It is time to get real.
We live in a world of hype. Hype for technology, hype for startups and venture capital, and hype for ego-driven individualism. And investors are eager to catch the next big wave.
The problem is, high-tech due diligence is inaccessible to many investors. Among the plethora of projects eagerly awaiting funding, many wouldn’t pass a specialist’s sniff test. We saw this play out on a national stage with Theranos, a startup that promised to conduct an unheard of number of medical tests using a single drop of blood. While specialists dismissed this as an impossibility, the company was still able to gain massive funding. If it were not for whistleblowers, Theranos would have gone public, made millions for their investors and ultimately failed in the public markets. There was a large domain expertise and technical gap between Theranos’ investors and Theranos’ technology. This sort of gap is becoming mainstream in the venture capital community.
Theranos was the beginning, not the end. Hype is coalescing into a fake-it-till-you-make-it culture. New investment funds are refusing to accept failure. Failures will be rebranded as “innovative pivots” so that additional capital can be drawn to show increased valuations for their desired exit. Failures are going public.
Who is left holding the bag? The pension funds and the retail investor.
In a world of hype, we need watchdogs to expose the truth.
That is where Cyrannus comes in.
Cyrannus is a platform for technical feasibility and due diligence. We are a team of scientists and entrepreneurs who investigate and report on investments in artificial intelligence, biomedical, quantum computing, hydrogen economy, ESG and crypto. These areas are breeding grounds for investment hype and perpetuate a culture of fakeness.
Our articles begin by stating and investigating technical claims. Our network of scientists assess the feasibility and compare the claims to state-of-the-art technology. We then examine the company workforce (the people expected to fulfill the product claims) and compare it to competitors. We also create consensus-informed development plans and budgets when applicable. Our methods, communications, and data are open source and we embrace criticism.
Cyrannus exists to be a resource for venture capitalists, limited partners, tech licensing, and founders. As technical entrepreneurs, it is our duty to be stewards of truth, while embracing an optimistic vision for the startup community. Our hope is that by making research more accessible, we can bust through echo chambers and create a vibrant startup community.
It is time to cut through the hype. At Cyrannus, that time is now.
H. Lee Mosbacker PhD
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