Opportunities for the IT world and New Space companies abound if they can find common ground and goals.
Traditional satellite firms are being challenged by agile, disruptive, fast-moving new entrants. Smaller satellites mean lower costs to market and lower costs to end-users, but that's only a part of the picture.
New Space companies are building businesses leveraging the latest practices in IT, such as open standards, cloud computing, APIs, Big Data, analytics, and machine learning. Hardware in orbit isn't the business, but service value to the customer.
A Tesla to Mars grabs headlines, but doesn't pay bills. New Space companies need to refine and expand outreach to the IT community if they expect to grow both themselves and the overall market. Many New Space companies have embraced their identity as applications companies offering services, rather than "satellite" companies set apart from the rest of the world.
At the same time, the IT and consumer technology worlds need to recognize and embrace new opportunities offered by cubesats, imaging, and low earth orbit (LEO) satellite clouds. New Space is generating terabytes of data per day, accessible via web portal and accessible through APIs. Service costs for the Internet of Things (IoT) will drop to a few dollars per year per device for some applications, along with greatly simplified and affordable equipment. Massive satellite clouds promise high-speed broadband free from terrestrial infrastructure with performance akin to fiber.
Doug Mohney, principal of Cidera Analytics, has involved in the telecommunications world for over 20 years. He was an initial (#10) employee at Internet startup DIGEX in 1993. By the time he departed in 1997, the company had grown over to 200 people, gone through an IPO, and sold to Intermedia Communications for $150 million.
Starting life as SkyCache in 1997, satellite data broadcast startup Cidera rode the wave of dot.com. Doug was the second employee (and second Doug) at SkyCache/Cidera through 2000. He works with and contributed to a variety of publications from 1997 through the present, including stints at The Inquirer, Boardwatch, VON Magazine, and TMCnet.