When I started at Ecovative back in 2011, we occupied a small warehouse space and were still in the early “start-up” phase of production. Over time, we moved from our tiny place to a factory twice the size across the street. Even that proved unable to hold us back in our growth and we took over another section of the warehouse strip. It was easy enough, just smash a hole in the wall and annex the space beyond. Like the mycelium that makes our product, we too grow out into our environment, soon reaching across the river to our newest space in Troy, NY (incidentally that is where my parents were born and raised, so my excitement is twofold). With all this growth of course comes change, resolution to old problems, and of course the creation of new ones. Through all this, though, one thing is clear: Ecovators can adapt.
Two weeks ago, while enjoying lunchtime with about a dozen co-workers I heard Max exclaim, “I’m done with the fork. Who needs it?” I looked around and saw that aside from Max with his spaghetti, the only lunch with need for a fork was Melissa’s salad, and she promptly snatched it up. Everyone else in the room was either eating bowls of soup with tablespoons, or mac n cheese with iced tea spoons, while many others went the simpler route and had brought hand held sandwiches or G0-Gurts for their mid-day meal.
You see, like evolution, the loss of forks in the lunchroom was slow and seemingly inexorable. It wasn’t until there was just one left that we really noticed that they had been disappearing. Since the flow of time through Ecovative’s history followed a similar trend, we were conditioned to the change. We adapted to what had been thrown our way, planning ahead and sharing, communicating needs and working as a team, even in lunchtime. We had switched to a spoon-friendly society without detriment to ourselves. In fact, it was a little bit fun.
Fortunately, forks in general have not gone the way of the Dodo, and in noticing that one of the species was left, we did not panic. We simply placed an Amazon order and had several more dozen delivered. Slowly now, perhaps a little sheepishly, we bring our noodles, our spinach, and our coleslaw out of the refrigerator, melding once more into a peaceful society of multitudinous flatware. And, like our kitchen adventures, Ecovative itself moves through time, adapting, reconfiguring, and in some ways, going back to the way it was.
May the forks be with you.
– Meghan Dolan