Risk aversion in the satellite industry has fostered long development cycles and low rates of innovation in the past. Emerging trends in propulsion technology development and spacecraft architecture design could lead to increased adoption of small satellites as well as more open, flexible and useful space systems. Two particular developments can be used to map the future of the industry. First, the development of MEMS thrusters for launch vehicles could enable dedicated launches for small satellites. This could substantially bring down the cost of satellite deployment. Second, the successful completion of the DARPA System F6 project could demonstrate the value of spacecraft fragmentation. This in turn could shift the focus of the industry from certain attributes that result in long development cycles, thereby opening the doors for open systems and greater innovation. Emerging trends in the satellite industry may result in paradigm shifts that would dramatically decrease satellite costs and increase innovation. This may ultimately result in a structural change in the satellite industry.