I was supposed to pursue an aerospace engineering degree. Woops.
I was supposed to get Helio Space off the ground this summer. Woops.
I changed my major to computer science. I’m rather surprised myself by this decision, but looking back, it’s actually been months in the making. Last semester I was constantly lamenting the lack of space-oriented classes in the aerospace space track curriculum (there are three I would take, consisting of ~6% of all my classes). I spoke with a friend and mentor about pursuing computer science, and he encouraged me to do it. So I added it as a second major.
That was at the start of the summer. For the next couple of months, every time I played with my coursework track I found myself excited for the CS classes, and dreading the non-space aero classes. So I decided to switch, and I’m happy with my decision as it stands. Here are some of the reasons I came up with over the past few months that played a role in convincing me:
I want to be involved outside of school. If I stayed aero I’d have no life balance. CS requires fewer credits, so more time for everything else!
CS = $20k+ more than aerospace. So you’re telling me I can do less work in school and make more money?
More opportunities in the space industry. Word.
It’s more entrepreneurial. I actually am interested in more than just space, and it’s easier to apply CS to other entrepreneurial projects.
And finally, I like it. This is probably the most important part. I really do enjoy it.
All said, I fully intend to stay in the space industry. And with that said, I’m now going to talk about how I’m moving out of the space industry.
Stopping a Startup
Okay, calling Helio Space a startup may be a stretch, but I did put a significant amount of time into setting up customer meetings, general planning, and research. With Helio Space I wanted to make a laser communications package and ground network for small satellites. Turns out, the problem I wanted to solve with this is being solved right now and in the near future by companies essentially doing Ground Stations-as-a-Service (GSaaS! Can I claim that acronym?). I still think it’s an awesome idea. To expand civilization into the solar system, laser communications is essential. However, the near-term business model is insufficient, so I’m putting it on pause.
I need to be working on something this summer, however, and I’ve stumbled across what I think is a simple and great idea. Its core is found in three “arguments”, specifically:
We don’t have enough valuable social interactions.
And we want more valuable interactions.
Social media is a good way to maintain contact with friends.
But we want to do more than maintain, we want to develop relationships.