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Topic: If You Build It, They Will Come

Page history last edited by Ken Davidian 12 years, 4 months ago

Proposition: Getting funding for emerging commercial space products is difficult because financing depends on the ability to demonstrate a realistic revenue stream based on real customers buying the product at some price point. In the case of commercial space markets, however, it's very difficult to demonstrate actual demand without having a product actually on the market first: the belief is that there is a "latent" demand that will emerge once there is actually something to buy.

 

So is there evidence that "If you build it, they will come."? Even with that evidence, will it be sufficient to change "potential" investors into "actual" investors?

 

Evidence in AGREEMENT with "If you build it, they will come":

 

  • Before their first successful launch of the Falcon 1 and 9 vehicles, SpaceX had a manifest of signed contracts (with, I'm assuming, a paid-up down-payment) of 14 payloads.
  • Armadillo Aerospace, after flying their Quad vehicle "Pixel" in the NASA Centennial Challenges Lunar Lander Challenge at the 2006 X PRIZE Cup, was approached by space agencies and private companies to use the Quads for purposes of testing new technologies.

 

Evidence for QUALIFIED AGREEMENT with "If you build it, they will come":

  • Many times things that look like it was a case of "build it and they will come" have more to do with market timing. Sometimes that timing is intentional, most of the time its luck. (Based on comments by Michael M. below.)

 

Evidence in DISAGREEMENT with "If you build it, they will come":

  • There is no demand for commercial space products other than from national space programs (such as NASA) or defense agencies.

 

Comments (2)

Michael Mealling said

at 7:26 pm on Jun 8, 2008

I not to clear on the topic. I've dealt with this idea back during the dot com bubble time when there was a lot of this. There are products that if you build it and ADVERTISE it well enough then they will come but its all about market timing. Take the iPod for example, nothing in the iPod was technologically revolutionary. The design was good but it took knowing when the right time to bring it to market was. Many times things that look like it was a case of "build it and they will come" have more to do with market timing. Sometimes that timing is intentional, most of the time its luck.

Can you clarify a little about what you were thinking about?

Ken Davidian said

at 1:21 am on Jun 9, 2008

Will do... as soon as I get some sleep and then some time... thanks for contributing, Mike!

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