In the 1970's, capital for start-ups has been very limited, particularly for high technology firms. Yet, some ventures have obtained capital despite the obstacles. This report discusses the traditional methods of financing and some of the innovative techniques being used today. It also presents guidelines for developing the business plan and using financial consultants.
The major market forces which have influenced investment and development in the Optical Thin Film Industry are reviewed. The current state-of-the-art resulting from these forces is examined in some depth with reference to two typical products. Probable directions for future growth are explored with respect to current market forces--particularly energy needs--and historical trends in the industry.
According to the U.S. Office of Education survey in 1972, overall employment of laser/electo-optics technicians was 3,700 technicians employed in 300 companies in the United States. By 1975, a similar survey had identified over 1700 companies alone, in the United States, that employed laser/electro-optics technicians. Conservative projection indicates that by 1980, over 100,000 technicians alone will be needed, an increase of over 27 times in only eight years. These figures alone are concerning, but when you realize that there are only approximately five schools in the United States that produce this type of technician, and that they will graduate less than 300 technicians by 1980, the picture appears to be rather bleak. This is not necessarily the case. There is no way that educational institutions can produce that number of technicians in such a short time, but the production of technicians in this rapidly growing area must be a cooperative venture between education and industry.
Ever increasing numbers of product liability claims and the cost of product liability defense litigation affect the profitability and insurance premiums of many US concerns. Occasionally, the very existence of firms (manufacturers,distributors or retailers) is threatened because of ignorance or neglect in product liability control. Establishing the necessary risk management controls in this field should be accorded high priority in corporate decision making. Real product liability exposure almost invariably results in litigation based upon three types of legal doctrines: Breach of Warranty, Negligence or Strict Liability in Tort.
Where necessity has been recognized and accepted as the mother of invention, its sire, technological opportunity has received far less acclaim and all too often simply been taken for granted. Neither is less important that the other; both are required to get the job done. Those suppliers having the misfortune to have produced the proverbial "white elephant" or from the other side of the market, customers who have purchased a "pig in the poke", are painfully aware of the principals involved. Laser-Printing Plate Systems present a unique case in point - akin to neither of these extreme cases, yet having marked characteristics of both. Although some 40 systems have been sold to date, several hundred are fully cost-justified, based on proven field performance, and are currently priced within the means of those customers who would realize the greatest cost-savings. Yet the marketplace is fraught with mixed emotions on the part of both suppliers and prospective users alike - skepticism and unbridled enthusiasm, urgency and lethargy, enthusiasm and indifference. The interplay between the technical and econometric variables that describe this product-market are both intense and subtle. The issues need to be clarified and addressed openly and straight-forwardly. One man's excelsior has proven to be another's poison. The premature demise or eventual success of this product-market is as dependent on closing the "communication gap" as it is in hurdling the few remaining technological obstacles. This presentation discusses the required technical performance of these systems as well as their components and discusses the market potential and timing as a function of the types of systems offered. The requirements for new printing plate photo-chemistry, compatible with lasers, is also discussed.
Some level of marketing research is vital to the survival of the small business. While a Ford Motor Company can outlive a mistake like the Edsel, a smaller company can be destroyed by even a much smaller error. Fortunately, there are a number of marketing research techniques which are practical in even the smallest company. Secondary research, such as internal sales or quotation analyses and literature searches, can detect subtle changes in the market and identify new markets or new product opportunities. Primary research, on the buying habits and attitudes prevalent in the marketplace, can be accomplished with a number of inexpensive techniques. These include warranty cards, literature qualification forms and rather simple mail surveys. With a little organization, salesmen and trade shows can also be used to gather this kind of information.
Technology transfer into local government involves the use of a variety of approaches tailored to meet specific operating conditions. The appropriate use of such techniques and the importance of personal involvement are discussed as key ingredients to successfully introduce new innovations. Specific examples of different techniques are described in a step-by-step format with key factors and characteristics stressed. The presentation summarizes selected techniques utilized in the San Diego City and County governments and illustrates the role played by a Science Advisor in the overall process.
Several problems arise in transactions involving the purchase and specification of optics. This paper deals with the broader of these problems from the standpoint of a supplier. In each of the categories mentioned there are innumerable detailed questions to be answered and decisions to be made concerning every relevant parameter and tolerance for each specific application. These must be handled on an individual basis.
Optical Engineers' & Opticians' understanding, interpretation and measurement terminology associated rvith optical interference fringe patterns is often confused and ambiguous. It behooves Optical Engineers to unravel the confusion and clarify the ambiguity, and to define a set of surface figure parameters and the units of measurement in terms of fringes.