/ˌɡädˈspēd/: an expression of good wishes to a person or robot starting a journey
Today, after five years as Saildrone’s COO, I am transitioning out of my day-to-day duties to focus on my family and a growing portfolio of early-stage investments. Rest assured I will remain a vocal champion for Saildrone’s planetary mission whenever the occasion arises.
It has been both a pleasure and a privilege to work and grow with the most talented team I have ever met over these past years, and I am particularly grateful for the support of our global science partners, each of which has played an important role in establishing Saildrone’s uncrewed surface vehicles as a new key tool towards a real-time quantified planet.
Over those past five years, Saildrone’s technology has evolved from early prototypes to a fully operational, global autonomous data platform supporting a wide variety of ocean missions ranging from climate research to fisheries management, and from maritime domain awareness to bathymetry. Most importantly, the global Saildrone fleet now continuously delivers data, of demonstrated peer-reviewed quality, from every ocean around the world, uninterrupted even by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The highlights are too many to recount, from the record-breaking circumnavigation of Antarctica monitoring CO2 to mapping the US Arctic, using acoustics to estimate fish biomass in the North Sea, the Bering Sea, or the entire US West Coast. Above all, the countless partner workshops from the four corners of the country — or indeed the world — often standing on the shoulders of giants (thank you AWS and TED). Guy Kawasaki of Apple wrote the book The Art of the Start, but I am a believer that even more care is required to transition out once a company is hitting its stride and carries its own, accelerating, momentum. Sunsets signal the beginning of a new cycle: for Saildrone, one of strong, sustainable growth.
As I focus on my next chapter, I am incredibly proud to leave a company on solid footing. The Saildrone fleet numbers over 100 USVs, working to serve the needs of an unparalleled set of global partners, for whom they have performed over 1 million miles of missions, while our company itself benefits from a solid balance sheet and a first-class management team, led by Richard, our fearless CEO & founder, that provides sustainability, continuity, and stability for the years ahead.
I have full confidence that the entire Saildrone team will continue to grow these amazing collaborations going forward, autonomously navigating from pole to pole, mapping and monitoring our oceans to help better understand key planetary systems that affect humanity.
After all, you cannot fix what you cannot measure.
As for me, it is time to sail on and with much gratitude,
to wish Saildrone fair winds and following seas.