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by Eva Fox November 05, 2019

The Air Force is holding a series of “Pitch Days” for small businesses through its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program.

On November 5-6, 2019, it will hold one in San Francisco, CA devoted to space. Companies that have already received Phase I SBIR contracts may pitch ideas for Phase II awards that can be processed within one day. It is part of an effort to demonstrate a faster, smarter strategy in technology investments and partnerships with small businesses.

Source: Amanda Macias

Tesla CEO Elon Musk became a surprise guest at this event.

Investors are increasingly targeting commercial space companies. Over $5 billion in venture capital has been invested in space startups in 2019 so far, according to venture firm Space Angels. Several Wall Street firms have projected that the overall space market could more than triple in size to over $1 trillion in the next 20 years. 

SpaceX has been working with the Air Force for a many years. Its Falcon 9 rocket was certified for USAF launches in 2015, and it’s launched multiple satellites for Air Force missions.

When it comes to the space industry as a whole, Elon Musk insisted that there’s really only one real problem to work on, and that’s building a “fully and rapidly reusable orbital rocket. This is the Holy Grail.” In Elon Musk’s view, the fact that rockets today are still primarily expendable, even if some parts are reusable, is the industry’s biggest hurdle, and what keeps the costs of going to space too high. He noted that people would find single-use aircraft ridiculous, “but that’s the way rockets work.”

Elon Musk also shared his thoughts on how to conduct business: “I do zero market research whatsoever.” “If you don’t love the product, you should not expect that others will.”

He also said that every employee should have a general idea of ​​the whole product. “Everyone should be chief engineer,” he said. “Everyone should have at least a cursory understanding of the whole rocket or whole car, even if they have deep expertise in one arena.”

Running a business is a very difficult task. In fact, you need to be able to keep a balance between personal life and work. Elon Musk talked that he trying to avoid the news. And instead of spending his time watching television, he reads scientific and technical journals. Also, every day he devotes time to his physical health, conducting workouts.

He also noted that Twitter is useful to him. “I find Twitter enlightening at times,” - said Elon Musk.

And all of us have witnessed many times how Elon Musk communicates on Twitter. Sometimes he answers questions, trying to help ordinary people understand the complexities of rocket science, thereby developing and giving knowledge to anyone who wants to get it. Also, many times we have witnessed the fact that he helped the Tesla owners solve some problems and difficulties, give answers to questions that interest them. At the same time, he has an excellent sense of humor, and is not afraid to demonstrate this and shares it with his followers.


I think most of us understand that Elon Musk has unprecedented qualities. He is not just the skilled leader of several successful enterprises, he is a person who cares about people, he is a real leader who deserves a huge respect for his work and for caring for humanity.

Although Elon Musk still remains quite self-critical, “I’m not trying to think of myself as a great expert on leadership, to be frank. We’re doing okay, but we make a lot of mistakes from what I can see.”

Source:  Francois Chopard


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