Letter from our Principal Founder & CEO, Neal S. Lachman
For and on behalf of Titans Space Industries
Published: July 28, 2022
Table of Content
Welcome to our universe. I have the honor, on behalf of the Titans Universe founding team, to provide you some background on who we are, what we do, and how our work will benefit you, your beloved ones, and humanity at large.
While taking you down the rabbit hole that is Titans Universe, which includes orbital infrastructure, our own private island-nation, and a colony on the Moon, I'll attempt to explain it in a straight forward way.
As we explain in the About Us section of this website, we acknowledge that Titans Universe are a new kind of business, and while our goal of becoming the world's largest company by 2035 sounds money-driven, our ethical goal is to realize projects that will benefit humanity and help save Earth, including building the largest clean energy systems in the world. Well, technically these systems would be at 100 kilometers altitude - around our planet.
We are not novices in business who are just trying their luck. The Titans team has historical experiences and major credentials when it comes to disrupting and pioneering industries, going back more than two decades.
First, a note about our name.
Early 2021, my team and I were discussing in our founders WhatsApp group the best name for our exclusive membership tier, and I made a joke about having watched Season 2 of Formula 1: Drive to Survive, and that co-founder Shamir Stein soon won’t be able to underestimate me when it comes to F1 knowledge. Another co-founder, my sister and our Chief Communications Officer, Shakuntala Lachman, joked back, “The clash of the Titans will begin soon.”
It just clicked… I said, “Wait a second... I even bought and read the book Titan, about John D. Rockefeller when it came out,” and the rest will be history.
Titans is obviously a term that denotes a super-powerful elite, one of our major target markets (see Titans Astronauts), but it also tied with the fact that our projects involve realms where the mythological titans were gods and godesses, including:
Hyperion - Light: clean energy
Selene - Moon: Titania Lunar
Helios - Sun: SuryaHelios (solar power)
Oceanus: Titania Oceana
Gaia - Earth: Titans World
Theia - Gold (metals with intrinsic value): Lunar Mining
Aether - Air: Titania Airlines
As such, to us, the name Titans makes sense in multiple ways.
About our tagline: Going Beyond Imagination
The late Rutger Hauer, from Blade Runner fame, was our Creative Director until his passing. We wrote about his involvement in our 2016 business plan, describing the birth of Angie’s strapline.
In March, 2015 the Angie team decided to create a strap-line that would best communicate the Company’s objectives, vision and mission. After an exchange of almost 100 emails, team member Richard Waryn came up with, “moving beyond limits”, upon which Ian Browde modified it to “Beyond Imagination”. It was world-famous actor and Angie creative advisor, Rutger Hauer, who responded suggesting “Going Beyond Imagination”. The rest, as they say, will be history.
Being space related, and Rutger having delivered the most iconic death scene ever in cinema history with his "I've seen things" monologue, we found it fitting to use the same tagline for Titans Universe.
From the Ocean to the Moon
When people ask us what Titans Universe is all about, I love the shock value of saying, "We'll build, own, and operate a resort and mining colony on the Moon by 2032, we'll develop the world's largest clean energy systems, but we're starting with our own floating island-nation in Earth's international waters."
Obviously, my team and I know how crazy this sounds. So, our "elevator pitch" is a bit more nuanced.
All our projects -on Earth and in space- are interconnected, whether it is our floating island-nation in international waters, space elevators, spaceplanes, orbital rings, solar power systems, or space stations, they serve multiple purposes.
Our core tenet is that the Titans Universe, both as a company and a community, will greatly benefit humanity, help fight climate change, and help save Planet Earth.
Our History: Business | Technology | Telecom | Infrastructure
Titans Universe was founded by a group of pioneering business, telecom, technology, and finance experts who have worked together for a combined 250 years on several disruptive and fun projects. We bring more than 400 years of combined experience to the table.
In the first half of 2007, our co-founder, Farooq Malik, and I were actively involved in the investment world, and we decided to form a private equity firm, Lachman & Malik Capital Partners, LLC. The firm had a target of raising $50 billion over the stretch of a number of calls, and we’d invest in large-scale, revolutionary projects. Among those were Fiber to the Home (FTTH) communications services, magnetic levitation (train) systems, and hypersonic jets.
Being telecom and technology people, we published a white paper (July 2007) for the telecom sector, “Building Communications Infrastructure for the 21st Century”, which had a massive impact on the industry. With that paper, which was requested by more than 2,500 people from all walks of life, we open-sourced the FTTH industry, enticing many aspiring entrepreneurs to get into the fiber business.
The document also found its way to corporate giants, including some of Google’s top echelon, and not long afterwards, Google started setting up its ambitious Google Fiber business. That severely frustrated our ambitious plans, because this behemoth search and ads engine company suddenly hogged the entire fiber industry with their “challenge”, turning more than 1,000 mayors and city councils into zombies hungry for (Google) fiber. However, Google underestimated the costs involved in rolling out in a big way, and in 2012, I wrote an analysis about it for SeekingAlpha, which instantly became the editor’s pick and was read by more than 5,000 people within 24 hours.
This analysis was featured in a Forbes article, among others. My analysis, which obviously got me some severe dislike from Google fanboys (and from people who just don’t like my [lack of] style), turned out to be 100% correct.
I like to joke that I’m the granddaddy of debunkers, starting with public notes and newsletters analyzing and debunking futuristic-sounding promises such as Broadband over Powerline (we’re talking about way back in 2000) and such. Nowadays you have highly knowledgeable people with large followings, doing a great service to humankind by debunking wild technology claims.
Building a large FTTH infrastructure would cost many hundreds of billions of dollars; we realized that very early on. We pioneered the FTTH industry since early 2000, when zero homes were connected. Nowadays, FTTH/FTTPremises is a substantial part of the global US$2 trillion telecom services industry.
Ever since, we've influenced hundreds of billions dollars worth trajectories (valuewise) of almost all telecom players, worldwide, from Verizon to British Telecom, from Earthlink to Google.
Prior to that, we pioneered broadband over satellite (1998-99, InternetHyperGate) for the public at large, which until then was reserved for a limited number of enterprise users. Pioneering in the way that we funded the first multi-hundred megabit per second satellite internet pilot on an Eutelsat transponder (December 1999), and that the pioneering architect of the Internet, Dr. Barry Leiner, responsible at DARPA for making the Internet a public infrastructure, joined our Advisory Board.
We are reentering the Satelitte Broadband market in the coming years to compete with others, but mainly focusing on the billions of underserved or unserved people around the world, which at very low monthly fees can still generate revenues between $10 and $45 billion per year.
Pioneering satellite broadband for the masses: 1998-2000
If you open the millennium edition (December, 1999) of The Economist (all print editions), right in the middle, you will see the spread advertisement of InternetHyperGate, a satellite broadband service provider that was set to launch in 2000. The company was founded by Lachman Brothers Digital Communications Inc., established in 1998, and as you may have guessed, that refers to (two of) my brothers and me. We had already contracted capacity on five satellite transponders on British Telecom's Eutelsat, and early 2000, we were special guests of General Electric’s American Communications Broadband Forum in St. Petersburg, Florida, where we would discuss launching our own satellites on our own rockets to serve tens of millions of people all around the world. We had to, because other digital platform infrastructure providers were just inadequate.
That in itself is a long story, but the main point is, this is years before Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos would dream up their space and rocket ventures, and almost 20 years before they’d have the fantastic plan to launch a satellite broadband internet service. We spent several million dollars in advertising (WSJ, The Economist, FT, Time, CNN, CNBC, etc.) and research and development, before giving up on it due to technological challenges and the global implosion of the technology and teleocm industries (in March/April 2000)..
We were involved with space, satellites, and broadband long before it became a race among billionaires. In fact, we entered the satellite broadcast business in 1995, and after a bout with an LMDS terrestrial system developer we funded the first ever pilot of a multi-hundred megabit per second connection satellite connection in 1999, with the plan to service multi-ten million people all over the world. This led us into the arms of big players, including GE AmeriCom.
Pioneering Fiber to the Home: 2000-2007
My brother Aniel and I were having lunch at the beautiful Renaissance Resort where GE’s Broadband Forum was being held, and we saw the market crash, the start of the internet bubble burst, on Lou Dobb’s program on CNN. That, and some serious satellite capacity/bandwidth issues, was the reason we dropped all our satellite internet plans on our plane ride home, and instead focused on a new pioneering idea: fiber to the home.
In 2000, we couldn't imagine that it would turn into a multi-hundred billion dollar industry. Back then, exactly zero homes had a fiber connection.
Fast forward 22 years later, several hundred million households are enjoying fiber connections all over the world, and an ever-growing part of the $2 trillion telecom services market.
Of course, there were several companies involved in fiber testing and trying out fiber technologies, but there were no plans to rollout fiber to premises. When I called the world leader Worldcom in April 2000 with the question, "How can we extend your fiber to connect homes?", they answered, "You tell us!". Indeed, that was the beginning of an extensive relationship, and I even consulted them on VoIP protocol.
That's another fun fact. Almost all communications nowadays run on VoIP-based systems, but back in 2000, even the largest telecom players didn't have a clue what the future would be, or which system would become standardized. I knew, because we had been researching and analyzing it in-depth.
In 2007, we wrote a 160-page white paper, “Building Communications Infrastructures for the 21st Century”, which gave us the “bragging rights” to claim that we literally “wrote the book on next-generations communications”.
This document was requested by more than 2,500 people, and maybe because of that large group of readers, it had many ramifications for the communications industry, including settling the WiMAX (which had major players pushing for it) versus LTE issue (we explained why LTE would/should win), bursting free city-wi-fi dreams, and most importantly open-sourcing the Fiber to the Home business model, as a result kickstarting the Fiber to the Home industry in a major way.
Fun fact: One of the requesters of this white paper in 2007 was Sanjay Basu, a hot shot from KPMG in New York. He was so impressed that we met up in London (where I used to live at that time). We became friends and business partners. In fact, Sanjay is one of the founding members of Titans Universe.
In 2009, I co-authored a paper about the future of photonics in the telecom infrastructures, describing a novel approach (those days we were called iUHBA). In 2017, we published a 5G infrastructure design proposal paper, together with Shamir Stein, CEO of Fibrolan, who agreed to do a vendor financing deal with us, and is now a co-founder of Titans Universe.
The paper was based on our pioneering 10-Gigabit fiber connections to three separate private (non-enterprise) clients. And the list goes on. I must have forgotten at least a handful other research we have published.
My colleagues (from Angie/Oy and its predecessor companies) and I formed the 21st Century Infrastructures Consortium in 2002, mainly because we realized, through experiences since 1995, that there are enormous and manifold challenges pertaining to building infrastructure.
We understood the immense value of joining forces with likeminded individuals and partner firms and institutions. This concern was primarily telecom related; satellites and rockets (1998), fiber to the home (2000 onwards), WiFi and Free Space Optics (2001) etc.
A quick remark. This interview led to some of our competing stakeholders in the project rudely awakening and consequently blocking support for our FSO-based proposal.
The eternally envy-driven Dutch incumbent, KPN, was strangely enough asked by the Dutch government to run the board of Kenniswijk, which was supposed to be the testing ground of fiber to the home, a direct threat to KPN’s DSL business. Such envious blockings and outright sabotages of incumbents and their minions of our projects have been a red thread throughout my telecom career. This is one of the many reasons why going through space is, anno 2022, our saving grace.
Whether it’s fiber trenching or building systems like Hyperloop, progress in building infrastructure is severely limited by many factors, including right-of-way and geographical restrictions. Furthermore, technological, regulatory, and public issues arise more often than not, making building infrastructure an almost impossible task.
All these issues accumulate to costly, unaffordable, time-consuming, and soul-wrenching situations, hampering innovation, and thus progress.
We know, because we have been the victim of such schemes more than once, destroying our plans to build future-proof nationwide telecom infrastructure from the ground up, which would have brought much needed investment (of $100+ billion) to the market over the course of five to ten years.
To make a long story short, the Titans Universe team's multitude of experiences over the last 20+ years has culminated in our most ambitious, most challenging, most capital-intense, and yet most feasible projects, including space industrialization. The multiple-purpose approach makes our infrastructure and projects the holy grail of telecom, transport, space travel, space commerce, and scientific research, which correlates to the future of the universe as we know and understand presently.
As Carl Sagan said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”.
We know that many of our projects sound like Science-Fiction, madness even to those unfamiliar with our team´s capabilities and track record of (financial and business) succes, but we have proven more than once that there is a method behind our (perceived) madness.
Over the last 25 years or so, I have been critized, scrutinized, and even chided by reporters. Some called me a fraud, some even alluded to me being mentally retarded. It's annoying , but now I find it amusing. I don't care what they write about me; they cannot stop this world-changing revolution.
Even without openly marketing and publicly selling our exclusive and unique opportunities, we are now approaching a milestone of having 50 Titans Astronauts, each paying us somewhere between $25 to $35 million for a lifelong membership program.
Titans Astronauts will visit space often and follow a 10-year program, with the option of life-long free extensions. We hope to introduce these Titans Astronauts and many others in 2023.
Shameless plug: we are paying 2.5%-5% commissions to anyone who helps us find a Titans Astronaut.
I don't like to refer to myself as a visionary. Truth be told, I am a pragmatic asshole-type of guy who wants to get things done. I can be very tactless and aggressive. But I am proud of all the visionaries I've surrounded myself with. I 'll take credit for that! In their honor, I leave you with a quote, taken from Dr. Gerard O'Neill's book, The High Frontier, stating:
Robert Goddard (1882-1945), much of whose life was spent in the more practical and therefore much more difficult task of reducing the theory of rocketry to working hardware, left us with a caution lest our vision be too narrow:
"It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow."
If you would like to connect with me, you can find me on Linkedin and on Twitter. I'm becoming quite active in interacting with people, and I hope to answer any questions you have.
May our paths cross one day!