Postulate One

Hello, Chris here. I’d like to formally welcome you to Postulateone.com, the home base for the project Morgan Hartley and I will be undertaking starting next year. You are currently located on (what will be) the center of action, our blog. On our site you’ll also find content describing the project, as well as links to our profile pages, media uploads, contact info, and ways you can help out.

But I still haven’t addressed the elephant in the room – what is Postulate One? I can think of no better way to describe it than by posting a letter I wrote – mostly to myself – a few weeks ago largely to convince myself that this was all a good idea…Here it goes:

Open Letter – November 13, 2011

“So…do you know what your plans are for next year?”

To anyone currently finishing up their senior year in college, this question should be more than familiar. For many, it is an inquiry that harkens both a sense of dread and humility. We all know that times are tough. I need not cite any economic or labor bureau statistics to drive this point home.

But while paths towards traditional employment prove increasingly difficult to navigate, the time becomes ever riper to do something truly unconventional – to turn heads, raise eyebrows, and go against the grain. Not that there should ever necessitate additional justification for taking a chance – life is much too short for that — but by the same token, if there was ever a time to go out on a limb, it is now. Because we find ourselves at an unprecedented crossroads where the pipeline to the ‘American Dream’ has become obfuscated with instability and unrealized hope for change. The leaders of tomorrow will be the ones who make it out of this mess by creatively forging their own paths. What it ultimately boils down to is that, at this point in our lives, we really have nothing to lose.

So what are my plans for next year?

I will be biking from Paris to Hong Kong. It will take roughly 16 months. And I will be documenting the stories of entrepreneurs in developing countries along the way.

The project’s name is “Postulate One,” and will commence mid March, when my friend Morgan Hartley and I officially set off from Paris, France. From there, we will head eastward across the Eurasian continent (link to map of waypoints here), stopping for extended periods in seven cities to conduct case studies on some of the coolest entrepreneurs you’ve never heard of.

Is this crazy? Absolutely. But admittedly, that’s half the point.

Because in deciding to commit a year and a half of our lives to this cause, Morgan and I took a hard look at what we really wanted to get out of the whole project. We came up with two things:

  1. We want to have had one last opportunity to exploit our youth (before being tied down in the job market) by having a totally awesome, mostly unscripted adventure in which we personally grow with the presentation of new perspectives and the inevitability of overcoming challenges.
  2. Since we both have entrepreneurial aspirations and want to start our own companies later on, we look to learn invaluable lessons from the success stories of innovative, foreign business owners who didn’t blink in the face of adversity.

In short, these realizations combine to form the “Postulate One” of our project – the buzzword we have adopted which signifies the stripping down of ideas to their core, foundational platforms. It is our hope, in fact, to encounter many Postulate Ones along our journey. For instance – on a personal level – what do I find most fulfilling? But also on an interpersonal level, what are the common, cross cultural factors that drive the entrepreneurial spirit? What is missing in our national and global dialogue? And how can we contribute on a significant level?

These are some of the questions we will look to address throughout the trip by means of regular blog posts and newspaper syndications (oh yeah, and a book). We will be partnering with several organizations and foundations to conduct our research on foreign entrepreneurs, such as TED talks and Kairos.

This is where things stand at the moment. So what’s to come in the coming months, you ask?

A lot of planning. After all, this isn’t just some spur-of-the-moment, Alexander Supertramp venture ‘Into the Wild.’ Currently on our plate is:

  • -Solidifying relationships with partner organizations, foundations, and media outlets
  • -Continuing to making travel arrangements (visas and permits, etc)
  • -Fundraising (working on raising about $20,000 each)

I should note that, in addition to offering a description and explanation of my post-graduate plans, Morgan and I are looking for as much support, guidance, and criticism as possible from anyone who cares to become involved.

In any case, please let us know what you think! It’s an exciting road ahead of us.

-Chris

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4 Responses to Postulate One

  1. Greg Lee says:

    What a great idea. I would love to do this with a friend. How do you plan to raise the funds to get started? Also congrads on finishing up UCLA.

    Good luck

    • ChrisChris says:

      Thanks, Greg.

      We’re kicking off our holiday fundraising drive at the end of this week. Look for a video to be posted on our site on Friday.

      I’ll tell you all about it when we grab lunch next week. Looking forward to it.

      Chris

  2. Sounds like one hell of an adventure and best of luck. Fun (intriguing) idea and I’ll be interested to hear how the trip unfolds!

  3. Chris, I know your Mom through volunteer groups. Congratulations on your project; it’s so creative and interesting. I really admire what you and Morgan are doing. Our daughter just graduated 2 quarters early from college as well. Good luck!

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