Evolving a Quantum Computing Industry

Quantum computing is not near the end of a process to become an industry.

Or even near the beginning of the end of creating an industry.

But, with new innovations rolling out ever week, I think we’re at the end of the beginning.

For quantum computing to evolve into an industry, we need a few things.

Community
Industries typically start out as communities–informal groups of innovators and hackers. Think about the dozens of largely independent machinists working with steam power in the early Industrial Revolution. Then, there were garage operators, like the Wright brothers, who collaborated and competed with other bands of aeronautical pioneers to create the airline industry. For QC, a community is developing. It’s mainly centered around universities, but the meme is spreading. There’s a steady output of blog posts from QC experimenters and theorists. There are more learning opportunities, too.  A teleseminar led by Suzanne Gildert, a D-Wave scientist, on the hype and hope of quantum computing was one example.  Hopefully, this is just the start.

IP
The Quantum Computing revolution needs intellectual property. Every industry is based on IP. I was happy to see my friend, Dr. Robert Tucci reveal some of his latest patents in a post on his blog. You can check out the posts here and here. (Be sure to check out some of the patents written by QC pioneers in the list.)

Profit Motive
We all want to think we’re quantum Dr. Schweitzers, hoping to ease suffering in the wild frontier of quantum mechanics. Money doesn’t matter, we think. While it’s true the shear amazement of and interest in quantum reality has driven most of us and much of the previous research, it’s unlikely that this can create or sustain an industry. But we’re lucky here, as well. The potential for quantum computing can both create wealth–and do well. The potential for QC to help industries in the biotechnology, medical, financial, security, etc., industries deliver real products, services, and even cures that are limitless.

So, the groundwork seems to be laid.  The catalyst is there. It’s likely that in the next months and years we’ll see an evolution–if not revolution–in quantum computing.

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