The Story of H. Industries.
Podcast of this article: https://rss.com/podcasts/h-industries/463458/
Today I want to tell you the story of how H. Industries came to be in 2015, how it became what it is today and where it is going next. This is a very long form article as I feel it’s the right time to tell it. It is hoped to inspire aspirational engineers, entrepreneurs and designers of all kinds who dream of great things. This post takes particular inspiration from Jason McCarthy’s annual updates for Goruck, always an incredibly honest read from a startup to market leader business that I have admired for years.
I came up with the idea as I was finishing my masters in project management in 2015 and was moving back to Sydney to work for Commonwealth Bank (CBA) as a project deployment team member. My dad and I used to watch Stargate every Thursday for years and conversations over the end of that year solidified the idea you see before you today. The concept was built up in notebooks of mindmaps and design scribblings while I travelled for a year working across Australia’s capitals and I kept failing to break it.
I originally studied Mining Engineering at UNSW in 2009–13 because I loved the sheer scale of the projects and it gave me a well rounded education in planning large scale projects from idea through to operation. Due to my thesis work in applying a different underground blasting technique in a new context, I was one of the few graduates that year to secure a role. I joined Itasca Australia, a mining engineering consultancy specialised in numerical modelling. Sadly, their business and training plans changed about the same time as the domestic mining industry continued to crash in 2013.
I started 2014 back in supermarkets and got into the Masters of Project Management at RMIT so I could stay in Melbourne, a city I had grown to love. After 9 months I got my first project role at Frame, the firm delivering the majority of Melbourne Airports IT upgrades at the time. I worked full time helping deliver small changes, plan scheduled and eventually was placed in a PMO role under a great mentor who had dozens of years experience running international operations for a top tier aerospace business — all while completing the masters full time at night school.
As you can already see, these varied experiences formed the protozoic pieces of what would become H. Industries today. At CBA I was part of successively larger projects and had several great mentors who I strive to emulate — all of them understood >80% of projects fail in delivery so were studiously and rigorously avoiding that while delivering on some broad organisational changes. The first was a toughened delivery manger who came from a nearby beach in Sydney to home. He was responsible for a team spread across Australia delivering change in almost every location across the enterprise. The second was a wartime program leader who succeeded getting a challenging infrastructure change done on time with less than a year remaining and half the work to go. The third was an innovative design and pilot project manager who had spent years in Silicone Valley learning to create foundational systems from scratch. I had the right people around me at the right time and an idea that kept me awake at night.
Throughout 2016 & ’17 my design matured in leaps & bounds and I still couldn’t break it or find a reason for it not to work no matter how much I read. It was just like my thesis, an electromagnetic field blasting technique applied in a new context. The basic mechanics of it are a highschool science experiment so I knew the physics physically worked and satellites have used various solar cells, batteries and electromagnets for years so I knew the components worked. I changed jobs in mid 2017 to start contracting as a project manager in a large business transformation of a major electricity provider. Due to the work pressure, my downtime became reading research papers and underlining the good bits in red in the mornings then typing them up late on the way home.
By the end of 2017 I had amassed tens of thousands of words of scientific journal references that often included manufacturer and part number details for industrially available components. By this point I had several concept papers on various topics, the start of a design paper and the first full iteration of my excel design calculator. It’s now 700 lines deep detailing the interaction of 23 different satellite components. the left hand side is a list of systems and components with dropdowns to select different items or iterations. This calculator has advanced a lot since that first formulation and has allowed me to rapidly iterate design and produce a lot of the content to date. But I digress. At the first time, when I hit Enter and saw the force result was greater than the required I screamed Yes! so hard I almost fell off my seat.
A six month backpacking trip followed my final project in Sydney finishing in September 2018, selling almost everything and taking off on my 4th trip to compile all my research into a design paper. I would tourist for a week or two then settle somewhere cheap to live the lifestyle for a month and just told people I was working on a b-grade sci-fi story if it came up. The first full formulation of my design paper came to a polished 26 page primer and a very unpolished 70 page design doc that is now double the length. With that done I went back to Melbourne in Feb 2019, the city where I felt most at home and set about restarting from scratch again with a good resume in hand.
I went to seven schools, lived in London for a few formative teenage years and my parents always taught me to be thoroughly self sufficient because Dad worked in airline projects and Mum was a specialist intensive care nurse. Their loving household and origins to success story forever inspires me. It is a big part of the drive to achieve so I can help as many people as possible and hopefully later our environment too.
Freshly returned and ready to get down to work, I set out to join a good project team and find a mentor that would shape my rough edges into something resembling the crisp professionalism that I so admired in senior project professionals and would later need to lead my budding business. I soon joined the IT PMO at Bega, an Australian food manufacturer working under a project director who was the mentor that I sought and a fantastic leader to learn having handling some serious airline project issues previously. She pushed me to deliver multiple concurrent projects helping the IT team coordinate hardware upgrades across the businesses growing factory count.
Throughout 2019 I developed my business delivery plans and created another extensive document, distilled down to a still far too dense project delivery deck. By this point I had developed a few hundred pages of documentation and slides along with a comprehensive design calculator, my website & twitter were registered back in 2017 and I had tweeted out into the void as a development log to give the project a timeline and demonstrate commitment & legitimacy. It was also a lot of fun sending silly tweets late at night as I beavered away.
The H. Industries website started as a .org in 2017 with a simple “Lift Off.” slogan, two lines on the project and an ask for people to stay tuned. It morphed into its second form with the tech primer, delivery deck and social links in mid 2019. I finished my contract at Bega in October, registered the business and set out to find funding. On December 29th, I posted my concept papers to Medium, a pitch to Youtube and entries to Gofundme, Kickstarter and Equitise. I guess hindsight really is 2020 because by January 2nd, only the Gofundme remained. The Kickstarter raised $100 before it was shutdown and the Gofundme got nothing, it might not have been the best pitch but it definitely was the wrong market. Financial necessity kicked in and by February 2021 I had secured a new project job but that was short-lived, only lasting until April as the global pandemic set in and all contractors were let go.
After a few more unsuccessful platform submissions (including getting banned from OnlyFans) I realised the easiest way to raise funding was right in front of me. My housemate introduced me to crypto in early 2016 and I’ve been an avid news follower & successful trader using my knowledge of IT infrastructure for years. It paid for a bunch of my backpacking trips and formed the foundational savings for the current strike out full time. I updated the website to include an angel bitcoin address in the hope of the right type of people seeing it. I was actively publishing throughout lockdown as it was a great time to focus and bury myself in the business until financial necessity made me take a data entry role an hour from home generating 6 hours minimum wage for a 10 hour day. I used my trading skills to pay down some debts and accrue modest savings but not going to lie, that was a hard time and I am eternally thankful to my partner at the time for her support to keep going.
By April 2021 I had amassed $30k in savings (although large debts remained) and made significant progress publishing articles and videos all the while polishing internal papers so all the right pieces were in place. Plenty more needed to be done to secure funding but it was enough to find the right interest. I focused on delivering content to grow web traffic and test different approaches to gain feedback without generating too much attention before I was ready for it. The plan was to quietly add fuel to the fire throughout 2021, hoping to attract angel donations and from September, equity investors. I spent July to September refining the business pan and building the pieces needed to conduct a venture capital offering as a 1 man operation by creating the dedicated bitcoin wallet and equity offering contract for one of the most insanely inspirationally high risk investment endeavours people have ever heard of.
Next I focused on creating a series of Youtube videos as the scattered 2017/18/19 material is now locked away in a deep vault. Throughout this time I have been developing a four to five page academic paper on exactly how this novel propulsion method works and it was submitted to the IEEE’s Transactions on Applied Superconductivity on Jan 15th. It’s under peer review and I’ll hopefully be able to share results in a month or two. In the mean time, I had managed to attract my first two equity investors in late November. Again this was such a surprise that I had inadvertently failed my own 48h SLA by checking the wallet three days after the first transaction!
It was lucky he was pretty nice about it and several weeks later has even helped with one of the businesses first venture capital meetings. To date that makes 2 investors and 5 prospective capital raising meetings and now all hinges on the peer review of my paper. I know it works, you can Youtube the Ring Launcher Experiment, my model works and I still haven’t managed to find a way to break it yet despite doing a detailed failure mode analysis.
With the peer review in hand and several more videos made on the business plan, equity offer and bitcoin funding method I will begin advertising heavily and pitching to deliver $3m in funding for Phase 1. A full feasibility study with a team of seven engineers, physicists and project professionals producing a verdict on technical viability, business viability and a mass manufacturable schematic evolved from my Mk.0 design. I have compiled a list of over 600 websites, business and people to contact with the media pack so here’s to hoping I don’t hit my burndown of personal savings remaining in roughly April.
If you could please donate to the Bitcoin or Doge angel addresses or become the next equity investor, it would allow development on the industry standard Matlab model to begin and business activities to continue to evolve while producing ever more content. I have dreamed of realising this design for years and the vision of what it could enable off world and help to fix here at home.
My name is Morgan Wegener, the founder of H. Industries and I want to say thankyou for reading my story and the dream of what we could achieve.
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