A bit more of context

As The Slid Project advances, I think it might be important to explain a little better some of the major observations that lay the foundation of our proposal. It seems to me that sharing these considerations will help people understand the goals and intentions of the design —and hopefully— also enabling them to make the best use of it.

The most important piece of information at the current time is to remember we’re doing this for Costa Rica. Even though we’re aware of the potential of this product in foreign markets, we have a clear vision of experimenting better traffic conditions in our country. This means that our proposal must overcome a series of challenges characteristic of our country:

  • Weather (temperature, rain, wind, humidity)
  • Topography (slopes, curves, distances)
  • Infrastructure (potholes, available roads)
  • Road conditions (traffic jams, lack of parking space, road accidents)
  • Environment (noise pollution, emissions, energy generation and spending)
  • Market (vehicle options currently available, vehicle fleet)
  • Economy (industry, public debt, markets)

In the following days I will present our perspective on each of these points. But let me say: I think it’s very likely that if we get the Slid to perform well on Costa Rican roads, it’ll perform well almost everywhere.

Mid-February Report

We’ve had a lot of progress since my last entry. Even tough our posts have become a little bit more sporadic, The Slid Project is more alive than ever!

As we become conscious of the importance of presenting concrete evidence of our efforts, we have focused on creating a visual prototype (a 3D model), capable of transmitting the essence of our idea. However, the recent signing of the Law of Incentives and Promotion of Electric Transport seems to signal the start of an exciting Costa Rican technological race, as other related projects have surfaced on national media, like this, this and even this.

So, that’s how our current work has shifted from important to urgent. We don’t want to just stay in the race: we want to lead it and help ensure the development of the nascent industry, inspiring others to contribute to the world a little of what we Ticos value most: nature and environment.

Please stay tuned, because the moment of revealing our idea is approaching at ludicrous speed

Goodbye January. Hello February.

The first month of The Slid Project is gone. February has just started and I feel personally satisfied with the progress we’ve made so far. Besides, as Esteban mentioned in a previous post, there are some things happening in our country that are hard to believe for their good timing and impact. That really inspire us to continue with this effort.

Right now we’re focusing in research and design, but we’re also trying to make some progress in the organizational part of the project (v.g. finances stuff, legal stuff, etc.)

This always makes me think of a big old audio mixer, and now we’re trying to raise all of them at the same time. Manually and in perfect time.

What is this story about?

We have decided the protagonist of this story is definitely a vehicle. Before this project started, we only had a blurry idea about the problem that ultimately motivate us: it has to do with how difficult it has become to travel on the streets of the Great Metropolitan Area of our country, Costa Rica.

We still have a lot of research to do to correctly back up our observations, but you can ask anyone actually living here that going out to work and back has been increasingly frustrating in the last decades. Some of the main causes are traffic jams, car accidents, lack of parking space, shabby streets and car theft. We know many of those issues may be seen as part of normal life in modern cities all around the world, and we also know this is an enormous problem to tackle, but we want to do something anyway. There has been several measures tried in our country, like vehicular restrictions, bike lanes, campaigning for patience and courtesy on the road, etc., but none of those seem to work. Still, something has to be done.

Maybe this is actually a story about us, humans.

Second Week Report

This week we’ve been very busy discussing the postulates of the project, which in turn could impact a lot of decisions later. This concerns many areas: design, production, image, sales, finances and, of course, the very core of the idea…

Reducing fatigue, stress, noise, smog, waste of fuel and unpunctuality seems to us a very serious matter for the people, not just from our country but for us modern humans. However, we’re trying to keep our plans realistic.

By the way, Costa Rica is currently at the top of the Happy Planet Index rankings, and we think that’s a powerful idea that we could strive to cultivate:  making that happiness more consistent, tangible, durable and hopefully even shareable with other countries.

Maybe a little Costa Rican spirit is what the technology of the future present needs.

First Week Report

The first week of our project is gone and left us with only 51 remaining to complete our goals for the Slid. I know it’s actually a lot of time, but when you’re doing something you really like, time flies. That’s its nature.

We spent most of this week putting first things in order, discussing our goals, methods and drafting the “master plan”. So far we have a name, a logo, a domain, a website and a space in some social networks. We worked on a business model canvas. We also have started making concepts of the product in 3D, but they’re far from ready for the public. Please have patience.

As we have a clear idea of the time setting of the project, we also began plotting our calendar. We probably consider this our main tool. It just makes sense: having a timeline clearly defined by a complete calendar year help us understand the magnitude of the given time frame, and hopefully, also to make better decisions about the timing of the events in this story.

That’s why I personally feel satisfied with this first week.

Now, let’s get the other 51!

Got that feeling

The Slid Project is an idea that I, Harold (nice to meet you!), convinced my friend Esteban we could try to pull out in the course of one year.

This is not the first project we work together. Some time ago we had a micro-brewery and until now we were working in some related hobby/business in our spare time. However, I believe 2018 could be a special year for this project. We see many reasons why it’s important to at least try, but I admit there’s something else in the equation and it’s not a reason but something from the heart.

If this were our last chance to make a small contribution to the world, what could that be? The beers, mead and all that are ok. But I insist: if you really had just one last year to work some kind of miracle in the world as you know it… what could that be? And how do get there?

So this was the deal: for 2018 we stop everything else we’re doing and try to focus on something bigger. Something that makes us proud (in a purposeful way). I already had a hunch what could make a good candidate for the project…

Then again, I admit the first proof this idea wasn’t completely crazy was Esteban agreeing to it.

 

You can’t borrow tomorrow
— Mike Patton

…and this is how our story begins…

Welcome to The Slid Project! We’re very glad you could make it here (how did that happen, by the way?). We’re just about to begin a tale about something we currently don’t know exactly how it is. But what we do know is that its story will be worth telling…

This is about something many people around the world experiment almost every day: traffic jams and parking problems. In fact, it’s hard to clearly define our antagonist, as it is composed of several situations tightly packed together: lack of space to move, wasted time, wasted fuel and an array of heavy mental states were the first few that crossed our minds. So this is the modern monster our project has the mission to curb.

We call our hero “Slid”. We imagine it as a vehicle capable to slide through the traffic, just like bikes and motorcycles do. But we came to think those vehicles still lack some requirements to become the real solution to the conflict, particularly in certain situations. Thus, the aim of The Slid Project is to propose a solution based in our perspective of the conflict and its nature, instead of reviewing or reinforcing the measures that are currently being applied in our cities. We want something different.

So here we are! …and this is how our story begins…