Time to move. Again.
Over the past 25 years Slash has been constantly looking for growth, not necessarily financial growth, but more human and professional growth. We want to be better, and do better. We want to go deeper.
However, the world tells us that we should look for safety, for comfort, always have a plan B. We have been constantly fighting this because every single opportunity that we had for growth through impact came from seeking discomfort. And we did it not thinking about how that would increase our savings or financial safety, but by looking at the long term gains, the ones that are not measurable by the typical KPI's.
One of the advantages of doing what we do for 25 years is that by now we have some proof of concept that can sustain our decisions. Those decisions might not make sense to other people, but we can see more through our experience. Today, we’re much better than we were 25 years ago. The principles are the same, the passion is the same and the transparency and vulnerability is the same, but we know better now how to have impact and add value to the people around us. We got here by doing. Period.
Talk less, do more.
That's who we are. We do it, fail, succeed, repeat. And the steps forward have always been more than the ones backward.
We started Slash in a small village in Portugal, pretty much at the same time that our first child was born. Our studio was the room next door to his. After several very important decisions over the years (different cities in Portugal, Angola, US, Saudi, Chile, …), we're now moving to Abu Dhabi.
Over the years we’ve had several opportunities to "settle", buy a house and play safe. Fortunately both me and my wife never settled for "enough", and we always wanted another opportunity to learn something new, to learn how to do it better, and most importantly, to learn how to add value to the ones trusting in us: our team and our clients.
This move to Abu Dhabi is something that we have been dreaming of for a while. It’s not the most comfortable decision to make, everyone at Slash has our homes, friends, schools, routines etc, and moving to Abu Dhabi will force us all too reset most of it. However, we know that this uncomfortable decision will make our lives better, like it always has. Again, time can prove this. Never did any one of our "moves" get us to a worse place.
We're fortunate to be surrounded by people that trust us, and when we announce something as massive as this, we get everyone on board, and we do it together.
Why Abu Dhabi? Well, it has always been more aligned with Slash, or Slash with Abu Dhabi. We feel at home, and we feel that we speak the same language. Things take longer, but when they are done, they are well done.
This doesn't mean that Dubai didn't work for us. The last 10 years in Dubai led us to where we are today. Dubai treated us well, and gave us the opportunity to do our thing. However we always felt that the two markets are different, and they look for different things, or at least they measure things in a different way.
It's not hard to look at our experience and see why this makes so much sense. Year of Zayed, Founder's Memorial, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Qasr Al Hosn, Armed Forces Officers Club, and many more, are examples of how we had great opportunities to create something that will last, and that we had the opportunity to do it in a deeper way.
Abu Dhabi will not only be our next stop, and hopefully the ONE, but it will also will be the place that will brings to life a long time dream: The Ripple Collective. Over the last few years we have been prototyping the project by launching some of the "side projects", that then became stand alone brands, like Kingdom or Fabrica. In Abu Dhabi we want to give them a proper home, and have enough space for the other ones that are coming. Our new studio, in the heart of Downtown, is just the beginning, where we hope to grow from, and jump to a final bigger and more definitive space in 3 years.
Yes, discomfort hurts sometime, but discomfort also makes us grow. Be better. And we want more of that.
By Nuno Abreu