Tonight, we close out a 21 day Kickstarter campaign… You, our community, have pledged over $100,000 and we, the LiftPort Team, have committed to building robots that climb into the sky! During those 21 days, a hero of ours died.
Fifty years ago, today, the President of the United States, John Kennedy gave his famous “Moon speech” in front of 40000 students, professors, scientists, engineers and industry professionals.
He declared: “We choose to go to the moon in this decade, and do the other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is the one we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone and one which we intend to win…”
I’ve always admired Kennedy. Arguably, I believe he catalyzed two generations of spaceflight engineering; and through the technology pioneered through the Apollo programs (and beyond), he raised the global standard of living of every human being who has lived since.
I’ve always admired, too, Neil Armstrong. I wrote a bit about that, here.
So as we close out our campaign, I want to pay tribute to two amazing men that lived their values; whose legacy endures and inspires.
LiftPort Group – and all of its Kickstarter supporters – are going back to the Moon. We do this to honor our heroes. We do this because it brings out the best in us; in all of us.
Thanks to Our Community!
Words fail me.
I never dared to dream we’d get this level of support from you. Isn’t it funny? I have the self confidence to believe I and my team have the talent and ability to build an Elevator on the Moon; yet I was worried about an unsuccessful Kickstarter project!
I want to thank each and every one of you! LiftPort has risen from the ashes; and that only happened because each of you willed it into existence. Truly, words fail me. Actions speak louder, anyway… So let’s get to work!
There’s lots of talk these days about ‘crowdsourcing’; and I get it. But I’d like to alter that slightly and talk about ‘community sourcing’. Because you folks might have started out as an impersonal and disconnected and anonymous ‘crowd’, but over the past three weeks, I think you have connected into an amorphous community. I’m certain as we move to the next phase, that this connection will solidify!
So what have we achieved, as a community, already?
1) Well, the most obvious is that we hit the first threshold of $8000 in less than 72 hours! In the midst of the International Space Elevator Conference I got to announce that we’d hit our first goal!
2) When Neil Armstrong died, it was you folks that suggested that we name the experimental robot Neil, and the Moon-landing robot Armstrong!
3) In a mad-rush you tweeted, talked, messaged, phoned, wrote, passed notes in class and sent carrier-pigeons – and we raised ~$23,000 in the last 48 hours! We crushed our previous records in terms of pledges and new backers!
4) A mind-boggling 1049 of you pledged $8 each to become “Card Carrying Supporters”. Let that sink in a moment… This campaign’s original goal was to get just $8000… We could have hit our minimum target with just you folks! That amazes me. I secretly hoped for something like this – but I we doubtful. You proved me wrong; and I’m grateful for it.
5) Finally, the metric that the media cares about – money and backers. I’ve said all along that the number of supporters was the most important aspect of this campaign. I meant it then, and I mean it still. So through your efforts, we earned over $107,000 and over 3400 backers (and we’ve still got 2 hours to go, and Europe is waking up and checking their messages as I type this – so the numbers are still climbing!)
This is important.
We are announcing here, that every quarter until there is an Elevator climbing down to the Lunar surface, that LiftPort Group will host a conference! This will be open to the public and will cover the myriad of problems needed to build our beloved Lunar Space Elevator Infrastructure (LSEI or “Elsie”). It will be a gathering of our esteemed Board of Advisors as a technical conference. Expect lots of lively debate. As I’ve told my team countless times: “We don’t even have all the questions, yet, let alone have all the answers!”
1) January – San Francisco
2) April – Boston
3) July – Seattle
4) October – Europe (Considering Barcelona, Athens, Strasbourg or Reykjavik)
Since this is the last update on the active Kickstarter campaign, I just wanted you to know what to expect next. First, there will be a lot less updates clogging your inbox. We appreciate your tolerance over the past 3 weeks, but we just don’t need to continually bombard you anymore! So instead, we’ll take a more sedate path and send an update through Kickstarter about every 2-3 weeks. But don’t fret – if you want more frequent update, you’ll get them! You set the frequency and we’ll deliver. There will be activity happening every day, from all corners of the globe; we’ll have updates on the LiftPort blog, forum, photos, video channel, downloads and wikis! Please join us, and participate!
Let’s face it, with so many reward levels, I’d have to write a book here to update you on that. Instead, I’ll ask that you trust me a bit longer, and our team will send status reports to everyone, at every backer level. Expect that and the very-very important surveys by Monday the 17th.
So where do we go from here; and how can you stay involved with this community? First and foremost – if you haven’t already, please link to www.liftport.com and sign up as a member (the link is in the top right corner, a green button). Please participate in the forums – ask and answer questions. The moment the campaign ends, the website becomes a top priority. I’ll post hundreds of documents, and thousands of images. The website is the central repository for all things ‘Elevator’, so watch and help it grow!
Soon, in the late Fall or early Spring, we’ll launch the first stages of our video channel – watch for it. I think it will be terrific!
And finally, if you liked what we did with this campaign, and, once we’ve made some tangible progress; we’d like you to support other Kickstarter projects we’ve got in mind!
My final thanks go to my dedicated, talented, brilliant, amazing, tireless, enthusiastic, creative, cheerful (even when I’m yelling at them) team. Nothing – and I want to stress this – NOTHING would happen without the support of the folks behind me. I count myself lucky beyond measure.
Michael J. Laine
President, LiftPort Group
12 September 2012.
“LiftPort is a ‘…before this decade is out…’ Lunar Elevator Company!”
It’s been a crazy three weeks: we built a new website, launched a Kickstarter campaign and participated in the International Space Elevator Conference! It’s been amazing!
And LiftPort’s Kickstarter effort has just 4 days left…
So what have we done in these three weeks? News articles about the conference, and our Kickstarter campaign have circulated the planet – over a dozen languages, and more countries than I can keep track of! LiftPort videos have been viewed ~150,000 times and we’ve earned 2400 backers and $72,000 dollars! So, yes, it’s been a great three weeks.
Key articles include: NBC, Scientific American, Inc., Forbes, Economist, Yahoo!, KOUW
And a funny one: We’re not just ON the list, but at the TOP! – “16 Kickstarter projects that could destroy civilization”.
Behind the scenes, we officially (Re!)incorporated LiftPort, and built a team that can carry us into the future. We’re evaluating project management tools, parametric design software, expense and account tracking tools and various ways to asynchronously communicate with our community of hundreds of volunteers, researchers and advisors. We’ve made plans for our Robots+Balloon experiments for Tethered Towers; sourced (some of the) production for the reward levels; and begun working with several volunteers on a variety of projects. We have a lot more volunteers to assign projects to! We named a robot, Neil... We’ve made appointments to work with a school district on our education kits, and begun the planning process for our upcoming video channel.
But we could still use your help! I’ve said over and over again throughout this campaign – that while everyone else was watching the first metric – money – that I was watching the second – backers! Even though this campaign has vastly exceeded my original hopes, there are still a couple goals I’d like to reach:
1) 3000 backers! Currently, we sit at 2423. I think this is the key to building our dreamed-of Elevators.
2) $80,000! We’re at $72,688 right now. We originally asked for $8,000 (which we surpassed before the Conference was over!). It would be great to say our community supported 10x that.
3) 1000 backers at the $8 “Card Carrying Supporter” level. (We’re over 700 now!)
Please, if you like what we’re doing, and what we stand for – tell three people that you’re backing this project. Tell them why you think it matters. Here’s a short link to the campaign: http://bit.ly/PIiqjR
Let’s “unlock humanity from the tyranny of gravity” – together! Thank you!
Michael J. Laine, President, LiftPort Group
The “Rings” Story
If you don't want to read the story, the images are posted here!http://www.liftport.com/gallery/album/31-cntsilver-alloy-wedding-rings/
The “Rings” Story
So about two years ago, two strangers sent me a message.
That’s not uncommon; I’m a pretty ‘public’ figure if you’re in the space/geek/advanced technology/science fiction community. What was unusual was that they tracked me down, personally. That’s a little harder. Most people - if they’ve heard of me at all - know me by my ‘persona’ as “The Space Elevator Guy”. In fact, I sometimes write that on name badges at conferences… People hardly ever know my actual name, nor my role in the project.
So this guy, Josh, sends me a message (I’ve edited parts of each of these three letters, for privacy considerations and, believe it or not, brevity...) :
In your last newsletter, you asked that anyone who was interested in buying carbon nanotubes email you. It's not a scientific application by any stretch of the imagination (unless you count the fact that my fiancé is a science major), but my fiancé and I were talking about getting carbon nanostring wedding bands. (Diamonds may be forever... -despite the fact they evaporate?-... but gold wears away fast.) So, what might be the cost of enough carbon nanostrings to make wedding bands out of?”
Here’s my response:
When I read your note below, I laughed. Not out of humor, but out of joy. I love that idea! Really, it’s amazing! Unfortunately, current state of the art is probably not as strong as you want… But I have a couple ideas.
Let me flip your question around on you – forget how much it might cost. I don’t think it’s realistic for you to purchase raw Carbon NanoTubes at ‘fair market value’. Quite frankly, it’s unlikely that you can afford it.
Let me know what a realistic budget is for you and your fiancé. If it’s possible at all, I’ll cap my charge to that number (even though it will likely exceed that. Consider the difference as my wedding present.)
If it is within my power, and it might not be – and if my idea works, and it might not – I will do whatever I can to get you your rings.
What’s your number? We are going to have to talk about this. I’m looking forward to chatting with you. If your fiancé knows about this, then we should probably include her in these conversations. I suspect that a ring of CNT will be unconventional, and we are going to have to talk about design and techniques available. It is probably NOT what you are thinking right now. So be prepared to be flexible and creative.
Please don’t talk to anyone about this. 1) I don’t know if it can be done. 2) If it can be done, I want you to have it first. 3) If you guys go through with it, expect your wedding to get mentioned on CNN… I’m not joking.
So we should talk.
Thanks for your interest in our project. Thanks for your brilliant and beautiful idea. And if it works, thanks for including my vision to change the world into your very personal lives. I don’t take that for granted.
Take care. mjl
Finally, here’s Josh’s reply.
First off, thank you very much for the offer. I was amazed actually that you made it. (What you're doing, both you and LiftPort, never cease to amaze me!)
And yes, my fiancé does know about this, I was talking to her about it when I initially emailed you at first, and she loves the idea. (As an FYI, we're both huge fans of the Space Elevator work, and plan to do whatever it takes be among the waves of pioneers going up once the elevators get running.)
I look forward to talking to you more,
Joshua (& Elizabeth looking over my shoulder and grinning.)”
What are the rings, exactly? Ok, so what are these things, anyway? I took Josh’s original request, but it was totally unworkable. Simply put, if I could make a ring like Josh wanted, I’d be able to build the complete Space Elevator… that tech is still a ways away.
Instead, I took silver, and melted Carbon Nanotubes into it. The temp needed for this is delicate. Some tubes burn up, while others mix into the silver ‘soup’. A metallurgist with 25 years in the field has said that the new alloy has some “interesting” properties. There is a strange ‘crystallization’ to the metal once it cools. We don’t really know why; or what this means. It needs study. There is other ‘stuff’ about this alloy which lead in some exciting directions, but as yet, we have not explored those.
In essence we’ve created a unique silver+carbon nanotube alloy. We would like to brand this material “Mithril” after J.R.R. Tolkien’s super-material in the Lord of the Rings… so far, the foundation’s branding people have not returned our calls. (According to their website, it’s an 8 week process.)
These are the notes that Josh left on the Kickstarter ‘comments’ page a couple days ago.
My wife and I were the ones who the prototype rings were made for (the ones at the $750 reward level). I suggest to *anyone* getting married sometime after today (or who at least hopes to) to hop on that one.
• Reason #1 - Use this line when you propose, "Many men promise their brides-to-be the stars. It's a very rare man that actually delivers." At which point you can explain the ring, and the potential bride is thusly wowed.
• Reason #2 - It REALLY shows that you're planning on a better world for your children - aka, you're awesome husband material.
• Reason #3 - Awesome conversation piece.
• Reason #4 - Someone shows off their gold ring, and you can say, "How quaint."
• Reason #5 - The working name for the metal is awesome. I won't say more without Michael's permission. But let's just say, the name is very... enchanting. When the people who see you hear what metal your ring is made of, they'll do a double-take and then demand more information.
• Reason #6 - There are very interesting properties to these rings that are fun to show off. Again, not going to go into detail without Michael's go ahead.
• Reason #7 - It's one thing to give a wedding ring to your loved one. It's a completely different thing to give a wedding ring to your loved one that's a piece of history.
• Reason #8 - Gold wears away easily, these rings may be able to be passed onto your great great grandkids.
What do you get?
So what do you get? The minimum ring set (yes, that’s been a question, you get two rings) is $2000. The price can climb from there, depending on how detailed the “fine” elements of the ring might be. Filigree is out; we can’t do it. The CNT creates pockets of impurities, and the alloy simply cracks. In thin lines, the CNT can’t mix with the silver. We learned this the hard way, through trial-and-error. So that means it’s a basic band. But it shines up beautifully. Silver typically tarnished quickly. Josh tells me that almost a year later, they’ve never had to shine their rings. We don’t know why…
So there have been questions about the price. I can’t set that, specifically, until we talk. If you want a lot of stones, that complicates things, and raises the price. If you want large stones, that simplifies things, and raises the price.
But here’s an important detail – if you have a maximum budget – like Josh+Liz had, we will work within it. I promise.
What does the deposit cover?
The deposit is a place-holder. Kickstarter needed a specific dollar amount for the category, but this ring didn’t fit that model. So the deposit is simply a placeholder. If, after we talk, we don’t wind up making your rings you will be refunded your deposit. However, the second stage requires hiring the metallurgist. Since she’s not on my team’s staff, we have to cover her expenses. So you MIGHT get charged $250 even if we don’t create the rings for you. You will get plenty of warning before this occurs.
How does this happen?
First, we’ll talk. You tell me about what you are looking for. We can do this all over the ‘net. I never met Josh+Liz, we didn’t need to. (Actually, I didn’t meet them until the day of their wedding. Forget cute little girls in frilly dresses – I was invited to be the ring bearer! It was a lot of fun!) Anyway, we didn’t need to meet in person, during the design and construction phase, and simplifies the process a lot. Show me pictures of styles you like. We’ll tell you which ones we can do. Then, if things look good, that’s when we bring in the metallurgist to start the true-blue design process, sizing, selecting stones and settings and that sort of thing. We’ll talk a lot during this step, take careful notes, and then we go to work to create something one-of-a-kind; made of the strongest material in the world…
There’s a secret…
I can’t reveal it yet. Maybe two or three… When I do, you’ll like it.
P.s. We're $410 away from $70,000, in case anyone was watching.
Campaign: The campaign is going amazing! We’ve got a ton of press, and more important, we’ve got YOU! There are now (almost) 2000 of YOU, and collectively YOU have committed over $60,000 to this project! This means so much to my team and I.
Camera: We got a small loan, so we can tackle some of the long-lead items quick. The first thing we did with the money you’ve entrusted to us, was to buy a really good camera. We want to chronicle our progress. As you can probably tell from the KC video, camera management, and post production is not a skill of mine…. But I’ll do my best. Maybe some of you would like to help with this?
News: O.k., so what’s new? Did you see that we were not only ON the list, but we were at the TOP of the list of Kickstarter campaigns that could destroy civilization? ;-) We’ve had more press than I ever imagined – our story has been translated into 7 languages! Here’s a sampling in case you want to catch up: Google Alerts
Education Kits: To be perfectly candid, our team (me especially) really thought that the three Education Kits were going to be ‘hot sellers’; that there would be a lot of people that wanted them. We (I) figured that this could be a great resource for students, and teachers – to teach important subjects in a way that was relevant to a real-world super-project… What could be cooler than that? Well, that hasn’t turned out to be correct.
BUT, my team and I still want to do them! We think they are important – not just to the project but to the people that will actually BUILD our beloved Elevators in space: the students these kits are aimed at. So we’ve looked at the success of the campaign, done our math, and decided that we are going to go ahead and eat some of the cost of developing these kits. We believe they are very important. So, to make this happen, we’ve cut the threshold from 15 down to 5 minimum orders. We really hope you guys take us up on this offer! Right now, the Lunar Kit has it’s threshold of 5 backers! So, even if you don’t actually want the Earth Elevator or the Tethered Tower kits – if you want to support this education, pick these two instead. We’ll get you whichever package you like when the dust settles.
They were set originally at 15 minimum backers before they were financially viable… But because our campaign has been so successful, we’ve decided that NO MATTER WHAT we are going to produce these! I’ve hired the woman that will produce these – and she’s already started! So even if you can’t afford to back this reward at the $300 level, you will still be able to purchase these kits for your local high school or Boys and Girls Club after the campaign concludes. You’ll be able to buy them without all the other goodies associated with the reward, and the price will be lower. I personally want these kits out into the world, so this is our commitment and gift to you folks!
Climbing Goals: Finally, we’ve made some decisions based on the (likely) goal of $100K. We now have a better handle on what this robot will be able to do, and what the experiment plan for the Tethered Towers looks like.
o 4 Meters – Double check rigging and inflation process. Ensure everyone knows their roles, operational code words, and who is supposed to be where, doing what, and that they timing of everything works. I expect this first session to be a chaotic nightmare. Remember, we are transferring knowledge (much of it has never been written down!) from the LiftPort 1.0 team, to the new, green, LiftPort 2.0 team. It’s gonna be a mess! ;-) At each level, we’ll test all components, telemetry, cameras and communications; and all aspects of the robotic “Lifter”.
o 70 Meters – Duration 2 hours – Pull on stuff and see if we can break it. Really. Find its tolerances. This is the max altitude we can hit before the FAA gets involved. Honestly, this will probably occur at my house. What we’ll do here is document the process of deployment and retraction. We’ll (re)create our safety and our process manuals. We’ll probably have to do this a couple times before we get it right.
o 350 Meters – No real science at this level, but it will get us practiced in deployment and retraction of the system. Believe it or not, pulling the system down is every bit as important and complicated as deployment. Again, we’ll add to our safety and process documents.
• 2 Kilometers
o All systems operational - This is where things get interesting! This is what we pledged to with the initial Kickstarter appeal. We consider this a minimum requirement. This is the only thing I’m committing to, right now. At this level, we will fulfill all the commitments we made in our campaign – altitude, cameras and “robots-eye-view” live-streaming. We’ll let you guys have the controls of the Pan-Zoom-Tilt cameras and broadcast our telemetry to the Internet. As we succeed with this level, we will increase altitude, duration and complexity.
o Jump! 1, 2, and 3 – So far no one has purchased our $10,000 reward to be the first to jump from the tallest (temporary) man-made structure in the world. But there are three crazy people that want to climb to the top and take a leap of faith. There’s been some questions about this – no, the robot is not strong enough to climb this Ribbon with a 250 lb person. So we will use the lift of the balloons to carry you to altitude – then it’s up to you to jump! We’ll do this 3 times – after all of the other requirements above are met. For each jump, we’ll have lights and streamers every 50 meters.
• 3 Kilometers
o All bets are off. We are in uncharted territory. At this point we’ll add weather monitor sensors and do research on a column of air. We think this is original work, and should provide very interesting data. Balloons could freeze, be then unable to expand, and burst. That could get entertaining… Robot motors could seize. We’re going to try to start this test at sea level, so that should reduce some of these problems, but that might not happen. So ya, all bets are off. But we’re aiming for this – and beyond!
• 5 Kilometers
o Quick test - If you thought I was concerned about 3km, I’m more so about 5km. This might take a couple attempts. I’m not sure where our budget will take us, but I’m pretty sure we can achieve this. Maybe the robot can’t make it, but the Tethered Tower technology should be alright. This quick test will be a ‘simple’ ‘up and down’ trip. We just want to get it to full altitude and do a systems check for integrity and telemetry. Once that’s complete, we push it to an endurance test of just a few hours, perhaps 3. We want to ‘cold-sink’ the system before we try to climb further. This may backfire. We are still thinking about this. We might switch places and do the cold-sink test at the next level.
• 6.2 Kilometers!
o Why this weird number? It’s 3.85 miles… any guesses? What if I give you a hint and say 20327 feet? This goal is completely arbitrary in terms of science. We will test our systems, and push the communications, telemetry and robotic functions to their limit. Why? Because we want to climb a mountain… figuratively. Mount McKinley is the tallest mountain in North America, and we want to build our Tethered Tower taller. Can we? We don’t know – it’s science! But we’re gonna try! Whatever happens its gonna be a heck of a show!
Michael J. Laine, President, LiftPort Group
So we’ve got $50,000! Now what?
First of all –THANK YOU! I know I’ve said that 500 times already and I’m certain I’ll say it 500 times more before this campaign concludes. But I mean it – Thank you.
We hit the $50k mark yesterday morning. I was excited! But you guys don’t know me very well (at all), so I think we should chat about who I am as a person, and how I run the LiftPort Group team. This impacts all the decisions that I make surrounding this project.
You see, “…people say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one...” Folks that don’t know us make assumptions about my team and I. Because we have the audacity to publicly declare that we can build a tower 2km high, then later an Elevator that drops down to the Moon, and then finally an Elevator that takes humanity to the stars; people assume that we must be visionary dreamers (or worse!). And we are visionary dreamers. But we are also ‘down-to-Earth’ pragmatic realists that know that project planning, infrastructure and methodical steps are the only way to accomplish our dream.
So rather than ‘go crazy’ with some rash statement about ‘shooting for the stars’ – which I know a lot of you expected; I paused; I let it sink in a little and then came up with a revised plan. Let’s face it, I was not expecting $50k. I expected $8k and I even expected $20k. I had plans and budgets and timelines for those levels. The rest of the stretch goals were vague generalities… From my operations and time-management perspective, there wasn’t any need to really invest time in those unless they were going to really happen. Right? So now I have to throw out my early budgets and plans, and build a bigger plan. And for that, again, I thank you! So that’s what I did yesterday; rather than ‘react’, I spent the day ‘planning’. The ‘Internet’ says we should hit $100k by the end of the campaign….
But I know some things that the ‘internet’ doesn’t know. 1) The US is essentially ‘shut-down’ for Labor Day weekend; so that trends our numbers down. Basically that means that 5 days of a 21 day campaign are going to be ‘low’ numbers in terms of commitments. We planned for that. No big deal. But there are 2 other things that the ‘internet’ doesn’t know. These are BIG things. If either of them happen before this campaign concludes, the press surrounding them will be sufficient to move us toward a much bigger dollar number… So I’m making a plan for $100; with my hopes high.
BUT – I really want you to ignore all of that. Really.
Please re-watch our campaign video… pay special attention between :50-1:20 seconds in. That is the focus of our entire effort.
This Kickstarter effort is not about the money. Yes, let’s be perfectly clear – my team deeply appreciates it. The project cannot move forward without cash in the checking account. But the point, the focus, of this campaign is on YOU. We need your active participation. So while $50,000 is a reason to celebrate, I focus on numbers of new backers. I focus on the folks signing up as members on the (still incomplete) LiftPort website and forum. I focus on the people supporting the concept.
So while most of the Kickstarter community, and let’s face it – the world – is paying attention to one metric (money), I think it is vitally more important to focus on the other metric (backers).
Why is that? Because all the other Kickstarter campaigns are focused on their specific end-goal: a dance recital, a film created and distributed, or a robot that walks and talks. And all that stuff is awesome! I really love the Kickstarter ecosystem for its creativity and ethos! But that’s not where we’re going… Our project is centered on a goal that is eight years away – an Elevator on the Moon. And this first Kickstarter campaign is the beginning point, not the end-state. Before we launched this campaign, I wrote an essay. It’s long, but I think if you really want to be a part of what we’re trying to achieve, that it is worth the read.
Would I like to reach $100k or more – you’re darn right I would!
But I’d rather we shift from 1723 backers to 2000 or 5000 or 10000! That would be a much greater sign of our long-term success. With $50k or $100k we can build a helluva robot experiment! But with 10,000 backers – even if they only committed a single dollar – we can build an Elevator in Space!
I’ve been criticized many times for the low $8000 minimum of this campaign. So let’s look at that a little closer… This specific Kickstarter effort is “one one thousandth of a percent” of the goal of $800M to build the Lunar Elevator.
Take a look at the $8 reward. There’s been a lot of talk about how our team carefully crafted our campaign – and it’s true, we really did work on the nuance of it. But when we were designing the reward levels I specifically set a target of 1000 backers at the $8 level. (We’re at 481 as I write this.) Briefly I had even considered just having a single reward level - $8 or nothing. (Obviously, I didn’t follow that path!)
And now for a bit of a reality check - We’ve had just about 33k views of the video, and that means about a 5% conversion from watching the video to becoming a backer. I’m very pleased with that conversion rate, but it obviously makes me ask the question – what was said or unsaid in the video that 19 out of 20 wouldn’t commit a dollar? Considering that we’ve had news articles translated into 7 languages this week, what fraction of the world read about our project and didn’t take the time to watch a three minute video? If this project is going to ultimately succeed then backers are the key. There are 7B people in the world. 3B have Internet access. 500M can read/speak English fluently. And we’ve had just 33k video views and less than 2000 commitments.
And that’s why I’m focused on the number of backers, because it is going to be you folks that change the world. And the Moon. And Mars… and everywhere else.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Meade.
So I’m excited about having $50k to run an experiment, but I’m focused on the backer number – because I want us to go en masse to space!
Michael J. Laine
President, LiftPort Group.