Building Space Infrastructure With Tim Chrisman

Building Space Infrastructure With Tim Chrisman

Last Updated on December 23, 2020

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About Tim Chrisman

I am a bit of an oxymoron. I was born and raised in rural Alaska, but hate hiking; was a Military Intelligence officer while in the Army…and well that is the punchline. Over the past three years I have realized that by leaning into those contradictions I can make cool stuff happen. For instance – I am someone who reflexively believes anything in science fiction is doable, but I designed and sell a nutritional supplement. I merged the best of nature and science into something useful. I am doing something similar with my current venture – the Foundation for the Future; a nonprofit dedicated to making space boring.

About Foundation for the Future

The Foundation for the Future is a nonprofit with a single goal: get the Federal government to partner with industry to build space infrastructure. Not just the fancy gadgets you see in movies, but the boring stuff. The equivalent of highways, power lines and sewer treatment plants. I started the Foundation because I realized that I could sit and wait forever for ‘someone’ to get busy and make space accessible; OR I could do something about it. It might not be the right thing; it might not work. But I could try. And along the way I would meet people, learn more, and ultimately figure out how I could make a different in getting people to space.

Why did I care about getting people to space? Well the short, and honest answer is that my daughter LOVES space. Like space wallpaper, dressed as an astronaut for Halloween, designed a space elevator at age 6… that much. Well she wants to go to space, but once she found out that government astronauts have to get shots she decided she wouldn’t go to space until she could do it without getting more shots. So here I am… building space access for all because my daughter doesn’t want a shot.


How Does Your Company Grow And Acquire New Customers?

We are in a weird position because our customers are members of Congress and members of the executive branch of government; but realistically our customer acquisition process is probably similar to many other companies: we make a good product and then pitch pitch pitch pitch and pitch that product some more. We talk about it everywhere we can, to anyone who will listen, and at all hours of the day.

What Actionable Tips And Tricks Do You Have For New Founders Who Are Looking To Get Their First Thousand Users Or Dollars?

Ask for feedback. Ok maybe I should back up a bit.
Step 1: Just start. Whatever it is, just start with the dumbest, smallest, most embarrassing version of what you want to do.
Step 2: Ask people for feedback. What they might do differently or better. Ask everyone you can find. Don’t ask them to buy your product; just to try it. And honestly ask for improvements.
Step 3: Decide what feedback you can use; what you will use, and what you won’t. This is the most important step because you need to be able to describe to your original testers, and your next wave of customers/testers WHY changes were made. And from this your brand identity begins to take shape.
Step 4: Repeat steps 1-3.

By the second time you repeat these steps you will be more confident in who your company is. Where your product can go, and will probably have several dozen people who you can turn to when you want advice. Those people will start telling others about how you actually listened to their advice and that will spawn a new generation of interest.

What’s The Craziest Thing That’s Happened To You (Good Or Bad) On Your Founder Journey?

We have had a number of people offer to help us, whether with time, money or introductions; and one of those people had a tiger. Well…I think he did.

What Are Your Favorite Books?

Anything about the future. I read about 4 books a week, and currently I am reading ‘The Case for Space’ (Zubrin), HALO Shadows of Reach (Denning) and ‘Scale’ (West). I try and read books that have at least a 5-10 year time horizon and LOVE books that predict the future; because right or wrong; at least they made a call and that is exactly what I want to be doing.

Anything You’d Like To Plug?

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