Max and I have seen a bit in Central America. Good, bad and perplexing. As I sat at the Passover Seder table, I grasped at making sense of it. Passover centers on the concept of freedom. What is freedom? I sat there, surrounded by a couple dozen different haggadas - Passover texts. Each book -- their writers spanning many decades and backgrounds -- had a different take on what freedom means. Our time in Mexico, Nicaragua and Costa Rica wasn’t all verdant pictures. The farmers, the migrant laborers, the kids -- they don’t have freedoms we have in Brooklyn. And we lack freedoms in Brooklyn that they have in Central America.  

Back up north, what’s driving me most today in the pre-launch stage? The act of starting Nomad with Max and having the freedom to take it where we want. Half the time we’re shooting in darkness. Think John Starks in Game 7. We make mistakes, we own them, and we learn. We have ideas, but no roadmap set in stone for anything beyond the next three months. No commitments, only the freedom to try new things that fit with the mission. It’s our secret bounty: the tabula rasa option. Maybe we’ll start a soda line from wasted foods, write software, or design a clothing line (“Rags on the Runway”).

What gives us this freedom? Being small. One day we’ll have to grow and palletize or perish. Today, we can experiment, and mess up, at relatively low cost.

There’s bigger ships out there with more ammo than they know how to use. But they’re so bulky it takes months to incrementally shift course. Our size makes us the most agile boat at sea. Central America is omnipresent in my mind. As we scale, we scale our impact down there. Today, I’m enjoying the freedom of being small and agile.

Jon Epstein