One of our commenters was kind enough to suggest the following idea, thought I’d promote it to a post.
From: gandalfprod / EricD.
As Duncan opened the door to a next start-up idea, well, let’s think about the impossible (well, I guess you were told it was impossible for the last startup too…).
In the last years, there is a shift happening into space travel – instead of funding large national agency (ESA, NASA, etc), a few small companies have been fairly innovative and enabled to raise a fairly large amount of capital through those tough times. It would BTW be expected a fairly important of innovations will come from them –
– SpaceX – an other $50M end of 2011 on top of what has been raised before,http://www.space.com/news/spacex-commercial-space-investment-101111.html
– VirginGalatics (http://www.virgingalactic.com) , The Spaceship Company (http://www.thespaceshipcompany.com/)
Well… solar-cell engines might be the next challenge… and there is still plenty of software to write to get them to work well. Impossible?
This seems like one of those hard-to-judge-rationally areas 🙂
We really have no idea how big the market for space flight at a given price would be.
We don’t know how technically practical solar-cell engines would be.
Perhaps the best way to pursue such an idea would be to build a startup to act as a technology supplier to some of the vendors of space craft or space-craft-components?
Plainly, the challenges include – sizing the technical challenge, and getting the right team, in what may be a very specialist area; only a handful of potential customers; uncertain end-market demand; government/regulatory/disaster uncertainty. Perhaps this is one that someone would pursue more for love than money?
On the other hand, specialist producers of very-specifically-targeted technologies can be great (very profitable) businesses; Germany seems to have a special talent for them: printing presses (Koenig & Bauer), licence plates (Utsch), snuff (Pöschl), shaving brushes (Mühle), flycatchers (Aeroxon), industrial chains (RUD) and high-pressure cleaners (Kärcher). [Via: The Economist]