100 Nano-Stories: Forward Vertical Integration!

Episode #51: Scaling Aerogel!

Carlos Manuel Jarquín Sánchez
3 min readMar 24, 2021

Preface! ✨

It’s your favorite material science & nanotechnology enthusiast! Yesterday, I published my idea on how to increase the potential in aerogels!

Because I’m biased towards my ideas, reader, check it out! 😏

But throughout all this time, I have not been able to discuss what we can do in terms of the increasing aerogel by the truckload! Today, I want to explain what we have to do if we want to increase the reproduction of aerogel: Forward Vertical Integration!

Forward Vertical Integration Explained! 💡

Definition! 🔑

Vertical Integration means a company can buy and control several other businesses outside of their own supply chain! What this means is that it control certain processes in the production of a product by buying/purchasing the product process.

However, that is not necessarily what Forward Vertical Integration means, reader!

Forward Vertical Integration is when a company/business wants to expand their product directly to their customers/consumers by purchasing and controlling the distribution of its products. In simple terms, Forward Vertical Integration is buying or making your own stores to directly control the distribution of their product to the people!

An example of Forward Vertical Integration is an artist who makes toys from wood wants to control the distribution of his products directly without having someone else control the distribution. So what he does is sell his toys directly on the market instead of having someone else do it for him!

But Carlos, why should I know this? 🤷🏽‍♂️

Aerogels + Forward Vertical Integration! 🔑

Aerogels are a wonder material, but there is one problem:

Scaling + The supply chain is the problem for aerogels! This is why we don’t have aerogel everywhere!

However, there is a possible solution! We can produce aerogels by truckload, and that will increase the production of aerogels! But we still lack the supply chain/distribution of aerogels.

If the production increases via the truckload, we can increase the capacity of the aerogels, and we lower the cost/value of aerogels, therefore, the total amount of aerogel can be distributed to everyone!

This is where the Forward Vertical Integration comes in!

If we can directly control the distribution of aerogel to the people, we can increase the yield (money) and produce more of this wonder material! However, to complete the Forward Vertical Integration, we must have to bring down the cost of aerogel down to the price of foam!

Currently, the cost of insulating your home with spray foam is $440 - $1,500 for a 1000 square feet (92.903 square meters) house.

If you were thinking about how to increase production, one good solution is shrinking the volume of aerogel and increasing the surface area! (I’ll link bonus resources at the end to explain the surface area and volume in an aerogel!)

Closing Thoughts! 💭

This felt weird to talk about since I am not a business person, but it was necessary to explain why we lack aerogel in everyone’s homes yet:

  • Mass Production of Aerogels!
  • No Forward Vertical Integration!

Now we understand how to leverage a Forward Vertical Integration to scale aerogel for everyone at just a fraction of the current cost ($23,000 per lb / $23,000 per 0.454 kg)!

See you tomorrow to explain Aerogel Particles! ✌🏽

Vocabulary! 📓

Vertical Integration → A company can buy and control several other businesses outside of their own supply chain.

Forward Vertical Integration Buying or making your own stores to directly control the distribution of their product to the people!

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