And just like that, it’s over. It’s been 4 months since our ragtag band of science misfits got together. Four months since we came to Cork, a city (maybe a town?) most of us had never even heard of, since we met Bill and Steve and Elsa and Caitriona and John, four months since we began calling each other – giggling at first, rolling our eyes at times – Rebels.
There were too many jokes to be made with the name. The obvious Rebel without a cause and the image of James Dean in a red leather jacket (because of course red is part of the branding) was too easy to associate to that kind of entrepreneur, and that kind of startup: too much Silicon Valley, too much move fast, break things, disregard morals, get money.
Thank everything, it wasn’t. There was a lot of move fast and get money, but there was also purpose, and impact, and yes! Science. If anything, this was a wonderful example of when entrepreneurship morals go right.
Because being a Rebel, I learnt, is not about being a reckless contrarian.
It’s questioning your own notions of how things are supposed to go. It’s looking at your current development stage and not seeing a useless and unappetizing half-baked cake, but an oddly innovative advanced batter. It’s braving conversations you never, ever wanted to have, exposing failure in slow motion until you’re raw enough to move on. About turning problems into dares and objectives into challenges and facing fear with a weirdly contagious sense of excitement. About daring to do what you don’t know how to, and acting as a one man orchestra from dawn till dusk and beyond – one that happens to play while standing on a tightrope. About doing ridiculous things for the thrill of it and because it just happens to be ridiculously useful. About going on adventures that really shouldn’t have worked at all, but sometimes, just some times, life really does have your back – especially while in Ireland.
Being a Rebel is telling people against all logic that NO, they should NOT be entrepreneurs.
It’s looking at a plant with a terrible reputation and seeing medicine.
It’s not just making something amazing, but taking the time to explain why everyone should care about it (yes, even you).
It’s knowing we don’t have an alternate planet and adopting radical sustainability.
It’s going undercover into clinics, secret spy-style, to truly understand what your user needs.
It’s turning introvert science nerds into entrepreneurs.
And above all, it’s a damn cool way to live life. It’s move fast, build things, grow your impact, improve the planet. It’s not taking anything for granted, except your responsibility to leave this place better than you found it, whatever that means to you.
These four months are gone, and the actual title is gone, I know.
But I do hope I will continue to live life as a Rebel.