The Closure

Don was helpless. The high command wanted results. He had been successful in buying time till now but not anymore. Every single day without an order was becoming difficult. He had a terrible evening the day before in the company’s annual meet. Robert, the charismatic CEO of S.H.I.S. Inc had given an encouraging speech on the future prospects on the company. “We are ranked Number One in safety records. We are ranked Number One for being always on time. Number One in comfort and amenities. And this is all because of you wonderful people.” thundered Robert. Then he went into the philosophy on which the organization Second Home In Skies (S.H.I.S.) Inc  was started twenty years ago. He always liked repeating it and people always loved to listen to him. He discuss on every important project being undertaken by the company. There was no mention of DragonSpeed in the long 45 minutes speech he delivered.

DrangonSpeed was conceived five years ago – the most ambitious project the company had ever undertaken. DragonSpeed was set to beat all the records – 2x the speed of existing aircrafts, 3x the existing passenger capacity, manifold fuel efficiency and many more features while raising the safety standards of already high standards set by S.H.I.S itself. Don was brought in from academia to accomplish this. He was a superstar in his previous world with groundbreaking research and multiple papers and publications. He was offered the highest pay package, becoming the only one to draw more than even Robert, the CEO. He was given the best twenty engineers available in the organization. The board was gung-ho about the project. The revenue forecast for other aircrafts were dwarfed by the DragonSpeed’s numbers. The company was betting on it to get into the billion dollar valuation club with an IPO. The shine of IPO money was already visible in the eyes of board members.

Don team constituted brightest engineers graduated from leading educational institutes with excellent academic and professional records. They were all hungry for success and considered themselves lucky to be part of such a huge project. For most of them, it was the first job after graduation. They were all ready to take off for high-flying careers.

Fast forward five years. The DragonSpeed was ready to fly. The team delivered the DragonSpeed as was required. The simulator tests confirmed that it met all the specifications set. It had however slipped the schedule. By whopping two years. This was just one of the problems. There was nobody to buy or rather sell the Jumbo. The sales team of S.H.I.S had never sold anything like DragonSpeed and none of the customers they worked with wanted such an Aircraft. The company hired other marketing agencies to sell the plane. “My customer does not need such high-speed but need higher fuel efficiency than what is provided by DragonSpeed”, expressed one of the Marketing Associates located in Far East. Another associate suggested some more customizations. Don’s team worked hard to meed these requirements, but unfortunately the list of such requests was growing faster than they could work on.  In addition, Don was having hard time in managing the expectations of the team members. The DragonSpeed was as ready it could be, but had still not touched the skies. The high command needed a customer to fund the final flight testing of the DragonSpeed. It was a painful experience for engineers to watch their dream machine lying idle.

One early morning, Don found a note in his mailbox to meet Robert. “Don, we have really tried very hard, but nothing seems to work out. The board of directors have decided to end this project. We would not be able to invest in it any further. I am sorry, you will have to leave the organization.”  Don was given a day to clear up his personal belongings. The remaining twenty engineers were allocated to other revenue-generating projects.

This was the closure of DragonSpeed.

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