VLT – The Last Image at the Last KICKSTART

A couple of days back (2 months after our abrupt killoff), someone who was at the last KICKSTART featuring Wee Kiat of MyBurgerLab fame asked me about the last image I showed.

It was an image of a VLT – Very Large Telescope. You can read more about them in detail here , but a quick layman’s description as I come to understand (college dropout here trying to explain a very very advanced topic that most professors can only pretend to understand):

  • The VLT is located in northern Chile
  • It consists of four individual telescopes
  • Each telescope can operate on its own, but when they are used together, they can see more details, clearer and farther
  • It could have used a better name (seriously, VLT sounded so canggih -advanced in colloquial Manglish) but the actual is like, meh

Why the VLT? Well, deep into the night, as I was preparing for the last KICKSTART in our 3 year career as community builders, I reflect upon what a perfect snapshot that can capture this message – people coming together to make epic shit happen. As I browse thru tons of photos – from funny to fabulous, serene to serious, I found a few near perfect ones, but it doesn’t capture the essence.

Then I saw the image above. At first I swept passed it, dismissing it as a bad search result. Somehow, by the laws of the 0.6 seconds (note to self: something to write about in another post in a distant-full future), the image stuck and after like 32 scrolls down, I backed up. I did a quick google on it, and in an instant, I found the perfect picture to end KICKSTART.

KICKSTART wouldn’t have happened without the team effort of 6 individuals. Sure, the inner circles would say some deserve more credit than others, but I still credit everyone for being there in the beginning, despite not ending the 3-year journey together.

You see, one man’s vision can never see so far, one man’s reach can never extend so far, one man’s voice can never travel so far.

To say that KICKSTART was the effort of only a small group is a lie worthy to be told only from the mouth of the dickest politicians. Yes, a few initiated it, but if there were no audience, the songs will be left unheard. And grateful I was, and am still, that month after month, people show up for our events, our performance, and that gave us the oxygen we need to push further.

So to the speakers and mentors that sometimes flew halfway around the world just to speak at our platform for free, I thank you. To the partners that enabled us to do what naysayers said was impossible, ridonculous and stupid, I thank you. To the volunteers who lend us their steady hands to hold the video cams, rapid thumbs to search and check-in participants, chatty patience to entertain the occasional obnoxious/weird/irritating/dick-heads/drama-divas, I thank you.

But most of all, for those who show up, I thank you. You have enabled, equipped and empowered us to improve on the minute details of each event, with better clarity in the purpose we serve, and with greater vision on the epic shit that can happen when enough people come together. You are the multiple telescopes that make up the KICKSTART VLT.


Co-Founder of KICKSTART by night, Talent Development Consultant, organising workshops and conferences by day, and full-time single dad in between, Maverick is pretty much a renegade. An ex-monk who's always first to ask "why not?", Mav enjoys hacking the way things are done, and pretty much happy with the success rate of 50% (coz sometimes mom is right after all...). When it comes to business, give him a million bucks and he'll most probably get a new set of gadgets, drive home an Audi R8 and reload his Starbucks card. But give him little to nothing, and see how he starts switching on the little brain-matter between his ears. Challenge ACCEPTED!

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