it's not that the market doesn't exist, it's that practically none of the enabling technologies exist (for the case or the phone) and that someone lacks the capital to create them let alone even the foggiest clue what they actually are.
We know how to get to an asteroid, and we have some idea how to detect what it's made of. If you look, you'll see that these mining wannabees are working on the next few enabling technologies. The goal is to reduce one of the nastiest barriers to exploration and development of space for humans: the high cost of breathing, eating, and drinking. I'm glad we have machines like Curiosity that don't need to breathe, eat, or drink, but some day I'd like to go out there myself. A space civilization that gets its air, water, and food from Earth will never be independent (no matter what your political inclination) and is unlikely to even be viable, unless you count a few millionaire tourists as a civilization.
In its way, this is like the long-forgotten effort to invent and produce clothing, which made it possibly for humans to spread outside of the tropics.
The question that makes most of the others irrelevant is, what are they averaging? Miles per gallon, or gallons per mile? Let me explain.
Averaging mpg, if they sell five 10 mpg vehicles and five 100 mpg vehicles, then (10+100)/2=55 mpg and they can say they're ahead of the average. But driving each of those vehicles 100 miles will consume 55 gallons (for an average of 0.055 gpm that equates to about 18 mpg), whereas driving ten 55 mpg vehicles 100 miles will consume 1000/55=18.18... gallons. Biiiiiiiig difference.
Averaging gpm, well, 54.5 mpg is about 0.01835 gpm, and a company that sells just one vehicle getting 0.1 gpm will have to sell roughly ten vehicles at 0.01gpm to get an average of, hmm, 0.01818... gpm and beat the average. If you drove each of those cars 100 miles, you would get roughly the same total consumption as driving eleven cars that got 0.01835 gpm.
I'm fairly sure I know which averaging method the US is using.
Note that XCOR (disclosure: I own shares in it) is also developing a suborbital craft and plans to make it available for science missions, at prices substantially lower than what scientists now pay for expendable rockets. The kind of science you can do with a few minutes up around 100km is not as glamourous as the Hubble, but still useful. NASA will pay for some of it: https://flightopportunities.nasa.gov/platforms/ in fact, NASA will even pay for science missions aboard SpaceShip Two.
Naw, it was just one of Jerry Brown's campaign speeches from the 1970s that Ms. Alvarez had somehow never forgotten. Let this be a warning to everyone who pays too much attention to politicians.
Fortunately for her, Jerry Brown's speeches rarely lodge in the heart or liver.
... except for the people who vote for the Congresscritters who pass laws that prevent all but a tiny amount of legal immigration (other than by people who already have family ties in the US).
Given that those laws are actually on the books, that must be a hefty number of voters.
Wall Street should have just about no crime, then.
Before deciding that a song is worth owning, I want to hear it, in full, several times. Streaming services like psonar.com (no, I don't work for them) let me do that easily and cheaply. I've wasted far more money on music that turned out not to be worth owning than I shall spend in several years' worth of streaming. What's not to like?
Actually the existing pioneers, including Armadillo Aerospace, XCOR, and some others of whom you (should) have heard, are already working with the FAA and they report that the experience has not been too painful. I can't help worrying when NASA wants to get in on the act, though. NASA's main product is paper, with a few space vehicles as unintentional by-products, and they won't want to disappoint anyone
Then there are pension benefits. As in: you actually have a real pension. Usually they are defined benefit, meaning you will know how much you are going to get when you retire.
Unless the aforementioned lousy administrators have underfunded the pension plan. Which roughly everyone has done.
+1 for teaching at private schools. The school where my kids go has recently hired a part-time math specialist, and I've been filling in myself, volunteering one lesson a week. Any discipline problems, I just sic my elder boy on them
Real Programmers don't eat quiche. They eat Twinkies and Szechwan food.