A commentary in Red Herring Magazine ("Reality Check: Nanotech's boosters are getting ahead of themselves", by Stephan Herrera, with additional reporting by Om Malik, 26 March 2002) opines that "Some new statistics on nanotech may be a bit optimistic." In particular, Herrera casts a cold eye on figures issued in a recent report by the NanoBusiness Alliance (NBA) that give the impression, as he puts it, that "nanotech represents an immediate opportunity, not just a distant target. In a new survey, the NBA asserts that the field is already a $45.5 billion industry that could grow to $700 billion by 2008. . . . The NBA concludes that VCs will invest more than $1 billion in nanotech this year. How the field has grown–or has it?" Herrera wonders if "these numbers might just be wishful thinking, intended to stir up media hype and investor interest."
The article quotes Nathan Tinker, an NBA cofounder and the survey's author: "Mr. Tinker says there's no harm in interpreting nanotechnology broadly. 'I tried to consider the whole range of nano,' he says. In fact, he included sales from products that most nanotech experts would not even consider to be nano, like microelectrical mechanical systems."
Herrera considers the $1 billiion investment figure by VCs to be even more fuzzy, and notes that even some NBA figures are distancing themselves from the number — such as Josh Wolfe, an NBA cofounder and "a leading voice in nanotech."