Thinking back a few years, before Joy had the series of illnesses that left her (until quite recently) medically unable to hold a job....
She was in the mode of spending maybe 5 months job-hunting, finding something that seemed a good match and paid fairly well, and then after 3 months having the company go bust, or close down her division, or replace everybody with H-1B workers.
A company that went bust had an interesting product. They had demo units. They'd sold a few one-off units. Finally, they had their big break: an overseas institutional customer ordered a whole bunch of the product. Ka-ching!
Well, wait a minute. It was a physical product, so manufacturing a bunch of copies was going to cost money. And tooling up for economical manufacturing was going to run up the NRE. When all was delivered and paid for, though, it'd be a highly profitable deal, and the next batch would be cheaper to manufacture (the tooling-up having been done for that first big order).
No problem, right? Having a product, a signed order, and a clear plan for filling the order and turning a profit in a few months is what business banking is for, isn't it?
Not so fast. Apparently banks don't lend money on those terms anymore. They want real estate as collateral. So, off the the venture-capital crowd.
No soap. There was simply no funding available to this company for doing a production run to fulfill the order.
And so the company went bust, laid everyone off, and the product never happened.
Sometime last night, this tale crossed paths with this item, on which I'd been meaning to remark since I first saw it. Maybe the problem was that all the financial gatekeepers assume that product means app, with low development costs, quick payoff, and no manufacturing costs?
... Except that the gatekeepers were happy to pour long-term money into Thanatos Theranos, without much worry about the viability (or existence) of the product. So, clearly, it's not a general rule.