Rex Ridenoure Offers Advice on Entrepreneurism

Out of the Cradle has an interesting interview with Rex Ridenoure, whose Ecliptic Enterprises Corporation provides RocketCams provide views during launches. He discusses his career and his love of space, and he also has some advice for young entrepreneurs who wish to follow in his footsteps.

During the first three or four years at Ecliptic I learned the three big lessons of being an entrepreneur:

1) Never run out of cash
2) Never, EVER run out of cash!!
3) Never stop marketing and selling your firm

We model the company like a 3-legged stool sitting on a rug, the rug representing our chosen markets. One leg of the stool is “Getting New Work”; another is “Doing Work”; and the third is “Billing and Collecting for Work Completed.” If the rug is chosen correctly and the three legs are balanced, then we generate a stable seat: earnings (cash). If one leg falters, the stable seat tips and we’re in trouble. All of this functions because of good people, so we try to be picky about who we hire. And we’re not always right with our hiring—no one is.

I focus mostly on choosing the right rug and getting new work in the door; my Director of Engineering (a critical position) worries about getting the work done on time and correctly; my CFO birddogs the third leg. The biggest challenge we’ve had is with making sure these elements and processes are in place and balanced. It doesn’t take much of a glitch in just a single leg to make our days (and nights) miserable. Two legs out of whack is a nightmare!

Read the full interview.