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Initial Perilous Offering

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Before you call your broker with the Nanosys
, take a look at this.
It’s an excerpt from Nanosys’
SEC registration statement
, and should be
required reading for anybody who is contemplating an investment in a
public nanotechnology company. And, remember, Nanosys is considered one
of the most-promising of all the little nano firms. When you get to the
bottom, take a look at some “good news bad news.” (I added the company links below, for those who want more background).

nanosys logo
    Risks Related to Competition and our

    We face competition from companies in multiple industries, as
    as from the internal efforts of our current and potential partners and,
    if we fail to compete effectively, our business could suffer.

    We compete in intensely competitive markets for end user
    The nanotechnology-enabled products we are currently developing will
    compete directly with products incorporating conventional materials and
    technologies, including traditional semiconductors manufactured on the
    nanoscale. We believe our potential products will face significant
    competition from existing manufacturers in our current target markets

  • manufacturers of substrates for time of flight mass
    equipment, such as Waters Corporation;
  • manufacturers of solar cells, such as Sharp Electronics
    Corporation and BP plc;
  • manufacturers of thin film electronics, such as Samsung
    Electronics Co., Ltd., NEC Corporation and Koninklijke Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, News, Web); and
  • manufacturers of memory products, such as Advanced Micro
    Inc. and Samsung.

    In addition, we may also face competition from focused
    nanotechnology companies, such as Evident Technologies, Inc., Konarka Technologies (Profile, News, Web), Nantero, Inc., NanoHorizons, Inc., Nanosolar, Inc.,
    Quantum Dot Corporation (News, Profile, Web), UltraDots, Inc. and ZettaCore Inc. (News, Web) and other
    newly created nanotechnology companies.

Now, the good news: Nanosys is looking at a number of ways to apply its
technology. Among them is nano-enabled memory for portable devices. If

consumer habits continue they way they have, current flash-memory technology will become just a memory. Nobody wants to be tied
down anymore. We want our MP3s, mobile phones and, probably in a few
years our portable biothreat detectors, to stay with us, stay fast and
stay cheap. Enter nano. The biggest nanomemory application of all might be
portable gaming. Anyway, here’s what Nanosys is doing.

    Non-Volatile Memory. We are developing nanostructures for
    non-volatile memory products for anticipated use in applications such
    as digital cameras, MP3 players and mobile phones. To develop
    non-volatile memory products, we are collaborating with Intel. We
    anticipate that we would manufacture the products resulting from these
    development efforts and would sell them to our collaborators or other
    customers for integration into a non-volatile memory device.

Intel. Cool. Not a bad little company to collaborate with. But,
then, here’s the potential bad news.

    We may also face significant competition from our current and
    future partners, such as E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company, or DuPont,
    Intel and Matsushita Electric Works, which are assessing the
    feasibility of expanding their development and manufacturing
    capabilities and portfolio of intellectual property to incorporate
    nanotechnology-enabled components into their end user products. If our
    current and future partners expand their product offerings to compete
    directly with our nanotechnology-enabled
    products or actively seek to participate as vendors in the
    nanotechnology-enabled product market, our revenue and operating
    results could be negatively affected.

After July 2004, Intel could decide that it really doesn’t need
Nanosys Inside and just do it all in-house. When the big guys decide to
do all the nano work themselves, that doesn’t leave the little guys
with much except an asterisk in business history books.

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