Last update: 09-Dec-2013 6:43 pm
Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
You are here
Countdown to success
In these discussions about the challenges of entrepreneurship, I rarely have the opportunity to talk about those great moments when you see your dreams become a reality. These experiences don’t come up simply because they are not problems!
But such stories are encouraging, and so I’d like to share one that brought home to me that at Virgin, we really are about to venture into space. Like many people who grew up in the '60s, this was always one of my dreams; one that I would never have thought possible.
On September 25, Virgin Galactic hosted an annual customer gathering at the Mojave Air and Space Port in Arizona. During the build-up to the days when we can launch our first commercial trips into space; we expect to launch our first space tourism flights next year—these get-togethers provide people who have already purchased tickets with a behind-the-scenes glimpse of our operations. This turned out to be the biggest-ever gathering of our future astronauts—about 300 people.
Strong desert winds grounded our spaceships that day, so we weren’t able to see them in action, but the presentations were fascinating. It had been a year since I’d been on the factory floor (my last visit was with my daughter, Holly), so I enjoyed the videos and explanations of rocket tests, the flight simulator and a tour of the factory. They made clear to me in a very concrete way that our collective dream of entering space is now in the countdown phase.
How did we get to this stage, and what lessons about entrepreneurship can we draw from such experiences? At such moments, the things that really make a business different and special come to the fore. As I walked around the hangers, I was struck by the passion and shared vision that unite everyone at Virgin Galactic: the pilots, the engineers and the customer relations team are all working hard and loving their work. Their cohesiveness and sense of purpose would be a tremendous asset to any organisation.
What it really comes down to is the company’s mission. And Virgin Galactic does have an advantage here: working to advance space travel is undeniably cool.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.