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The Consolidation Of The Space Industry  

In episode #63 of The Tech That Connects Us, we were lucky to be joined by Sebastian Asprella and Vojtech Holub, the CEO and CTO of ThinkOrbital. We wanted to learn about their take on consolidation in the space industry (and a few other interesting topics).

We touched on the technology behind ThinkOrbital, tried to learn whether they were ambitious or just crazy, and wanted to know roughly where the industry was headed as they explore new and attractive opportunities.

When will we see new consolidation in space?

The first area appears to be launch. We’re not saying we’re experts in this field, but we did talk to people who are. We analysed the market in depth regarding where we come in to see where that sets us apart. So, I would imagine that launch would probably be the first one.

I’m not sure if the market is oversaturated. But it’s interesting to see that there are still new startups or new companies coming into launch. And I would imagine unless they’re extremely differentiated, I don’t see how that’s a concern.

The second area that comes to mind is the mega IoT constellations. So many of them could be sustained, and there’s been so much capital going into them. Consolidation doesn’t necessarily mean that companies go out of business, but there may be some mergers and acquisitions along the way.

Vojtech, do you agree or have different opinions on that?

Launch may end up even worse than consolidation, in the sense that consolidation assumes that the larger, more successful companies will buy the smaller non-successful ones. Unfortunately, most of them will just go bankrupt and disappear. There will be just a few survivors of different sizes for the few markets.

In space, there is a need for orbital tags, and a lot of companies have seen that. These tags would allow you to change orbits, grab a satellite, move it, refuel it, etc. And this is a crucial capability that is desperately needed everywhere. But there are also a lot of companies that are working towards that. And I don’t know how many companies can be sustained this way. Maybe the national security interest of individual countries will come in and make them all work. I’m not sure. But it’s another thing that pops into my mind.

You can listen to the full episode here.

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

What are the major IT data challenges currently facing enterprises and governments?  

In episode #62 of The Tech That Connects Us, we were excited to be joined by Hash Basu-Choudhuri. He is the current GM at Cribl, and has held advisory and senior roles across the world, mostly in the EMEA region. 

We touched on his career so far, as well as specific topics around data challenges, crypto, and D&I.  

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it. 

What would you say are the major IT data challenges currently facing enterprises and government? 

“Just complexity, look at the rate of change, I think if you look at the rate of change from 2000, it was not that high. Things weren’t being innovated at the rate they’re being innovated today.  

The problem today is that every three years there’s a new cycle riding. You had the mobile cycle, the cloud cycle, now you have the container cycle. And now, we’re moving into completely trustless environments using blockchain technology.  

Airbnb disrupted travel, and not even seven years later, Airbnb is probably going to get disrupted by blockchain! I think the biggest challenge is that.” 

How has the UAE handled COVID differently to other parts of the world? 

“This is a great question. So, this has literally been a business case study in probably how to do it right. The UAE has looked at the impact, looked at the facts, looked at the science, and been ahead of the game.  

I deal a lot with Emirates Airlines and Dubai airports. I would say 70 to 80% of the world’s vaccines fly through Dubai, because they’re manufactured in India. This is their distribution hub. And then from here, Emirates Airlines repurposed god knows how many planes into vaccine carriers. And then from here, they’re distributed globally. So, they’ve got the distribution for the world sorted.” 

What novel cybersecurity challenges does the growth of cryptocurrency prevent present? 

“When you’re talking about cryptocurrency, it gives you immense power, you do not have to trust the third party, there is no centralised system. But the problem with security from a blockchain perspective is that you are responsible for your keys, for your wallet, for your assets right now.  

Sounds simple, but how do you secure it? You just have to be very, very careful with the way you manage such assets. There are a couple of tech players out there that are trying to solve it with escrow accounts, and the ability to have extensive multi-party certificates.” 

What is your assessment of how well tech industries are tackling diversity? 

“So for me, obviously, you know, I fall into that category. But for me, it’s not about this, It’s about the diversity of thought. My background is not going to be exactly the same as your background.  

But, if you can attract talent and have multiple different mindsets, it’s good for business. Look at your target audience, which is the world, right? If you want mass adoption, it’s everyone. So, you kind of have to mirror that. And you can’t mirror it if you don’t have a diversity of thought.  

I think a lot of these companies are leading with just hard metrics. And it’s like a sales process, right? You can do metrics one, two, and three, and you don’t do anything at the end of that, right? When really, it’s the way you interpret that data. It’s the way you apply it. And it’s really what you do with it once you have met those targets.  

I think a lot of companies are just laser-focused on “we need to have this many Asians this many, you know, blah, blah, blah” right. And I don’t particularly like the topic because I think it’s an over-rotation, it should always be merit-focused. And it should always be diversity of thought that you get from it over anything else.” 

You can listen to the full episode here.

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.