i’ve surveyed Xprize media several times.. i’ll be criticized for alienating the very people i’m reaching out to.. That’s a risk i must take for telling the truth, as i see it.. ^^ The concept for Xprize is admirable. It stimulates innovation and claims efficiency – that part i question. Obviously, i can’t question the numbers – for instance – how much investment has occurred in space-tourism resulting from the original Xprize.. The part i question is about the efficient development of great ideas. And access to resources for other great ideas. ^^ Let’s take the original Xprize as an example and round numbers just for convenience. Let’s say we had 10 teams working on 10 different ways to get to space. It’s a great way to stimulate innovation but hardly efficient if we consider the resources used on all teams that failed (to win) as total resources spent for attaining the prize. After all, those resources used were not free; somebody had to pay for those efforts. Certainly not the Xprize sponsors or staff but somebody. Certainly, many usable innovations resulted from non-winning teams but they did not receive the bulk of space-tourism investments. There’s huge inequity going on. The winner gets the attention, the prize itself, and future sponsors. All teams required a sizable investment of personnel and resources toward the goal. Only the winner gets payback. The ‘business model’ of Xprize seems great on the surface but only about results and for the winner. Everything else has serious drawbacks: encourages divisiveness and negative competition (destructive business relationships), envy and resentment for the winner, great expenditures (throwing away resources) for losing teams, and most importantly: no resources allocated for other great ideas. Ideas like a fusion engine for space applications.
Let’s ‘get real’ and be honest ;) i’m basically nobody with no ‘elite connections’ like Bob Zubrin or Peter Diamandis. My enthusiasm for space cannot be outdone but.. Enthusiasm does not make valuable connections, attract investment, nor does it inspire participation. i’m just a technician with some interesting ideas.. Of course, i don’t see myself that way but.. i sincerely doubt Bob or Peter see me any better.. In fact, i’d guess they view me more as a ‘dangerous annoyance’ ;) Let’s attempt to test that theory ;)
Instead of supporting or believing in Xprize as a viable solution / business model for future innovation, let’s propose another model ;) Before that, i need to point out the worst consequence of the Xprize model not explicitly listed above: it does not encourages cooperation/collaboration. Competition is the opposite of cooperation. Competition does not foster a cooperative atmosphere. Competition does not foster collaboration. Let’s invent a new ‘Xprize’ perhaps calling it oo-prize ;) ‘oo’ coming from cooperation ;) So.. the oo-prize will be awarded for innovations resulting from productive cooperation / collaboration :) Is this not more efficient than the original Xprize? Is this not a more sustainable business model for the future? ;) Conceptually, the answer is clear: cooperation is far more efficient than competition. The real question is: can we put aside our egos, selfishness, greed, desire to squash the competition, and focus on the goal? Space.
i beg humanity: put aside your egos, put aside your selfish agendas, put aside any ethnic or nationalistic concerns, put aside your pet projects (unless they foster collaboration/cooperation), and embrace holism / cooperation / collaboration. Let’s develop fusion for space travel. Let the ‘winners’ be the first team to collaborate producing a working prototype :) ^^ Let’s make this ‘official’: i publicly propose the creation of an oo-prize to be awarded to the first collaborative team to develop a working fusion engine prototype usable for space applications. ^^ My recent point to family was that: if we develop this technology based on greed/exploitation, it will certainly be fraught with disaster and repeated failure.. Only if we develop it based on our collective desire to reach the stars – only then will it be successful.
Video version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRFgwLa3jrs