I, like all the Threadheads, am a huge Aaron Sorkin fan. Despite only lasting for 2 seasons, Sports Night is one of my favorite Sorkin Shows. Set in New York, there is an episode in which one of the characters goes to see The Lion King on Broadway and is completely awed by the production. The costumes, the music, the creative human output got to her. She comes back to work asking all of her colleagues, “Did you know we could do that?”
Today over lunch we watched the Patagonia inspired documentary 180 South. And when it was over all I could think was, did you know we could do that? Watching people pursue beautiful and terrifying adventures while having such respect for nature was breathtaking.
At one point, a talented surfer is getting ready to summit one of the most remote mountains in the world, because she’s happened to join up with the group traveling there in the documentary.
“Wait a minute.” I interrupted, “she’s never rock climbed before in her life. And she’s going to scale this?!?”
“It’s amazing,” Ian answered, “thinking we can do something and pursuing it.”
She did it. They didn’t make it all the way to the top, but she wasn’t injured, and kept up with the group. She scaled rock and ice just fine. Humans are capable of incredible things.
Did you know we could do that?
When starting a business, there’s a lot of throwing yourself into new experiences, industries, and roles you’ve never been in before. Experience is important and carries a lot of weight with it, but there is so much learned through trial by fire, by taking a great idea and running with it, and by not being afraid to constantly ask smarter people for help so that you can keep going. The surfer-turned-mountain-climber is a metaphor that’s not that far off from what we’ve experienced these first couple years at Thread. Ok, surfing to mountain climbing is a lot more badass.
There have been times since we started this project, when I’ve watched our back of the napkin ideas, and grandiose brainstorming statements form their way into real international exports, recycling strategies, and good sustainable jobs in Haiti, that I want to shout to my teammates, did you know we could do that?!
Thread believes we can transform trash from a problem, into a renewable resource capable of strengthening economies and changing lives. Getting to watch that shift unfold is a powerful experience. There is so much we can do.