Launching Kites and Features at MaiTai Utah2 ♥
If a TED Conference drank a pack of Red Bull and started doing extreme sports, it would only begin to resemble the awesomeness that is MaiTai.
Bringing together extraordinary entrepreneurs, innovators and athletes, MaiTai Global celebrates the shared experiences of collaboration and kite surfing. It was created by Bill Tai, a prolific Silicon Valley VC and sponsored kite surfer, and Susi Mai, a world champion kite surfer and the undisputed Queen of Kiting. They believe that if you have the drive to kite surf, you have the drive to make a successful company. The Changemakrs team was stoked to be invited by to Utah to join this fantastic family.
After driving 11 hours from San Francisco, we arrived early in Park City, Utah. We had something special planned for MaiTai, but we’d need some extra days to get all set up. After testing out our kites at Strawberry Reservoir – half of us for the first time – we decided to get down to work.
Our plan was to set up a special collection of quotes just for MaiTai featuring all the interesting and inspiring things we’d hear there. Participants and fans alike can use the collection as an inspirational summary of the people and wisdom at MaiTai. So we sat down and built a brand new feature to make that happen. This was a feature we’d been wanting to build for a while, and it was great to be able to test drive it with in an environment like MaiTai. You can view the collection at changemakrs.com/maitai and get a sneak peak of some of the things you’ll be able to do in the coming weeks on Changemakrs.
We also cranked out a limited series of vinyl stickers just for the event using quotes from or inspired by MaiTai-ers. It was so much fun to see them start popping up all over the place on people’s boards and trailers. One quote was from Ruben Lenten, world champion kite surfer, who was so stoked when we gave it to him.
Feeling the Love
It was humbling and exciting to have the opportunity to present our product, complete with its new feature, to the entire group at the event’s closing dinner. As designer Brooks Hassig walked the audience through the new MaiTai collection, you could hear the audience applaud as they saw people they knew quoted on the big screen. This reminded us of the power quotes can have to delight, especially if they’re from someone you care about.
Finally, the team presented Bill Tai and Susi Mai with a little something we’d created to show our gratitude for bringing so many inspiring people together and for their support of Changemakrs. We designed and manufactured a custom frame featuring a photo of Bill, Susi and Richard Branson wearing our personalized t-shirts on Necker Island. The photo was mounted to appear floating behind the glass, and the back had etched typography welcoming them to the Changemakrs family - and thanking them for being an inspiration to us all.
All Work & All Play
After a week in the mountains, working, kiting, relaxing and meeting amazing people, we were sad to go. From the photos we took, it might look like all we did was play. And from the features we shipped, sometimes it felt like all we did was work. But as Bill Tai says,
And that’s no better way to describe MaiTai than that.
We’re excited about our new MaiTai Collection, all the new friends and opportunities, and the chance to do it all again next time. Until then, ride hard, and fly high!