DRACO and the funding valley of death

There’s an exemplary Tech Insider article called: This man’s potentially huge medical breakthrough can’t get funding, so he’s trying something desperate. It’s about a brilliant idea for molecules called DRACOs that could be used to treat almost any virus infections. Unfortunately, despite of promising first results, this kind of therapy doesn’t get further funding for being developed.

So, Todd Rider, the inventor of the DRACOs, launched an Indiegogo campaign to bridge the funding gap in order to be able to do further research. The campaign looked really good to me, but alas, he only got $60 823 of the $100 000 he needed.

Is this indicative of the dismal state of innovation in our current world? The most innovative ideas need crowd-funding, but getting them even with the best campaigns is almost impossible? Shouldn’t governments or philanthropists throw millions at such great ideas instead?

I mean, what’s the problem? What’s the problem with us as humanity? Are we too risk averse? Do we believe that anything that looks too good to be true must be false? Are we too conservative to support anything that doesn’t come from the mainstream and gets tons of support already?

Or are simply too few people paying any attention to crowdfunding platforms like Indiegogo? Shouldn’t we try to change that somehow, then?

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I have noticed the same problem. Our governments have the money and the staff to identify things that would help our society. Even factoring in corporate greed, lobbying and bureaucratic inefficiency, it does not make sense. They can not get to these positions and hold them while being that stupid. The only logical conclusion is that progress is being intentionally repressed. Who would that benefit?

I wouldn’t be so sure about that. I increasingly get the feeling that stupidity is not an obstacle to success, but rather supports success! But perhaps that’s just me becoming cynical about the all intelligent things that didn’t take off, because people were too stupid to acknowledge and support them as superior solutions.

Who benefits from repressed progress?

  1. People who are averse to change: Conservatives and people who are too lazy to learn something new or adapt to new circumstances
  2. People who don’t want to lose their jobs, because things can be done in a better way now that doesn’t require ye olde skills
  3. Corporations that hugely profit from selling stuff that would become obsolete, if more progressive stuff was developed and released into the world

The incentives to halt progress are substantial. So, I would be astonished if they didn’t have any effect at all!

Wow, that really was a brilliant idea. I would have donated if I had seen it in time. I hope they reopen fundiang soon.