9-11 was a pivotal point in the life of SimVentions. I’ll never forget the day. I was in Orlando leading a Simulation forum with just over fifty people in the room. The conference chair unexpectedly poked her head in the middle of my session, quietly made her way to me with a clear look of concern.
“Paul. Sorry to interrupt, but the World Trade Center just was hit by a plane, and so was the Pentagon. They believe it was terrorist attack. And they think there are terrorists still in the air.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. “Terrorist attack.” I pondered. Then she added, “We fear that there are still registered attendees flying to this workshop, who may be on some of those planes.”
When she shared that, my heart stopped.
“If you were going to do it again, rebuild from scratch, what would you do different?”
That question was asked of me a few years ago -- and then resurfaced again in the midst of COVID-19. The original questions was centered on the business that I had a part in launching over a decade earlier. The follow on question asked recently was centered on how to recover after dumpster fire year. Often, when someone asks a business building question, my mind races back to the beginning. But COVID adds a whole knew wrinkle.
The first few years we passionately set up shop with great expectations, only to be frequently disappointed. The big contracts that we were fishing for, just weren’t biting. Still, we ventured out, explored, tried to turn over each stone of opportunity we could, but – on the big ones – we failed again and again. For three years it seemed we were perpetually rebuilding ourselves.
Rather than giving up, which...
I love the NASA story. The aspiration we had as a nation in the 60's and early 70's to put man on the moon is an incredible example of perseverance! What seemed impossible at first, was made possible. But it wasn't without some challenges.
One of the most infamous statements in the midst of a challenge, which was used as motivation to help bring the crew of Apollo 13 safely back to earth, was a directive from Gene Kranz. In a moment of crisis, he coined the phrase "Failure is not an option."
Kranz, who's back is depicted in the picture above, was the flight controller for that mission, and many others. Almost fifty-six hours into the Apollo 13 mission, an explosion occurs on board. One of the oxygen tanks blows up, threatening their survival. This not only keeps them from landing on the moon, but jeopardizes the lives of the astronauts. The fear is that they might not come home.
A mix of contractors and NASA personnel representing various...