- Deepsea Challenger piloted by  James Cameron in 2012 -  Years ago I was approached by a small submarine startup for investment. I was pitc...

Years Ago My Investment Company Was Approached By A Small Submarine Company

- Deepsea Challenger piloted by 
James Cameron in 2012 - 

Years ago I was approached by a small submarine startup for investment. I was pitched by one of the co-founders. I knew him through mutual contacts.

At the time I was the chief investment officer for our group (we don't use titles like that anymore). I would get a lot of requests for investment meetings. 

Regardless, I heard the entry points, the potential market share, and the promise of profits. I didn’t see it. I did not have any interest. We wrapped up the meeting,  and I went on with my day. 

Did I see a market for this? I did not.  

Was there a "cool" factor with this investment? Not for me. Many others thought it was the ultimate. Still, I didn’t see how you could escape the business liability for a personal submarine. It reminded me of investments like small airplanes, jet packs, and "toys" like that. There’s a reason we have strict regulation for machines and vehicles like that. Personal submarines seemed like a disaster waiting to happen, for a number of reasons. 

In the past, I spent a lot of time climbing mountains. The mountain tops of the earth often attract the same type of people who aspire to go to the deepest depths of the ocean. 

Despite the fact that mountains are different than the deep sea, you can easily attribute what is called "summit fever" to deep sea exploring, and "exploring the wreckage of the Titanic in a small submarine." 

In the world of mountaineering, summit fever is the compulsion to reach the summit of the mountain no matter the cost.

Summit fever is dangerous, it clouds your judgment and many times leads to catastrophic outcomes.

I believe that this is what happened with OceanGate.

Regardless, I’d like to say something about certain types of exploration. I believe we must limit “commercial” submarine diving operations in the deep sea and at the Titanic site. I think we should do the same with our most popular mountain tops. I don’t believe commercial expedition keeps the best interest of the planet in mind. Take a look at the litter on Mount Everest when you get a chance.

Also, I find that ocean conservation, and ocean oriented scientific field research is infinitely more important for humans, and the earth, than commercial deep sea travel. Granted, this is just my opinion.

I feel very sad for the families who lost loved ones, and I have tremendous respect for the rescue crews that clambered together, to solve this puzzle. God bless.


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