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ISPCS Panel Discussion: The Marketplace

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
October 16, 2013
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ispcs_logoPanel Discussion: The Marketplace


Raymond Vogel,  Business Development Principal Jacobs Technology, Inc.


  • Monique Jacobson, Secretary of Tourism, State of New Mexico
  • Andrew Nelson, Chief Operating Officer, XCOR Aerospace
  • Sean Mahoney, Chief Executive Officer, Masten Space Systems
  • Bob Allen, Executive Director, Innovation, Design, Entertainment, Art, and Storytelling (IDEAS)



Andrew Nelson, XCOR

  • Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust — XCOR’s Andrew Nelson: our challenge is that we’re in an industry competing with one of the best marketeers around, Richard Branson.
  • Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust — Nelson: 118 finalists from 67 countries in Axe competition coming to Orlando 1st week of Dec to compete for 23 flight spots.
  • Suzi Gordon ‏@suzigordon — Nelson: XCOR markets by offering cheap/free space experiments to students, reminiscent of Apple putting its products in schools.
  • Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust — Question: how do you find out what customers want in the space industry. Nelson: you ask them.
  • Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust — Nelson: I want all of you to be able to fly in space.

Sean Mahoney, Masten

  • Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust — Masten’s Sean Mahoney: we have today the “minimum viable rocket” that serves customers today while we work on bigger ideas.
  • Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust — Mahoney: Masten has run entirely off of customer revenues for last 12 months. Challenge, though, to find investors.
  • Justin Kugler ‏@phalanx — Sean Mahoney: if you’re not selling now, you don’t have a business – you have a hobby.
  • Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust — Mahoney: there’s a belief that, as a startup, you have to be cheap. I disagree; danger of underpricing, losing money.
  • Justin Kugler ‏@phalanx — Mahoney: Marketing & sales should be together in the org chart. Should not be an excuse to not talk to people.

Bob Allen, IDEAS

  • Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust — Bob Allen, IDEAS: space is taking its place in the public as a “mythic construct”: exploration, adventure, barnstorming
  • Justin Kugler ‏@phalanx — Bob Allen: entrepreneurial space offers us a new cultural myth, a new adventure, & entry to the “barnstorming” phase.
  • Suzi Gordon ‏@suzigordon — Space is the new frontier, an offer of adventure, & the ‘barnstorming’ phase of the next generation.That excites people. – Bob Allen
  • ISPCS ‏@ISPCS — Bob Allen: There is a worldwide phenomenal sense that we are at the barnstorming stage of space exploration.
  • Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust — Allen commends New Mexico for choosing name “Spaceport America”: “It’s like ‘Highlander’: there can be only one.”
  • Suzi Gordon ‏@suzigordon — Bob Allen: Spaceport America in NM is all-American: Old West, Native American, and Space Race age America.
  • Chris Boshuizen ‏@cboshuizen — @BobAllenIDEAS “Toxic Thruster is a great name for a heavy metal band”, on the toxicity of legacy space propellants.
  • Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust — Quote of the day: “Toxic thruster sounds like a great name for a heavy metal band.”
  • Suzi Gordon ‏@suzigordon — Allen talking about how Disney is awesome at innovation…because it is.
  • Suzi Gordon ‏@suzigordon — “You can’t make up stories that are weirder than physics.” – Bob Allen

Monique Jacobson, State of New Mexico

  • Justin Kugler ‏@phalanx — Monique Jacobson: Keep it focused on what your customer needs, not what you think your company needs.
  • Suzi Gordon ‏@suzigordon — Monique Jacobson: Make decisions based on what the customer wants, not what the company needs.
  • ISPCS ‏@ISPCS — Monique Jacobson: New Mexico is so grounded in history and the past and it is a perfect place for space tourism.
  • ISPCS ‏@ISPCS — Jacobson: the world needs dreamers and doers, but what the world really needs is those who dream and do.

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