At MIT, in Professor Rodney Brooks' lab, I was involved in a project, led by Anita Flynn, to build robots using techniques similar to those used in building silicon chips. We got some silicon micro-machined motors to move a bit, but this didn't lead to an actual product.
What's unique about the Mormon Church is that it encourages inquiry. I really do think my research and religion are all on the same page. I never could have come up with the notion of disruptive innovations, which went against a lot of conventional wisdom, if I hadn't been raised to always be asking questions.
There just isn't anything more invigorating than to read an article or hear about an entrepreneur using the term 'disruptive technology' that makes no reference to me as the source. When it's clear they really got the idea and they use it as if it were in everyday parlance, that's the ultimate triumph.
I helped start a ceramics company called CPS Technologies. We took it public in 1987 at $12 a share. Three months later, there was this horrible cliff: Black Monday. Fidelity had bought 15 percent of our stock, and their algorithm caused them to dump it all onto the market that day. We dropped from $12 to $2.
If you want to invest in early-stage technologies, putting a timeframe on it does behold you to Silicon Valley economics. You've got a certain time period where you have to make the money. And you have to invest that money whether you find good companies or not.
If I were to leave and raise a venture fund, I would have to find 10 or 100 LPs. They would all give me a bunch of money, and I would take a percentage of that to pay myself. They would expect me to invest that over the next three years, and they want that money back in seven or eight years.