Thursday, April 12, 2012
Scott Tibbitts, eSpace, "From the Hardware Store to Pluto: Adventures in Space Entrepreneurship"
Scott told how he fell into the space industry in the 1990s. People started buying from his company. He is from Boulder, Colorado. One of the values of the company was to have fun. Another core value was to make sure their products never failed in space.
They got to test their products on the vomit comet. He showed a video of one flight on the vomit comet. Over time the word got out and people wants to work for them. They got stuck in their growth because they were only making paraffin-powered mechanism for spacecraft. They ended up buying a company and could now making mechanical solutions for spacecraft. Now they were growing at 50% a year.
They had parts in the Martian rover. They were very excited. The company logo was shown in the pictures from Mars!
They learned not to use O-rings in devices.
At one point they were upside with a loan. The bank wanted six million dollars. He got two options, one to stay with the company as CEO, but still have loan issues, or sell the company. He struggled but sold the company.
His last story was about how one of his favorite memories was a trip with his son. He made the point that family and relationships are important.
Scott is a good story teller.