It is said that running a startup from scratch is like jumping off the cliff, while assembling a plane on the way down, so that we don’t crash to the ground.
But that’s just the opening sentence of a long and thrilling story.
The moment we jumped, at sudden we’re being accelerated by gravity at 9.8m^2. We were stunned and gasped by the change of pressure in our ear. Everything were moving so fast, but in fact they weren’t move at all. It is us that whooshing to the ground.
Faster, and faster, with our spinal cord reflex closed our eyes. Until we reach the terminal velocity. Then it was quiet. Like when we hop in on a back seat of a night bus in a maximum speed on a straight highway, we felt like the bus wasn’t moving at all.
And so we opened our eyes. The ground was still far away, covered with cloud. But we can felt it was getting closer.
We know we must build the plane as fast as we can. A normal plane on the airport runway will need thrust from the engine to reach takeoff speed. We don’t have that kind of luxury. The way down is our runway, and the earth gravity is our thrust.
We began to build the plane body first, because that’s where the crew would stay and help assemble the other parts. The first crew jumped in to this ugly tubular shape were the most visionary.. or stupid. I mean, they literally believe someone who claimed to be a pilot, with no plane!
Then we built the wings, because that’s what can make us fly. Wings pretty much can make this thing looks like a plane, too. And that will convince more people to jump in becoming our crew.
The next part would be the tail, because then we can change the direction of this plane from vertical fall. And it must be equipped with controller stick and cockpit for the pilot to sit in and control this-now-become vehicle.
Some of the crew even didn’t make it stay on board. They jumped out before the plane is completed, or we just kicked them out because they’re becoming useless deadlifts.
At this point we were so close to the ground and we can see all the wreckages of the planes who failed to take off. Some of them looks like garbage bins. Some of them looks like bird with large wings, but we can’t see any fuselages.
Some of them, looks like jet planes with wings and nose and tail and all those shiny gadgets, but without any cockpit. I bet the pilot already left before the plane was completely built.
And here we are, in our plane. It looks ugly, but it may works. It’s our MVP. Now, the pilot can start to lift the nose and prevent all of us crash to the ground. It was a close call, but we’re now miraculously flying!
We can hear gently now, people clapped and cheered from the ground when we didn’t crash. Somehow we can hear whispers and wonders, “Why didn’t they crash?”
But all of those didn’t matter. The question was; do this ugly plane enough to make us reach our destination? No. We just managed to avoid hitting the hard rock soil below.
We need the engines and the propeller blades. And we need the power to make them roar.
So now we’re flying afloat, close to the ground. Picking up parts of the engines, and shout out to all the best engineers, asking to join us aboard.
When all the propellers and engines already been installed, then it’s time to kick the start pedal and watch the blades swirl. But wait. It wasn’t that smooth. We all — pilot, wingmen, crews, and engineers tried so hard to start the engines. We all kicked with all of our sore feet and some tears. Together.
Then we heard faint clamorous sound from our wings. It was the engines! And it rumbled, jarring so loud and we cheered and tossed our hands. We’re aviating like a plane should be!
And that moment is when we can sit back and catching our breath. We finally can see the cloud and admire their beauties. We see tops of the mountains and feel the moment of glory.
For a while.
Because our destination is still so far away.
Space. The final frontier.