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Old Pros in Satellite Share Wisdom for Budding Entrepreneurs

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to give to a new entrepreneur in the satellite business?

When asked this question, every executive in the industry has an answer. And for those who left the industry long ago (or even recently), there are plenty of suggestions for what to do, and what not to do, to be successful.

While not all advice is worthwhile, when it comes from a former Satellite Executive of the Year — an industry professional who stood out from the crowd and influenced the industry — it’s worth a listen. Here, the former award winners who have left satellite offer their advice and best lessons learned:

“The industry is rich with opportunities and filled with risks, but there’s always a need for balancing reward with risk when building satellites and starting new businesses using satellites. You have to be smart and careful when you are using other people’s money.”

— Steve Dorfman, former CEO, Hughes

“The satellite industry gave me perspective regarding what is a "big" problem. For example, I have dealt with young internet CEOs who went crazy when a server went down. To them the sky was falling. I explained to them that it was not as huge a crisis as they thought. I said, ‘when you lose control of a $250 million satellite which suddenly decided to drift away, now that's a really big problem.’”

— Hugh Panero, former CEO, XM Satellite Radio

“Continue to stay abreast of technology — not just satellite technology, but applications that may be well-suited for satellite solutions. But you need to stay abreast of everything, whether it’s Facebook or something else. There may be an application for which satellite is a solution.”

— C. Patrick DeWitt, former CEO, SSL

“My advice would be that it is a great industry with great opportunities. There are going to be lots of dynamic changes so surround yourself with the very best people and be a driver of change rather than a victim of it.”

— Peter Shaper, former CEO, CapRock Communications

“Keep being who you’re being. Keep pushing innovation.”

— John Kealey, former CEO, iDirect