Dyson: Commercial Space Ready for Private Equity But Not Institutional Venture Capital

Steve Forbes has a Q&A with XCOR and SpaceX investor Esther Dyson, who has some thoughts about the growing entrepreneurial space industry:

Dyson: On the space side I think it’s not, you know, it’s not ready for institutional venture capital yet. But it’s ready for private equity. I think some of these companies will make real money for their investors over time. And of course they’ll bring real pleasure to their customers.

They can afford to take more risks than government. And they also can just operate more efficiently and quickly, and trial and error is really the best way to do a lot of this stuff. And the government can’t afford error, unfortunately.

Read the full interview.

  • Michael Turner

    No kidding, Esther.

    Listen to Floyd Kvamme, Partner (now Emeritus) at Kleiner-Perkins, certainly a top-drawer mind, not just a top-drawer VC. He used to say “I’ll take a technology risk, but I won’t take a marketing risk.”

    I’m very encouraged by what’s happening in commercial passenger spaceflight. But nobody should pretend that the marketing risks aren’t still huge. We don’t know what happens to these markets (sub-orbital and orbital being, I think, very distinct segments) if a paying customer gets crippled or killed.