Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterVisit Us On LinkedinVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On Instagram

How fat Teddy Bears are like Space Shuttles

How fat Teddy Bears are like Space Shuttles

My friend Jason Hogg recently told a story about a conversation with his son.  His son asked this question:

“Daddy, why don’t we just take the Space Shuttle to Mars?”

Jason: “Son, yes, the Space Shuttle is a spaceship, but going to Mars is a lot more complicated than that.  Let me tell you why.”

Like space travel, startups are more complicated than they seem.  Most aren’t NASA complicated, but they aren’t simple either.  I find that when someone starts a sentence with “Why don’t you just…?“, they are typically indicating a lack of understanding of the complexity of something.

Here’s a silly but germane example.  At a recent Cornell Hockey game, there was a fundraiser and gift collection where the fans were asked to either buy or bring a stuffed animal to be donated to a local children’s charity.  For most people, it meant spending $5 as you walked into the stadium, and tossing this little guy over the glass partition at the end of the game:

Little Big Red Teddy Bear 2014 December Hockey

Some generous person decided to donate a huge bear.  It was initially part of the display in the lobby to get the attention of attendees. I can hear someone saying, “Why don’t we just toss the Big Big Red Teddy Bear over the partition?”.  The result was not so elegant:

[blox_video title=”” image=””]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yVDZqi2M94#t=21[/blox_video]

In summary: Getting the little bear over the glass, and getting the space shuttle into orbit are a lot less complicated than getting the huge bear over the glass, and a spaceship to Mars.  Next time you hear “Why don’t you just…?“, be wary.


Jason, your Father of the Year gift can be picked up here: