(BusinessJournals) Whurley, the CEO of Austin, Texas-based quantum software company Strangeworks Inc., told the the audience at the University of Maryland’s Quantum Startup Foundry that the biggest threat to the quantum industry comes from the possibility of federal and international regulation. That would be the biggest threat to the technology outside of not wisely investing in the industry. “If your quantum computer can’t be used outside of the United States starting next year for the next 10 years, you are not going to have enough customers to have enough money to build your company or for us to build an industry,” he said. “Everybody should be talking to their congressman and their senators. Everybody should be hiring a lobbyist.”
He also fears that the investment excitement surrounding the nascent technology could have detrimental impacts before the market can even get off the ground. “I fear the amount of capital coming into it. In , a very brilliant guy wrote a book about IBM software and management, and he noticed that when you put more money on a project that was behind, when you put more people on a project that was behind, it got further and further behind. Because when you are doing software, you do not need a lot of people,” said Whurley, referencing Fred Brooks’ book, “The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering.” Because of the potential computing gains quantum technology can offer multiple industries, investors have been taking more notice of the fledging sector.
Part of the problem, Whurley said, is that quantum technology, while very promising, is not yet an established industry. While advancements are being made in the hardware that will drive quantum technology, the software that will help make it both useful and accessible to the public has to develop and grow collaboratively.
Whurley added that while the quantum industry isn’t yet established, he’s all in on it as an investor and forecasts the “boom years” of advancement to possibly run from 2023 through 2026.