Adventures In Deep Space

A blog about turning our "crazy" big idea to transform deep space exploration into a real company (click on header above to view this blog's home page)

Brief Update: New Logo Prototype, 'Getting to Wow!', networking, development, patience is a virtue

September 29, 2021 — Thomas Leavitt

Check out the new logo! Vast improvement over the DIY via SaaS thing I came up with earlier. Still more to do, I think, but very cool. Ironically, and this wasn't at all planned, it's based on the same image that my partner and I used in my first startup at Web Communications, LLC (aka WebCom): NASA's "Earthrise" image.

Not a lot of blogging, because my energy has been focused on other things. Watched Bill Reichert of Pegasus Ventures do an online keynote for the Santa Cruz Founders Institute on the topic of 'Getting to Wow!' on Your Pitch, which is also a title of a book he has on sale at Amazon, Getting to Wow! Silicon Valley Pitch Secrets for Entrepreneurs. Lots of good stuff in it, I took notes. Core concept: every time you open your mouth to talk about your company, you're "pitching". In this age of distraction, you've got 20 seconds to cut through the noise and get someone's attention.

Did a bit of networking this week, trying to set up a couple of more "informational interviews" with folks in the industry. Now that we're a bit farther along (see below), this should be even more interesting and illuminating.

Speaking of "farther along". I've teamed up with a very smart and experienced engineeer / entreprenuer who has a good grasp of the technical aspects of designing and manufacturing satellites and satellite components. He's been working on putting together a draft design in Solidworks (the industry standard for manufacturing oriented 3D CAD) over the past few days. We share the same excitement over the potential this idea has.

One of the things I've (re)learned over the course of the past year and a half, on another project, is that engineering takes time, and happens on it's own schedule (especially in a sweat equity funded startup). Whether it's designing and writing software and systems automation, or hardware design and modeling, it takes time to do it right (and avoid creating more work for your company and engineers down the line).

Tags: logo, reading, thepitch, incubators, design, development, process

Tonight's Adventures: Joining SSPI, Networking, Higher Math, Founder Institute

August 26, 2021 — Thomas Leavitt

I'm grinding through Khan Academy's Trigonometry course, as review for Chapter 4 in the "Understanding Space" book, which lists Vector Math and Calculus as a requirement. The last time I did higher math was back around 2005, when I spent a semester at Cabrillo College exclusively focused on passing Calculus (math has always been a weak point for me)... so this is going to be interesting in the Confucian sense. I succeeded at passing the class (fourth try since High School), and in the process, worked my way through most of Calculus and Pizza: A Cookbook for the Hungry Mind. When I showed him where I was in the book, our instructor told me that I'd essentially finished not only the current semester's work, but the next one as well. When I set my mind to doing something, I tend to overdo it

I joined Space and Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) so that I could join their LinkedIn group, and thought it would be an interesting vehicle for networking. Also joined some other LinkedIn groups. Trying to find a venue where I can make contact with engineers, possibly a technical co-founder or two.

I'm evaluating whether or not the Founder Institute is the right path for me; the $799 price for the course is a secondary factor to the time investment, and the appropriateness of the model for where I'm at in the process. I'm asking a few of my advisors and network members for their take.

Tags: sspi, incubators, networking, math, reading

Cool Space Stuff

August 25, 2021 — Thomas Leavitt

Links to items I found interesting. Not necessarily relevant. Will grow over time. Last updated: September 3rd, 2021.

Tags: reading, links

Reading Update

August 25, 2021 — Thomas Leavitt

I'm a hundred pages into "Understanding Space", starting Chapter Four, "Understanding Orbits". "Reducing Space Mission Cost" (1996) just arrived in the mail. I also borrowed "Seeing What's Next" from my local co-working space's free lending library. HBS book, subtitle, "Using the theories of innovation to predict industry change".

Tags: reading, progress, space-industry