Unreasonable Rocket has a great article today about the trials and tribulations of budding space startups that build hardware. As we all very well know, building hardware really is hard. But as with any other challenge, the victor is usually the one who can pick himself up enough times to finally succeed.
From the article:
When he started SpaceX Elon had never managed a company that builds hardware. Elon is a really really smart guy and he will learn to build hardware, it just won’t be as quick or as superior to dinospace as the original power point slides said it would be . I visited spacex about two years ago. The Staff was very young, a lot of fresh out of college enthusiastic kids. It was probably the brightest group of pure brain power I’ve ever encountered. Elon created a vision that was bright enough to attract 100’s of the best and brightest to actually get their hands dirty and build real hardware. They choose spacex and not web 2.0 or wall street. SpaceX now has 500 + employees and as these bright young minds learn to build real hardware they will become an invaluable national asset. I hope they can get up and try again and again, it may take another 5 years until the organization learns what really matters and what doesn’t. Just don’t give up, I for one will enjoy watching them succeed. If I could give them one piece of advice it would be to remember to play a little bit along the way. The spacex director of propulsion Tom Muller not only used to work on rockets professionally, he built rockets as a hobby. Tom used to build and fly small liquid propellant rockets out at the RRS. This lesson should not be lost , things one builds with ones own hands teach valuable lessons that are not to be found in any text book.