My guest is Robert “Kilo” Morgan, who designed over 33 cutting-edge prototype flight vehicles, including the Virgin Galactic reusable spaceships.
We had a fascinating conversation about a wide variety of topics, including:
- The power of getting comfortable with pain
- Psychedelics and the “school of hyper-reality”
- Using humor to relieve stress and break down barriers
- How to build a team that successfully pushes the envelope
- How to walk up to the edge of the creativity cliff
- Using risk to live a rewarding life
- Using the right mental models to design aircraft
- Extending the range of your comfort zone
- The power of art at Burning Man
- Random acts of kindness at Burning Man
Robert Morgan aka Kilo was previously an aerospace engineer developing and flight testing record-setting prototype aircraft. There he developed the taste for fast-paced fluid, high-pressure short schedule technical/creative environments. Reinventing himself as the developer and wrangler of the AnglerBot camera motion control.
Career has involved the design and management of over 33 cutting edge prototype flight vehicles. Robert’s engineering project leadership has spanned over 20 aircraft development programs with significant engineering participation and leadership in 10 “clean sheet” to first flight new aircraft designs. Aerospace vehicle preliminary design including helicopters, rockets, and airplanes.
Kilo crosses all boundaries of categorization. He loves the arts and technology. Kilo has a proclivity for leadership. Kilo likes to teach and is often requested to mentor interns at work. He likes to challenge the status quo and abhors institutional thinking. He once took all his notes for a semester left-handed to stimulate more of his brain. Kilo loves anything to do with flying (Frisbee, kites, sailing, airplanes…), and creating art.
How My Passion For Flying Helped Me To Design Aircraft – Robert “Kilo” Morgan
“in many ways. You’re very dedicated to, be as quote, unquote, ridiculous as possible, right? You designed 33 cutting edge prototype, flight vehicles, including a rocket, spaceships and things like that
most people don’t do that. So tell us a little bit about what inspired you to get into that and what inspired you to be, as I’m using that word, playfully. I hope you get as ridiculous as possible in that realm.
Well, I think playful definitely hits upon it. It’s the difference, I guess, between work and a career is, is, Are you playing when you, when you’re doing it. when you go to work, if it feels like play, then that’s, that’s a career. Cause it’s a passion, right? It’s something you want to do. And I always loved everything about flying. in an early age I was building model airplanes, model rockets, playing Frisbee. Yeah. Anything that flies, birds, myself,
I started taking flying lessons, ride my bike to the airport to take flying lessons. So, just it’s just a passion about flying as certain metaphors, that are associated with, freedom and, and, The three dimensional nature of it.
it’s often inspiring even to people that don’t fly or like to fly planes. but it’s an easy thing to identify with. And the reason is, because it’s liberating. It’s transportation, all that’s all those things that, that it implies, adventure. danger. Speed. it’s all of those things. It’s different perspectives. you go up and you look down. I mean you see everything so different than a thousand years ago,
10,000 years ago, we were walking around on the planet. why is it so cool to climb a mountain and look down off the Ridge?
Airplane provides that same kind of perspective. And so it’s liberating. It’s inspiring.”
You Cannot Throw Away Your Purpose In Favor Of Your Responsibilities – Robert “Kilo” Morgan
“in my mind, I see this inner tension between and as you said earlier , do I say goodbye to my kids or do I not?
there’s that internal grappling cause you’re not just responsible for yourself. You now also have other people who depend on you. moments like, this is one I’d like to discuss on this podcast because people think living a purpose driven life is obvious is easy, but often it’s not because it’s in the micro moments where you grapple with things, that’s where you’re leaning to your purpose. So tell us a little bit more choosing your passion, your Dharma, your career, your synchronicity, this thing that drives you to keep pushing the envelope in spite of your fear, in spite of your responsibility and all these other things to your attachment to other things that’s in your life.
so I think we have as much responsibility to our passion as we do other people. and that is, you’ve got to lock a balance there, I guess. Right. should I not ride my bike to work because it’s more dangerous than driving my car to work in the city because I enjoy bike riding.
I know a lot of people who they get married and, and their spouse convinces them to sell the motorcycle because they’re not a bachelor anymore.
you’ve got responsibilities. Is that the right thing? Maybe. But if it’s your career choice, it’s not just some sort of extra curricular thrill that you’re seeking.
this is what gives you purpose. And you’ve got to follow that. That’s important. And it may be what kills you, but something’s going to kill you and it might as well be something you’re passionate about.
I like it,
right? I mean, it’s kinda like, risking failure when you’re doing something as an entrepreneur or just designing something, you know? I worked at a place that strongly where we did all these prototypes. It was strongly encouraged to hurry up and, hurry up and fuck it up so you can fix it was the, was the saying. In other words, you were encouraged to failing was not failing. It was fail up or whatever you want to say the cliche is
you definitely get points for trying, and succeeding comes from trying over and over again and not being dissuaded from the setbacks. So, I mean, you gotta be smart about it. Obviously you can, you can keep trying something stupidly and expecting a different result.
But, there’s definitely a method to, you know, it’s like Edison trying all the different kinds of materials for filaments, right? For light bulbs. You tried hundreds and hundreds, you just kind of brute forced at shotgun approach. To development. And, one of the interesting things in my early career at scale composites was our quality control.
Was that the guy that was the project engineer, which would be kind of like the chief engineer on a project? It was, usually most of the engineers were pilots. It’s just kind of our culture. And usually that person, that project engineer that led the program and the design was either the test pilot or the copilot on the first flight.
So talk about quality control. you’re making life or death decisions about doing a trade between strength and weight and minimizing material to make the performance good. And you’re also saying, well, if this thing, if the, if the wing breaks in the first flight. Because of turbulence, it’s going to kill me. So it’s like that’s the insurance, right? And it’s at stake. Your own life at stake.
Yeah, exactly. But so you’re not, you don’t want to die, but you also don’t want to build a shitty product that’s too heavy, that doesn’t have any payload capacity. Right. That doesn’t meet the performance specs. So you’re challenged in every way. Both. Personally physically as well as mentally to to achieve that goal. And that’s about putting skin in the game.
And even though I wasn’t an owner in the company, I always felt like I had skin in the game, in my projects quite often that either I was going to fly on that thing on the first flight or someone I knew, .
And so it’s a lot what motivates entrepreneurs, isn’t it? There’s a reward. There’s a risk and a reward.
Designing The Virgin Galactic White Knight Two Reusable Spacecraft- Robert “Kilo” Morgan
” so now you love flying. You love the ventures, you love freedom.
Now you’re designing for others. you have designed over 33 prototype flight vehicles, which is tremendous. Like, wow, this one, you’re for sure dedicated to this.
tell us a little bit about how you take this mental model of being responsible but still push the envelope into the design realm of flight vehicles.
just to be clear, I didn’t design all 33 of them as I participated in. All of them, like an intimately in most cases, like I was a serious contributor.
Yeah, so I think one of the things I enjoy about aircraft design. most of the stuff I’ve done has been rapid prototypes. So I’ve worked very little on production aircraft. It’s all like record-setting airplanes, one of the kind one-offs. and so it’s usually a very tight schedule. and it kind of, I think an analogy would be like maybe an art project for burning man where you’ve got, one year you’ve decided to do something, now you’ve got to complete it.
You can’t do it alone. Cause it’s a massive project both technically and physically. So you’ve got to collaborate with a lot of people. You’ve got to communicate with those people. It requires a leadership that’s inspiring, you know, to get people all running in the same direction, a line, all those vectors of productivity.
and then the payoff is like that first flight. Which is very risky and it’s very transfer. You can’t go back and redo the first flight. You only get one first flight and there’s a high risk there, and then hopefully you burn off that risk if it’s successful with subsequent flights.
But, that’s part of the big payoff is collaborating on something and then seeing it fly, which just seems like magic.
Right? It’s. Define gravity, doing unexpected things or performing in a way that’s envelope pushing, right? Someone said, you can’t go this fast with this kind of airplane, or you can’t make an airplane that will fly around the world and nonstop on refueled. Well, I worked on a project that did that.
So probably a one of the most personal, Aircraft projects was the white Knight Virgin galactic white night too. and, and the spaceship program. we started that program in 2006 I was working for a small company called scale composites, and we were contracted by Richard Branson to design, build and flight test those vehicles.
and that was inspired by a previous program we have done. Which was spaceship one, which was, the goal of that was to win the X prize, which was to build a spaceship that could go into space, which is defined as a hundred kilometers, 328,000 feet, and do it twice in two weeks times frame. So you had to, it had to be reusable. Yeah, turn it around, fly it again within two weeks. And I had to carry three people to space.
And the inspiration was, it was, started by a guy named Peter Diamandis, who’s a remarkable human. yeah. And so the X prize was to motivate and spawn commercial space tourism.
NASA is a remarkable technical organization, but they just don’t inspire people. They take something that’s really cool and make it super boring. they’re going to, the moon should have been like the coolest thing ever, but it’s kinda like, I dunno, they somehow, right. Even for people like me who are passionate about, They spoiled it somehow. they just made it dry and technical, and you’ve gotta be an Uber nerd to really still like love what happened there. I mean, you can appreciate it, but they took, I dunno, they somehow took the excitement out of it. Right. and so, and then, and then they also, it kinda ended like people were like, what’s the point of driving golf carts on the moon? there was kind of the response, it seemed like a waste of money and we would rather spend money trying to find our oil under somebody else’s sand, and fighting Wars over that, strange, what we decide is important and what’s not important.
So, yeah, especially once to leave the atmosphere. It’s about exploration again. And the challenges, not everybody gets to go. there’s a couple of explorers that get that privilege. and so it’s hard to, when it’s democratic nation that’s publicly funding and it’s hard to keep that enthusiasm up.
I think the older explorers were funded by Kings who had, Unilateral control over how to spend that money. And there were probably a lot of profit motivations back then too. So that’s where I guess commercial space tourism comes in, is, is there a, can you, can you monetize it? Can you capitalize it? can you mine asteroids? Can you build things in space? Can you harvest energy out there and bring it back?
And that’s something the commercial world’s going to do. Not government. Government’s got the deep pockets to maybe do the initial exploration. but so the X prize was a great opportunity to motivate people to get into that.
And subsequently everybody’s doing it now, right? Blue origin space, ex cetera. So that’s great. that’s become a, hopefully a, a booming industry. That succeeds, that expands our world beyond just our atmosphere.
Richard Branson was inspired by space, by the X prize and came to us and wanted us to basically scale that vehicle up quite a bit so that it could carry passengers.
and I had the opportunity to, to lead the team and design the mothership. And the whole spatial mothership configuration. And so we developed that, very rapid paced, ambitious budget and schedule. And we built the mothership in two and a half years. and then the spaceship, started flight testing about a year and a half later after that.
So we have the mothership flying, and then we were able to get the spaceship going and start doing glide flights and empowered rocket planes subsequently and to, to spend, to work with friends and collaborate and work really hard on something just 12 hour days, six days a week for a couple of years, and then to be able to be involved as a copilot.
In flight test on that vehicle was just a peak experience for me to, to realize that I’m flying in something that I designed.
How To Build A Team That Successfully Pushes The Envelope – Robert “Kilo” Morgan
” your mission in life is to continue to push that envelope, right? what’s the composition of the team that you like to work with that’s successfully pushed the envelope over and over
so everybody can be pushing their own personal envelope.
Some people are pushing the envelope. From a thrill seeking danger standpoint. That would be the test pilot, but there could be other people on the team that are pushing their personal envelope of craftsmanship. I didn’t think I could do this this way. And then you learn a new skill and then it becomes easier.
And you’ve really pushed the envelope where before you’d make mistakes and you would, scrap apart that you were handcrafting, let’s say out of carbon fiber and glue and all that. So there’s, there’s personal skills of every personal skills and limits that each of us are challenging ourselves on.
And it’s exciting when everybody is challenging themselves and pushing themselves to achieve a goal together. They’re not all pushing the same boundaries though. So not all of them are dangerous risk-taking to, it takes a variety to achieve those goals. cloning everyone the same doesn’t get you where you need to go.
you need people to complement you. You need people that contradict you of all sorts. people bring different skill sets, but if it’s a challenge, it’s probably a challenge. Both technically risk costs. Schedule, all those things. And there’s different people who address each of those elements in a different way, both personally and collaboratively.
the project has limits that have never been pushed before. And so it’s really exciting when everybody is able to be on their a game, I guess, or go a little bit further than they thought they could do. everyone feels a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction and Sense of contributing.
And it always feels good when people know that you’re on the team and it’s like someone in a sport that’s receiving the Frisbee, the ball or whatever, and they dive for it on the goal line or whatever. It’s like that’s a personal stretch for that person. They may or may not catch that Frisbee or ball at the goal line.
they weren’t going to die doing that, but it was definitely like they put themselves out there. And so everyone recognized that. And there’s a feeling of teamwork also that comes with that, where everyone’s trying to do more, trying to do their best.”
I Challenged My Aerospace Engineers To Express Their Problems In Haiku – Robert “Kilo” Morgan
“Is there a specific ritual that you use as a way to motivate them to be at the edge of their comfort zone?
humor often works.
well, it’s just, they say that humor is always at the expense of at the pain of someone else. Almost always, you think of like, like physical humor is usually some kind of prep fall, right?
it’s Buster Keaton falling down, or the tramp almost getting run over by a car, stepping on a rake, whatever. Humor is a way to builds connection and, it’s like a great equalizer from an ego standpoint. You know, it kind of breaks down.
It’s kinda like when you have a good comrade, you tease, tease them , like in a buddy movie, when, when there’s two different characters of different ethnicities, and they’re just constantly throwing epitaphs at each other about, their race or something, or their gender or something.
And they don’t mean it. It’s just a way of, showing it’s a way of breaking down ego and saying let’s put all that aside. So I think, Humor in, in, in a project is, is a good way to relieve stress. something I’ve incorporated in engineering meetings myself is, okay.
I challenged my engineers too. They have to, they have to express their, okay. When they have a gripe, they have to express it in the form of a haiku.
So we would have meetings where we’d all get up and read our haikus, or a lot of times they ended up being in PowerPoints. Right?
So there’d be a, there’d be a graphical element as well a multimedia presentation. So let’s say the propulsion engineer is having trouble sourcing the. The turbine engines for the airplane because the vendor won’t provide, give them a nondisclosure agreement because of some export licensing thing, whatever.
Some technical, so he’s frustrated, right? It shouldn’t be a problem. He’s an engineer. He doesn’t want to deal with the bureaucracy of some export licensing thing, but the state department has, so he expresses his frustration in the form of a haiku. And I think it’s, it’s a lot of fun for engineers to do that because a haiku is very structured and engineers like problem solving.
It’s a puzzle, right? There’s rules, and then you work within those rules, and then there’s an opportunity for creativity. And then you can also make an ass out of yourself and be a clown in front of everyone and get a good laugh out of it. and by the time you’ve sat down and thought about the haiku long enough to express your gripe.
Usually you’ve come to terms with it, and it’s kind of like you’ve, you’ve reached a state, you’re at peace with it now. Like by the time you, even before you present it to anyone,
you’ve thought about it, you’ve meditated on it, you’ve broken it down, and it’s kind of a, it’s very cathartic and we’ve had a lot of fun with it.
So that’s kind of, usually most of them ended up being comical. everyone took the opportunity to. Kind of a one up each other with something funny in there. And the gripes ended up being a lot of fun rather than a pissing contest of finger point.
Thank you for that. That’s innovative.
I’ve never heard that before. I really liked it. well for its inventiveness, but I also, if I think about how do we actually reconcile the internal grappling that’s within each and every one of us. Yeah. I think having a structure like a haiku, as you said, provide that emotional distance and then we go back to it.
It’s like exposure therapy, right? You go back through it, think about it, chewing on it, meditate on it, and by the time we’re ready to find the words that, allows us to express our emotions in the way that we wanted to. To do it precisely. We already have a resolve integrated, this internal negative emotion that we have about it.
Yeah, that’s really, really great.
The Power Of Choosing Pain – Robert “Kilo” Morgan
life is hard. it’s not always going to be happy. And everyone experiences hardship in their life. it’s a bunch of organisms. It’s the animal kingdom. It’s who eats who and where you are in the pecking order and all that. The dog eat dog nature.
and when we choose a lifestyle or a career, it’s, it’s about choosing what pain is the least painful. no job or career is without suffering or pain or hardship, but it’s one that you choose. So in other words, it’s a pain that you’re comfortable with.
So it’s about getting uncomfortable with the kind of pain that you like. So if you want to be a professional tennis player, then you probably want to work out every day for hours and whack thousands of balls, and travel or whatever the discomforts are to being a professional athlete. Lots of travel, lots of exercise, grueling , running the strenuous stuff, getting up early.
But to them, they enjoy that kind of pain. They chose that pain. And I think all of us do that. Whatever that career choice or life choices, it’s about choosing the pain where we can get comfortable with or discomfort.
And, if I circle back to the hallucinogenics, it’s about getting comfortable with being in an unfamiliar environment, which in itself can be painful or uncomfortable to some extent.
Yeah. I want to underline what you just said. I thought it was very profound is choose the pain of your own choosing, because I think we always get some kind of payoff, or there’s also some kind of cost to any kind of actions or decisions that we make. Right?
whether is a career you want to get into or a relationship you want to get into or a community do you want to get into or activity that you want to get into?
There’s always a payoff and a cost to that in my mind. So if that’s the case, what is the pain. The costs of my own choosing and as you said, as a professional athlete, there are certain things you’ve got to do every day, right? As a, as a podcast, if there’s certain things you got to do right, that you don’t necessarily like there in being in relationship, there’s certain things you got to do. You may not necessarily like, and so what is the pain of your own choosing such that net net is positive for you? That you get so much enjoyment, satisfaction, fulfillment out of it, that you’re willing to pay that price.
You Don’t Know Where The Edge Is Until You Walk Up To It – Robert “Kilo” Morgan
“as an entrepreneur, you’re birthing a new idea from an idea to a product to the world. Right. And as you said, there’s certain thrill of seeing that when this thing that, that birthing process coming to place and probably use the product yourself, probably seeing other people using it,
there’s certain thrills, passion that comes with that. and there’s also responsibility that comes with that as well. We want to make sure that this thing performs
at the same time, we also don’t want it to, have certain costs, certain ramification that we didn’t think about and harm someone else, let’s say. Right? So there’s that edge of pushing the limit. So how can we concretize cause for you is about pushing the envelope and that’s someone have a vision
I like to think that you don’t know where the edge is unless you walk up to the orange.
Well, when you’re on a, on a plateau, on a cliff, you don’t know where the edge is until you walk right to the, you don’t feel that anxiety of falling until you get very close to the edge. It’s amazing. It’s not much more dangerous to stand a foot from the edge then to stand two feet from the edge. But the fear factor and the realization that you could fall when your center of gravity is close enough. If I were to lay down right now, I might fall over the edge versus if I’m six feet from the edge and I fall down, if I trip, I’m going to land on the top of this cliff where I’m standing already. If I stand on the edge and I trip and fall, I’m going to fall down a thousand feet and it’s that last little bit that makes a huge difference.
And you don’t know where that is until you go there. Yeah. It’s kinda like the hardest part of a prep. The last 1% takes 50% of their time kind of thing. So I have to finding the boundary, the boundary is the interesting place to be. ”
Extending The Range Of Your Comfort Zone – Robert “Kilo” Morgan
“One of the things we, talk on the podcast quite a lot is about extending the range of our comfort zone.
And I think having a technology like your airplane extends your range of thinking about what’s possible to do. Yeah, cause the thought would never cross my mind. I’m just going to go have breakfast in Santa Barbara and then come back, but having a plane I’m like, Oh yeah, it’s normal. It’s not a big deal right now.
Yeah. Then there’s definitely a challenge to that is you’ve got to check the weather. You know, you can put yourself in serious danger if you don’t do that, and then you’ve got to interpret the weather, and , then there’s always a risk because not only is the weather have some variables and accuracy, but there’s personal limits in your skill and experience and the capabilities of the airplane to be able to transition. if the weather’s marginal and it could be, the risk of freezing, freezing rain and altitude. You’re dealing with a lot more climate than you do on the ground. that could be life threatening. And so that has a questionable challenge in that sense. Much like rock climbing, , it can be very intellectual thing. It’s not just, I’m sitting on your button and pushing the go button. ”
Psychedelics And The “School Of Hyper-Reality” – Robert “Kilo” Morgan
” I think what makes a innovator innovative is the ability to look at it from different points of view . So I’m an advocate for psychedelics for that reason as well. So curious to know how do you have used psychedelics, or seen others use psychedelics as a way to foster that innovativeness and inventiveness.
one analogy is kind of like the one I described where flying gives you a different perspective. Yeah. the cliche when you die in your rise out of your body and you’re looking down at it in the room, that kind of thing seems like sort of a hallucinogenic experience. But I think the cliche aside, it’s about being present. Maybe even more so than a lot of our lives. We spend, thinking about the past and that brings on depression. Thinking about the future, it brings on anxiety and being present.
I think hallucinogenic experiences can help you become more present. And in the now, which is really about being in a flow state, right?
it’s like heightened reality. I don’t think of hallucinogenics as being altered reality. I think it’s hyper reality. It’s about being aware of things that, details that you don’t usually see or hear. It’s all there, but your brain filters it. And this thing turns down the filters.
And so now you’re extremely present, maybe much like you would when you’re meditating. and that focus can be transformative. It can break down your ego and it can give you a sense of your place. , it’s very often challenging to go in and out of existential thoughts of what’s my purpose? Where am I going? Am I living a meaningful life? Is that just a construct? Is there even such a thing? Is it just a waste of time? Am I just some biological thing, a bunch of cells just clawing and trying to stay alive? Or do I have purpose and. I think you can get some answers to all of those things from a hallucinogenic experience and not necessarily the ones you want, but maybe you become at peace with accepting the fact that I don’t have a divine purpose or maybe I do.
but being very present gives you the opportunity to explore that personally.
And it’s, it’s also about being on the edge and challenging yourself mentally and sometimes physically. It’s about accepting it.
it can be very uncomfortable mentally because it’s unfamiliar terrain. It’s like traveling to a foreign country where the culture, the language, everything is different.
And some people love that kind of experience and some people don’t. So if you love that kind of experience, I think hallucinogenics is similar to that and that you’ve immersed yourself in something that is, letting you know that that your way is just one way. And there’s an awful lot of people moving through space in a way, much different than you.
They’re successful in their own way at doing things their way , their culture, their language, their philosophy, their way of communicating love, all those things.
And so I think a hallucinogenic experience can often be transformative like that, where you come out feeling schooled. Right?
The school of hyper-reality.
I love it. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. A hundred percent
I mean, they, they call it tripping for a reason, right?
You’re going on an adventure travel. It can be educational. It can be fun. It can be both. It can be scary to be uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s good to be uncomfortable.
How Powerful Art At Burning Man Has Stoked My Inspiration And Creativity – Robert “Kilo” Morgan
“Were there specific art projects that has brought an aha moment in you and it actually perpetuated over time? That you still think about
oh yeah. There’s a lot of powerful advert out there. I don’t know the names of the pieces of art. I don’t recall them, but there’s ones that are, there’s one that’s a huge wireframes sculpture of a man and a woman sitting back too.
I’m not sure. It’s a man with a woman. I’ve assumed it was married. A woman. Sitting back to back, like sitting on the ground, with their knees up. And then it’s a wire mesh. And then inside are two infants that are reaching through the cages out at each other. So it’s kind of like two people having two adults that have had a fight, some sort of conflict that the body language is that they’re back to back, but their inner child’s, which are smaller representations and are opaque solid sculptures.
Are reaching for each other, loving later. It was a great, that was very moving piece. another one I really enjoyed. What at some of them are just so mind boggling because of the scale. You know, there was a, a one year, there was a Trojan horse that was made out of wood and enormous. I mean, like maybe three stories tall.
The wheels. We’re probably 15 feet diameter. your eye ball maybe didn’t even make it to the axle and the wheels were made out of wood, just like laminated big timbers looked legitimately antique. And then they had costumes that they provided people. it looked like something out of some Mesopotamia or something.
And they had rope, big Jew rope that was, you know, like as big around as your neck. And it took hundreds of people to haul this thing out into the middle of the Playa and then they burned it. Wow. You know, the next day, like they hauled it out, left it there for awhile, and it’s just, you know, they could have put dozens of, you know, soldiers inside, just like the original, just kind of remarkable, like, how did that come about?
How complicated was it to bring that piece, that huge installation to the playa and the cost, the expense, the planning, all just for, you know, for everyone’s enjoyment and pleasure. And then to burn it to just show the transitory nature of something
Yeah, exactly. I mean, it was not something small that disappeared.
It was something huge. And you’d think that much investment that maybe want to. Just assemble it, bring it back the next year. But no, they just torched it.
Burning Man Teaches You To Pay It Forward – Robert “Kilo” Morgan
” if I say Burning man, what movie comes to mind? Describe it for us. So that way people don’t just hear about it. They’re right there with you.
it’s very personal where you constantly experience generosity and creativity, just being directed in every direction of everyone.
So, I’ve been hanging out with, my comrades at our camp and someone rides up on a bicycle, a delivery, a delivery bicycle with an insulated box, and he pulls out a couple of pizza pies and says, is this the. BlackRock travel agency. And we go, yes. And he goes, I have a pizza delivery for you. Now. We didn’t order pizza.
This camp is, their purpose is they set up a roulette wheel, put the names of camps on it, spin it. They have a, a pizza oven and they bake pizzas all day long and deliver them to the camps that are randomly selected by the, by the roulette wheel. Wow. And so you just, you know, I mean, what could be more enjoyable than someone just showing up and, Hey, I, I brought you a present.
They don’t even know you. Then they ride off. There’s no, there’s no tit for tat. No quid pro quo. It’s just someone, providing a gift, you know, to, to brighten your day and, you feel compelled to pay it forward. Right? So there’s no reciprocity, but. You then become more motivated to maybe brighten someone else’s day.
And so everyone’s going around doing nice things for other people, that they wouldn’t take the time to do elsewhere. That, you know, they’re preoccupied with their own agenda, which is usually, you know, some sort of survival mode or solving problems. You know, I’m lonely, I’m hungry. I don’t know how to pay my taxes.
You know, my back taxes, what am I going to do about my mortgage? That kind of stuff. And so you just kind of suspend that. So it’s kind of like the fun of camp, but with the inclusiveness of something that’s just completely unique. I don’t know. What, what do you see when you think of burning man?
I mean, there’s so many different moments to describe, but when you told me about the pizza delivery story, it reminds me of a very magical moment. That my, my, my ex partner and I were, so there, we were in the middle of the night is completely dark obviously, and we were cold. We were hungry. It was two or three o’clock in the morning.
We’re walking back to camp and it was just, you know, out of nowhere, it’s like I’m in the middle of a desert. And you see a glimmer of blue led light coming your way. And we’re like, what’s that? And before I know it, that, that cart, blue light all over, stainless steel exterior just open up like a spaceship right in front of us.
And the people came out and laid out a red carpet. It started forming this chocolate fondue right in fondness, and then they started serving us chocolate fondue, strawberries, and fruits. It was very magical because you can see the steams on the side and the blue light, and then the red carpet, and then the chocolate fondue, and then these, so their gift to Playa.
These are professional chefs, professional moving, kitchen going and, and just feeding people randomly. And we were selected in there. They in the middle of nowhere, serve as chocolate fondue
I was very, very moved in that moment because that was very magical and totally unexpected. And it was just us. we randomly selected, the three of us laid out, you know, red carpet style, a chocolate fondue.