top of page


red full logo.png

Heading North From SXSW - A Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman ● Mar 20, 2023

Smart Brevity® count: 3.5 mins...923 words

Team SPACE, 

Well SXSW was an experience.

Have you ever been there?

This is my second year being in Austin during SXSW - and first year trying to go to any programming. And yes, I mean ‘trying’. It was exceptionally difficult to get into anything other than talks by little known speakers like Tim Ferris and Nancy Pelosi.

To be fair I don’t think either Tim or Nancy are actually the highest profile speakers you could have - but based on how their talks were less than half full I’m led to believe that people don’t go to SXSW for the talks.

Experiencing this has reconfirmed to me how important events like the SDI VIP Reception are. These events allow people to know what they are getting into, have a way to concretely benefit from, and adequately plan their lives around.

Now we need to identify what other large events like SXSW would be good candidates for similar events. The criteria are:

  1. Large (<5k attendees).

  2. Focused on more than space.

  3. Have a potential defense angle.

There is a case to be made to do these at smaller events - but for now that is where we are focused.

Do you know of events that meet these criteria (other than Coachella)? Let me know and let’s see if we can make something happen.

Alrighty - let's wrap up talk about SXSW - it’s time for a Weekend Update

The Politics - It was a rough week to be a bank robber

One Big Politics Thing: We just had an actual run on multiple major banks so unsurprisingly that has become a hot topic here in DC.

  • More Details: As if a run on a bank and multiple bank failures weren’t enough - this week a study was published showing that nearly 200 other banks were vulnerable to an Silicon Valley Bank-style collapse.

    Well, I didn’t have ‘Bank Run’ or ‘Bank Failure’ on my March bingo card.

The Foundation:

One Big Operations Thing: Our FY2024 Congressionally Directed Spending request finished its first review round.

  • More Details: Last week we submitted a Congressionally Directed Spending request for W4F to be funded in Fiscal Year 2024 (starting in October). This week we had our first review round, and other than needing to send in a few extra details on our spending plan we successfully cleared that hurdle. This year our request went to both Virginia’s Senators (seen pictured above giving a talk about how important it is to keep the parties in the Capital to a minimum).

  • Why it matters: It turns out that last year both Senators found that they had a much higher success rate in getting requests funded when they did a joint submission. So, this year they are only doing joint submissions. This means we are marginally less likely to have our project submitted to the full Congress - but that our request is commensurately more likely to be funded once submitted.

The Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: We are building our podcast schedule for April - June - want to help?

  • More Details: Do you know anyone who would be an interesting guest for Podcast for the Future? As we build out our content calendar, I want to make sure that the guests we bring on are interesting to more people than just me. Right now, that is pretty much the only criteria for who we interview - since I am the one who has to actually talk to the people, I figured that was only fair. But turns out we ALSO want people to listen to these things, so I am having to broaden our list a bit.


Alrighty - that should just about do it - I have managed to not complain about how cold it is in Minnesota, not use too many obscure references or let Katie know that I had Crumbl Cookie without her. So all in all - a successful update.

I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.


North of the White Line, A Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman ● Feb 27, 2023

Smart Brevity® count: 4.5 mins...1195 words

Team SPACE, 

Welcome to winter!

Well at least the half of you who live on the north side of the White Line that separates the Haves and Have Nots of winter.

As a 'Have Not' - I traveled to Minneapolis this weekend to see what it is like on the other side and oh boy is it different.

I know there is a big push to be inclusive of all types, but -10 below + wind + 2 feet of snow is a lot to take. I'm sorry if that makes it seem like I'm on the wrong side of history, but I'm getting old, and we can't handle 80 degree temperature swings in a single day.

Now I like a little bit of snow as much as the next guy. But there is a limit. And snow getting down my pants has always been my said limit. Granted, this weekend's case involved me sitting down, and as a kid this limit came into play as I walked through the snow with overalls on. But at least my standards haven't shifted... Ideally you at least give me credit for that.

While you are deciding about said credit - let's get to the rest of this weekend's update.

The Politics:

One Big Politics Thing: Texas may be sitting 2024 out, and bipartisanship is looking up.

  • More Texas: While the full lineup of 2024 Presidential contenders hasn’t firmed up - it is looking increasingly likely that none of them are going to be from Texas. If no one from Texas seeks the White House in 2024 (I’m looking at you Ted Cruz), it’d be the first time since 1972 without at least one major candidate coming from there.

  • More Bipartisanship: I've talked a couple times this year about how there are glimmers of hope that a new generation of leaders in Congress will result in an easing of partisan tensions. This was highlighted this week as reports emerged that House leaders McCarthy and Jeffries have had good interactions so far. Both men have promised to not surprise one another. They even text each other. McCarthy and Jeffries are never going to be best friends, but so far the relationship has been cordial and professional. McCarthy and Biden are trying to lower the partisan temperature as the House investigates Biden’s family (which is a good sign considering that it is awkward if you have a co-worker investigating your family).

  • Why it matters: There are plenty of stories about how both parties are at each other’s throats. Even as I write this the person on the plane next to me is watching a story about a prominent Republican calling for a national divorce since Democrats cannot be trusted. But it is my assessment that this era of polarization is at or nearing its apex, and the 2024 election will mark its high-water point. There have been plenty of other examples around the world of countries undergoing similar demographic transitions and seeing their politics turn toxic for a time. We are nearing the end of the rough part of our transition - and hope is on the horizon.


The Foundation:

One Big Foundation Thing: The Federal Government’s FY24’s budget cycle has begun.

  • More Details: Last week we were notified that it was time to submit Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS) and FY24 programmatic proposals to our Senators if we wanted them to be considered for this appropriations cycle. We are in the process of revising our Workforce for the Future proposal from last year and submitting it as both a CDS request, and a proposal for new, national spending as part of the Department of Labor’s FY24-29 budgets.

  • What’s next: Now that the budget cycle has begun, we are going to ramp up our efforts with the Virginia delegation to ensure that our proposals are considered. Are you from Virginia and interested in helping? Let me know and we’ll set you up with material to contact our Senators' offices to support our requests.

The Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: Austin - here we come

  • More Details: Have you already had a chance to sign up for the Space and Defense Innovation VIP Reception in two weeks? If you looking to connect with public and private sector aerospace and defense industry leaders during SXSW? This reception offers a host of ways to elevate your brand. Learn more about our sponsorship opportunities by clicking HERE.

Based on the view out of my window here on my airplane it seems like I have passed back over the White Line and am nearing the land of Winter Have Nots.


With that I’ll close this update out and I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.


A Super Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman ● Feb 13, 2023

Smart Brevity® count: 5.5 mins...1412 words

Team SPACE, 

Welcome to Super Bowl Sunday! If you are reading this, then either there is a winner, or you don’t care about the game...or I sent this before the kickoff...I should check what time that is.

I suppose you could also be reading this during the Super Bowl commercials…but that seems like a waste of time…you should be watching the commercials…read this during the game. Nothing much happens the first few quarters anyway.

This morning when I was conceptualizing this section, I was all excited to talk about scientists, change, and expertise here. But as the day went on, I realized that didn’t quite fit. I mean it is interesting and all to think about how it is weird that scientists should never be experts at what they do. They are supposed to be pushing the frontiers of what we know…and so by definition they would be doing new things all the time and therefore wouldn’t be an ‘expert’ in any of that.

There is certainly a huge gap between the football players in the Super Bowl and the scientists doing basic research. The players are REALLY good at one or two tasks (like running…or holding onto things). While a scientist is supposed to be figuring out things that haven’t ever been done before and then trying to learn how to even explain what this new thing is.

But like I said - that didn’t really fit into where I wanted this update to go.

I prefer to avoid jumping on bandwagons and am a bit of a compulsive contrarian. So I didn’t want to talk about the Super Bowl.

But I have been reading some books by Jay Samit - and one of the things he talks about in Future Proofing You is how if you aren’t constantly comparing what you are doing to something big and visible, then you are wasting time explaining yourself. So rather than explain how Airbnb is a unique system, you would say it is like Uber, but for housing. Instead of going into a long explanation of how I like custom clothes I should be saying I am like Kim Kardashian…but without the money.

Or something like that.

I stopped listening while I was writing this so I might have missed something.

I’ll go back and check - and while I do, I’ll let you all get to the rest of this week’s update.

The Politics:

One Big Politics Thing: The State of Our Union is tense…but signs of life are there.

  • More Details: Between spy balloons, Social Security, and lingering fights over gun control, abortion, civil rights, and voting - there are plenty of opportunities for Congress to posture…fewer for them to legislate. That said - there are signs that this new Congress is interested in bipartisan legislating. One metric for bipartisanship is to look at the number of bills which cleared either the House or Senate but were introduced by members of the minority party. By this metric - the 118th Congress (the current one) is 10% more bipartisan.

  • Go Deeper: Granted - at this point of a new Congress a lot of the bills that have passed one chamber are related to housekeeping or Post Office naming. But the fact that each side is allowing votes on bills sponsored by members of the opposition is a good sign. If there is one good thing that came out of the extended race for Speaker of the House - it is that Speaker McCarthy agreed that there would be a return to ‘regular order’. This is Congress-speak for having the legislative process work closer to how Schoolhouse Rock explained things…and less like what we have seen for the past decade or so.

The Foundation:

One Big Operations Thing: Conversations for the Future is around the corner.

  • More Details: This month’s C4F topic is National Security Space, and we have a great lineup of speakers who will be joining Inara to chat about what is going on related to national security in space. The first session will be Tuesday the 14th starting at 10am Eastern; and the second half will be Tuesday the 21st (same time). Hope to see you there!

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: We, alongside Distinctive Edge Partners are hosting a highly curated invite-only gathering of leaders throughout the space and defense industry in Austin.

  • More Details: This reception, the Space and Defense Innovation (SDI) VIP Reception will bring together DoD and Government Innovation Leaders, Investors, Industry Trade Groups, Media, C-suite Innovators, and Fortune 500 Company Executives. Defense innovation and space-related content are a more significant part of programming at SXSW than ever before. Last year, there were over 25 space and defense related programs, panels, and parties throughout downtown Austin.

  • Why it matters: This highly curated reception will bring innovators together for an exclusive event featuring forward-thinking leaders in the space and defense innovation sectors globally, to facilitate expanding networks with ideal clients. As space is limited, there is an application process in place to ensure attendee fit. You can learn more by checking out the SDI website here.

Did you already check out more about the SDI reception?


Well - I can wait.

Oh…you are going to keep reading…I see.

Ok - well then, I’ll end things here so you can go learn more about the reception and apply to either sponsor or attend (ideally both).

I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.


February, ChatGPT and A Weekend Update

February 6, 2023

Team Space, 

Welcome to February…wow…really? It is already February. I could have sworn it was just New Year's.

Since this is all the rage right now - I went over to Open AI and asked their ChatGPT tool how it was already February. And I was given this very polite response:

It is common for people to feel that time is going by quickly, especially as they get older. This phenomenon is known as the "time flies" feeling and is caused by our perception of time being relative to our experiences. When we are young and experiencing new things, time seems to move slowly. However, as we age and our experiences become more routine, time can seem to move more quickly. Additionally, our busy lives can make it feel like there is never enough time, which contributes to the sensation that time is moving quickly.

Now - while I appreciate that this is an accurate description of what is going on. I do not appreciate the implication that I am

  1. Old

  2. Not experiencing new things

  3. Boring

Now…the tool did nail the busy part on the head. That has been making things seem to move faster. Which in some ways is nice. After all time went so fast that it is 2023 and I can go to an AI tool and ask them to write a love note for Valentines.

Dear [Your Partner’s Name Here],

As Valentine's Day approaches, I just wanted to take a moment to express my love and gratitude for you. You bring so much joy and happiness into my life and I am so grateful to have you by my side. Your kind heart, contagious laughter, and unwavering support are just a few of the many reasons why I am head over heels in love with you.

I am so lucky to have you in my life and I promise to always treat you with love, respect, and appreciation. Happy Valentine's Day, my love. I am looking forward to spending many more Valentine's Days and a lifetime of love with you.

All my love, [Your Name]

And voila - I just helped you with your Valentine’s Day AND helped train an AI.

Man, this has been a productive day.

I guess I’ll take a break here so I can let you all get to the rest of this week’s update…or maybe I’ll go ask ChatGPT if it knows where John Connor is…. can’t hurt to make sure.

The Politics

One Big Politics Thing: A balloon. That’s all it took to bring us together.

  • Why it matters: On the Hill, the issue of the week was the Chinese ‘spy balloon’. And if there was one thing that everyone agreed - it was that this balloon was a MASSIVE deal. Nevermind that this is at least the fifth in the past few years. Nor did it matter that the intelligence collection abilities of a WW1 era vehicle was likely minimal. Nope…all that mattered was that it was a communist spy vehicle, and it was time for the U.S. to strap on our shooting boots and get to business.

  • That ‘business’ happened yesterday when the most advanced aircraft in the world (an F22) shot the balloon down off the coast of South Carolina.

F4F Political Stuff: Speaking of South Carolina…they are trying to get it going on (It being space)

  • More Details: Last week Rebecca met a Representative from South Carolina who has been working for a few years now to bring space into the state. Based on some early conversations it sounds like this will be a great avenue for us to support some state-level experiments with incentivizing space investment. We have some more talks with the Rep and his staff this week and are excited to add another state to our mix.

The Foundation

One Big Foundation Thing: Space Finance Events…going to be a thing this year.

  • More Details: Last week we held our monthly Space Finance Policy Roundtable and heard from a number of you about ways that we can be more active in promoting space to the investment community; and promoting finance policy to space-focused policymakers. A big takeaway is that we need to be better at convening thought leaders, business operators, and decision makers. And to that end, we are working with some of our members to design investment events where local communities can host pitch competitions in the hope of drawing in space companies.

Alright - that should just about do it - and no ChatGPT doesn’t know where John Connor is…but did say that it knew who John was…just not how to find him.


A Rough Week - but Now It Is The Weekend Update

January 22, 2023

Team Space,

Well, it has been quite a week - ever have one of those weeks where you think that you must have plumbed the bottom of the barrel only to realize that you had left the barrel a ways up and were still digging?

Well - this week was one of those.

Between bedbugs (thought we brought those back from the Dominican Republic), strep (the youngest found that again for the second time in two weeks), and some sort of respiratory virus (Katie and I) - it was a week of everything just being a little bit rougher than it needed to be.

Even the ice cream wasn’t as good! I had Ben and Jerry’s Dirt Cake ice cream yesterday and somehow even that wasn’t great.

Ah well - I guess one of the nice things about surviving weeks like that is that the next ones will always feel better. Kinda like sitting in a cramped theater watching ballet before getting on a flight makes you appreciate the legroom on a plane (for those of you not in the DC area - our theaters are built for children-sized audiences…the seats are SO small and there is barely enough legroom for a 5’1” person).

Anyway - enough about legroom and rough weeks. Let’s get to this week’s update.

The Politics

One Big Politics Thing: Turns out those in glass houses should be careful about throwing stones.

  • More Details: This week has been (politically) dominated by the news that President Biden mishandled classified documents. It would be bad enough to find out that the sitting president had been careless with highly classified materials. But it was made worse by a slow drip of new revelations and recent the backdrop of the President having reprimanded Trump for a similar situation.

  • Yes, but: I should note there are a number of differences between the two cases - but the headlines are the same…President Mishandles Nation’s Secrets. As a former national security professional, I can tell you that this is a big deal. It was a big deal when I punished my soldiers for being similarly careless, and it still is even though this is the Commander and Chief.

  • Why it matters: These new revelations effectively mean the Republicans will have three or four weeks of talking points to deploy against the administration; and that a large part of the U.S.’ policy community is going to be consumed with the fallout. In the best of times the policymakers here in D.C. are only able to handle one or two things at a time. But with the delay in getting Congress seated, the war in Ukraine, and an ongoing trade war with China - there is no slack in the system. So, expect things to be even slower than you would have thought.

The Operations

One Big Operations Thing: January’s Conversations for the Future (C4F) is back and better than ever.

  • More Details: We wrapped up the first run of the third version of Conversations for the Future this week. Version 1.0 was a three-day seminar on a single topic; version 2.0 was two to three half days organized around a general theme. Version 3.0 is two days, spread out over two weeks that has a single conversation about the future of humanity in space as its central feature. The conversation continues across both days, and the rest of the talks are thematically organized around that central talk.

  • Why it matters: We have been working for two years now to get C4F into its Goldilocks zone (just right). And one consistent thing we have heard is that multiple days in a row isn’t working. But having two disconnected days didn’t work either. So rather than settle for ‘too hot’ or ‘too cold’ we decided to try ‘just right’. Let us know if we got it right.

The Other Stuff

One Big Other Thing: The Space and Defense Innovation (SDI) Reception this year is going to be epic.

  • Why it matters: Cool Tim - you think your own event is going to be epic - why does that matter to me? Is that what you are thinking? Well the main reason it matters to you is that this is going to be the reception that allows you, a decision maker in your organization to network with other decision makers without feeling like you are being sold to or talked at. This is going to be a laid-back evening where those of us in the space or defense sectors can meet other cool people.

    If you want to take things to the next level and get help meeting the right people - then let me and Joy, my partner at Distinctive Edge Partners know and we will build you a package to ensure you get the most of SXSW.


Well look at that - we already made it here. The end that is.

I’ll wrap this up - and I look forward to seeing you back here next week, unless I see you out there sooner.


2022 in the Rearview Mirror: Weekend Update Style

2023 is here - and so far, it has been pretty good.

I spent the week making the requisite ‘dad’ jokes about how I hadn’t done things all year. Somehow, those never get old.

But I also spent the week wondering why I don’t ‘do’ resolutions.

Last year (see what I did there) Katie asked me what my resolution was - and I bristled at the idea that I would have one.

I’ve learned to pay attention anytime something sets me off like that. It normally means there is something I haven’t resolved that is sitting just below the surface.

And I think there was something like that happening this time too.

I think I was resisting the idea that I would wait for the magical ‘New Year’ day before starting some change I wanted to make.

I’ve seen plenty of people do that, only to see their resolve flag and their progress fizzle out. And I really don’t like the idea of failing after I announce that I am going to change.

So - in essence I think I was bristling at the suggestion that I would make an announcement about a change, then fail and be stuck waiting to try again until the next year.

But that doesn’t mean that I go into each new year wanting to do things different. Most of the time I have a long list of things I want to stop, try, and or adjust each year. And then I continue to update and tweak things throughout the year. So, it is a little goofy that I was pushing back on the idea that I would change.

As all too often happens - I realized that the negative reaction I had to something someone said was not the result of me reacting to their actual words. Instead, I was reacting to a negative extrapolation of what they said.

Not terribly fair - so I’ve decided that this year’s resolution is going to be to try this new thing…reacting to what was said…not what I layered onto it.

We’ll see how it goes.

While I work on it, I’ll let you all get to this week’s update which is a look ahead at what 2023 has in store for us.

Outreach: New Congress, New Opportunities

One Big 2023 Outreach Thing: This year we are going to work with the new Congress to create federally backed financial tools to buy down the risk of investment in space. In 2022 we saw the DoD launch their Office of Strategic Capital - and we are going to leverage that to push Congress to act.

  • Democrats aren’t going to want the DoD being the only one doing long-term investment in the sector; and Republicans are unlikely to think this Administration is doing enough to combat China.

We’ll also be working with the administration to reduce regulatory burdens for companies seeking to raise capital whether through initial-public offerings, crowdfunding, or debt financing. So far the government hasn’t been an obstacle to this - but we are going to work to make sure things stay that way.

Operations: 23 is the year we get W4F Funded

One Big 2023 Operations Thing: This year we are going to get at least a pilot program of W4F funded. Between a new Congress and inroads with industry - we are in a much better position that we were this time last year. We are also going to be exploring how we can get elements of W4F off the ground without needing money (whether that is through a certification or with partnerships).

We’ll also be leaning into growing our member network to ensure we have a solid representation of the industry. That larger network will be helpful as we begin to do regular surveys to understand the state of the space workforce.

Other Stuff:

One Big 2023 Other Thing: We are going to be shooting for 2.5 events a month in 2023. I thought having a monthly event was ambitious, but last year we did more than 20 hosted and partnered events. This year we are looking to double that. And on top of that we are shooting to have at least 10 events in person.

Are you hosting an event and want to partner with us for content/marketing? Let me know and let’s see if we can blow the lid off this event goal.

And just like that you made it to the end. Way to go!!

Ok that was a little condescending - sorry.

I’ll let you get back to your regularly scheduled weekend activities.

I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.


2022 in the Rearview Mirror: Weekend Update Style

By Tim Chrisman ● Jan 02, 2023

Smart Brevity® count: 3 mins...767 words

Team SPACE, 

It’s that time of year. Namely the time of year where every organization who you have ever given your email address to is legally obligated to send a ‘year in review’ email.

So rather than looking back at what we did this week – we’ll look at some highlights from this last year. And for those of you who prefer looking forward – don’t worry – next week we’ll look at what is in store for F4F in the year ahead.

I feel like there should be more of a preamble – I don’t want you all to think that I am somehow shortchanging you for the first update of 2023 – but I think we’ll call this good enough – and get straight to it.


I wasn’t sure what metrics to use here. But in talking with some other leaders of (non-space) think tanks / nonprofits here in DC I learned that one of the biggest metrics they use is traction that their ideas get.

  • This might be laws passed, or executive orders issued; but it also could be how many policymakers are talking about the organization’s issues/policies.

I figured this would be a great way to talk about what we did in 2022 - and boy did we have a phenomenal year. Here are the three biggest examples:

  • The National Space Council announced a nation-wide initiative to upskill Career and Technical Education-level workers

  • DoD created an office to back-stop private capital investing in space (among other sectors).

  • We are discussing how 2024 Presidential candidates can add space to their campaigns

The bottom line: All in all - not too bad for our second year.


2022 was equally big in terms of our growth and operations. We doubled our membership, nearly doubled the number of partner organizations (including schools and local communities), launched a new membership program to include governmental organizations, squeezed in hosting or participating in over 20 events, and have built a pipeline with a handful of government agencies to help conduct due diligence on companies for them.

Our three big 2022 highlights were:

  • Two panels at ASCEND 2022

  • A space panel at SALT 2022

  • ‘Name brand’ members joining, including Barclays Investment Bank


We’ll leave things there - but look out 2023 - here we come!


A Post Hanukkah, Pre-Christmas Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman ● Dec 20, 2022

Smart Brevity® count: 3.5 mins...922 words

Team SPACE, 


  • One Big Outreach Thing: 2023 planning is in full swing.

  • One Big Operations Thing: W4F’s clearance program is driving forward.

  • One Big Other Thing: The Space and Defense Innovation (SDI) reception officially launched this week


Here we are - the last update before 2023 -

Ok so maybe that isn’t true - I’ll probably write one next week - but it’s better if I prime you to think that I won’t and then surprise you.

Everyone likes Christmas surprises - especially in the form of long emails from a guy from DC.

At least that’s what I think…being from DC…and liking emails from other people in DC.

Well - just in case this is my last update before 2023, I want to take a second to thank you all for your advice, suggestions and support this last year.

I’ve talked with hundreds, if not thousands of you; and at every turn you all have been so positive and helpful.

When I talk with people leading similar organizations in other industries - I am reminded that this isn’t the norm.

So, thank you.

And rather than continue to ramble - I’ll let you all get to it.


One Big Outreach Thing: 2023 planning is in full swing.

  • More Details: This week we met with activists from both sides of the political aisle to get a sense for where the political winds are headed for 2023; and get their feedback on how we talk about industrial policy for the space sector. We specifically asked for feedback on the Space Corporation Act - and got a lot of good notes which we will be incorporating into a whole new version coming out in early 2023. If you have feedback - reach out and let us know too.


One Big Operations Thing: W4F’s clearance program is driving forward.

  • More Details: This week I met with leaders from the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency and the CIA to discuss ways that F4F can support the defense industrial base through adding a cleared program to W4F’s offering. Both meetings were very positive, and while we have some due outs back to them, 2023 is looking like our year to make this happen.

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: The Space and Defense Innovation (SDI) reception officially launched this week

  • More Details: After a few months of planning the SDI reception is officially live - and you can apply to attend or find out about sponsorship opportunities here. We are excited to be hosting an event where innovators and leaders from across the space and defense sectors will be able to gather and network. Let me know if you want more info.

We’ll leave things there for now - and I hope you all had a fantastic Hanukkah, have a great Christmas - and if I don’t talk to you before then - an amazing New Years.

I’ll see you back here next year - unless I see you out there sooner.


A Cold Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman ● Dec 05, 2022

Smart Brevity® count: 4.5 mins...1235 words

Team SPACE, 


  • One Big Outreach Thing: The Pentagon has stood up an office to co-invest alongside private capital, and that office is looking to deploy many of the tools we have been advocating for since mid 2020.

  • One Big Operations Thing: Giving Tuesday was a big success!

  • One Big Other Thing: The Space and Defense Innovation VIP Reception publicly launches this week.


Happy December!

Christmas decorations are up. Present shopping is underway. Shipping times on Amazon are long.

Yep - it is officially the holiday season.

And do you know the best part is?

It is cold.

Ok so maybe that isn’t as good as presents.

But it being cold out means that my wife and my dogs cuddle us more.

One of the dogs seems really sensitive to heat - and so for most of the year he is not interested in sitting next to anyone or being covered with a blanket.

But in the last couple weeks he has decided that not only are heated blankets great; but so are warm laps.

It being cold out also means that my bed gets even colder.

I have one of those pads that goes on the bed and will heat or cool the bed to whatever temperature you want. And I typically have it set to as low as it will go (about 55). But if the house is over 65 degrees then it really struggles to be able to maintain that temperature when I am in bed.

But colder weather (and keeping the thermostat set at 64) is helping make sure that I get to relive my childhood dream of sleeping on an ice slab.

Ok so it wasn’t actually a dream…it was more like what actually happened whenever we camped in Alaska (#AmericanSiberia).

But enough about my desire for all things cold.

Let’s get to the rest of this week’s update.


One Big Outreach Thing: The Pentagon has stood up an office to co-invest alongside private capital, and that office is looking to deploy many of the tools we have been advocating for since mid 2020.

  • More Details: This week the Secretary of Defense formally announced the standup of the Office of Strategic Capital (OSC), with the intent that this office support companies navigating the ‘Valley of Death’. We have been closely tied in with several of the teams at the Pentagon who were involved in shaping the OSC; and it is exciting to see that this office will be using some of the same tools we have advocated that the Space Corporation use.

Future Outreach: We have meetings scheduled with the leadership of the OSC over the next couple weeks to chat more about how they can leverage the space finance community to support their efforts (we’ll talk more about that at this week’s Space Finance Policy Working group).


One Big Operations Thing: Giving Tuesday was a big success!

  • More Details: As I mentioned in the last update - I wasn’t really sure I could find a perfect way to talk about Giving Tuesday. And I certainly didn’t feel like I could write the sort of heartfelt message that a lot of nonprofits do around this time of year. But even without that we were able to secure a donor (who asked to be kept anonymous) who will match all donations between Giving Tuesday and the first Tuesday in January. Up to $250k! You can donate now by going to our website, or our Paypal link, or our Patreon site.

Future Operations: Next week we’ll be in Midland Texas for the High Speed Aerospace Transportation Workshop. We’ll be meeting with some local leaders, and a number of different industry partners on the sidelines of the workshop to talk about workforce development. I’ll also be meeting with leaders from the CIA this week to chat more about our cleared worker plan, and explore how to connect more space companies into the Intel Community.

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: The Space and Defense Innovation VIP Reception publicly launches this week.

  • More Details: This week we will be formally announcing the Space and Defense Innovation VIP Reception that will be held during SXSW 2023. We already have over two dozen sponsors and partners, and there is still time for your company to be one of the announcing sponsors ahead of the formal launch. Getting in early means you will get extra media exposure and will lock in a higher number of VIP invites. Email me if you are interested.


Ok that should just about do it. I'll leave you to the rest of your weekend / beginning of your week. And I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.


Giving, Presidents, and Workers. A Wide-Ranging Weekend Update.

By Tim Chrisman ● Nov 28, 2022

Smart Brevity® count: 5 mins...1321 words


Intro: Giving Tuesday is here, please don’t give us much

One Big Outreach Thing: We are in talks with a potential 2024 Presidential candidate about adding space to his platform.

One Big Operations Thing: The full outlines of SWFT NET is taking shape


Black Friday is over.

Small Business Saturday is done.

Cyber Monday is up.

Time to craft a Giving Tuesday message.

Or maybe I will procrastinate on that.

Ever do that?

Ever have something that you knew you needed to do but put it off because it mattered too much to you?

I’m doing that now.

If I don’t write a note asking for donations on Giving Tuesday, and then we don’t get any donations, then at least I won’t have tried and failed.

But if I do - then there is a chance of being let down.

Which is silly.

Just about everything I do involves a chance of being let down.

Case and point - I made chocolate cream pie and dinner rolls for Thanksgiving dinner this year.

Well - I made them both twice - since the first times around I didn’t measure things so well.

So, 100% of my Thanksgiving cooking let me down the first time I tried it.

But I ran to the store - grabbed more ingredients and took another swing at both. And sure enough - worked out. The pie was incredible. I’m still thinking about it.

But for some reason asking for donations feels more personal and higher stakes.

Maybe it doesn’t need to be.

Stay with me here

The chocolate cream pie and dinner rolls I messed up weren’t that big of a deal because I was only out about $20 and two hours.

When I am asked for donations, I tend to think that $10 or $15 doesn’t actually help much. But each one of the donations doesn’t need to help much if there are a lot of them.

There are just under 15k of you who will see this, between our email list and social media. And if each of you gives $15, we will clear over $200k; fully funding us for 2023. All in one fell swoop.

So - how about this. Instead of me working to craft the perfect Giving Tuesday message - I’ll just write this.

And instead of you donating a lot of money. You give $15.

You don’t need to donate more than that to make a big impact.

Your donation will support our work to make space an issue during the 2024 Presidential election, and help us build a network to train the next generation of space workers.

So - let's both just do a little bit - it won’t be perfect - but it is going to be plenty.

You can donate on our website here:

Or sign up to be a monthly donor here

Thank you in advance.

Let’s get to the rest of this week’s update now.


One Big Outreach Thing: We are in talks with a potential 2024 Presidential candidate about adding space to his platform.

  • More Details: Congressman Mike Rogers is exploring a run for President in 2024, and we are talking with him about including long-term investment in the space sector as one of his campaign issues. While the former Congressman isn’t polling high right now, we are looking to use his platform as a jumping off point with other candidates. We’ll be talking with his staff more over the coming weeks as he firms up his plans. We’ll be covering this more at our next Space Finance Policy working group in December (jump on our Slack channel here to learn more).


One Big Operations Thing: The full outlines of SWFT NET is taking shape

  • More Details: SWFT NET (or Space Workforce Training Network) is a term that Dan Geraci coined to illustrate how the Foundation can serve as a router between employers and educators in the space sector. This week Dan has really helped flesh out what the network would look like, and we can now visualize how the flow of workers and services will go. We have meetings lined up with the two major clearance providers (DoD / CIA) and are talking with the top three cleared space contractors over the next two weeks to get all of their input into this. Stay tuned.

And just like that we are done - I’ll leave you to the last bits of your weekend (or the beginning of your week if you are reading this tomorrow).

I’ll see you back here next week, unless I see you out there sooner.


A Risky Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman ● Oct 17, 2022

Smart Brevity® count: 5 mins...1299 words

Team SPACE, 


Outreach: We are launching the Space Finance Roundtable.
Operations: New Worlds is around the corner - do you have your ticket?
Other: Our membership grew this week


It’s time for your regularly scheduled Weekend Update. I thought it might be handy to try adding in a TL; DR section above - since I know I can be…ahem…long winded. So that’s why that is up there…or it will be…since I’ll add it after I finish writing this intro.

So back to the intro - has it been a weird week for anyone else?

I spent the week trying to get gum off a pair of my pants.

Well, I did more than that.

But that was the one thing I did each day last week.

Same pair of pants.

Same gum.

Same result.

Add a heading.png

Turns out trying different types of laundry stain remover / detergent on them isn’t enough.

And it also turns out that Goo Gone mentions in the title of their spray that it removes chewing gum.

So, I’m going to try that next

But this, and the book I’m reading (The Innovation Stack) have had me thinking about how we got here.

In The Innovation Stack Jim McKelvey (the co-founder of Square) talks about how most of the innovations that successful startups make are done accidentally.

Well accidentally might be the wrong word - they are borne out of necessity rather than some master plan.

And that describes a lot of what we at the Foundation are doing now.

We set out to influence space infrastructure policy, and originally figured it would be possible to do this through just writing good policy and combining that with activating industry support.

Now we are influencing space infrastructure policy by organizing space investors into a coherent voice and delivering that voice to policymakers here in D.C.

How we got here feels a bit like it came out of The Obstacle is the Way, or The Spark and the Grind. And because of that it is easy to discount what we have done (after all it wasn’t all part of the original master plan).

But as a lot of you know - master plans are only good for doing what has been done before or sketching out where we want to go. Actually, getting somewhere new involves a whole lot of experimentation…well that and having the right tools (a la, Goo Gone for my pants).

So then - while I wait for Amazon to deliver my Goo Gone - let’s get to the rest of this week’s update.


One Big Outreach Thing: We are launching the Space Finance Roundtable.

  • More Details: As I mentioned in the intro - we are working to organize and deliver to policymakers the views of the space finance community. And what better way to do that, then to create a formal mechanism to solicit input from industry. The Roundtable will be quarterly (with the first meeting to be in Q1 2023) and will build on the work of a space finance working group. This working group happen virtually on the first Wednesday of each month.

  • Consider this your first invite - here is a link for your calendar.


What should be the priority topic for the space finance working group in 2023



Bonds/Credit/Loan Guarantees


Migratory Patterns of African Swallows carrying coconuts

Your response is anonymous


Future Outreach: Next week we are scheduling some meetings with potential speakers for the Space Finance Roundtable including executives from the National Space Council, FCC, Congressional Committee staff, and former senior leaders from the Intelligence Community / Congress.


One Big Operations Thing: New Worlds is around the corner - do you have your ticket?

  • More Details: We are officially under two weeks until New Worlds. While it isn’t the only event in Austin on Halloween weekend. It is the only event in Austin that allows you to network with people from across the space sector AND use your Halloween costume (well assuming your Halloween costume fits the theme of the Space Cowboy Ball).

  • There is still time to register for either New Worlds or the Ball. I look forward to seeing you there.

Future Operations: Next week we are going to be closing out prep for our panels at ASCEND, recording a couple podcasts, meeting with some potential sponsors for our SXSW reception, and fitting in my bi-weekly haircut.

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: Our membership grew this week.

  • More Details: We are excited to welcome Moss Adams as our newest member. Their wealth of expertise and connections across multiple industries will be incredibly valuable to the Foundation’s network. We look forward to involving them more in both our events and our policy work in 2023.


Alrighty - that does it - now I just need to remember to go add the summaries to the TL; DR up top.

But you already saw that I did that - so I’ll leave you here.

I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.


A Risky Weekend Update

Add a heading.png

By Tim Chrisman●Oct 10, 2022

Smart Brevity® count: 5.5 mins... 1439 words

Team SPACE, 

Have you ever heard that human life is priceless?

A nice sentiment…but according to the U.S. Government it isn’t true. A human life is worth about $10M (least for the purposes of determining the impact of regulations). I know that there are two main reactions people will have to learning this for the first time.

  1. Express shock and outrage that there is any price at all

  2. Quibble over whether $10M is the right number

And this isn’t about whether or not this is the right price (or whether there should be a price). This is instead about the value of safety.

Or put more directly - can the space sector afford to be laser focused on safety?

Commercial spaceflight is often compared to commercial aviation and in doing so people place the expectation of similar accident/fatality rates. Which would be fair…if we compared the accident rates from equivalent development periods.

So, since the space sector only started ferrying commercial passengers about 15 years ago, let's start our comparison in the late 1950s (pre-WWII doesn’t count), and since the late 1950s, nearly 30,000 people have died on a flight.

That’s a lot of people. But does that mean flying isn’t safe?

Quite the opposite.

In 1959 the commercial aviation accident rate per million departures was 50+ with roughly 1,500 people dying. Last year the accident rate was 1.94 per million departures with 134 people dying.

Maybe there is an alternate history where we didn’t need to have 30,000 people die in order for us to turn air travel into the safest form of transport humanity has ever known. But maybe there is also a version of history where we didn’t need to invest trillions of dollars in airport infrastructure and aircraft technological development to get to this point.

Whether those timelines exist or not is irrelevant. It did take 30,000 people, and trillions of dollars.

Not ‘or’


Air travel wouldn’t be as safe without the hard lessons learned from actual people dying. And it wouldn’t have developed as fast without massive amounts of capital.

Now, after all of those deaths and all of that money, it makes sense that we have massive investigations to determine what went wrong after a plane crash.

Devoting those same resources to investigate a plane crash in 1959 wouldn’t have helped.

Nor will applying aviation’s safety standards to spaceflight.

No one is arguing that we should start strapping astronauts on the outside of rockets.

Instead, we should consider that technological development is paid for with two currencies.

Blood and gold.

Not ‘or’

We should never treat any death lightly.

We should treat every commercial spaceflight death for what it is.

An investment

An investment in tomorrow’s safety.

Pulling back and avoiding risk would dishonor the memory of those who died to get us here. For they died doing what they loved, fought to get where they did, and would have rather died than quit.

We should do no less.


One Big Outreach Thing: Tax season is almost here…well the season to change taxes is almost here.

  • More Details: This week we joined a group of investors and advocates seeking tax incentives for space and defense investments. We are designing a tax regime to lower the capital gains taxes on key technologies that will ensure the U.S. can win any technological race with China. This builds on our work to cultivate ties with several of the senior-most members of the House’s Ways and Means Committee. Not sure why it is called that other than it doesn’t sound great to say you are on the Tax and Fee Committee.

Future Outreach: Next week we will have meetings with a number of Congressional staff members on the sidelines of the AUSA Conference in D.C. We also are going to be circulating some more policy ideas to our members. We also have a meeting with some staffers from the FCC to chat about their space debris policy


One Big Operations Thing: Speakers, Attendees, Costumes, Oh My!

  • More Details: This week was lots of New Worlds prep. We are working hard to backfill a couple of speakers, to bring in more attendees, and I really need to finalize my costume for the Space Cowboy Ball. I mean I also need to finish my presentation for New Worlds. But have you met me? My outfit obviously comes first. I can always ad lib my presentation…can’t change my outfit mid talk….ohhhhh wait….

Future Operations: Rinse and repeat this week. Well, that and finalizing prep for ASCEND (if you are going to be at ASCEND - be on the lookout for Rebecca - she will have some sweet stickers April designed). We’ll also be making another push to find sponsors for the SXSW Reception (we are at 176% of last year’s sponsor total already!)

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: We are tweaking our membership program.

  • More Details: We are making a couple tweaks to our membership program, the most significant being moving to a monthly subscription model (instead of relying on annual dues). Members will still get the best price by paying in a single annual lump sum; but in an attempt to make membership more accessible we are now offering a monthly payment option. There will be some other tweaks rolling out over the next quarter - so stay tuned.



We have reached the end. And in good shape too.

Well, I’m in good shape. Maybe you are still worked up about my intro.

Or maybe you just were trying to read this while eating and got your phone all messy.

In any case - let’s leave it here - and I’ll see you back here next week.

Unless I see you out there sooner.


The Danger of Big Dreams and A Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman●Oct 03, 2022

Smart Brevity® count: 6 mins...1591 words


Team SPACE, 

Welcome to fall.

At least I think it is fall - there are pumpkins in my front yard, and I am seeing memes about pumpkin spice.

Seems as good a sign as any that we have left summer behind.

And as the season is changing, I have been spending more time thinking about the future.

Or at least that is how I would like to frame it. I have just been thinking about the future - and only just now bothered to notice what season it was.

I have been thinking about the future as I look to refine the message I will deliver at several upcoming speaking engagements. Typically when I give a presentation it is about the importance of space infrastructure, or about what is happening in DC related to space.

Add a heading.png

Typically these presentations are to people outside the space industry (by design).

But now I will be presenting to ‘insiders’. And so it is time for an adaptation of the message to better meet this new audience where they are.

And that is why I have been thinking about the future.

The future is what unites the space industry together. Scientists, engineers, artists and enthusiasts alike all look to an ideal future with hope. Dreaming of a semi-utopian future that many can see in their mind’s eye. For 70 years this tribe has grown, and languished, but always kept their eye on this future. Hope fueling their drive to make that future real.

Or did it?

What if I told you those dreams are what hold the space industry back?

And that it is time to accept that the future will look a lot like the past.

Would you believe me?

Well let me take you back to Robert Goddard so I can show you that from the beginning it was the dreamers who languished, while the ruthless pragmatists advanced in leaps and bounds.

In 1919 Goddard published concept for a rocket, that among other things could go to the moon (and detonate a giant pile of ‘flash powder’ to prove it had been there). Up until this point Goddard had been working on near-term, practical applications for the small rocket motors he had designed and built. But after the publication of the article he was seen as someone out of touch with reality.

Now is when you jump to Goddard’s defense and say that everything he theorized came to pass.

And that he was visionary. And that without his designs we would never have been to the moon.

That is all true.

Without his research there wouldn’t be the space sector we know today. And so he deserves his title as Father of the Space Age

But as a direct result of his statement about the theoretical moon mission the Father of the Space Age gave his child away…to the Nazis. And it was Nazis who built the foundations upon which rests everything we have done in space.

Yes there is more context than just that. Yes I am simplifying things to make a point.

But that point is still valid.

In order to make the future happen you cannot scare the people who will fund said future. The public, and their representatives in government have a very narrow view of reality. Everything they know to be real is what is happening now or what will happen within the next year or two. Go further than that and you are literally out of touch with their reality.

And regardless of whether or not history proves you right - you will be less effective than you otherwise could be.

So - in short - don’t be like Dr Robert Goddard. Have big dreams and ambitions, but build them one step at a time. Otherwise you might give someone with worse intentions a chance to build their future on your work.

And with that cheery note - lets get to the rest of this week’s update.


One Big Outreach Thing: The Capitol Hill Club’s space series is back - and space finance was the first topic.

  • More Details: This week I participated in the opening panel of the Capitol Hill Club’s space event series alongside John Rood, Michael Mealling and Artiom Anisimov where we talked about investing in the space sector. We had a good group of people who attended, ranging from Congressional staffers and former Congresspeople to investors and the government relations teams from space companies. Overall it was a great chance to talk about the need for new types of government support for space investors, and how people outside the space sector can get involved.

Future Outreach: Next week we are working with our members to develop 2023’s policy priorities in advance of the new Congress. If you are interested in providing comments ahead of our policies going final feel free to let me know. We’ll also be at a luncheon with members of the National Space Council (moderated by our friend Meredith Garofalo).


One Big Operations Thing: New Worlds, New Worlds, and more New Worlds

  • More Details: This week we doubled down on supporting the planning for New Worlds in Austin at the end of the month. April joined the planning effort, and we are working to help secure a few more speakers and sponsors, all while trying to up attendance. You can find out more about the event here - but I don’t know what more you need to know other than it is going to be in Austin at the perfect time of year.

Future Operations: Next week we will be more of the same with New Worlds, and we will also add in some work on next year’s Defense and Space VIP reception on the sidelines of SXSW. We have a handful of early sponsors - and after last year saw ~300 people attend (when we could only accommodate 150) - we are likely to be expanding to a bigger venue. Let me know if you are interested in hearing more about partnering with us.

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: Our circle of partners is expanding again.

  • More Details: We are exploring a partnership with The Alternative Investment Management Association to help educate their members on the potential of investing in the space sector. With their 2,100 members (who have ~$3T of assets under management) they represent a significant pool of potential new entrants to the space investing world.

Well then - I started things off a little heavy - but I think we ended things a little lighter.

So - I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner (or you unsubscribe).


Deep Thoughts During a Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman●Sep 19, 2022

Smart Brevity® count: 5.5 mins... 1454 words

Team SPACE,   

Wow it is Sunday already - Monday if you are reading this after the weekend. Good on you by the way (you Monday readers) - keeping your work and personal life fire-walled off. I’m told that holding my work loosely and allowing myself breaks is healthy. But if I did that - then who could my therapist count on to pay for her retirement?

My personal mental health aside - I’ve been reading a pair of books. Ok well I am only reading one of them right now - but I am reading them as a pair. The two books are The Moral Landscape and What We Owe the Future.

Why these two? Well, I wanted to read the future book (which is about why we should take into account the effect our actions will have on future generations) - but I know that it will broadly align with my existing beliefs. So, in a fit of clear-headed thinking, I figured I would read a book on the other side first.

What have I learned so far?

  • Well for one Sam Harris (he wrote The Moral Landscape) is pretty good at constructing logical arguments.

Add a heading.png
  • For two it seems like the debate isn’t over whether we should take the future effects of our actions into account. But rather how much should we weigh said effect into our decision-making calculus.

I suspect that the vast majority of the people reading this - all are in the camp which says that we need to make the future better - even if we have to make sacrifices now. I too am in said camp. I am also in the utilitarian camp - seeking to maximize the benefit while minimizing the harm.

I have started wondering, where is the line? Where is the line between what sacrifices now are acceptable in order to make tomorrow better? And how bad do the future consequences of an action which helps me now have to be before I don’t do it?

And when we consider the impact of our actions, can we actually weigh the effect on future generations more than we would weigh the effect on those living today? Is it morally acceptable to consider the needs of pre-existing people to be as important (or more) than the needs of those of us living right now?

I suspect there is a model which we could develop to properly account for the good and harm caused by my actions (both now and in the future) so as to ensure we are ‘coming out ahead’. This model would probably have future ‘pre-existing’ humans counting as some fraction of a current person for purposes of tallying the benefits and harm. But then the question is - would I actually use that model?

Wouldn’t I be more inclined to maximize the benefit to me today - rather than be concerned about harming someone who does not yet exist? The old - “I’d gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today” mindset.

Well - as I continue to ponder these relatively deep questions - I’ll let you move on to the lighter topics of this week’s update.


One Big Outreach Thing: We are making progress expanding our coalition

  • More Details: This week we had meetings with a couple non-space advocacy organizations including a lobbying shop, a major finance association, and several nonprofits. All of them were excited by the work we are doing and want to find ways to support our work. We will be following up with each other over the next few weeks - but at the end of the day - adding organizations to the pro-space coalition is always a win.

Future Outreach: Next week we will be speaking to a delegation of leaders from Colorado and following up with some constituents in Oklahoma who asked for help with their Congressional delegation.


One Big Operations Thing: SALT was great for the Association

  • More Details: This week was SALT in NYC - and it was the first time that the Association for Space Finance was included in a Wall Street event. We had a huge number of people reach out to meet - hoping to learn more. And this was despite our panel being scrubbed (one of the panelists came down with COVID at the last minute).

Future Operations: Next week we will be following up with a number of the investors from SALT, holding our fall Board meeting, beginning planning for our SXSW reception and finalizing our panels for ASCEND.

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: We took another step towards launching our Inner Circle this week.

  • More Details: This week we identified several more founding members for the Foundation’s Inner Circle and are nearing a formal launch for the program. Once launched - the Inner Circle will be a forum for our most engaged members to network with current and former senior leaders from across government and the private sector. Members will have access to exclusive events, VIP retreats, and observer status on our Board.

  • Want more details? Email me and let’s talk.

Well - spoiler alert - I still don’t have good answers for the deep thoughts I started with.

But I do have a little more peace about everything - probably because I just spent a while writing and not thinking about it.

Well - whatever the reason - I feel a little better - and I hope you have a fantastic end to your weekend / start to your week.

I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.


A Rocking Weekend Update

Add a heading.png

You can disagree with the views and / or methods of conservatives, but in general they like rules and order. In fact, it is literally in their name - they want to ‘conserve’ the status quo. In its extreme form we see fascists in Italy in the 1940s making the trains run on time (possibly the first- and only-time that happened with public transportation in Italy). It is important to look for silver linings in everything - otherwise it is easy to get disheartened.

This timeliness was particularly delightful because of the contrast we saw with the pop band Five Seconds of Summer. We literally waited 45 minutes between the warmup and them and there were no announcements, no schedule and no indication of when/if they were even going to come on. Instead, we watched at least a half dozen commercials for Thor. It was incredible.

Now that I have two data points about different bands and their standards for timeliness I will be taking it to Firefly (a music festival) in two weeks and see if we can validate this trend.

Standby for more in a few weeks.

Let’s get to this week’s update (although some of you are going to be writing to me already to say I was being too friendly / supportive of fascists) - so for the rest of you - here is what happened last week.


One Big Outreach Thing: It was a good week for space workforce development, with the White House announcing a workforce development program

  • More Details: This week Vice President Harris announced: "a new coalition of space companies that will focus on increasing the space industry’s capacity to meet the rising demand for the skilled technical workforce.” This new program includes every key component from our Workforce for the Future design, and includes employers, schools and government agencies inside and outside the space sector. After 18 months of designing, coalition building and advocating for just such a program it is exciting to see results like this.

Future Outreach: Next week it is going to be hard to compete with the sort of win we had last week - but as we know - it is the dull and thankless grind that often leads to sparks of excitement and success.

That said - next week we’ll be following up with some Congressional staff to make sure there is solid support for long-term funding for this workforce program. We’ll also be chatting with the American Defense Initiative leadership to explore how we can align some of our efforts in Congress


One Big Operations Thing: The September Conversations for the Future Event is this week Wednesday & Thursday.

  • More Details: Its Eclectic! We will be showing a mix of Live Speakers on the Zoom Meeting as well as Pre-Recorded Interviews and even a live view of SALT in New York with Tim on site! If you haven’t registered yet - join us!

Future Operations/Events:  Conversations for the Future will be taking a short break while we focus on ASCEND Las Vegas and New Worlds Events. Both coming up next month. Stay tuned for even more details.

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: The Association for Space Finance is coming into its own.

More Details: Between SALTASCENDNew Worlds and T-1 (the Skytop Media conference next year), the Association for Space Finance is driving the conversation forward around space finance. We are also talking to some people who are helping plan content for Davos to explore having a panel there (I tell my therapist once we are at Davos then I will finally be content…we’ll see).

And with that I’ll leave you all to the rest of your weekend (or to start your week if you are reading this Monday)

I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.


Team Space,

Last night Katie and I went to a rock concert (Five Finger Death Punch headlined - but Megadeth was also there). This was our second concert (the other was Five Seconds of Summer) this year and we realized something…conservatives are big about starting and ending on time.

This isn’t meant to be a discussion about the merits of one political view or another, but rather than it was a surprise to me that rock stars were punctual about start times down to the minute. I assumed that musicians in general - and rock stars in particular are lackadaisical about when they do things. After all - they are literal rock stars and so we will wait for them.

But looking around at the crowd - and when I heard the lead singers of some of the bands talk - I realized that these bands and their fans were right of center politically.

And that was when it clicked.

Pacific Rim and A Long Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman●Sep 06, 2022

Smart Brevity® count: 6 mins... 1570 words


Have any of you seen Pacific Rim (1 or 2 - turns out there is a second one)?

I haven’t either.

But I did just read the book.

I have this thing where I only watch movies with Katie - and it didn’t seem like one she would like so I figured I would just read the book.

The general story is that there are these giant monsters coming from an alternate dimension and these giant machines controlled by human pilots are the only thing that can stop them.

Kinda like Godzilla meets Transformers - if the Transformers were piloted by people.

Anyway - a big part of the storyline is how these machines can’t be piloted by a single person. Because there is a machine-brain interface and because the machine is kind of huge; a single person doesn’t have the mental capacity to do it all on their own. So, they do it in pairs. by linking their minds together (drifting for the nerds).

Add a heading.png

This, combined with another book I’m reading (Us: Getting Past You and Me to Build a More Loving Relationship) had me thinking about how the metaphor of two people putting their minds together to direct a larger construct is a pretty good analogy of the ideal intimate relationship.

  • As an aside within the aside - the book is a great one if you are looking to understand how people approach intimate relationships and how those mindsets affect the new entity - the ‘us’ - that is formed by the pairing.

Stick with me here - I’m not saying that the ideal for romantic partners is that they become conjoined twins. Not at all. That is two minds stuck in a single body. Nor am I saying that partners should turn into a hive mind. That is the whole subsuming the self (which I get is a false construct - but give me a break - there are only so many things I can talk about here).

This model is two people - retaining their autonomy and personalities - choosing to join themselves together to make a difference (or fight giant monsters…I don’t know what your lives are about). As in the book, executing this in real life is hard, and requires a lot of coordination and a support architecture.

But as we know - hard doesn’t mean impossible. Sometimes we do things BECAUSE they are hard and because they are worth it.

With that let's get to this week’s update.


One Big Outreach Thing: The Colorado Spring Chamber of Commerce’s is coming to DC this month and we will support their Congressional outreach trip

  • More Details: This week we met with leaders from the Colorado Spring Chamber of Commerce to finalize plans for how we can support their annual DC trip. During this trip they bring business, educational and government leaders to DC to advocate for policies to support their local community. They have asked us to lead a session on workforce development, discussing how Colorado Springs can prepare itself for the space sector’s continued growth.

Future Outreach: Next week we are going to be meeting with some leaders from the DoD and the Intel Community (IC) as we work to expand our network further into government.


One Big Operations Thing: New Worlds is taking shape - but we are still looking for support.

  • More Details: We have nearly finalized the New Worlds speaker lineup. But now comes the hard part, the rest of the event. And this is where we need your help. You can help in one (or more) of three ways.

    1. Come to the event: Pretty self explanatory. You can buy tickets at the Early Bird discount here.

    2. Sponsor New Worlds: We are still looking for sponsors to help cover the cost of the event itself, or even specific portions (lunches, snacks…etc). Sponsorship packages range from 1k-20k and if you or your company are interested email me.

    3. Volunteer: We need at least a dozen volunteers to help herd speakers (I mean assist them), help check people in, work as greeters and more. If you are in / around Austin or will be at the event and want to help - let me know and we’ll get you plugged in.

Future Operations: Next week we are going to be pushing ahead with New Worlds and should have announcements regarding more speakers / big name guests. We will also be facilitating an investment introduction between one of our investor members and one of our startup members.

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: SALT is officially a week away

  • More Details: This week we began preparing for our panel at SALT (ok so maybe I’m a little late with the prep). Next week we are going to have calls with the rest of the panelists to go over what we are going to talk about and do some prep ahead of time. We are also trying to bring in another speaker from one of the big New Space companies…last minute I know - but one of the original panelists had to back out. If you have ties to any leadership at SpaceX - can you facilitate an intro? I really want to be able to talk about Starship on the panel and having someone from there will make it more natural.



And just like that we made it to the end. I hope you all had a great long weekend.

I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.


A Return from France + Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman●Aug 29, 2022

Smart Brevity® count: 6.5 mins... 1694 words

Team Space,

Welcome to the end of summer - we can again (since we now have a new Game of Thrones series) say that Winter is coming.

Normally I start with an introduction - but this week I am going to have an introduction to my introduction. Or what would colloquially be called ‘not burying the lede’.

Lede: We are holding a drawing this week for a ticket to SALT 2022 in NYC. See ‘Other Stuff’ section for more details


Ok now to this week’s in