Then and Now

6sided_diceI grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, mostly in the 80’s.

In public school settings at that time, at least, kids were told that hard work pays off, and in that environment, it’s absolutely true. Study the material, do well on a test as a result, and get a good grade in the class. If the material is hard to understand, talk with the teacher or another student, get some help, and the subject becomes easier to grasp.

I won’t say that I was always good at following that scheme, but the fact remains, that’s how it worked.

Luck really didn’t enter into it.

Then May, 1990 happened and I was no longer a student, at least not for a while. I hadn’t concentrated on any particular course of study, and I left high school with no special skills of any kind.

But I had to do something, so the US Army it was, for all of a month. Why only a month? What happened?

Bad luck. I became rather ill during basic training and was discharged.

What’s the point?

Luck matters.

You can plan things out until your face falls off, and though that takes work, which certainly helps, all plans are subject to random factors.

Sometimes things just don’t work the way we’d like them to.

Does this mean it’s better to not try? Of course not. Hard work doesn’t guarantee success, but lack of effort definitely promises failure.

Experience has shown me, and probably you, that as much as some things don’t work, our efforts stand an equal chance of providing the results we do want to see.

Apollo 15 races for the Moon, July 26th, 1971

Apollo 15 races for the Moon, July 26th, 1971

And now we have private/commercial space, which is about as new as an industry can get. Lots of small companies and a few large ones are popping up all over the place. Some will do well, others won’t. Some will combine with others and grow larger, and of those, the same thing will happen.

Some will flourish, others will fold.

Why? Luck.

Given that, what’s the best way to proceed? Continue the efforts, of course.

Also, make alliances. Traditionally, companies compete with each other, but considering how many advances in science that private space could show us, maybe commercial space companies should work together rather than against each other. After all, the success of one doesn’t always necessitate the failure of another.

In the end, maybe it’s the right time, and the right field, to break the mold. Luck will still enter into it, good and bad, but cooperation will skew the odds in everyone’s favor here.



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