17 Jun THE $TRILLION RACE FOR OUR SKIES & BEYOND HAS BEGUN
In the past few months I have been hugely excited by the space race – new ideas, satellites, nanosats, rockets, space tourism, Netflix on the moon, and other pioneers hitting the news with how they are going to conquer the great unknown. This really ramped up with the Seraphim Capital IPO announcement (https://bbc.in/3viAmsM
) the new space tech fund. Congratulations Mark Boggett and team, these guys are backing real innovators and look like they will be at the heart of the space race for some time to come. Not because they have the money to back up the innovations but, in this non-tech heads opinion, because they see an ecosystem of digital platforms in our skies that will be the future. The digitisation of our skies is most certainly critical and yet, it is still something many of the more traditional incumbents of the aviation sector are struggling to define and embrace.
If the Space Race was not enough, the battle for our skies, which has been quietly bubbling for a while, hit the worlds press when Vertical Aerospace (VA) “came out of the hangar” when it was valued at £2.2bn.
For complete transparency, VA fascinates me and when I heard about their “mission” a while back, I was keen to find a way to be part of the amazing journey they are on and help shape their story so don’t be surprised if I post a lot about them! More exciting news from VA was the roster of businesses that have signed up to VA’s vision including Virgin Atlantic.
As we now focus on the skies above, the question now is who else is waiting in the wings, and what else does this complex, crazy and vast ecosystem require to make it work? 5G, ATG, ATM (Air Traffic management), AI, Data, digital platforms, landing zones, planning permission and regulatory scrutiny, are just a few of the vital components to overcome and integrate as we prepare for a “smarter world”.
Not wishing to be a killjoy but if you’ve read my stuff before, you will know that a word of caution comes. The race for space and the skies above our cities is most certainly on but as every idea and innovation starts getting to see the light of day – good and bad / big or mad – its important that investors and innovators don’t forget the lessons learnt from the Dotcom boom & bust period or the great Betamax vs VHS period. Excellence, logic and “the best” does not always win. Your innovation and journey needs a clear & powerful strategic narrative that simply, but clearly, defines why and how you are best. Then your stakeholders must hear & understand that story. Blind hope that the best will win is unlikely to be enough alone.
Let the race begin!