Image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike

A Warning About Vaporware and the Infamous 3 Year Rule

Vaporware is technology that is hyped but never released. This happens in the renewable press much too often. Writers announce a really cool project in the research stage and gush about how much it will change the world.

You can always spot Vaporware using this time honed and simple method; the press crows about a game changing technology that’s going to change the world, the company, University or research institution, says they will have it on the market, in 3 years.  Go to their website and they are looking for investors. Wait 3 years and after not hearing much and not seeing ANY product emerge, check out their website. It will either be gone or they are still looking for investors. Wait a couple more years and still nothing.

Ten years ago the renewable energy press was crowing about an amazing battery technology that could be charged over and over again thousands of times, was touted as incredibly inexpensive and could be recharged in minutes. The company said they were only 3 years away from getting it on the market. After 3 years, silence, 5 years, silence and finally they were gone.

Same thing happened a few years ago with the MIT fiasco. Scientists at MIT released a statement they had figured out how to produce hydrogen from water really cheap. The press was all over it, the greatest breakthrough, going to change the world, cheap energy, AND they would have it on the market in 3 years. Three years later, nothing. I looked into it about a year ago and found out they had realized the technology was not viable for production.

I have been on both sides of the fence.  Was involved with a project that got publicized earlier than we wanted and found out in the middle, it was not ready for mass production. That was a tough lesson.

A few years ago I helped develop a product very quietly. Showed a lot of promise, yet needed more time. It is still, very quietly, in development.

A little hint; if you cannot get your research project out of the lab and into production in a year, DO NOT go to press. You and your project are not ready. The world has seen enough vapor and hazy 3 year empty promises.
Image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.