At the risk of enraging automatic supporters of bloated government programs like the old Space Shuttle, it doesn't surprise me that lean, privately funded space-exploitation outfits do so well. Reliable execution of rocket science is difficult enough already without burdening the principals with all the artificial fears and running annoyances of a crusty bureaucracy. "Could I be fired for departing from the top-down plan if I do this instead of that? Does this possible change meet the 400-page outline set down by a large committee run by political appointees?" Every millisecond squandered on peripheral distractions is a millisecond lost to the subtle considerations of consistently productive and reliable thought.
Additionally, the people who work at the private firms tend more strongly to be there for the love of it than with any government agency. That counts for a lot when it comes to repeatedly avoiding those little errors of ennui and fatigue that can build up into a disaster. Enthusiastic workers are also more prone to realizing with a joyful start that a small change that could make a real difference will likely be actually used by a quick, responsive management team. Rocketry is often about very small changes marking the difference between a successful mission and a flaming ball of fuel and rocket parts.
Along these lines, I've always thought that China has consistently lagged behind the West in leading-edge technology for much the same reasons. The Chinese have no lack of smart people, but they're subtly and powerfully burdened with the habit of "self-censorship" to avoid offending the Communist Party and with the Confucian habit of observing "face-saving" deferment to the opinions of their alleged superiors. Sounds similar to and worse than just about any government agency in the West, eh?
These are my own thoughts, and only one puppy was temporarily scared into hiding under the couch during the production of this post. I also killed a small spider, but the dratted thing was trying to crawl into my coffee cup.