Apple Tree

The best time to plant an apple tree was thirty years ago; the next best time is now.

Life is not without its sense of irony.

Two years ago, I fractured my foot while out mountain biking. The irony wasn’t that I was changing jobs at the time and started day one on crutches. No, the irony was that I wasn’t even riding my bike. I was doing the tamest of all activities short of lying down: I was walking. Looking back, most injuries I’ve collected are not when I’m pushing my limits, but when I’m in my comfort zone.

Turns out the comfort zone can be a dangerous place. We get lax. Accept things we shouldn’t. Don’t notice the risks we should.

When we’re outside our comfort zone, we’re focused, intense, with our game face on. Our experiences broaden, skills sharpen, and in that we find new opportunities. Sure, there are risks inherent to pushing the limit: that’s why we fear it. But that’s when we’re tuned in to the risks, prepared for them, and we balance them with the benefits. And no one can deny the thrill of performing at our very best.

Starting a medical device design consultancy in the middle of a pandemic is nothing if not thrilling. While it does present its own challenges, a strict lockdown being chief among them, it does also present a unique opportunity. Governments, especially here in Australia, are seeing the value in investing in the industry, and getting a true taste of the cost if they don’t. There is more incentive, more ideas, and more discourse on the subject than ever. The medical industry is front-of-mind for an entire population.

Further, the paradigm of how we work has shifted for a large percentage of the professional workforce. Not just us as adults. I look at my children having to manage multiple browser profiles, passwords, learn software, and be self-motivated to get schoolwork done. It’s unprecedented for a seven-year-old to have to do that, and I have no doubt this will alter their perception of what a work environment is, well into adulthood. And it won’t be defined by walls or highways or borders. By being light and nimble, we can embrace this new paradigm without breaking a sweat.

We might not yet have a decade of history behind us, but we do have a decade of exciting opportunities and challenges ahead of us, with the talent and experience to gets us there. The time to plant that apple tree is now, as it were. To me, Virtimachi represents a singular focus to deliver Industrial Design to the medical device industry at the highest possible level. A loosing of the reins to grow, get outside our comfort zone, and realise our full potential.

So, on a personal level, a heart-felt thank you to everyone who has supported me on this journey thus far. To those who have provided moral and technical support, offered amazing opportunities, and shown me the door beyond which more potential lies. All have contributed to this moment.

To all the innovators, let’s get after it.