for traditional space programs, 75% or so of the total satellite segment cost is the bill of materials for the sats, or near as makes no difference for this convo, ~half of a program's total cost.
nobody else has the internal funding or the gumption to take that leap of faith and dump a truckload of investment into an idea like "send up a bunch of automotive grade and digikey parts and hope real hard that they last long enough", because everyone else has traditional beancounters controlling the money (and those kinds of folks aren't the kind of person that will just do whatever their CEO wants to do).
Thanks for the welcome.
FYI somebody does have the gumption and they are building satellite busses for classes of satellites that don't currently exist, some quite large. They are attacking the %75 BOM cost to reduce that. EG: Much lower cost per pound to orbit means that you don't need to increase the cost of certain components by 10X just to save a few pounds.
The competitive advantage of Starship is not just the presumed launch costs, but size and weight capability at a reasonable cost. This opens up segments of things that would not have been practical before.
Like the recent Tesla investor day where Wall Street wonders "where's evidence of demand for a car that costs %50 less to build" the new capabilities of Starship really are a "build it and they will come"-- because it is an order of magnitude better than the existing situation in a couple areas.
The current satellite market is based on the current launch capabilities. When starship changes that, the market will change as new niches are opened up.
By definition this is a statement of faith, but the past 70 years has shown this happening over and over and over again. Transistors, ICs, minicomputers, fax machines, microcomputers, email, the internet, the web, broadband, smart phones-- all created multiple new industries that previously were not viable.
Anyway, I actually think that Starlink alone will pay off the entire Starship program. Eventually. But the demand for launches will grow much more than the demand was grown by falcon 9. In fact, I think the effect of falcon 9 in expanding the market is only just now being experienced.
It takes awhile ,and Falcon 9 only recently hit the 50 launches a year.