14 October 2012

We live in an extraordinary world full of extraordinary people.

If today’s news of Felix Baumgartner attempting to beat Joe Kittingers record, set in 1960, where he free falls 19.5 miles, reaching speeds of 840 mph doesn’t convince you of this, then nothing will.

When only 2 people have attempted to beat this crazy stunt and both of them died, you wonder what is going through the mind of Felix Baumgartner as he rises quickly towards space.


Felix-braumgartner throwing himself from the space pod on his record breaking trip to earth

With his close family sobbing on the ground, watching his balloon disappear, it very quickly puts this drama into perspective.

So, what makes people do these extraordinary things?

Is there a point? What is the obsession people have with driving everything faster?

It is all down to challenge; doing things that cannot be done, doing the impossible. These adventurers are the drivers that keep evolution ticking on and, without these incredibly brave people, we would never know what is actually possible.

The adventurers’ gene is in us all as children but, for most people, it reduces when we learn painful lessons; as we get wiser with age.

Broken down into its simplest form, the adventurers’ gene is purely the inability to give up.

Where certain people tire, get bored, distracted, lose focus, there are a few on the planet who, when the going gets tough, get inspired. They sink their teeth in and the idea of giving up is alien to them.

Now, you could say that this is just someone being competitive but I don’t subscribe to this. There’s a difference between wanting to win in Monopoly and dedicating the rest of your life to settling a score, proving a point or achieving the impossible.

One of our quests at UKFast is to speed up the Internet and give everyone who connects with a UKFast client the very best user experience possible.

Whilst there are no lives at stake (only livelihoods), the breakthroughs we are making are hugely rewarding, both for the UKFast Speed Team and for the clients who report massive increases in the performance of their sites. When you have something to beat, it drives you that extra bit harder and gives everyone focus and a purpose.

One man who taught me the importance of this is Sir Richard Branson. Is he an adventurer or entrepreneur?  In my opinion, he is an adventurer who uses his gifts of passion and determination to make a success in the business world. If launching a commercial spacecraft isn’t enough, the deepest dives into the darkest places on earth should give you an insight into what makes him tick. However, it is his adventurer gene that makes him a very worthy opponent no matter what he does.

It’s no surprise then to see that there aren’t a huge number of these adventurers knocking around. One of the downfalls of this type of profession is that, if it goes wrong, it is quite often your life that is at stake.  That is why we admire and look up to them.

So, well done Felix, you did it. You truly are a braver man than me.

Should I be worried that my 6 year old is already re-enacting jumping out of a space pod before bed?


Re-enacting the Felix Braumgartner free fall

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