Every once in a while a tech story passes the Color mega-desk of such creative delusional genius that a public ‘top hatting’ is needed. By any measure SpaceBelt and Cloud Constellation is that story.
Firstly, a backgrounder. Tackling the multiple problems of ‘pandemic cyber security’, NCA-esque snooping, lack of global high bandwidth coverage and just plain old discomfort with using the prole’s Internet, the heroic start-up team at Cloud Constellation are plotting to launch SpaceBelt, a necklace of ‘satellite datacentres’ (yes, those two words were meant to go together), linked by laser comms (‘cos light is, erm, quick) and split from the grubby old net by ‘patent pending’ technology (oh, that’s okay then).
In a game of word roulette, the CC team have helpfully told us this is the Information *Ultra*highway (get that, it’s even bigger). But I think they aim too low. SpaceBelt should be marketed as the cloud service for the Illuminati – Illumi-force, Azure-inati or even Google Raker (concentrate!).
As a Year 8 homework project this a quite cool. It’s got ambition, enough science to be interesting, great potential for handwritten diagrams and a total disconnect with current reality. Gold star little Gayle and/or Gary.
But as a blueprint for helping the world tackle the stated problems, for raising serious cash and then building out a relevant business this is utter hogwash.
Don’t get me wrong. As many ex-colleagues will gleefully remind me, on the odd occasion I have been responsible for messaging that is a tad beyond the current capability. Effective B2B product marketing can need that to convince for the long term.
But if your message is truly out of this world, make it plausible, deep and supported by evidence. Think Elon Musk, not Mr Bean.
For more on why SpaceBelt is just plain silly click here.
What really offends is that so much of the tech press has carried this SpaceBalls announcement without any questioning. The geek fourth estate has regurgitated this speculative kite flying as if issued by NASA – lots of gee-whizz, oh yes here is a science term and a swapped out metaphor.
Why do I care? Well, on one level I don’t, this story is quite amusing. But on other, as Steve Tobak has convincingly argued we need to collectively stop worshipping at the alter of demigod techpreneurs – they are false idols and the better amongst them will welcome the challenge.
Ok, I hear you ask, so what will I do if the Cloud Constellation team turn this around, garner enough great people around them and push the boulder up the hill by getting SpaceBelt live? Well, in the spirit of the new possibilities that a certain sports’ win has given the world, I hereby announce that if SpaceBelt goes orbital I will do a Lineker and update LinkedIn for a week in my underpants. If that doesn’t motivate CC nothing will.
In the meantime, if you are interested in more down to Earth cloud services, give the @CloudSourcers a bell!