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How did you get into the NewSpace industry – Scott Herman’s path into the NewSpace industry

In our most recent episode of The Tech That Connects Us, we had the delight of speaking to the CEO of Cognitive Space, Scott Herman. After starting his career in the National Security community, he made the decision to move into the commercial world.  

We found out how he got into the New Space industry, delved into his past careers and why he believes that the geospatial analytics area is overlooked. 

We’d like to go back to the beginning, how and why did you get into the NewSpace industry? 

I actually spent probably the first half of my career working in the remote sensing and geospatial analytics world, but primarily, kind of hidden in the national security community, what you might call the black world.  

So, I’ve been doing this for a long time. Since getting out of school I’ve been in this constantly repeating loop of build systems for either running satellites or exploiting the data coming from satellites, applying that to global monitoring and national security problems. Build a little, field a little, go out and support those systems, and then come back and do it all over again and build the next generation. So that’s been a pretty consistent pattern.  

After spending probably the first 15 years or so working in the national security community, I made the leap into the commercial world. But again, kind of looking back at the national security mission.  

So that’s when I joined GOI in the days of GOI and Digital Globe before they were merged together into what eventually became Maxar. I worked there for several years and then several of us kind of jumped and started a new company that was eventually acquired by spaceflight and became Sky. I was part of the Spaceflight industries umbrella, with the launch business, satellite remote sensing business with Black Sky and the assembly business with Leo Stella. So that was a lot of fun.  

I worked there for probably about eight years. Until right around the time of the SPAC the IPO with black sky. But I continued to really be interested in this problem of how to apply artificial intelligence to satellite operations. I had been through TechStars, advising a small company that was starting to really make some inroads into this particular problem and became part of their advisory board. They eventually invited me in to help lead the company to success, go through fundraising and help get the product built and everything else. So, I came on as the CEO of cognitive space a little over a year ago. 

You can catch 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 advice would you give to someone entering the broadcast & media industry?

In episode #70 of The Tech That Connects Us, we were delighted to be joined by Christian Massman, MD and CSO of Qvest Group.  

Christian started his career within the world of banking before making the transition to the broadcast media industry. Fast-forward to today, Christian is now the executive board member, Managing Director and CSO for Qvest group. 

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

So Christian, what is one piece of advice you would give to someone entering the industry? 

“What always led me through developing people and actually judging people in terms of doing performance reviews, and really coaching and mentoring people was down to a book I read at the end of the 90s. And this book, by Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, implemented the four E and one P methodology which I use.  

It has always helped me to identify the right talent for the right job, and then actually to develop people further in their careers so they can grow. 

And if you’re not familiar with it, the 4 E’s stand for energy, energise, edge, and execute. So, in terms of the attributes that you’re looking for, when it comes to developing talent in identifying top performers – the P stands for passion – and this, from my point of view, is the most important ingredient.  

Therefore, if you’re not doing what you’re doing with 100% commitment and passion, you’re maybe in the wrong job, and then look for something else. But it starts with being passionate about being hungry, really wanting to succeed or making a difference and so on.  

But energy, being able to have energy and being able to engage and energise others, of course, to take big decisions and execute on them is very, very important as well. But the P the passion is number one for me!” 

To listen to the full episode, click 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.     

neuco’s Hot Companies to Watch in In-Space Economy

One of the most fascinating, fast-growing, and highest growth potential areas of the satellite & space sector is the in-space/on-orbit economy. We’ve broken this segment down into verticals with overlaps, that we see as already established but with so much more still to come. This is by no means an exhaustive list but here are some exciting players to watch.

Space Stations

Space infrastructure on this scale was once a thing of science fiction. Russia launched Salyut 1 in the early 70’s but the most widely known space station is the International Space Station, a modern marvel of engineering and international collaboration. With the next generation of space stations imminent, led by private companies, we are about to enter a new chapter and, before the end of the decade, space will look very different indeed!

Servicing

In-space/on-orbit servicing will drastically redefine how we operate in space. The servicing of satellites, including the refuelling and repairing of them, will vastly improve how well they can be maintained and how long they can be in service, and it doesn’t end there. Debris removal, transportation, and manufacturing & assembly (with its own section below) will all act as a platform and foundation that will allow incredible growth in space infrastructure, in turn benefitting Earth below and the progression of humanity.

Manufacturing & Assembly

On-orbit manufacturing and assembly capabilities will play a significant role in the future of space. Producing satellites and other assets directly in orbit will revolutionise what we will be capable of doing. The extraction of materials in space, the recycling of debris, 3D printing (which has been done on the ISS since 2014) and more, could all be game changers. In microgravity, the absence of gravity enables the production of a wide range of new materials, and even wine ages quicker!

Spaceflight

This will be the vertical that will truly highlight to society how far we have come and how far we can go, because there may be a chance to experience it yourself. As we continue to develop these technologies and drive down costs, perhaps one day you may find yourself among the stars, looking down on Earth and experiencing something the vast majority of humanity never in their wildest dreams thought they would experience.

Keep an eye out for more content and information surrounding some of the hottest space sectors coming soon!

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.     

IBC 2022, 3 years in the making!

With the cancellation of the shows in both 2020 and 2021 it was starting to feel like we would never get back to the lowlands for the biggest of the Broadcast trade shows IBC.

Apart from being the centrepiece show for much of the media tech space, IBC holds a special place for me as the first media show I ever went to, the first show where I realised that those shoes looked nice but were entirely impractical for 20k steps a day on the show floor, the first show where I found myself in a one-on-one with an SVP who clearly did not know who I was and wanted to know why I was taking up their time…ah memories.

IBC 2022 will be our first chance in years to meet some of our favourite people in the industry, host some networking events, and really immerse ourselves back into the media space (especially with those who could not make it out to Vegas for NAB). Since our last show in Amsterdam, neuco has doubled in size and we will have our biggest ever presence on the floor so if you want to talk about your plans for the future or just to catch up with us, now is the best time to get in touch with us so we can book in a meeting.

Outside of the show itself, it is always wonderful to have an excuse to stay in Amsterdam and I would encourage anyone attending to book their flight home a few days later than planned so you have the chance to explore and take in some of the things that have made the city a hotspot for European travellers.

What are these things you ask? Come on, we all know what I’m talking about…it’s well developed cycling infrastructure of course! If you think I’m not serious then you have never experienced the joy of cycling round a major city without once being nearly sideswiped by a taxi or crushed to a fine paste by a bus at a junction, it must be experienced.

Not convinced, well OK there are other things to enjoy there, things a bit more enticing than bicycles. Yes, you guessed it, trams. Trams are the best kind of city mass transit and I will not hear a word said against them. How did this train sneak on to this road? I’m not sure but I’m not complaining.

Oh, oh yes and the art and culture and food and music and so on, but mainly trams and separate bike lanes.

See you at the show!

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.     

Risk & Compliance in the Cyber Security Industry 

In episode #69 of The Tech That Connects Us, we were excited to be joined by Chris Strand, Chief Risk and Compliance officer at CyberSixGill. 

With 20 years of experience, he’s a subject-matter expert in cyber risk and compliance and a regular conference speaker, most recently holding a Chief Compliance Officer role. 

Earlier in his career, Chris founded and built the global compliance and risk strategy arm of carbon black, which became a fast-growing and critically important business unit. 

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

How has the relationship between risk compliance and securities changed over the past few years?  

I’ve experienced the good and the bad with this – a bit of both. I would say, “they’ve” – and it’s not by choice, but they have converged. And this is where I say there’s the good and the bad. There are a lot of folks in the industry that for obvious reasons, see the Risk and Compliance angle as a negative thing.  

And I understand why –  they’ve grown together, out of necessity. You fast-forward to today, and there are a lot of regulations, in fact, there’s too many regulations and frameworks, it’s confusing and mind-boggling. But, it’s still a necessity. 

Look at the state of the security industry right now. I mean, we’re under a barrage of threats, they’ve grown more than I could ever imagine when I started out in my career. So, you know, with that, you can observe almost a 45-degree angle of increase in the number of regulations, frameworks, and mandates; the privacy laws that we see  the national and regional types of mandates around privacy and data that have grown. So, they’re all in one place, because we have a need to try to measure our effectiveness to protect that data.  

And again, I don’t view it as a negative, but sometimes it is a negative because we’re under such threat, right? It’s sort of like, why do you have five locks on your door now, whereas, you know, 10 years ago, you only had one – and now we do this because there have been more break-ins, it’s the same thing. We don’t like to see the world becoming a more dangerous place.  

How have you found getting back into things such as conferences?  

So, I found it extremely refreshing. I think most of us are social creatures. And I actually tend to be a very introverted person. I’m uncertain if that would surprise people because I love being in front of people, but on the other hand, I am a bit of an introverted person. So, it’s sort of a weird mix. But,  since I’ve been able to get out in back into the public, back face to face and speaking with people, I can never look back.

I mean, it’s the most refreshing thing I’ve ever experienced, and a very surprising feeling as well, it was a euphoric feeling at the time! 

What has the ubiquity of cloud platforms and services for enterprises meant in terms of risk management? 

It’s thrown a wrench into risk management for sure. Because the accessibility of the cloud alone, I mean, there are so many security themes that we can talk about such as the move to the cloud, and what’s happened over the last five, six years or so. It’s definitely created a lot of stress for risk managers that are trying to work with what they used to see as closed systems.  

But one of the main themes that have become a huge thing and has helped evolve and create a lot of data privacy laws is the fact that data now is much more accessible than has ever been with the cloud.  

Now, that data is way more accessible, there are so many different threat vectors to that data that we’ve never ever had before we’ve never had to deal with. So, it’s made risk managers’ lives much more difficult, because there are a million more variables that you have to consider when you’re measuring the threat to that data.  

What major lessons do you feel that organisations need for this decade to better manage risk and compliance? 

When I think of lessons, it’s hard for me to say what a particular lesson is because I don’t want to sound like I’m preaching to organisations, and to say, you know, you should have learned this, you should have been doing this from day one etc.  

But I do think that there are a few lessons that we can look at. And one of the big things is, and this is very hard to talk about with different businesses is the transparency of their business process.  

The more transparent you can be with how secure your data is, the easier it can be to find faults. But, you’re basically asking someone to talk about their weaknesses.  

And businesses think “I don’t want to make it sound too weak”. Because, hey, if I’m an assessor, and I’m in an assessment with a retailer, let’s say, you know, and I’m asking them, where are all your faults and such? They’re thinking, Hmm, I don’t know if I want to tell you this. Because the minute I do, what if this gets out? What if I don’t trust this individual? Right? What if we don’t have a trusting relationship between us, and this gets out, and my brand gets damaged.  

But, the lesson is to be transparent as it’s done good for many organisations. 

To listen to the full episode click 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.     

Holiday Hiring, do it right!

Desperate to get new hires in place for September?

Currently running a hiring process that is lengthy due to vacations and holidays?

Keen to make sure that the summer doesn’t cause too much disruption?

Hiring throughout the holidays can take on average 1.5 – 2 x as long. Consequently, it is really important to organise a recruitment timeline before starting a process. Check if and when Candidates and Hiring Managers are away and manage everybody’s expectations. Recruiting across the summer, can be a seamless and efficient process. It is ALL about the preparation, organisation and management of expectations.

Timing is everything! Don’t start a hiring process unless you know you can finish it. Before starting a recruitment process, block out times to review profiles, conduct interviews, and present offers for all stakeholders involved. 95% of hiring processes that are planned well end in successful recruitment. Furthermore, Candidates who know what to expect in a hiring process, feel much happier and comfortable and you will see the best of them in interview.

Make sure everyone is agreed on budget, job title, location, benefits, region, team size etc before embarking on a recruitment process. Are HR, Legal, Finance and Hiring Managers all in agreement? On working with global companies, we have found that sometimes external departments can slow a process down, if they are not kept up to date at the start of a process. Agreeing on a salary, even if there is a broad range, means that at the end of a process offers can be given quickly.

It is crucial to be mindful of the candidate experience, and communicate well.To represent your organisation in the best light, remember that candidates are people, and you will come across brilliantly if they are kept up to date and not left with radio silence. “People don’t remember what you did, they remember how you made them feel…” recruitment is no different. Let all Candidates know when interviews are booked for, and keep them updated on how long it will take to give them a decision. It’s ok to tell Candidates it will be a week long wait due to holiday absence. That’s far better than having them guessing. 99% of Candidates understand that a recruitment process takes time and are happy to be patient if they are given good timelines. 100% of Candidates will remain flexible if they are waiting for weeks without an update.

Can you have flexibility with interview scheduling?

If people are away, to keep the process moving forwards, move the interview order around! If a key stakeholder in the hiring process is away on vacation, get all the other interviews completed in the interim time. Then they can be slotted in at the end of the process. If we are asking Candidates to be flexible during the holidays, then companies should also showcase this quality too. It demonstrates good willing and proves that you are a good place to work. What is more important… securing top talent or being ridged in an interview process? Candidates are much more likely to be flexible if the organisation itself reflects that.

Look at combining and shortening the hiring process.

Candidates that have shorter interview processes are statistically less likely to suffer from interview fatigue and therefore more likely to accept the role. Good recruitment processes are not always made up of many long interviews. Three is the magic number! It is far better to have 3 strong interviews than 5 mediocre ones and leaves companies in a stronger place.

Prebook interview times out so that everyone knows when interviews will take place.

Especially if it’s a face to face interview.Hiring Managers, Senior Leaders and HR have very busy diaries. It can be really hard to get interviews booked in with everyone, especially over the holidays. Before starting a process identify times when interviews can happen and put placeholders in the diary to protect them. This will make booking interviews in later much easier. Adding structure to an interview process and proactively protecting time to interview your prospective employees may feel like a big ask, when time is precious but it can make all the difference to a successful outcome.

Get ahead with references so they don’t delay you.

Make sure your Candidate has got referee’s ready to go. Ensure you have their contact details and reference forms ready for them to complete. Take references while you are wating for security checks, or for contracts to be signed. Remember referees go on holiday too, so have some back-ups during vacations times.There’s nothing worse for a Candidate who is excited to start with your company having to wait weeks for a reference to come through, make sure that you aren’t waiting for them to come back, by requesting as early as possible.

Be prepared that resignations may not happen quickly – particularly if a Hiring Manager is away.

Over Holiday seasons, while candidates are often eager to resign, depending on company policy, they may not be able to if their own manager is on annual leave. This means you may not get a resignation and indeed a start date as quickly as you would like. Check how a Candidate has to resign when you make them an offer and what will be required of them.

Get aligned on start dates ASAP!

Notice periods are not only a legal requirement, but also very important. Exceptional talent cannot simply walk away from their current roles. Work with Candidates to agree on a start date that works for everyone and understand that compromise may be required. From the first interview, start to clarify when a realistic start date will be. Some candidates have 3 – 6 month notice periods, and this is not abnormal. Therefore, don’t expect that your outstanding candidate is going to be with you in a few weeks! (Even though that would be nice!)

The holidays come around each year, and at neuco we firmly believe that holiday hiring does not need to be stressful. Following a few thought through processes can help you to secure top talent when you need it.

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.