Cold Star Project

Jason Kanigan

The Cold Star Project digs into the challenges of scaling fast that tech and Space manufacturing founders encounter. Money does not solve all problems--so what now? Listen in to discover what scaling problems you'll be running into soon, and get a serious advantage in starting to solve them before they run you over!

Start Here
Paul Rulkens - How Do We Lead And Manage Smart People? - Cold Star Project S04E11
Sep 26 2022
Paul Rulkens - How Do We Lead And Manage Smart People? - Cold Star Project S04E11
High performance culture expert Paul Rulkens returns to the Cold Star Project, and this time we're discussing how to manage smart people. In "brain" organizations, people have strong opinions and they're often right. So how do you lead these intelligent, educated and strong willed people to achieve great results?   Cold Star Project host Jason Kanigan asks Agrippa Consulting founder Paul Rulkens:   What does “High Performance Culture” mean from Paul Rulkens’ perspective? How do you know when you have it / what’s the target to be aiming for? What does a “success environment” really mean? (is your performance management geared towards accelerating the best, or is it designed to gradually improve the average? This distinction is the secret to creating outliers.)   Regarding managing smart people… What % would you typically find “smart people” in organizations? Is it the same as “high performers”?  “Only small chunks of your own time matter”--let’s discuss.   What about people who will say something like, “I line up my tasks and appointments so that I have maximum impact every moment I can? Surely larger amounts of my time and attention matter more than that!”  Assuming we have an 80/20 Rule application here (maybe it’s more like 98/2) how do we apply this as leaders of smart people? What circumstances demonstrate this concept?   When you don’t know as much about the subject matter as the smart people around you, what should you do? How can you pull the best out of your smart team?    As the leader, how can you add value to verify the smart people on the team are thinking accurately? What are your three platinum questions when you lack knowledge of any subject matter, and how do you use them? If you’re not a subject matter expert, what can you coach your team on? What else can you do?   Smart people often disagree. What should you do as a leader if your team has disagreements?  Regarding Succession planning with smart individuals, what are the 5 actions you can take when important people leave?   USEFUL LINKS:   Past appearance of Paul Rulkens on the Cold Star Project:   Paul Rulkens website: Society:   Talk to Cold Star:
Paul Rulkens - How Do We Lead And Manage Smart People? - Cold Star Project S04E11
Sep 26 2022
Paul Rulkens - How Do We Lead And Manage Smart People? - Cold Star Project S04E11
High performance culture expert Paul Rulkens returns to the Cold Star Project, and this time we're discussing how to manage smart people. In "brain" organizations, people have strong opinions and they're often right. So how do you lead these intelligent, educated and strong willed people to achieve great results?   Cold Star Project host Jason Kanigan asks Agrippa Consulting founder Paul Rulkens:   What does “High Performance Culture” mean from Paul Rulkens’ perspective? How do you know when you have it / what’s the target to be aiming for? What does a “success environment” really mean? (is your performance management geared towards accelerating the best, or is it designed to gradually improve the average? This distinction is the secret to creating outliers.)   Regarding managing smart people… What % would you typically find “smart people” in organizations? Is it the same as “high performers”?  “Only small chunks of your own time matter”--let’s discuss.   What about people who will say something like, “I line up my tasks and appointments so that I have maximum impact every moment I can? Surely larger amounts of my time and attention matter more than that!”  Assuming we have an 80/20 Rule application here (maybe it’s more like 98/2) how do we apply this as leaders of smart people? What circumstances demonstrate this concept?   When you don’t know as much about the subject matter as the smart people around you, what should you do? How can you pull the best out of your smart team?    As the leader, how can you add value to verify the smart people on the team are thinking accurately? What are your three platinum questions when you lack knowledge of any subject matter, and how do you use them? If you’re not a subject matter expert, what can you coach your team on? What else can you do?   Smart people often disagree. What should you do as a leader if your team has disagreements?  Regarding Succession planning with smart individuals, what are the 5 actions you can take when important people leave?   USEFUL LINKS:   Past appearance of Paul Rulkens on the Cold Star Project:   Paul Rulkens website: Society:   Talk to Cold Star:
Marco Cross - Space From the Front Lines - Cold Star Project S02E92
Jun 20 2022
Marco Cross - Space From the Front Lines - Cold Star Project S02E92
Marco Cross recently completed his Masters degree in space engineering at Brown University, and is now Engineering & Commercialization Advisor at Cold Star Technologies. His experience includes developing and commercalizing products, chief engineer on satellite design projects, and commercial space launch.   Host Jason Kanigan and Marco Cross discuss:   Topic: SBUDNIC satellite Mission overviewLearnings from building a multidisciplinary team Learnings from super lean/super fast construction   Topic: Lightweight hardware prototyping/process Industrial design process in the context of mechanical/space engineeringUse what’s available, not what’s theoretically bestPrototyping always starts with good learnings up front -I’ve seen a lot of people fail because they get super far down the process without front-end validation   Topic: Selling space, talking about the dream of exploration Why selling the idea of space is importantNASA budgets are shrinking relative to GDPIs space recession proof?   Topic: Future of space engineering as I see it Smallsats take over large satellitesMore COTS -Constellation-based sensing overtakes large singular sensing systems, like JWSTMachine learning processing necessary for interpolation of dataFuture areas that need articulation/opportunities for innovation in space.    USEFUL LINKS:   SBUDNIC article by Brown University:   Transporter Launch video:   Marco’s video "Space Engineering Is Hard And Here’s Why":   OpEx Society:   Get new episodes directly in your inbox:   Talk to Cold Star:
Adam Anderson - Should I Be Looking To Fire Myself As A Space Or Defense Founder? - CSP S03E19
Jan 20 2022
Adam Anderson - Should I Be Looking To Fire Myself As A Space Or Defense Founder? - CSP S03E19
Venture capitalist Adam Anderson got into the space industry by way of cybersecurity. He knows what it takes to start up successful businesses--and when to get out of your own way as the founder so the business can grow further. Host Jason Kanigan asks Adam: How did you get involved in space investing? What was your journey to get to now?What level have you been involved in in space investing? (company size, maturity level at start/end, pre/post revenue) Has there been an evolution in your choices? What “brutal lessons” have you learned by being a space industry investor? What’s the most frustrating thing you keep seeing?  - How important is the tech when the leadership of a startup is pitching you?What’s the thing you keep banging your head against the wall about, wishing people would have ready to bring to you when they come to pitch?Is there a consistently encountered hurdle when moving from pre- to post-revenue? Anything blocking the move from zero to one?What have you noticed that indicates to you a startup team will be successful? And a failure? What is present or missing?From your perspective, is there light at the end of the tunnel⏤is it likely that space industry startups will begin to be developed and funded any time soon as, say, SaaS companies do today?   USEFUL LINKS:   Ansuz Capital website:   OpEx Society:   Get new episodes directly in your inbox:   Talk to Cold Star:
Nicolas Chaillan - What’s Happening With DevSecOps In The DoD? - Cold Star Project S04E09
Dec 21 2021
Nicolas Chaillan - What’s Happening With DevSecOps In The DoD? - Cold Star Project S04E09
Nicolas Chaillan is the past Chief Software Officer for the US Space Force and Air Force. He lead a number of software initiatives in the US Department of Defense (DoD) and has demonstrated an impressive ability with project and change management. Host Jason Kanigan asks Nic: For those who haven’t heard of you yet, please give us the highlights of your DoD involvement and CSO experience How did you make the move to becoming a US citizen and becoming employed by the state in important roles? Can you explain DevSecOps for those outside the tech field? Why is it important and how have you contributed to US national security and administrative effectiveness with it? You’ve made no secret of the cultural and change management issues inside DoD that frustrated your work. This was what really caught my attention, as such issues are found in nearly all large organizations and are the kinds of problems I’ve seen up close for over 20 years as a change agent and OpEx guy. Can you share with us some stories exemplifying these problems, and what you recommend to improve the situation? The Waterfall vs Agile development methodology argument has been going on for some time. But according to yourself and other DoD officials I’ve spoken with, one has clearly outperformed the other and “actually works”. What has your experience been and why do you so strongly promote the methodology? You’ve repeatedly sounded the alarm about TikTok: what’s the problem with this app and why is it a danger to Americans? The tech we’re talking about--logistical and operational, decision making, infrastructure security--has a huge impact and yet is operating at a level out of sight of the general public. In a perfect world according to Nicolas, how do you see the strategic direction of US effort being applied to reach the operational state you envision? Let’s paint that picture.   USEFUL LINKS:   Link for Platform One, Iron Bank, Big Bang and more:   OpEx Society:   Get new episodes directly in your inbox:   Talk to Cold Star:
Eric Felt - What Is The State of Space And US National Security With AFRL/NM? - CSP S02E89
Dec 1 2021
Eric Felt - What Is The State of Space And US National Security With AFRL/NM? - CSP S02E89
Director of the Air Force Research Lab/New Mexico's Space Vehicles Directorate Col. Eric Felt joins us for a discussion of US national security and the state of the space industrial base on this episode of the Cold Star Project. Host Jason Kanigan asks Col. Felt: In your talk earlier this year at the National Security State of the Space Industrial Base 2021 event you termed the US position as “tactically strong, strategically fragile”. Can you explain in more depth what you meant?In the same talk you mentioned you’re “hearing all the right words but not necessarily seeing the right investment”--budgeting hasn’t changed in the past 5 years (How about an increase from the current 20% of DoD authority invested in purchasing commercial goods & services?). What does this translate into for action, outreach, dialogue, partnerships and more?What should DoD’s or AFRL’s Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) / North Star be for the immediate future?How valuable would you say improvements made leading DoD to make faster decisions would be?It’s easy to run around like Chicken Little, exclaiming the sky is about to fall. How big a threat is China, really? What should we be watching for on the military side?What new developments at AFRL NM can you share with us?    USEFUL LINKS:   AFRL/NM website:   State of the Space Industrial Base 2021 Report (download link at bottom of page):   OpEx Society:   Get new episodes directly in your inbox:   Talk to Cold Star:
Shelli Brunswick - How Does Advocacy And Mentorship Influence The Space Industry? - CSP S02E88
Nov 17 2021
Shelli Brunswick - How Does Advocacy And Mentorship Influence The Space Industry? - CSP S02E88
The COO of Space Foundation, Shelli Brunswick, is our guest on this episode of the Cold Star Project. After a successful Air Force career Shelli has taken on many mentorship and influencer roles in the space industry. But how impactful are advocacy and mentorship roles in space? Host Jason Kanigan asks: Tell us about Space Foundation’s missionWhat have been your biggest challenges as Chief Operating Officer of Space Foundation? What has surprised you?Where do you see Space Foundation’s role directing activity for the next decade, and how do you intend to carry that out?What’s the long term goal of the Space4Women Network you’re a Mentor with? Can you share a story of how it has worked so far?You’re Chairperson of the Space Tourism Society Africa...tell us about the organization, how it formed and how you got involved...and how you believe it’s having an effectYou’re also Chairperson of the Women In Aerospace Foundation. With your involvement in all these existing organizations, do you believe it’s best to advocate for women in aerospace this way, or is there a need for a new organization that doesn’t yet exist? Something that would address a hole you see in the industry’s needs?   USEFUL LINKS:   Space Foundation website:   Space4Women website:   Women In Aerospace Foundation website: Society:   Get new episodes directly in your inbox:   Talk to Cold Star: