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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

This Has Been a Long, Long Month

After putting more nearly $40,000,000 into the project and having fully tooled production units, our robot vacuum cleaner partner decided to cancel their participation in the project, citing deteriorating economic conditions as one of the primary reasons. There goes that future royalty stream (unless we manage to scrounge up another partner).

After working day and night on a robotic grape vine pruner demo, the investors, though suitably impressed by the demo, are in no hurry to invest more money to help bring the project closer to production, citing - you guessed it - deteriorating economic conditions.

So far, we haven't let go any employees (only consultants). However, unless things change soon, I predict deteriorating economic conditions for at least some of my employees by the end of next year. Perhaps even deteriorating economic conditions for me (I'll probably take unpaid leave before letting employees go)!

The problem with Obama holding back on raising taxes until economic conditions improve is that it still doesn't provide an incentive for investors to invest. If the economy stays crappy, they'll lose their money. If the economy does well, then Obama will raise taxes and they'll have their gains taxed away. Those who have invested in my company so far are telling me they see no point in making any investments in any company, especially risky ones, under such circumstances.

Oh well. On the other hand, my family and I are healthy, live in a nice place, have enough savings to get by, and I've really enjoyed the robotics work even if it doesn't look like I'll end up making much money from it, so I really can't complain.

I hope you all are well and have a Happy Holidays!