Monday, April 19, 2010

A Gesture

After the the big smoosh, things at WikiSpeed went into overdrive!

Joe continued to pull multiple all-nighters in a row. Our engineer offered a brain dump before flying off to Mexico. Friends descended on the garage to build axles, create the plug for the mold for the body, attach X PRIZE-required gadgets, etc. They drove in. They flew in. They flew their friends in.

The family was even recruited. Luckily, Joe happens to have in his immediate family alone a project manager, several attorneys, an accountant, a long-distance driver, and multiple geeks who can build gadgets.

Within a couple, days all of us were showing fatigue, even though none of us had put in the effort that Joe had.

But, you see, Joe has a secret weapon.

I (The Voice of WikiSpeed) called Joe the day of the crash. He had been awake for days, driving in the rain. The vital parts of the car were covered by a plastic tarp. He was exposed to the cold and wind. Nineteen miles short of our goal, he crashed. You could hear it in his voice: He was tired. He was scratched up. I think his heart was tired. All I could say was, "What can I do to help?" It wasn't much---just a gesture, really, since I was thousands of miles away, sipping my coffee, reading my e-mail, about to road-trip home to Colorado, while he was in the garage in Seattle.

But that simple gesture counted. He paused. He choked up a little, and he said, "Just hearing you say that makes all the difference."

Soon the deluge of help flooded in. They were working in the garage all day and logging progress and researching late into the night. The lights kept going off in the garage every hour. It was cold and greasy in there. Now, taking Joe's lead, the volunteers were pushing their own limits.

But then my sister-in-law offered another simple gesture. She sent cookies. Homemade. Lemon. Cookies.When I called Joe to ask how it was going, all he could say was, "We have cookies! Jak sent lemon cookies!" The hope and vitality was back in his voice.

Joe's secret weapon is a large group of volunteers who offer whatever they can in support. It may be small---like baking cookies---or big---like taking a week off work and flying in to build.

We believe. We believe in WikiSpeed.

If you want to see what we have been up to, friend us on Facebook or follow us on the Team Site. The link is at the top of the page.

1 comment:

  1. so proud of all y'all. blahtimore is Team Wiki!