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EOL for Space Shuttle – 30 Year Product Life Better Than Most Cars?

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Atlantis on October 3, 1985 Photo Credit: NASA/KSC

This week, after 30 years of service, the Atlantis Space Shuttle is scheduled to make its final flight before retirement.  30 years ago we had no iPad or iPhone, we didn’t even have the Internet.  MS-DOS was just released by Microsoft, the hottest computer was the Sinclair ZX80 retailing at $199.95 and the “Best Selling Car in the America” was the Ford Escort.  With this technological perspective the Space Shuttle design is a mind blowing achievement.

It’s become easy over the years to take for granted the almost routine take off and landings of the Space Shuttle.  Yet a 30 year product lifetime, for any product, is impressive.  Compare the Space Shuttle’s 30 years of service to the ten years expected lifetime of a car and three years for a mobile phone.  Admittedly, the Space Shuttle didn’t get daily use, but still most technologies don’t have a 30 year product life.  Most people would consider themselves lucky to get two years of service out of laptop.

At Accellion, we’re proud that our file sharing solution has been in service for more than five years at customers such as P&G, Ogilvy & Mather, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, L’Oreal, and Hilton Hotels to name just a few.  Along the way we have enhanced Accellion file sharing, to support new technologies such as virtualization, cloud, and mobile apps.  And, yes, our customer base has grown significantly over the years, including the addition of NASA several years ago. While product life is definitely influenced by technological advancement, customer satisfaction is perhaps the bigger contributing factor.  At Accellion, our extremely high customer renewal rate (>98%) represents not only a long product life but, more importantly, that our customers are our old friends.

Congratulations and best wishes to NASA for the final Space Shuttle launch.

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