Posted by: Jon Fine on June 2, 2008
(Part two of our ongoing series of interview excerpts, wherein Dennis discloses a novel investment opportunity. Part one can be found here; a column I wrote following this interview is here. All interview excerpts have been lightly edited.)
BW: Would you still do media if you were starting now?
FD: So much fun.
BW: True. But if you were trying to get rich?
FD: Well, I did give you a list in “How To Get Rich” of other things. Obviously, waste disposal is an enormous and fantastic industry.
BW: And, you wrote, a friend of yours has done very well in it.
FD: Jesus! It’s like falling off a log. A moron could get rich in waste disposal.
BW: Sure. But I trust a lot of people are trying.
FD: Not very hard! Just as long as they are in waste disposal . . . There are many other things you couldn’t really go wrong in. I think as long as you had two or three bets in nanotech, it would be hard to go bankrupt.
[Here I relate a very long and not especially interesting story about someone who had been doing very well in biotech investments until a stray comment concerning regulation arcana, that was delivered at the end of a press conference, more or less completely wiped him out.]
FD: [nonplussed] It’s an industry that can’t go wrong. There isn’t anything it can’t do. A few little hiccups in the beginning . . . . In the end the railroads made America and nanotech will make the 21st century, and that is the end of the story The beginning of the story and the end of the story. Apart from our neverending quest for yet more energy sources, and plenty of them as well. And nanotech is part of that as well. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. It only matters if you invested, if you get in at right point and get out at right point. It’s another wonderful business I’d love to be in.
And then I think robotic sex is going to be an enormous business. So big it’s going to be impossible to compute. The idea you can have whatever you want and [expletive] whenever you want is just so important for men and women, there’s no point in pretending.
BW: [slightly astonished at this conversational turn] I am thinking it’s more important for men.
FD: No! I completely disagree. I totally disagree. I think for women as well.
BW: [still slightly astonished] How far away is this?
FD: Not very far. It is going to be fantastic. I just hope I am going to be able to get my hands on it before I pop my clutch. Just want to get a few down. I’m just saying that it’s going to be happening. It is such a fantastic business. It is so obvious and screaming. There is none of the messing around with the opposite sex and feeling like a completely guilty [expletive]. All of that, gone! ‘Can I have a [very specific characterization] please?’ ‘Yes.’
BW: It’s important to me that you don’t edit yourself—
FD: ‘Can I have a [even more graphic characterization]?’ ‘Certainly! We’ve got plenty of those. We deliver them all the time.’