Putting Business into Orbit
The first private satellite was built by AT&T and Bell Telephone Laboratories—two huge companies that could spend millions on research and development. But the satellite still had to be launched into orbit by NASA. Only governments had the resources to put things into space. On July 10, 1962, Telstar 1 was launched. It was communications satellite that could receive signals from one part of Earth and beam them instantly to receivers on the other side of the planet. Satellites such as Telstar 1 are why we can phone distant countries and get news instantly from around the world.
Although science is the setting of each of these books, they are actually about the people who work hard to learn something in a new field and then start a company in that field. There are five main examples in each book along with several other cases either in the text or pictures with brief captions. The entrepreneurs chosen cover a wide variety of individuals and include some very well-known figures that readers will have heard of already. Other examples come from around the world in a wide variety of technology areas important to that locality. The applications in each book do pull together under the topic though there are some that are mentioned in more than one book.
The first section of each book is “You can be an Entrepreneur!” This includes a definition of a start-up and an entrepreneur along with some history or an inspiring story. This is followed by five main sections of four pages introducing an application of the type of technology and an example of a start-up company. The last section consists of two parts; the first is “Entrepreneurs Changing the World” (except for Space Entrepreneurs) and “Your Start-Up Story”. These are both inspirational with further brief examples, suggestions for studying science and math, both necessary to make inventions, and a challenge to try out.
Each book is a good mix of text in small neat sections, pictures to illustrate the concept(s) being presented and lots of pictures of the people involved in the area discussed with captions explaining why they are important or some background. The table of contents highlights the examples by giving them an orange background. Each book has a glossary, index and both books and websites where more information can be found. There is an approximately equal mix of the science and the people making progress with a focus on how any of us can accomplish firsts, find solutions and start a business to bring our invention to the public.
The appeal of Space Entrepreneurs begins with its cover featuring a space suit. The book includes some amazing history concerning people who have worked in designing and planning space flights. Space is probably the most challenging area where humanity is working with technology. Readers may think that only the big companies can contribute, but Space Entrepreneurs reveals a number of ways in which small start-ups have come up with ways to improve our space adventures. Satellite applications are introduced along with space tourism and more imaginative future possibilities, all of which make this title the most forward-looking book in the series.
This series is aimed at both technology and business students. For those interested in engineering, they can see that there are ways to apply this knowledge to start a company and get products out to the world. For those who want to go into business, the series suggests that ideas can come from many areas of technology and that entrepreneurs can find a niche where they can provide something that no one else has yet discovered. In both ways, these are inspirational books, encouraging a crossover between subjects that can only help the student and our society in finding ways to help people here and around the world.
The books in the series work well together and would make a wonderful addition to a school library. Even personal libraries would benefit from two or more books on the topics most in line with the interests of the child.
Willow Moonbeam is a cataloguing librarian with many hobbies who enjoys learning new things. Living in Toronto allows consumption of many and varied interests.