Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Back across the Channel


‘Packed things up last night for the trip back to Britain.  This is the week that all of the deals start to close, setting the path for the future: there are meetings with investors and huddles over legal documents in London and Cambridge for the rest of the week.

It remains a slow, adversarial process, maybe it has to be whenever money is involved. The Socratic tension of questions, answers, more questions improves the business plan and product, without question.  But it also saps resources, time, energy, money, that could better be spent doing the work.   I wonder how many ideas simply fail because their proponents don’t have the stamina for the process?

Anyway, it was a nice drive across Belgium and France for the 6 pm ferry.  At a gas stop outside of Dunkirk, the card reader, in French, asked me to choose my language: 1) Francais.  There were no other choices.  The attendant shrugged and reached across to push “”1”.  Sometimes I think gatekeepers just want acknowledgement more than obedience, whether in languages or border crossings.  Hey, you, head’s up and pay attention.  The bizarre actress in the Delta pre-flight safety video is similar: peculiar enough that you can’t help watching.

No snow, no floods in evidence; the news says that the crest of the river has moved north towards Venlo.  The captain characterized our crossing as ‘smooth seas and fair winds”, although the ferry pitched and rolled most of the way to Britain.  A spatter of rain along the highway, curving around London and north to Cambridge.  Nice to take the thoughtful time in the car; the next few days won’t offer much break.

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