Calling all collaborators

Yesterday was momentous. Thanks to advice from Christin Shacat I researched the Division 1 and 2 Transpac skippers. I also blasted Apple execs with an inspiring email, strategized with Kai for an hour and implemented Twitter. What’s it all about? Collaboration.

Why collaboration is good…

Certainly our current resources are adequate to make ‘On Desire’. We are blessed with two intelligent, attractive and articulate visionaries – an experienced solo sailer and an almost acclaimed filmmaker. We’ve got a sturdy boat soon to be equipped and supplied for the long haul, a mobile HD production and post-production kit and a modest but adequate operating budget. We’ve also blessed with a vibrant network of excellent friends and family. If all we did was document our discussions and discoveries for a month or two in the 8 seas we’d have a pretty compelling project.

Based on lessons learned from posting DOG, doing it alone is not ideal. To really amp up the fun, we’ve got to add holes! Holes are where the collaborators go.

For example, because Jeff Gibbs has infected me with his no jetting meme, I’ve got to find a boat to Hawaii. That’s not a problem, that’s a hole. Holes create space for collaborators. Finding collaborators for the boat hole has expanded On Desire’s scope. What sorts of boats travel to Hawaii? Container ships and racing sail boats.

Container ships are integral to global trade. What would sustainable global trade look like? Do shipping companies like Matson or Horizon Lines have a vision for sustainable operations? Matson’s parent company, Alexander and Baldwin, Inc. advocates sustainable practice when describing it’s agribusiness, power generation and real estate operations in Hawaii. Reaching out to these companies has become much more than finding a ride, they could become key collaborators in the project.

The Transpac 2009 is starting at the end of June. A fleet of racing yachts will sail from California to Oahu over the course of a couple of weeks. Many of these boats integrate sophisticated design and exotic synthetic materials. They are often skippered by uber successful entrepreneurs in science and business. Since this community is so savvy about harvesting solar power (wind), it’s easy to imagine them contributing mightily to a sustainable future.

Of course, even sailboats make a significant footprint in their construction. I’ll be speaking with the Transpac Commodore later today. I wonder if the racing community recognizes boats that integrate lower energy and less toxic construction techniques and materials? Could boats with dacron sails get a starting advantage over those with mylar sails?

There’s plenty of other holes besides how I get to Hawaii. As a recovering consumer, I choose products that lean toward sustainability. Computers and cameras are a nessisary evil if one wants to make movies, chock full of petroleum, heavy metals and rare earths as they are. Apple products are well designed and built to last, so I’ve invited Steve Jobs and Apple execs to loan On Desire an additional Macbook Pro. There are plenty of other companies I’d enjoy reaching out to for loaners or corporate support, eg Tiffen for a Merlin Steadicam, Vibram for a wrap around pair of Five Fingers, Lectrosonics for watertight radio mics, Canon for a B camera Vixia. I think this differs from traditional product placement because these are products we are already using to meet On Desire’s objectives.

If a collaborator is in alignment with On Desire’s objectives and they are confident we can meet them, they’ll likely sign on. Everywhere I look I see holes, glorious holes!

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