Part 1: Who’s going to test it?

In 1888, Karl Benz was struggling to launch the first automobile in Europe. He needed to prove to the public that his vehicle would work. It was his wife, Bertha Benz (who financed the project to begin with), who had the guts to test it.

Bertha Benz, along with her two kids, took the Patent-Motorwagen No. 3 without her husband’s knowledge and without permission from the authorities, then illegally drove it on the first long-distance automobile road trip.

Over the next 121 miles, she had to clean the carburetor with her hat pin and used her garter to insulate a wire. Enlisted a blacksmith to fix a broken chain. She then refueled at a local pharmacy using highly volatile ligroin, making it the first fueling station in history. When the wooden brakes wore down, she asked a local cobbler to nail leather on the brake blocks, inventing the first brake pads.

Once Bertha reached her destination, she sent a telegram to Karl confirming her arrival. Her marketing campaign worked. The Benz car gained considerable attention from her adventure.

You’ll never know which projects will work until you find the courage to test them.

Much easier to test projects we believe in. But it’s easier to believe what we can imagine. The challenge then is to help others to see, to bridge the gap of what is and what could be.