End of the Road or New Beginning?After a few years online, it's high time to summarize what we have achieved and what we have not, and decide about the future of the Open Waterbike Project.
On the bright side, we have built a loosely connected community of brilliant people variously contributing to transforming the dream of the Open Waterbike into reality. And indeed, our colleagues and friends have conceived, designed and prototyped excellent high performance pedal boats, among them some of the fastest long-distance pedal boats in the World.
On the dark side, the Open Waterbike as a product, which is the real ultimate goal of the project, is not getting through, and a shared opinion among friends and colleagues is that something is intrinsically wrong with the project, possibly the lack of a 'incentive system', and this will stall the project where it is for the foreseeble future.
A number of people who have contributed to our project have become dispirited, so the project is losing momentum.
High time to shut up, so?
Well I have been seriously considering this option for a while, and I believe that - pardon the emphasis - this could actually be the deep dark before a new dawn.
Why do I believe so, against the gloomy vision of many trusted friends?
As a researcher in innovation 'science' I know that technological innovation is not just technological, it's the complex outcome of socio-technical change.
The success of a novel 'product' like the waterbike cannot be reliably predicted, but there are signs around us that the conditions are changing in the right direction. Besides, on the technical side, while in the pedal boat arena we see interesting (but traditional) new products, something interesting is happening in related technological areas, like bicycling.
Against the superficial vision of a stalled project, I am optimistic.
I am therefore planning a new launch of our project, with a clean novel approach and a real, new, exciting, potentially breakthrough concept. With the help of the old and new friends I hope we will be able to launch it in 2016.
Please join us in this new attempt!
See you soon. All my best
Giuseppe 'Sef' Carignani - Founder, The Open Waterbike Project