10/12/11 October Sky Essay The story in the movie October Sky has many similarities to the situation of starting a company as an entrepreneur. The trial and error process is a main theme as Homer, the founder of the Big Creek Missile Agency, begins to launch rockets into the sky. This is the main correlation between October Sky and the process of becoming an entrepreneur. The Big Creek Missile Agency’s first rocket could be considered a success or failure depending on how you view their accomplishment. The rocket was constructed of an empty tube of a flashlight with a hole in one side filled with cherry bomb powder.
After seeing the Sputnik satellite in the sky, Homer found a passion for learning about and involving himself with rockets. A similar passion is needed to pursue a business as an entrepreneur. Having this passion let’s you put in the necessary amount of effort and determination that is needed to successfully run the business. Once this passion was realized, Homer decided to speak with Quentin. Despite the ridicule he would receive, he knew Quentin was a rare resource with industry specific knowledge. Adding this to his mission of learning to fly rockets was imperative to him having success.
The next time the boys launched a rocket it was made professionally with aluminum and wood. The boys lit it off and it launched about six feet off the ground, let out a poof, and fell back on the ground. The changes made from the original model were part of an incremental strategy that the boys used during the trial and error process. They made improvements after each launch. They showed characteristics of entrepreneurial alertness in their analysis of the problems in their rockets. They used primary data to think of ways to improve their rocket. This is essential in business as well.
Analyzing your business to find out the necessary improvements is required to make your business the best possible. This with the use of creativity can allow your business to be a novelty and unique. The boy’s creativity allowed their rockets to become advanced very quickly. The group of boys used a value chain strategy in improving their rockets by brainstorming ideas for the rockets to implementing these ideas into their rocket’s design and then manufacturing the rocket. The next rocket was made out of steel and filled with the same fuel. This was a much more successful light, launching the rocket at least twenty feet in the air. The next rocket did the same thing, reaching at least thirty feet. However, one launch resulted in the rocket shooting down into the coal mine that Homer’s father ran. This is one example of the many risks Homer faced when pursuing this desire for deigning and building rockets. Despite the trouble Homer got into, the growth rewards he felt from seeing his rocketing technique start to improve would not let Homer give up on his passion. The boys relocated and made improvements on their launch site.
Some people heard about what the boys were doing through word of mouth and decided to show up for the first launch at the new site. The boys lit the rocket off and ran back to their newly made shelter just in time to see their rocket blast off and soar up to fifty feet and came racing back down to where the people had their cars parked narrowly avoiding one. It was here discovered that the fuel the rocket used was not dry enough to do what they hoped. Realizing this problem allowed them to make a drastic improvement. It would be another two weeks until their next rockets would be ready to fly.
The boys used innovation to build a guidance system to aid in the flight’s control. When at the field the boys launched their next rocket and it went straight up higher than the boys could estimate. The next innovation was a new fuel made by melting saltpeter and sugar together in a pot. At their next launch they launched their rocket and it went straight up into the sky seven hundred and sixty feet into the sky they found out later from their measurements taken and their newly made measurement stick. After this they improved the rocket’s tube that would last longer without corroding during the flight.
The amount of research and development the BCMA used was the driving force behind their success. With each problem discussed and improved, the product they created was better. More design concepts were thought of but no big changes occurred until the boys recalculated nozzle measurements and built a new rocket. The rocket launched four thousand feet into the air, a small improvement from the previous launch. Every milestone the group of friends made gave them the desire to keep pushing themselves to an even better product. They decided to use a new fuel called. It was made out of zinc dust and sulfur mixed.
The first rocket they launched with the new propellant was well anticipated by the town and over a hundred people came to watch. The rocket exploded and homer felt personal accountability for suggesting to use a new fuel. But Homer thought that there needed to be a binding agent in the mix to keep it together. So the team brainstormed and finally came up with the idea of adding alcohol. The public interest brought over two hundred people to the next launch. They knew that either way it was going to be a show. The new fuel worked so well the boys shattered the mile barrier and reached a new record height.
A huge crowd of three hundred people showed up to watch as the BCMA launched their next rocket. The story of their launches became newsworthy events. This success had the boys thinking that they could build rockets that could go into space one day. The trial and error process and a continued improving and innovating strategy can lead an entrepreneurial venture to be a great success. The BCMA learned that failure should not be thought of as a reason to end what you were pursuing but instead, as motivation for success. This is a great lesson for life in general.