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I never felt any issues whatsoever about being a woman in Tech.
– Gwynne Shotwell
After I finished my master’s degree, I moved to a company called Aerospace Corporation, a big think tank for the U.S. Air Force and the National Reconnaissance Office.
I do want to make something clear: SpaceX does have a lot of government business, but we execute in a commercial fashion.
An important skill for all SpaceXers is the ability to accept critical feedback. This is key to anyone’s growth and becoming better at what they do.
I remember in third grade, I asked my mom, ‘How does an engine work?’ So my mom bought me a book.
If you’re not looking toward the future or trying to improve the current technology, you’ll be left behind.
Consolidating to the point of monopoly has never served the consumer – ever.
For whatever reason, college was just not a huge focus for me. I wasn’t planning ahead. I just didn’t think about it too much.
SpaceX is a flat organization. Anyone gets to talk to anyone, and the best idea wins – even if it comes from an intern.
What would air travel look like if airplanes were thrown out after each flight? No one would be flying in airplanes.
There was a lot of risk taken in the Mercury and Apollo eras, and we don’t take those risks anymore. We’ve designed the systems to eliminate risk, which makes it take forever and cost too much money.
I left Aerospace because I wanted to go build, and put spacecraft together.
I always encourage employees to feel free to raise any issues that prevent them from getting good work done.
I don’t like to camp. Early on, Mars is going to be camping. I think there are people far better suited to do that than me. But when the first Holiday Inn Express shows up, maybe I’ll go.
From my perspective, it’s really risk management to ensure that humans have the ability to go somewhere else in case there were to be some huge disaster on Earth.
I saw what government programs were and how they were executed. In some cases, they were executed beautifully, but in others, there was tremendous waste.
You can’t be on the cusp of innovation and at the forefront of technology if you’re wearing blinders. If you don’t have an exploration program where you’re exploring your world here on Earth, underwater, and in space, then you’re wearing blinders and handicapping yourself.
The key is to join an industry that you have a passion for. If you love cars, then automotive is where you should end up.
I’d love to go to space. I would love to peek out a giant window and look back at the blue marble. There’s no question; I’d love to do that.