Ep 134: Naveen Jain – The Billionaire Who Wants to Go To the Moon

Naveen Jain is the founder and CEO of one of the biggest companies from the dot-com boom era, and now he has set his sights on the moon.

His company, Moon Express, plans to send a rocket to the moon as a business venture to collect rare minerals and resources, and then bring them back to Earth. He also plans to make travel to the moon and other planets accessible to all of us at some point in the future.

Naveen is the founder of InfoSpace, the first company to develop services that were sold to other companies that then white-labeled those services on their own web sites. According to Naveen, InfoSpace was the first company to realize that people would eventually want to use the internet on mobile devices.

Naveen co-founded Intelius, the information commerce company that gives users access to basic information about people all on one site.

In 2010, Naveen started Moon Express with the goal of bringing rare minerals back to the Earth for use in a number of applications, such as energy uses. Going to the moon is not the only goal of Moon Express, and Naveen sees it as the start of developing a multi-planetary society.

Naveen explains how Moon Express will become both commercially viable and also sustainable as a company.

In addition to space, Naveen sees the medical diagnostics field as another big industry in which he sees potential large growth over the next five to ten years. Naveen says the biggest societal problems offer entrepreneurs the most opportunity.

Education is another field in which he sees a need to address training for current jobs that weren’t around 20 years ago.

Also, another important area is looking for solutions for at-risk countries that do not have accessible, clean drinking water.

Naveen believes we need to first solve our own internal problems before we tackle the world’s problems. He thinks being at peace with who we are, and finding our purpose and mission, are key factors to finding that solution.

He says the process of becoming more fluent in producing ideas lies in having intellectual curiosity, learning for the sake of learning, and getting basic fundamental knowledge in the areas that interest us.

As far as finding our own mission in life, Naveen says ask yourself “What would you do if you had a billion dollars?” He says do that career now, and you’ll find a business around it.

Resources and Links

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  • Mike

    Who gave this idiot approval to take minerals off the Moon? It should be put to a worldwide vote.

    I think it should be forbidden to take any large amounts of minerals off the Moon, considering we don’t yet know how fragile the Earth-Moon push-pull connection is!

    • I 100% completely agree with you Mike. This seems to me like we’re done destroying the Earth, now let’s go to other planets and do the same. Why can’t he concentrate on making the resources we currently have into renewable resources? Why can’t he investigate a way to reduce pollution and a way to make sea water good for consumption so that everyone has clean water and we finally move on from that issue? The whole thing with going to the Moon and other planets is all about Corporations and not really caring about helping people. It’s his ego who wants to do this. If he is successful then I feel bad for all of us because others will imitate him and deplete the Moon of its resources and then that will mess with our gravity and sea levels.

    • MV

      I cannot tell if you guys are serious, trolls, or just stupid. I will give the benefit of the doubt and say… trolls.

  • Elaine

    There’s nothing wrong with curiosity, with vision and risk to better ourselves nor bettering, saving, and restoring the world in which we live. Since time immemorial man has travelled to new worlds that he did not know and wrecked havoc on the peoples and terrain, all progress hasn’t been good. To the detriment of our planet and the souls upon it.

    Wouldn’t it be a far better thing to help end world hunger, or at least some of the children that are starving around the world and don’t have adequate medical treatments. To find cures for the dis-eases that plague us. Clean up and preserve this planet that has served us, this blue ball of water for millennia, the animals that are being slaughtered by folks that have nothing better to do but spend money on killing them, why kill when you aren’t being attacked.

    Why go somewhere else when we can’t keep our own home clean. The streets or our minds.

    I would be itchy as well if I had that kind of money I guess, But it took smarts to make it use the same intelligence to make things better where charity begins, at home better.

    I greatly respect Daryl Gates for his humanitarian efforts. And you don’t hear loads about it as opposed to some.

    I don’t get it!

    El

  • John

    Hi James, Naveen was going to give you a list of books he recommends, would this be the place to find that list?

    • Michael Kalyaano

      I listened to this fascinating podcast today and am looking forward to checking out the reading list too.

      • Murray Beaulieu

        I am interested in that list as well. Great interview!

  • Tyson Sukeforth

    Naveen, I have no idea how, when, or in what capacity yet, but I desperately want to help you succeed.

  • Adam Abramowitz

    “What would you do if you had a billion dollars?” He says do that career now, and you’ll find a business around it.

    Good Stuff. I just finished reading “The Four Agreements”. I read it between skimming posts on this website. In the business of life, all four of the agreements would, for lack of a better word, agree.