Gibney believes that several major industries are underfunded: aerospace, transportation, biotech, AI and robotics, cheap energy, to name a few. These sectors promise breathtaking shifts in everyone's lives and could be funded more consistently: "...these technologies never received the sustained funding lavished on the electronics industries." Thus, he compares their funding to computers and communication technologies, the industries that he presents as receiving generous "sustained funding."
The end of 2022 saw AI making a huge leap acknowledged in the public space, and it can hardly be considered stagnant due to the lack of funding. The way AI integrates into our lives is truly exceptional.
However, let's also examine other industries. We can agree that we are still waiting for major advances in these fields, but it is not technically accurate to say that they are underfunded. For example, in the US, between 2013 and 2022, the IT hardware industry received $52 billion in VC funding. Compare this with some of the industries Gibney labels as "underfunded": the transportation sector receiving $66 billion, pharma & biotech receiving $189 billion, and healthcare services, systems, devices, & supplies attracting $166 billion during the same period (PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor, 2023).
These industries have indeed received substantial funding. The reason we are still waiting for breakthroughs is that these challenges are genuinely difficult, and humanity has naturally encountered significant obstacles. Recall the development of AI: for decades, mankind struggled with advancing it, without any progress visible to regular people. Now, we see AI on the brink of passing the Turing test, where one cannot tell if they are chatting with a human or an AI. For the general public, this was rather unexpected, but experts have observed this evolution and the slow accumulation of knowledge that preceded the AI explosion in 2022.
Perhaps other industries are like that as well, not "stuck" in place but making small steps to suddenly leap forward. We don't believe that humanity as a whole could "overlook" potential shortcuts so easily. The need to do the hard work, accumulate data, and acquire knowledge to fuel this leap is something we must go through.
In the meantime, let's, as a VC fund, focus on what we do best: funding the future yet to come. I will briefly outline the strategy that we follow at Joint Journey to achieve that.