Elon Musk, Space Travel, and the Impact on the Tech Industry–Futurum Tech Podcast
by Olivier Blanchard | January 24, 2020

In this episode of the Futurum Tech Podcast, analysts Olivier Blanchard, Shelly Kramer, and Sarah Wallace discuss Elon Musk’s grand plan for sending people to Mars — and the impact space travel will have on the tech community, the tech workforce, cloud and satellite providers and more. We also discuss Microsoft and Samsung teaming up to bring back the Walkie Talkie, Tile’s lawsuit against Apple alleging anti-competitive practices, Google’s online coding course designed to train workers for tech jobs, and Mojo Vision and augmented reality for contact lenses and Visa’s acquisition of Plaid.

Our Main Dive

Elon Musk and his plan for sending people to Mars. The first SpaceX Starship orbital prototypes aren’t yet built but Elon Musk already has big plans. The other night on Twitter, Elon Musk revealed his aggressive (and what seems to be becoming more real) plan to colonize Mars. In fact, Musk’s goal is to put a million people on the planet by 2050.

What does this mean for the tech sector? Similar to preparations for Y2K, there will likely be niche services/vendors for Mars colonization. For example, satellite services that cater to Earth/Mars communications or software that helps with Mars-specific tasks and monitoring. Musk says that this effort will create a lot of jobs. In terms of the tech workforce, will be there be a sudden surge in students becoming space engineers? Or young people training to become astronauts? Will the tech community have to adjust their focus and resources?

As mentioned earlier, Musk doesn’t want to just send a few people to Mars, he wants to send a bunch. He shared a goal of building 100 starships per year to send about 100,000 people from Earth to Mars every time the planets’ orbits line up favorably. In our conversation, we explore what this might mean for the tech industry, its impact on manufacturing, the fact that there will be no legacy systems to deal with, and how cloud providers and satellite providers have a prime opportunity for a new market focus. We also touched on the realities of climate change, the cultural impact of colonizing a new planet, and all kinds of other interesting stuff.

Our Fast Five

We dig into this week’s interesting and noteworthy news:

  • Microsoft and Samsung team up to bring back the walkie talkie helping with enterprise mobility and adding to their continued competitive effortshe against Slack.
    On Sunday, Samsung introduced the Galaxy XCover Pro, a smartphone with a push-to-talk button that initiates a chat using Microsoft’s Teams app. It’s a joint effort by the two tech giants to get their mobile technology in the hands of more workers who spend their days and nights navigating hospital hallways, supermarket aisles and airplane cabins.
    Samsung is the No. 2 seller of smartphones in the U.S. behind Apple, which has built its lead with the help of enterprise functionality like security and identity management. Microsoft has largely given up on handsets and ditched its smartphone operating system, but the company still has a big play in mobile through its cloud-based Office 365 suite, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Teams.
    Reinventing the walkie talking with push button functionality, allowing people to communicate through the Microsoft Teams app — it’s smart. Our analyst, Daniel Newman, covered that in more detail in his article: Samsung XCover Pro + Microsoft Teams = Retail Workforce Innovation if you’d like a deeper dive.
  • Smaller rivals are now joining the growing chorus singing “Break up Big Tech’s Monopoly.”
    Tile was but one of four companies testifying at the latest hearing of the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee meeting in Colorado last week, urging Congress to take a look at how companies like Apple use companies who choose to participate in their ecosystem, then use their power to develop competing technology that, in many instances, can destroy smaller companies. Apple is accused of doing this to Tile, a maker of an app that was carried both in the app store and in Apple stores since 2015. Apple even showcased the Tile tech at an annual event in 2018. But just a few months later, Tile’s execs learned through the media that Apple was launching a competitive hardware product and a service eerily similar to that offered by tile.
    Apple is alleged to have repeatedly done this, Amazon does this on the regular. And before online companies were the norm, Walmart has long been accused of watching sales data for popular products, creating their own prototypes, then no longer carrying the original product.
  • Google launches online coding course in Python to train workers for tech jobs.
    As the tech industry continues to change the workforce for American workers, Google says that it wants to prepare them for jobs in the industry. On Thursday, Google announced a new course in coding language Python, which is a key skill that many employers are looking for.
    The program is called Google IT Automation with Python Professional Certificate, and will be available through the online education service, Coursera. The six-week program is focused on beginner-level Python and will end in a final project focused on programming for automation. Google also said that it will fund 2,500 need-based scholarships related to IT training through Google. Org, its philanthropic arm.
  • Mojo Vision puts augmented reality screen on contact lens.
    Invisible computing is a thing, and it’s kind of interesting. At this year’s CES event, Mojo Vision revealed a smart contact lens with a tiny built-in display that lets users view augmented reality images. On the screen. In front of your eyeballs. Kind of like what you see if you have heads up display in your car. The downside? Hard contacts. Ewww. Not comfortable.
  • Visa’s acquisition of Plaid.
    It could be a five plus billion dollar bet on the future finance and was a really smart move on Visa’s part.  The thing about Plaid is that you probably are using Plaid’s API and you just don’t know it. And if you use Venmo, if you use a variety of online payment systems, perhaps even your own banking system and you log on to do online banking, chances are good that Plaid is powering that. Today, Plaid has an 11,000 bank and financial services companies covering 200 million consumer accounts. They’re providing connections for 80% of the largest U.S. Fintech apps, which is 80% of the largest apps.

Tech Bites

Intrepid analyst Olivier Blanchard presented a story about activist group Avaaz, who discovered that some of the biggest companies in the world are unknowingly funding climate misinformation by advertising on YouTube. Avaaz’s research found more than 100 brands, including Samsung, L’Oreal, and Decathlon who had ads running before and during YouTube videos on the site that were actively promoting climate misinformation.

“This is not about free speech, this is about the free advertising YouTube is giving to factually inaccurate videos that risk confusing people about one of the biggest crises of our time,” said July Deruy, a senior campaigner at the group. More on that story here: YouTube ads of 100 top brands are funding a client misinformation study.

Crystal Ball: Future-um Predictions and Guesses

In the Crystal Ball segment of the show, we always circle back to discuss the main dive topic. In this case, we predict what’s going to happen with space travel. When will we see the first people on Mars? Our answers might surprise you.


Oliver Blanchard: Welcome to this week’s edition of FTP, the Futurum Tech Podcast. I’m Olivier Blanchard, Senior Analyst with Futurum Research. And joining me today are fellow analysts, Shelly Kramer and Sarah Wallace. And we are going to start today’s show with a discussion about the impact that the next space race will have on the technology space. Then we’ll share some of our favorite tech stories of the week in our fast five segments, followed by tech bites in which we highlight one of the biggest tech related fails of the week. And we will end the show as always with our crystal ball. And it goes without saying, before we begin, that this show is intended for informational purposes only and no advice or insights provided here, no matter how great they might sound, should be taken as investment advice.

So without further ado, big topic today. We are apparently going to Mars. Mr. Elon Musk has outlined a plan to build, what is it, like a hundred spaceships a year, and then send a million people to Mars and essentially just waits until the planets are perfectly aligned to do these massive launches and just start a huge colony by 2025. I mean, Oh, I’m sorry, 2050. 2025 would be a little early. So Sarah, welcome to the podcast. I think it’s your first time here.

Sarah Wallace: It is. Thanks for having me. I’m glad to be joining.

Olivier Blanchard: So welcome. Yes. So I was, yeah, I’d love to hear your kind of first impression when it comes to Elon’s big plan.

Sarah Wallace: Yeah, sure. So Elon, when he has a mission, he is pretty diligent about following through with it. He’s very driven inventor, entrepreneur. And last night on Twitter he was answering some questions. So SpaceX has been developing its Starship, which is to be transporting people to Mars. And he had sort of a Q&A on Twitter last night.

And Darrell Etherington, who is a journalist for Tech Crunch and specializes in space tech, and he did a really good article the other day kind of summarizing the banter that he had with I guess anyone just kind of throwing questions at him and some of the big numbers he gave here. So he really wants to do, as you were saying, eventually have 100 flights per year carrying over 100 tons of cargo. I’m sorry, it’s 1000 flights per year per vehicle and each will be covering 100 tons of cargo and also can be carrying up to 100,000 people. And his goal is to eventually colonize Mars and have about a million people from earth on Mars by 2050. And he said that this can be really anyone that wants to go. And his goal is to make this common enough so that everyone can afford to go. And then he’s guaranteeing that there will be lots of jobs on Mars.

But as an analyst who’s been following tech for a couple of decades now, I’m looking at how the possibility of how this is going to affect the tech sector, not just jobs for people who get to Mars, but also those who are kind of supporting the travel to space and the different categories. So one would be the satellite providers. Once we get to Mars or on route to Mars, I guess it takes about 115 days to travel there, will the satellite providers be stepping in and kind of vying to be sort of the key communications for the Starship and for the colonists manufacturing? Obviously Elon’s plan is to, because I’m imagining this first wave of people going to Mars are going to be kind of worker bees and setting up infrastructure. So I also see the manufacturing industry kind of vying for to have sort of quote space ready materials. And in conjunction with satellite providers, I also see the big cloud players stepping up and saying, “Hey, in order to support all these operations on Mars, you’re going to need applications. And we can work with satellite providers to have these applications as a service.”

And then once you get there, the kind of cool notion about colonizing a planet from scratch is that we’re always talking about having legacy applications that we need to upgrade. And here’s a way to start from scratch. And so, when we talk about smart cities, everything is probably going to be smart because we can start with brand new sensors and we don’t have to deal with legacy systems. So I’m really interested to see, especially in the next five years.

And I know some people view colonizing Mars as this sort of way off goal, but Elon Musk is, this year he’s going to start to be testing on the Starship. And as we know, he’s all very driven about his ideas. And this is something I think will be coming to fruition sooner than some people think. And I’m very interested to see how it’s going to affect the tech industry. Is it going to be the paradigm shift in terms of our resources? Is it going to create this new revenue stream, which would be great for a lot of tech companies. And does this mean our training and education will have a shift as well?

Olivier Blanchard: Absolutely. And yes to all that. So Shelly, your take on this. And feel free to kind of elaborate too on the impact that you think it’s going to have on, like the generational impact for a challenge this far in advance, that it’s going to have on the direction that tech might start to take.

Shelly Kramer: You know, I just think the whole concept is really fascinating. And I think that when I look at this, I love all of your thoughts about the technology impact, Sarah. And by the way, welcome. Sarah is one of our newest analysts. We’re so excited to have you as part of our team. And when I told Olivier that it was going to be you and I on the podcast, that he was so excited to have a threesome. And it just all went downhill from there.

So anyway, going back, what I think about is the societal implications. And I think that we look at everything that’s going on around us with regard to climate change and how it’s predicted that we’re going to see more violent storms and wildfires and volcanic eruptions and all of these very catastrophic things, we’re going to see more of this with more regularity. And it’s hard to believe that that’s not a factor. And so when I think about life in the future and I’m imagining what that’s going to be like, I’m thinking about a world where we all live inside all the time. And just like some of the sci-fi films that we all kind of grew up watching and things like that. And because I think that at some point in time there’s going to be an inhabitability factor. I think that’s a very cool word by the way. So I think about that.

And then I think about how much sense it makes to be exploring space in this way and to be thinking in big ways like this. And I think that it’s outside of the realm of what a concept that a lot of people can grasp. It seems like really far away and like, “Oh yeah, sure, maybe that’ll happen someday.” But the reality of it is when you start doing, I know Sarah, you’re kind of into this topic, but when you start doing research about space exploration, some of the most wealthy people on the planet are all in. And I think there’s a reason for that. I think that the people who, by the way, some of the wealthiest and some of the smartest people are very interested in this. And I think that there’s a reason for that. And I think that there are sustainability issues with regard to our planet that we have to be considering. And I think that looking at other planets makes perfect sense. So that’s the cultural part of it fascinates me as does the, you know, what does this do? How do our kids think about this?

You know, Olivier, you have 20 somethings, right? I will say that when I was a 20 something, I was not even remotely spending any time thinking about what was going to happen in 20 or 30 years. I was way too busy doing other things, mostly parenting. So in case you think that it was a wild partier. I have 14 year olds, I’m constantly talking to them about the importance of tech as part of their education. I’m constantly trying to tell them in a way so as not to alarm them, but that I’m trying to make sure they understand that jobs as they might know it based on their experiences or based on what they see on TV or whatever, like jobs are going to be so completely different and opportunities are going to exist for people who love change and who love learning and who understand math and science and who really go all in on that. And so, it’s great that you want to be a vet or whatever it is you think you want to be. But this is kind of an urgent thing in terms of we do so much work in the technology space as it relates to automation and how that’s going to affect the workforce. So I just think it’s a technology standpoint, it’s fascinating.

And from a cultural standpoint, it’s fascinating, from generational standpoint. So what about you, Olivier?

Olivier Blanchard: Well, I think we’re facing so many huge, huge and permanent challenges here on earth between definitely a very quickly changing climates and also the future of work being a huge question mark with smart automation and robotics and a lot of jobs potentially disappearing, a lot of people being displaced. And then even just governments and democracies are in turmoil, right? So you have all these different things happening at the same time that are probably going to get worse before they get better. And I think that the next generation is going to be faced with some very hard choices and maybe fewer opportunities that our generation had to go out in the world and do whatever you want. And I think that in a strange way, and this isn’t really a tech discussion, but it’s more of a societal and kind of culture discussion.

I think that these shifts coming at the same time as Elon Musk and other visionaries and other companies will follow with colonizing the moon and creating this whole new industry and culture of humans in space. You’re going to have moon dwellers, you going to have Mars dwellers, you’re going to have maybe space station dwellers somewhere in between. I think it’s going to have a radical change on the next generation and especially the opportunity of being like one of the first million to learn a skill, get a job, put on a uniform, be part of something so big, so important that’s also job security, financial security. It’s a future. And so it’s an adventure. It’s all of these things. And it’s so monumentally important in the history of civilization. I think it’s going to create, aside from a whole new industry that’s going to be focused on this and then all the support industries that are adjacent to it, I think that it’s going to create a whole new class of people around the world that are going to be like the chosen, the chosen million or whatever, two million. That’s huge. I think that’s hugely transformative in the way that we even think of caste systems and different classes of people. That money might not be as big a deal as being in that ecosystem 20 years from now.

Shelly Kramer: Well and that’s one of the things that Musk said in his discussions on Twitter last night too, that loans would be available and it would be accessible to many. And so, it’s just really, really interesting. I think that it will certainly be interesting to see what transpires, even in just the next decade.

Olivier Blanchard: I’m just, personally, I’m really excited about how this is going to influence new material design because that’s something that we don’t really talk about, but it’s actually huge. And companies like Dassault Systèmes or 3DS now, they kind of go by, both have been really instrumental in helping companies develop and model virtually new materials. And then they’re able to actually kind of carry that out into the real world, which kind of ties into 3D printing as well, which I think is going to be kind of important once people are on Mars. Even if we have lots of capabilities when it comes to payload and robotics, we talk about robots as gadgets, right? And like, the caretaker robots and the police robots and everything. But I think that there’s a real big opportunity to have a lot of robots on Mars.

Once the worker bees have kind of like settled things and you’re getting to more of a maintenance mode, I think that humans working alongside robots kind of augment their capabilities and consume fewer resources like food and water. Just, all they have to really worry about is energy is going to be pretty huge. So I think it’s the evolution of robotics in the next 40 years, specifically because of this project, as opposed to just commercial interest on earth, is yeah, it’s going to be like the golden age of Asimov type robotics, right?

So anyway, we’re kind of like getting short on time. So let’s close this conversation for now. Since this doesn’t happen for a few more decades, we’ll have plenty more opportunities to discuss other elements of the future space race. And I’m kind of excited about that. But now let’s move on to our fast five. And again, because Sarah’s new, you’re going to do the honors. So in two minutes or less, tell us about the first tech news story that caught your eye this week.

Sarah Wallace: So historically, as an analyst, I’ve been covering the topic of enterprise mobility, right? So this is giving workers easier communications, whether they’re field service workers or they’re people that have to walk around their manufacturing floor or even a retailer that’s at a big box store and they need to communicate or work with a mobile device. And I think it was this past Sunday, Samsung announced with Microsoft that they are teaming with one another to kind of reinvent the walkie-talkie. So Samsung has the Galaxy Xcover Pro, a smartphone that’s going to have a push to talk functionality that’s going to be able to … You can use to chat with coworkers through the Microsoft Teams app. And I’m sure any of you, if you’ve noticed, if you’ve been at even like a Bed, Bath and Beyond or you’ve been at a hospital and you noticed a lot of the workers have these walkie-talkies on their hip and they’ll get communications from a coworker.

And this is sort of, I remember kind of talking about this category back in 2012, but this kind of goes with the BYOD, bring your own device, where you can have these work functionalities on your own personal phone versus having to carry two different devices on you. So I think this is a, you know, it almost seems kind of logical. But another thing that analysts are saying, industry critics are saying that this is another way of Microsoft Teams kind of getting in and competing with Slack in terms of enterprise communications. So I think it’s a logical idea. I think it’s a pretty significant announcement. And it’ll be interesting to see how either other mobile manufacturers or the application competitors themselves respond to this new launch.

Olivier Blanchard: That’s very cool. All right, Shelly.

Shelly Kramer: Daniel wrote about this earlier this week, actually. And really focusing on the Samsung Galaxy Xcover Pro and really how it was going to be a retail workforce innovation. So it really is a pretty cool step.

The topic that I thought was interesting today was that there is a subcommittee meeting of the House Judiciary Committee that’s happening in Colorado today. And what we’re seeing is that small companies are now joining what is described as a larger chorus that are singing the breakup big tech monopoly tune. And the New York Times covered this today and they talked about the company Tile, which is a maker of an app that was carried in both the Apple app store and in physical retail stores since about 2015. And I actually was an early user of a Tile app. And I remember when my twins were babies, it seemed impossible to hold on to the doggone remote, the TV remote. So my solution was to buy these little tile trackers and glue them to the remote so that I could track them using my phone when one of those little hooligans lost my remote. So it really served a big purpose in my life.

But anyway, what happened here or what Tile says happened is that we were this star player, we were focused, we were featured in the app store, we were featured in your stores. And then one day, we looked at the news and we learned that Apple was launching a competitive hardware product with similar functionality and service that had similar functionality. So this is not the first time that Apple has been accused of doing something like this. By the way, Amazon does this on the regular. You get your product or your client’s product into the Amazon ecosystem and Amazon uses the data about what people are interested in, what questions they ask, how they purchase everything else. And before you know it, Amazon has rolled out a private label product that now competes against your product.

Walmart has long been accused of watching sales data for popular products that were in their physical retail stores and then quickly creating their own prototypes. So one year, your product would be a superstar in the Walmart store. And then the next year, your product would be out and Walmart’s prototype would be in. And so this is not a new thing, but it is interesting that now we are hearing from smaller companies and not just big entities about, “Hey, wait a minute, maybe this overall is not such a fair thing for people.”

Olivier Blanchard: Absolutely. All right. So mine, I’ll just be really quick about it, is something that that Daniel and I have written quite a bit in our last book, plug.

Shelly Kramer: You wrote a book?

Olivier Blanchard: Human/Machine. Another one. Yeah. No, it’s about the future of work. So it’s kind of relevant. And everybody, if you haven’t bought it yet, shame on you and you should definitely run to Amazon and get it right now. And again, it’s called Human/Machine and the cover’s black and pink. So it’s pretty easy to spot. So this topic is kind of near and dear to my heart. And it’s the transition or companies helping human workers transition to a more automated world where they are going to essentially have to partner with machines, whether they’re virtual machines and algorithms and bots or they’re actual robots. And so I think that the tech industry has a responsibility and an opportunity to help workers and students kind of transition towards this new type of hybrid AI driven economy.

And the news that caught my eye this week is Google, which I don’t know if you remember, but I think Google pledged about a billion dollars three years ago to help prepare workers for new tech jobs, whether they’re STEM or STEM adjacent. And this is just one new step that they announced this week. It’s called the Google IT Automation with Python Professional Certificates. And it’s essentially a pretty decent Python coding program that they are making available for or to, rather, 2,500 people. And it’s a needs based scholarship. So it’s pretty cool. It’s a really cool initiative. And I just wanted to kind of tip my hat to that because this is exactly the sort of thing that companies need to be doing in the next 10 years to get us over that edge. All right, so Sarah, back to you. What is your second Fast Five story this week?

Sarah Wallace: Yeah, sure. So in the augmented reality space, there, a company called Mojo Vision is revealing a smart contact lens that has a tiny built in display that lets you augmented reality images, essentially a screen that’s sort of sitting right on your eyeballs. Now of course, and we’ve sort of had an offline discussion about this, so the contact lens is a sort of the nature of a hard contact lens versus soft. So to me, there’s a little bit of question about comfort. I don’t know how many people today specifically choose to wear a hard contact lens, but aside from that, the technology is meant for purposes like if you’re walking down the street and might be able to look in a database of maybe someone that you might know and pull up the information right in front of your eye.

There are obviously implications for things like manufacturing, augmented reality. Let’s say you’re training or you’re doing maintenance on something and it can send that type of message. But I think the tech that always interests me when it comes to augmented reality and anything that has to do with things that are virtual is that on a health level, healthcare level, it could actually help people with vision issues. And I think especially as majority of our population in the U.S. is the baby boomers, and they’re aging. And actually, I’m not a baby boomer, but my vision is also questionable as I age. And I feel like helping people with vision, whether it be macular degeneration or people who have issues with vision from the time they’re born, I actually love that we can use that tech to help those kinds of issues.

Shelly Kramer: Yeah, that’s really very cool.

Olivier Blanchard: It is. I’m still a little bit skeptical because chip set, power source, antennas, right? Where do they go? But I mean, it’s going to happen at some point. But I just don’t think that we’re anywhere close to being there yet.

But it’s kind of like Elon, right? It’s kind of like you have to point to the bleachers and just kind of say, “Okay, this is where we’re going.” And then go for your moonshot. But yeah, don’t get excited yet. We’re still a ways away.
Sarah Wallace: Yeah. And the article did talk about that too, that they’re still doing R&D. But they actually have the lens now. So, but no, I agree with that.

Olivier Blanchard: Oh, totally. Okay. Shelley, our last one.

Shelly Kramer: Our last one, and I’m going to be quick because we are running out of time. I spent a few hours last night writing about Visa’s acquisition of Plaid. And I think it’s a five plus billion dollar bet on the future finance and that it was a really smart move on Visa’s part. I know that I kind of saw you talking about this online earlier this week, Olivier, and I know that you thought it was big news as well. The thing about Plaid is that probably are using Plaid’s API and you just don’t know it. And if you use Venmo, if you use a variety of online payment systems, perhaps even your own banking system and you log on to do online banking, chances are good that Plaid is powering that. Today, Plaid has an 11,000 bank and financial services companies covering 200 million consumer accounts. They’re providing connections for 80% of the largest U.S. Fintech apps, which is 80% of the largest apps, by the way. Not all the apps out there. And by the way, Plaid’s apps are used by one in four people in the U.S. with a bank account.

As I said, Plaid is kind of described as the plumbing that makes things work. And this acquisition by Visa I think is an important one because it allows a Visa then to play a role in this functionality to have data as a result of the Plaid ecosystem. It allows Visa to control the infrastructure, and it allows the potential for market share. There’s a chart in the press release that visa put out on this, and I included this in the blog post that I wrote, but Plaid expands Visa’s addressable market by providing incredibly high value services to high growth Fintechs. And the opportunity that exists, the portion of the vertical that’s not yet penetrated, is overwhelmingly gigantic. And so, it’s an exciting move in the FinTech space. It’s an exciting move on the part of Visa. I think it’s the beginning of much more acquisition and movement to come. So I thought it was really interesting.

Olivier Blanchard: FinTech is kind of a side project of interest for me. I really like it. So that’s cool.

Sarah Wallace: I have a quick question. Do you think as companies like Visa buy a smaller Fintech company like Plaid, do you think that they will preserve their innovation?

Shelly Kramer: You know, that’s a great question. In other situations, companies like Amazon have bought smaller companies to leverage their technology, to learn their technology, to basically Hoover it up and then close the company and that kind of thing. So it’s really hard to say. But I know that the founders of Plaid, who are both, I think, in their early 30s, are in a great position right now.

Olivier Blanchard: All right, so that does it for fast five segment for this week. I’m going to do a very fast drive-by of our tech bites and just mention that YouTube has a strange little model of advertising right now, which I invite you to find out about. It’s going to be in the show notes. But apparently, YouTube is kind of pairing big brand advertising and to the point of even pairing Greenpeace and pro-environment ads from different companies and organizations with climate change misinformation videos. And that’s kind of a pretty big fail on YouTube support. If you want to read more about that, we’ll put that in the show notes for you.

But are going to close our podcast today, our episode, with our crystal ball, which is actually a little bit more interesting. So circling back, as we tend to do, to our main topic, in 30 seconds or less, both of you and we’ll start with Sarah again and then with you, Shelly, when do you think the first colony of 50 or more people is established on Mars? When do we reach that little threshold of not just like a little, like 10 or 12 people, not one team, but like 50. What year?

Sarah Wallace: I’m going to say 2023.

Olivier Blanchard: Wow, that’s soon.

Sarah Wallace: Yeah. Well, we’re starting to test the Starship and it only takes 115 days to travel to Mars. So that’s the other thing, think about that’s kind of a long trip. You hope that your Starship mates, you get along with them. I’m going to say in three years.

Olivier Blanchard: Bold. I like it.

Shelly Kramer: If she’s going to be bold, I’m going to be bold but not quite as bold. I’m going to say five. Five years.

Olivier Blanchard: Five years? I’m going to say, 50 people? 2028. We need to get through a few more generations of iPhones before you get there. But that’s just me. I don’t know, I’m just being cautious. So that does it for this week’s edition of FTP, the Futurum Tech Podcast. And as always, thanks for listening. Hit that subscribe button if you haven’t already, and catch us next week for another round of news and analysis at the intersection of tech and business. Check us out. Have a great week everybody.

Disclaimer: The Futurum Tech Podcast is for information and entertainment purposes only. Over the course of this podcast, we may talk about companies that are publicly traded and we may even reference that fact and their equity share price, but please do not take anything that we say as a recommendation about what you should do with your investment dollars. We are not investment advisors and we do not ask that you treat us as such. 

Image Credit: Business Insider

About the Author

Olivier Blanchard has extensive experience managing product innovation, technology adoption, digital integration, and change management for industry leaders in the B2B, B2C, B2G sectors, and the IT channel. His passion is helping decision-makers and their organizations understand the many risks and opportunities of technology-driven disruption, and leverage innovation to build stronger, better, more competitive companies.  Read Full Bio.