoClarity LLC 2009

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