Author Topic: Per Eric Berger, Blue and Bezos not really interested in LEO  (Read 43708 times)

Offline meekGee

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Re: Per Eric Berger, Blue and Bezos not really interested in LEO
« Reply #180 on: 02/28/2023 04:51 pm »
A moat becomes a cage when companies become complacent. SpaceX doesn’t seem to be in any danger of that at the moment, but Kuiper (and Blue) can help serve as insurance in case they do.

Ironically, the company that's acting complacent is BO...
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Per Eric Berger, Blue and Bezos not really interested in LEO
« Reply #181 on: 02/28/2023 04:54 pm »
A moat becomes a cage when companies become complacent. SpaceX doesn’t seem to be in any danger of that at the moment, but Kuiper (and Blue) can help serve as insurance in case they do.

Ironically, the company that's acting complacent is BO...
And they acted that way nearly from the beginning.
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Offline TheRadicalModerate

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Re: Per Eric Berger, Blue and Bezos not really interested in LEO
« Reply #182 on: 02/28/2023 08:02 pm »
I agree that LEO is not his end goal.  But you can't operate a launcher and not be interested in LEO.  As Willie Sutton said when asked why he robbed banks, "That's where the money is." 

Quote
I simply can’t understand a serious space company not being interested in LEO. It’s where the sure money is.

Perfect example of people missing the boat.
The quote from Willie Sutton is accurate but the implied lesson is not. Willie Sutton went to the bank because he didn't have the money but the bank did, implying in this case that LEO is where the money is. For Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos is the bank. He doesn't have to go anywhere. He *IS* the bank.

We seem to be talking past each other a bit.  I think we both agree that Blue (or at least Jeff) are more interested in spinning up cislunar and lunar surface operations than managing LEO operations.  Where we differ, however, is whether Blue can continue to invest in New Glenn without de facto being sucked into the existing LEO economy.

I also disagree that Jeff's pockets are deep enough to swing for the fences on cislunar/lunar surface stuff and successfully manage a less-than-competitive launcher.  Blue will have to sink tens of $B into cislunar/surface with extremely high risk tolerance and a very long time horizon on return if they're to be successful.  Even Jeff will have trouble doing that while still keeping New Glenn afloat.

New Glenn is a mistake.  Even New Armstrong will likely be a mistake.  If you operate launchers, you are by definition "interested in LEO".  The proper course of action is to realize that Blue can't be competitive in launch and to contract those services from another provider (guess which one).  Then he can concentrate on the project in which he's actually interested--and possibly be successful in doing so.

Online clongton

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Re: Per Eric Berger, Blue and Bezos not really interested in LEO
« Reply #183 on: 02/28/2023 08:50 pm »
We seem to be talking past each other a bit.  I think we both agree that Blue (or at least Jeff) are more interested in spinning up cislunar and lunar surface operations than managing LEO operations.  Where we differ, however, is whether Blue can continue to invest in New Glenn without de facto being sucked into the existing LEO economy.

We are more in agreement than you think. First I never said anything about New Glenn at all. Second, I specifically stated something - to the effect - that whether or not his dream/approach is practical is a different matter. Something like that. The point I was trying to make is that Bezos does have a dream he wants to get underway and it is NOT to be competitive in a LEO destination business model. He's not interested in LEO except insofar as it's someplace he has to go to in order to continue his journey. Of course he will take advantage of opportunities that offer themselves, the same way that Musk took advantage of the HLS for lunar surface missions. Musk has absolutely no interest in going to the moon. None. But giving NASA a lunar HLS does help his Mars ambitions, so long as it doesn't become a major distraction. Bezos will do the same thing to further his ambitions if presented with a LEO opportunity to do so, but he also will carefully manage it to prevent it becoming a distraction. It can't be said enough: Jeff Bezos is not interested in LEO. He's not interested in doing business in LEO. He has a far more ambitious vision and those who insist that he must first establish a business case for LEO are simply too limited in their thinking to comprehend where Jeff is going.
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Offline seb21051

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Re: Per Eric Berger, Blue and Bezos not really interested in LEO
« Reply #184 on: 10/16/2023 03:32 am »
Some thoughts I had. I expect to get hammered hard, but my ego should be able to take it. If not, I'll go cry in the corner. Some may agree, some will (vehemently) disagree. Understand this: none of this is intended as criticism, simply observations and opinions based on such observations.

Very little has been said about the personality that is JB. What are his strengths?

1. Very good salesman and entrepreneur.
2. Very astute businessman. Kept ploughing AZ's profits back into the business for the longest time, against the wishes of the markets, etc. He could see the way clear as to how to make AZ as big as it has become - this was fundamental to his success, seeing a clear path. It probably didn't all come to him as one massive Project Management Chart on day one. But he surely could see the next right step to take most days.
3. Was able to really excel at building AZ, and allowing tech infrastructure to blossom, like the cloud, the in-house electronic products, the software, the AI, etc.
4. Not an engineering mind. Understands little about the design process, manufacturing, software. Looks to subordinates to supply that type of expertise. Does not understand at a fundamental level how engineers think.
5. Good at keeping said subordinate's noses to the grindstone as long as he can see a clear path to monetizing their efforts.
6. Everything he does in business he seems to see through the filter of monetization. Except his hobbies, there monetization seems less important, almost a secondary consideration. It seems that that's what BO essentially was, for a long time. Now, BO seems to be cleaning house, somewhat. CEO and other Executives leaving, as well as 40 engineers and software folks, out of about 10K employees. Perhaps the bottom 0.1% of non-performing folks?

Personality traits:

1. Vulnerable ego. Allows someone like Musk to get to him. Leading to vindictiveness, anger, lashing out and small mindedness.
2. Insecure, in his love of money for money's sake. And everything it buys him. massive real estate, expensive boats, etc.
3. Does seem to learn lessons from some mistakes, like the problems all the law suits created for his and BO's reputations.
4. Does not easily admit to mistakes or failures, very secretive. The biggest driver of a vulnerable ego is fear; fear of ridicule, of being seen as a failure. Like 45.

Drives/motivations:

1. Make a lot of money. He succeeded.
2. Some kind of huge space business, feeding a childhood fascination.
3. Since he cannot seem to see a direct way to create such a money machine, he is looking to what other more successful companies are doing, and attempting to copy them, thinking he can simply crush them as BO gets (hopefully) bigger and more successful.  Problem is, selling knick-knacks is relatively easy; Space is hard. Explains why he decided to follow the Old-Space Model (OSM) for so long. To him, they were successful, and would continue to be. But, it takes a very special and singular type of person to successfully cause such a tremendous disruption in something as difficult and stagnant as the space industry. Now he's realizing that the New Space Model (NSM) is where the pot of gold lives.
4. So he takes a page from the Consultant's Report and looks to make some NSM changes. But very timidly. Trying to keep one foot in the OSM camp, and one in the NSM. Figuring he'll play both sides and win that way.
5. He is not the only one who is misunderstanding Musk. But, there are quite a few (the NSMs) who get Musk's efforts and way of thinking quite well. JB isn't there yet.

So, what will happen in his future? Will he finally get the NSM buzz or not? And if he does, will he embrace it to the extent required to lift him out of his depression? Because I think the longer he hangs on to the OSM, or any hybrid thereof, the more depressed he will get. BO will not become Space Amazon, unless he can corner, oh, something like the Lunar/Asteroid Mining Industry. Imagine figuring out the shortest effective path to that! He has till 2029 when Psyche hits its destination.

Step one: Budget enough to design and manufacture the best and lightest mining equipment and refineries.
Step two: Budget enough to design and manufacture 50Kton Payload Space Semis to get the mining equipment transported to the mine-face, and bring the ore to the refineries, and thence the finished products to their destinations at L1/L2.
Step three: Start training people/robots to build Huge Cylinders in Space.

Ok, JB, that is the challenge, if you're up to it.
« Last Edit: 10/16/2023 03:59 am by seb21051 »

Offline whitelancer64

*snip*

1. Vulnerable ego. Allows someone like Musk to get to him. Leading to vindictiveness, anger, lashing out and small mindedness.

*snip*

Isn't that completely the other way around? Elon Musk is famous for being vindictive, easily angered, and lashing out.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
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Offline seb21051

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Re: Per Eric Berger, Blue and Bezos not really interested in LEO
« Reply #186 on: 10/16/2023 04:27 am »
*snip*

1. Vulnerable ego. Allows someone like Musk to get to him. Leading to vindictiveness, anger, lashing out and small mindedness.

*snip*

Isn't that completely the other way around? Elon Musk is famous for being vindictive, easily angered, and lashing out.

Entirely possible.

Offline M.E.T.

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Re: Per Eric Berger, Blue and Bezos not really interested in LEO
« Reply #187 on: 10/16/2023 04:35 am »
Just came here to say that we all know Bezos is not interested in LEO, seeing as he hasn’t gone there yet despite having a Space Launch company for 20 years.
« Last Edit: 10/16/2023 04:39 am by M.E.T. »

Offline meekGee

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Re: Per Eric Berger, Blue and Bezos not really interested in LEO
« Reply #188 on: 10/16/2023 05:08 am »


*snip*

1. Vulnerable ego. Allows someone like Musk to get to him. Leading to vindictiveness, anger, lashing out and small mindedness.

*snip*

Isn't that completely the other way around? Elon Musk is famous for being vindictive, easily angered, and lashing out.

I don't think he was comparing the two.  This was a standalone analysis.

But besides that, IMO the problem with JB is not a personality issue.  It's just that he doesn't have a feasible plan.

JB is super capable, but he's not the engineer EM is, and he's landed on a track ("oneillian"?) that's just not viable.

EM couldn't make O'Neill cylinders happen either, but EM knew it, and has chosen a different plan.

That's the long and short of it. Musk is following a plan that makes sense. Bezos can't connect the dots, realistically, between here and millions of people working in space.
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Offline chopsticks

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Re: Per Eric Berger, Blue and Bezos not really interested in LEO
« Reply #189 on: 10/16/2023 06:19 am »
*snip*

1. Vulnerable ego. Allows someone like Musk to get to him. Leading to vindictiveness, anger, lashing out and small mindedness.

*snip*

Isn't that completely the other way around? Elon Musk is famous for being vindictive, easily angered, and lashing out.

Entirely possible.
Both maybe?

Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: Per Eric Berger, Blue and Bezos not really interested in LEO
« Reply #190 on: 10/16/2023 06:41 am »
Some thoughts I had. I expect to get hammered hard, but my ego should be able to take it. If not, I'll go cry in the corner. Some may agree, some will (vehemently) disagree. Understand this: none of this is intended as criticism, simply observations and opinions based on such observations.


Very little has been said about the personality that is JB. What are his strengths?

1. Very good salesman and entrepreneur.
2. Very astute businessman. Kept ploughing AZ's profits back into the business for the longest time, against the wishes of the markets, etc. He could see the way clear as to how to make AZ as big as it has become - this was fundamental to his success, seeing a clear path. It probably didn't all come to him as one massive Project Management Chart on day one. But he surely could see the next right step to take most days.
3. Was able to really excel at building AZ, and allowing tech infrastructure to blossom, like the cloud, the in-house electronic products, the software, the AI, etc.
4. Not an engineering mind. Understands little about the design process, manufacturing, software. Looks to subordinates to supply that type of expertise. Does not understand at a fundamental level how engineers think.
5. Good at keeping said subordinate's noses to the grindstone as long as he can see a clear path to monetizing their efforts.
6. Everything he does in business he seems to see through the filter of monetization. Except his hobbies, there monetization seems less important, almost a secondary consideration. It seems that that's what BO essentially was, for a long time. Now, BO seems to be cleaning house, somewhat. CEO and other Executives leaving, as well as 40 engineers and software folks, out of about 10K employees. Perhaps the bottom 0.1% of non-performing folks?

Personality traits:

1. Vulnerable ego. Allows someone like Musk to get to him. Leading to vindictiveness, anger, lashing out and small mindedness.
2. Insecure, in his love of money for money's sake. And everything it buys him. massive real estate, expensive boats, etc.
3. Does seem to learn lessons from some mistakes, like the problems all the law suits created for his and BO's reputations.
4. Does not easily admit to mistakes or failures, very secretive. The biggest driver of a vulnerable ego is fear; fear of ridicule, of being seen as a failure. Like 45.

Drives/motivations:

1. Make a lot of money. He succeeded.
2. Some kind of huge space business, feeding a childhood fascination.
3. Since he cannot seem to see a direct way to create such a money machine, he is looking to what other more successful companies are doing, and attempting to copy them, thinking he can simply crush them as BO gets (hopefully) bigger and more successful.  Problem is, selling knick-knacks is relatively easy; Space is hard. Explains why he decided to follow the Old-Space Model (OSM) for so long. To him, they were successful, and would continue to be. But, it takes a very special and singular type of person to successfully cause such a tremendous disruption in something as difficult and stagnant as the space industry. Now he's realizing that the New Space Model (NSM) is where the pot of gold lives.
4. So he takes a page from the Consultant's Report and looks to make some NSM changes. But very timidly. Trying to keep one foot in the OSM camp, and one in the NSM. Figuring he'll play both sides and win that way.
5. He is not the only one who is misunderstanding Musk. But, there are quite a few (the NSMs) who get Musk's efforts and way of thinking quite well. JB isn't there yet.

So, what will happen in his future? Will he finally get the NSM buzz or not? And if he does, will he embrace it to the extent required to lift him out of his depression? Because I think the longer he hangs on to the OSM, or any hybrid thereof, the more depressed he will get. BO will not become Space Amazon, unless he can corner, oh, something like the Lunar/Asteroid Mining Industry. Imagine figuring out the shortest effective path to that! He has till 2029 when Psyche hits its destination.

Step one: Budget enough to design and manufacture the best and lightest mining equipment and refineries.
Step two: Budget enough to design and manufacture 50Kton Payload Space Semis to get the mining equipment transported to the mine-face, and bring the ore to the refineries, and thence the finished products to their destinations at L1/L2.
Step three: Start training people/robots to build Huge Cylinders in Space.

Ok, JB, that is the challenge, if you're up to it.
I agree with much of what you are saying with a couple of exceptions.  Bezos vision is too far out to have a coherent plan.  He needs to focus on more near term goals as steps towards his long term goals like Musk has.  Getting New Glenn and the lunar lander done should be his primary focus.  Orbital Reef is too far out right now.  No one knows for sure if there will be a big enough market for commercial space stations of the size they are looking at in the rest of this decade.  None of those plans matter if he doesn't get New Glenn flying.  He has a commitment to get his lunar lander done and that could lead to commercial opportunities on the Moon in the next decade.  But once again none of that matters if he doesn't get New Glenn and his lunar lander done.

Once this next generation of vehicles is done, it will become much clearer how to get to the next step in developing a cis-lunar economy.  O'Neil cylinders, commercial space stations, etc. needs to be just aspirational until his foundation is in place.  If he gets a lot of business launching large constellations of satellites (Kuiper and possible others) it will give him a company more capable of developing commercial opportunities on the Moon and out to the asteroids.  He is going too slow because he's bitten off more than he can chew.  And yes he does need to embrace more o a New Space Mentality.

I also think he would be better off being more transparent with Blue because he would get more feedback on what he's doing right and doing wrong.  It would also build more trust early with potential customers.  With his personality, I doubt he will change easily.  Musk pivots on a dime when he sees a better way (switching form carbon fiber to stainless steel).  The only pivot I've seen Blue make is with the design of their lunar lander after their first design showed major problems and they got significant outside feedback.  That should be a lesson learned.

Offline seb21051

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Re: Per Eric Berger, Blue and Bezos not really interested in LEO
« Reply #191 on: 10/16/2023 06:45 am »
*snip*

1. Vulnerable ego. Allows someone like Musk to get to him. Leading to vindictiveness, anger, lashing out and small mindedness.

*snip*

Isn't that completely the other way around? Elon Musk is famous for being vindictive, easily angered, and lashing out.

Entirely possible.
Both maybe?

A definite possible maybe.

Offline seb21051

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Re: Per Eric Berger, Blue and Bezos not really interested in LEO
« Reply #192 on: 10/16/2023 07:22 am »
Interesting piece about Dave Limp, BO's new CEO: Wonder if he was one of the 27,000 victims of Jassy's Roomba clean sweep?

So they are going from an Old Space Grizzly to an ex AZ Electronics Products SVP (And head of Kuiper?) who had a hand in losing AZ around $10B, with the job of right-sizing and streamlining the BO Playpen. I look forward to the next season of fun, pranks, japes and adventures!

Also, I think Gradatim Ferocitor would make an awesome TV series title. Free with Prime, of course.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2023/08/longtime-chief-of-amazons-money-losing-hardware-business-will-depart-this-year/
« Last Edit: 10/16/2023 07:38 am by seb21051 »

Offline tyrred

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Re: Per Eric Berger, Blue and Bezos not really interested in LEO
« Reply #193 on: 10/16/2023 07:28 am »
Blue and Bezos are not interested in LEO.

Yes, we know. It is painfully clear.

Why do I feel compelled to comment here?

The people employed at Blue Origin. To create an economy in space.

They may be close to you. Some of them are bright-eyed youngsters, hoping to build a brighter future at their first aerospace job. Some of them are industry veterans, who went where their expertise pays better than other more successful aerospace companies, or the culture is less stressful.

What is all their talent and work for? Where is it heading?

Will it survive Bezos' billions?

It's really sad, when I think back to the days of New Goddard. It made me really hopeful to watch that hop so long ago.

A part of me really hopes that Blue's motto "graditim ferociter" is going to kick the bucket.

Hopefully the day New Glenn launches, they replace it with "proxime ferociter" and actually f¥€|πg compete.
« Last Edit: 10/16/2023 07:36 am by tyrred »

Online Zed_Noir

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Re: Per Eric Berger, Blue and Bezos not really interested in LEO
« Reply #194 on: 10/16/2023 08:55 am »
<snip>
So, what will happen in his future? Will he finally get the NSM buzz or not? And if he does, will he embrace it to the extent required to lift him out of his depression? Because I think the longer he hangs on to the OSM, or any hybrid thereof, the more depressed he will get. BO will not become Space Amazon, unless he can corner, oh, something like the Lunar/Asteroid Mining Industry. Imagine figuring out the shortest effective path to that! He has till 2029 when Psyche hits its destination.

Step one: Budget enough to design and manufacture the best and lightest mining equipment and refineries.
Step two: Budget enough to design and manufacture 50Kton Payload Space Semis to get the mining equipment transported to the mine-face, and bring the ore to the refineries, and thence the finished products to their destinations at L1/L2.
Step three: Start training people/robots to build Huge Cylinders in Space.

Ok, JB, that is the challenge, if you're up to it.
For step two maybe hiring someone else to do space logistics if that is cheaper and/or quicker.

So could concentrated more on step one.

Oh, JB shouldn't expect everything to work out at start after step 3. He will have to be patience and be willing to spend as needs arise.

Offline woods170

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Re: Per Eric Berger, Blue and Bezos not really interested in LEO
« Reply #195 on: 10/16/2023 01:58 pm »
Just came here to say that we all know Bezos is not interested in LEO, seeing as he hasn’t gone there yet despite having a Space Launch company for 20 23 years.

Fixed that for ya!

Tags: blue bezos LEO station berger 
 

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