Thank you for the post Sam. I really like what SpaceX is doing. Musk’s view on simplicity is perfect for the business that SpaceX is currently in. During his talk a the Kennedy School, Charles Bolden emphasized the importance of finding ways to lower the cost of sending payloads into space as we rely more and more on the technologies that the satellites provide, especially to the consumer market (e.g. GPS). I wonder though how Musk sees the current trajectory of the SpaceX business fitting into his dream to colonize Mars or explore the universe. It seems that SpaceX is, as you mentioned, laser focused on launch services and incremental manufacturing improvements, which are not the main obstacles for Musk’s vision for space travel. Is there anything going on at SpaceX to chase that dream (disruption R&D?) and, if so, is that what is best for the company? Finally, why not land the exhausted rocket on something soft?
Thank you for the post John. I can personally relate to some of the quality issues that the Citi Bike system faced in the last few years. You mention that following the NYC comptroller’s audit, Citi Bike’s maintenance quality control improved. My guess is that this was, at least in part, achieved with increasing attention and resources dedicated to maintenance, which only makes the company’s P&L issues more difficult to control. I wonder what level of quality control the company employed in the selection of bicycle models and credit card/communication systems. It sounds like if they had built/selected bikes that were better suited for the wear and tear from city sharing programs, they would have had substantially easier and less expensive time maintaining their infrastructure; their infrastructure is not something that is easily changed.