15 Comments
May 30Liked by Packy McCormick

Wow! Too humbled to comment.

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May 30Liked by Packy McCormick

Wow... really great story. I love all the nuclear fusion content, stories of founders, and especially love the science-techno-industrial twinge you put on the American Dream in your writings.

I'm curious to know how much technical experience and domain knowledge JCB had when he started the company at 19. He didn't do undergrad or a PhD, but did he have PhD-level knowledge on nuclear fusion by then? If not, did he pair with someone that had that? Or did he take more of a "learn-as-you-go" approach after he identified the initial opportunity?

What I'm trying to get at is this: what is the minimum amount of knowledge you need to start a deep tech company if you're young and have an idea? Until now, I thought I had to do a whole PhD before feeling credible enough to start. Or, can just go ahead and start once you've identified an opportunity, even if you are still new to the field? If you don't have those established credentials yet and just have vision and strategy, can you really attract top talent to work for you?

Would love to hear what you think since you are one of the main influencers that got me invested in deep tech!

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holy shit! too good!!

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author

My man - thanks Ayush!

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May 31Liked by Packy McCormick

Awesome deep dive! You synthesized so well something incredibly complex.

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Love your deep dives! Reignite and grow my excitement for the future every single time. This article series is the SpaceX of spreading optimism ;)

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May 31Liked by Packy McCormick

I have no idea how I ended up here but glad I did. Very well written and interesting article. Hope they have stock when they open HQ is US. I'm in.

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May 31Liked by Packy McCormick

Just discovered this site...and Packy McCormick's writing. Absolutely Awesome!! I don't often come across writers that can keep my attention to an article for this long. Thanks for the great job on this Packy. Also following you now on LinkedIn. It was inspiring. Thank you.

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May 31·edited May 31Liked by Packy McCormick

Is there any amount of funding that is too much to accelerate possible commercialization. Global warming will cost trillions, dislocate people and economies, cause loss of millions if not billions of lives globally, be the genesis of wars (saving the cost of wars and prepping for wars will save trillions), and will put more relative pressure on the nations that use the most energy ( the US). The US has the opportunity to lead and deliver, even if there is a 10% probability of success it will show a positive expected value. There should be a plan put together modeled around a aggressive fast path, with plan Bs, funded.

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May 30·edited May 31Liked by Packy McCormick

What an incredible article!

I get a bit depressed every time I read about weapons / war / the amount of taxes that goes to "defense" / the Great Filter and the worry that humans might destroy Earth and all of consciousness on it.

But how uplifting that there are such creative, determined young people!

🤞

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author

The bright side way to think of it is that a lot of that money that gets spent on defense supports the early development of technologies that become more broadly useful. If defense spending can help get us to fusion, that's a win.

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"When JC discovered the Z Machine in his research, it was like he’d uncovered a secret hidden in plain sight. No private company was pursuing anything like the Z Machine, despite its performance"

*Despite* its performance? They're not pursuing it *because* of its performance. Its best shots are 10^-5 below breakeven, and the entire liner collapse concept is beset with R-T and R-M instabilities that no one knows how to solve.

If he convinced you he's onto some secret approach that no one else knows about then I think you need to do a little more reading. This approach dates to the 1960s and is well known and well understood in the fusion field.

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Loved this deep dive! So so cool!. Go deeper. More technical and more capital efficient.

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while i don’t have the capability to evaluate the technology side, it was absolutely fascinating business story.

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Great article and impressive company. If you like it, take a look at SHINEfusion.com - same business plan but 10 years ahead. Commercial DT fusion devices produce 35 trillion neutrons per second. Revenue in neutron imaging, radiation effects testing and medical isotopes. $800M raised, 260 employees. Lots of room for competition!

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