The Startup According To TAFF


When I write about startups in the deep tech and quantum computing space, one of the things I always consider before putting pen to paper (or fingers to laptop keys as so happens to be the case these days) is how interesting the company is in regard to what they have to offer in terms of technological innovation.

This would seem obvious, but in the age of overhype and false promises that some tech companies are only too willing to play — with artificial intelligence’s (AI), Blockchain’s and quantum computing’s (QC) advocates the guiltiest of this— it doesn’t look like it will disappear, made worse by venture capitalists’ (VCs) expectations and the rising phenomenon of the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) on the market.

Putting all these considerations aside though, and analyzing things with an optimistic attitude — if a slightly gullible one — I try my best to get to the bare bones of the startups I cover.

To do this, I need to describe, not always in great detail, four things about the said startup:

  • Its technology (Technology)
  • The applications for the technology (Applications)
  • The founders’ backgrounds (Founders)
  • The financial situation of the startup (Funding)


Putting these into a tasty acronym you get TAFF: Technology, Applications, Founders, and Funding; the last two being completely interchangeable.

Overall, when I’m writing my stories covering startups in the deep tech and quantum computing sectors, I use this pattern to shape my stories. I may, in fact, start off with funding, then move on to describe the technology and its applications before finishing off on the founders’ story in a beautiful biographic flourish; or I might talk about funding first and, well, blah, blah, blah.

It doesn’t really matter, as long as what I write about gives a clear overview of why the startup exists and where it’s heading in terms of the technology and founding team’s commercial intentions, it’s all good, man.

TAFF is something I am always thinking about. It is a simple framework that has worked well for me thus far, and I hope will continue to be so throughout my career highlighting the world of the deep tech startup.



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James Dargan

James Dargan

Author & futurist writing about quantum computers, AI, crypto/blockchain. Journalist @ Read my fiction on Amazon or