In November 2020, I declared I was going to break into the space industry for my next professional chapter.
My hypothesis was my experience rapidly scaling organizations that deliver results, coupled with my expertise in software would be helpful to space companies. The fact that I basically knew nothing about space wouldn’t matter. With the help of a lot of friends in my network, I was quickly connected with dozens of leaders in the booming space industry.
The conversations generally have gone like this:
Me: “Hi, I’m Charlie. I’m a space noob. But I think I have skills that can help you. I’ll give you as much time as you need and all I ask in return is you expose me to your space-specific problems so I can learn.”
Then they’d say either:
- “Hi Charlie, I’m Sally. I’m a rocket scientist and I can barely spell software. Help!”
- “Hi Charlie, I’m Fred. I’m a rocket scientist and my startup has grown from 10 people to 80 in the last year and will be over 200 next year. Help!”
I am now regularly talking with seven space-related companies. To varying degrees I’m doing executive coaching, product planning, helping with organizational challenges, debating strategy, and doing introductions to investors.
A few of these engagements have gone so well that I’ve actually been offered formal advisory roles, which is as humbling as it is awesome.
Today, I’m happy to announce STOKE Space Technologies is one of the companies that wants my involvement longer term. I’m now officially on their board of advisors.
STOKE Space Technologies has ambitious plans that will drive a step-change in the rate of launches humanity is capable of. They do this with fully- and rapidly-reusable rockets. The company was founded by several ex-Blue Origin engineering leaders and is located nearby in Kent, WA. I love the fact that I get to actually visit the place where freaking rockets are being designed and built.