Tonight we'll flick the switch on the website and officially launch Evident. It feels important to reflect on how and why we got here.
For me, the conversation that started it all took place at my dining table in 2010. Shay and Jo were embarking on the design of the Zero Energy House and wanted a simple website to document their design decisions. It sounded simple enough so I agreed to help.
Shay and I sat down at the dining table to sketch out the structure of the site. It quickly became apparent the job had little to do with building a website and a lot to do with communicating the thought processes and detail that went into designing their home. A relic of that initial conversation is still available on the ZEH website - Shay & Jo's original project goals, which we spent hours wrestling into a structure that could be used as the backbone of the website and, later, the communication narrative we rolled out via the media. It's a page that attracts little traffic these days, but one we revisit from time to time to keep our thinking on track.
I still have the spreadsheet I used to estimate how long it would take to complete the project - seven days. Four years on, and we're still working on it...on Monday we had another four-hour filming session for the latest video, filming take after take of Shay and Jo to ensure all the relevant facts and figures were quoted correctly.
The longevity and complexity of this side of the ZEH project has taught us a lot about the value of communicating complex problems and solutions. Shay and Jo hoped that building the house would inspire other people to follow suit, but we've realised along the way that communicating the detail behind their thinking is what can turn that inspiration into actionable steps people can apply to their own projects.
At the start, we never considered the possibility the ZEH project might evolve into a business, and I don't recall any one turning point that led us to decide to start Evident. But as the subscriber list for the project grew and grew, we started to appreciate that what we were communicating and how we were doing it was both making sense and was of value to people.
I do, however, recall the day we began talking about what the business should be called. We were looking for a word to convey outcomes where complex ideas were explained to people so clearly that the path they should take was so obvious to be, well, Evident.
Once again, that was a conversation had around a dining table - but this time at the Zero Energy House. Which is another thing we've learned these past few years - that great things can come from conversations had across a dining table with good friends...