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Slightlydifficult t1_iu9ugas wrote

What’s wild to me is that Bezos definitely had better access to capital than Musk, what went wrong for BO? They can hire the best engineers in the world and are still struggling.


Mntfrd_Graverobber t1_iua8q41 wrote

So many people and even other auto companies keep thinking Tesla and SpaceX' successes can be easily duplicated. Turns out they both really are genuinely difficult problems and Musk's companies are rather exceptional at finding solutions. But people don't want to admit this, either out of arrogance or personal dislike of Musk.


ELFAHBEHT_SOOP t1_iuc5cth wrote

Musk is very good at cutting out bureaucracy and giving his engineers the tools they need to get stuff done. Large legacy companies are filled to the brim with bureaucracy. I think the Netflix documentary "Downfall: The case against Boeing" shines a light on exactly how Boeing went from an "engineering first" company like SpaceX to the Wall Street pleasing profits driven company it is today.


Slightlydifficult t1_iuabqo9 wrote

I honestly hate Musk but I won’t deny how successful his companies have been. Either he’s excellent at creating drive or he knows how to hire great people. I can’t stand the dude but I love my Tesla and I see big things for Starlink in the future.


pm_me_ur_ephemerides t1_iuax3ul wrote

He knows how to get people to work really hard and how to build a cohesive culture. From what I hear, blue is full of cliques pushing different cultures. Ex-Boeing people, ex-SpaceX people, ex-Aerojet people, etc.


p-d-ball t1_iubo2c2 wrote

They probably don't let their engineers go to the bathroom.


Mntfrd_Graverobber t1_iuagfxy wrote

I'm pretty much with you. I could care less about the guy. But I can separate my feelings about stupid shit he says that I disagree with from his and his companies' achievements.


Few_Carpenter_9185 t1_iuax895 wrote

It's pretty much this.

First an observation of making Acronyms of both companies. "BO" makes one think of "Body Odor". "SX" has connotations of "Sex" maybe?

Anyway, it seems like Musk took a chance on paying a LOT of attention to whatever Legacy Aerospace and NASA do not do well, and pivot 180° from that wherever possible when giving his input to core SpaceX philosophy, organization, and mission.

A lot has to do with Gwynne Shotwell a truly remarkable human being, with a ton of both technical aerospace engineering and business acumen. I'm guessing Musk and whoever did the search for her did a deep dive to find someone committed to "better, faster, cheaper, and different" beyond just superficial platitudes.

I've worked in Aerospace QA from a software ststems/tracking side. And in Manufacturing Execution. So I admittedly have a very vague overhead view of what culture and processes are in the field, but I get the sense, a smell almost... that things are radically different at SpaceX. Risk, process, everything.

I can't say for sure, but Bezos seems to have gotten more into emulating Legacy Aerospace to a degree. And the choice of Bob Smith from ULA and Honeywell might back that up.

Only a subjective impression, but any agility Blue Origin displays seems in response to SpaceX if anything.


Mntfrd_Graverobber t1_iuaz2cq wrote

The name straight up sounds like "space sex". Because Elon.

Appreciate the insight. And Gwynne is definitely a treasure. I've often said I bet Elon wishes he had someone like that for Tesla. She is certainly part of what makes SpaceX exceptional. And they did hire her because she had a similar idea of "better, faster, cheaper, and different". SpaceX is the kind of company she dreamed she could work for when traditional aerospace was all there was, despite the problems or shortcomings of traditional aerospace being known.


RedBaret t1_iu9wqtp wrote

You cannot solve problems by just throwing money at them. You need people who are motivated, who want to innovate and who are proud to work for their company.

Amazon has a track record of treating their employees like shit time after time and instead of making them feel valued making them feel easily replaceable.


the_way_finder t1_iua1bpn wrote

I feel like Musk really wants to go to space

I feel like Bezos is doing it because he can

Mindset is important. It determines your milestones and your day to day


RedBaret t1_iua49rk wrote

Yes I feel like, as with Amazons attempt at other things such as a fantasy series, they are only in it for the money.

Musk is obviously also in it for the money, but he comes from a place where he really wants space exploration and colonization to be a thing.

It’s telling when Musk hasn’t gone to space, but Bezos did and treated it like some glamour PR stunt.


jamqdlaty t1_iub9hhj wrote

What stuck in my mind was Elon’s interview with Everyday Astronaut after the presentation of the first Starship prototype. He couldn’t stop talking with him knowing he’s a guy who understands what Starship is and knows quite a lot about rockets. The best part was that there were other reporters waiting for Elon and being frustrated. Elon was so pumped about the idea of Starship that he wanted to talk about it with people who understand rather than just regular reporters.


ZeroGrav4 t1_iuaab5g wrote

Couple of pieces of interesting context that I can add here. Source is a friend who works for BO.

BO talks about being in the middle of a transition from a research institute to a manufacturing company. That's a hard change to make and they started that shift later than SpaceX did.

Their hiring process also specifically looks for people who are interested in "The Mission" of building infrastructure in space. For some roles you write an essay (1 page max) about why you're interested in space in general.

The pay at BO is laughably low compared to Amazon comp, but the work/life balance is apparently amazing. Still, that makes it difficult to hire and retain talent in key areas. From what I hear though the manufacturing and physical engineering side of things is league a better than places like Boeing, Lockheed, and Northrop.

18 months ago they had about 4500 employees, and they've almost doubled that now. Hiring has slowed but not stopped, and from what I gather there's some subset or employees who see BO as a good place to weather out a recession since it's not a public company and is privately funded.

Parts of the company are still WFH currently, and individuals have been hired as full remote, but the assumption is that they'll force people in to an office at some point. This includes the tech workers, who aren't happy about that, which feeds into making it difficult to retain talent.


Knichols2176 t1_iuc49uz wrote

AST mobile beat BO to launch after Bezos thought he got all the technology he needed. AST then made their tweaks without Bezos team finding out and launched 2nd satellite in September. AST will dominate this space.


Slightlydifficult t1_iued6tx wrote

Interesting! What makes you feel AST will be stronger in this space than SpaceX? Are they launching their own rockets?