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domenica 18 maggio 2014

Intervista ad Alden Morris, un sognaggregatore.

Questa non è un’intervista come recita il titolo, bensì il racconto di un sognatore implacabile. Spesso chi insegue un obiettivo ricerca ostinato nuove conoscenze e con la stessa cadenza fallisce; altre volte il Caso permette l’incontro e l’intrecciarsi di vite straordinarie con una tale naturalezza da risultare quasi spiritoso.
Ed è stato in maniera involontaria che ho conosciuto Alden Morris. Venuto dall’America, il protagonista di oggi fa partire il suo sogno dall’Italia, nello specifico dall’edible espresso cup, di cui tra qualche attimo lascerò che leggiate da lui stesso.
Questa doveva essere un’intervista, ma poi ho ritenuto che una buona storia andasse scritta con continuità e sentirla dal personaggio principe ha tutt’altra conseguenza, dovrete trarre da voi le conclusioni, senza la guida delle domande.
Di fronte ai grandi sognatori, infatti, la reazione del pubblico biforca radicale: di fronte ad un autentico sognatore si ha l’impressione di avere a che fare inevitabilmente con un folle o con un genio contemporaneo. Chi sogna tanto fa paura a chi non sogna abbastanza.
Chi è Alden Morris? Nero, americano, dallo sguardo visionario, nato nel 1990. Giovani lettrici, o mature che siate, prima di scadere in un’introduzione da cinquanta-sfumature-di-un-qualche-colore, voglio precisare che per me Alden è ciò che definisco un sognaggregatore, appartiene a quella specie rara di sognatori che vogliono raggruppare persone, che desiderano aggregare, lasciare che gli altri collaborino per un unico progetto. I sognaggregatori vogliono accendere la luce nella stanza e fare entrare chi ha lo stesso sogno, senza timore di parità. Non di rado ci si sente in difetto in compagnia di questi uomini: il sognatore vivo ci mette di fronte ad un "fanciullino" fallito. Dal canto mio, spero che si riaccenda in voi il Sogno, quello più personale che possedete.
Nel periodo storico in cui gli italiani vanno sempre più lontano dalla propria Nazione, un americano ci sbatte in viso il contrario: il mondo guarda all’Italia.
I believe and I want believe to great dreamers like Alden Morris.
Mi sarò sbagliata sul suo conto? Non lo so, gli cedo la narrazione. Eccovi il giovane Alden, buona lettura!

Giuseppina, I want to share with you who I am first, so you can have a better grasp of why the piece can strike the proper moral affliction behind this cup, behind the revelation of Banana Coffee, and behind what it will and has taken to achieve this monument in business and as well, as for American Business history.

I am a foster child; the American government were my parents. My biological father has suffered with mental illness most of his life, my mother is a dependent on state subsides to live, and throughout the brief years I lived with my parents, I suffered a broad range of emotional and physical abuse from my father.

At the age of 15, for the final time, I would be placed in the foster care system again. Throughout my on and off history along with my younger sister, I was molested, locked in basements, and was moved around to over 10 different homes.

I always had a curiosity; I had a curiosity to question the things around me, to kick the rocks and pretend they were cities and the leaves were people. I was always different, mostly alone, and often confined within myself to the great talents of my father but overbearing madness that he suffered from.

When it came time to leave high school as a foster child, I would barely get into college. After having written a letter to Cleveland State University, and boosting my well below ACT score, I was admitted into Cleveland State University in Ohio.

I wanted to one day be a US senator at the time, maybe the president, and maybe I could mold my story towards making it into Harvard University for law school. However, I truly never could grasp the stark rules and systematic pressure that the educational system in America composes.

In short, Cleveland State was not the place for me to find myself in full. I would transfer from Cleveland State to The Ohio State University in the fall of 2013. My hopes would be, that from Ohio State I would have a stronger chance of getting into Harvard Law, but truth be told, I once again found less interest in academics, and I began to focus in on my inner child – my inner creativity.

For years I have wrote, now, I have nearly a thousand pages of quotes, theories in the fields of biology and a few in physics, and a vast amount of poems and short essays and quotes. When I write, I find who I am, and I find my inner expression.  Through writing and deep thought, I than found the inner inventor inside me.

During my short tenure at Ohio State University, I would form an idea to place football cameras inside the American Football Helmet. You could follow your favorite football player, see his view life from a first person perspective, and you could experience through his eyes the feel of the game. So, why a football helmet with cameras? Well, American Football was always an athletic hobby and once ingrained passion of mine.

I presented my idea to The Ohio State Athletic Director and a few members of his staff; we showed the director beautiful sketch renderings, potential concepts to add, and a short yet amateur business plan/proposal. My goal was that Ohio State would maybe fund the idea for a prototype to test on OSU football players. In short, that never happened, and they recommended that I reach out to their football equipment manager to have him share the idea with officials from Schutt and Riddell to gouge interest in the project.

Schutt did eventually get back to me, but directly, instead they emailed The Ohio State University football equipment manager to inform him they are releasing a helmet with a camera inside. This was two months after I shared the idea with Ohio State. Schutt will be releasing the concept this fall in various collegiate American Football programs; the product is called Schutt Vision, and it will also become a part of American Arena Football this fall as well.

I have written nearly three hundred pages worth of business ideas, legal provisions, and plans that have formulated into nothing. I have failed over and over, been betrayed, and nearly have broken down emotionally to the brink of severe depression. I have however though, always believed that humanity needs us to have courage to believe that our mission in life can advance greater causes by greater convictions.

So, where did the Edible Coffee cup come into play? Well, after having my idea regarding the American Football Helmet with cameras stolen, I had to find another concept to propel me into technology; I had to find another concept that would be easier to make on my own, cost less money, and preach a more realistic approach to people I would need to help make it happen.

Sitting in the Ohio Student Union, I watched dozens of people throwing away their coffee cups, and I questioned to myself? Do they have to throw away the cups? O, what if you could eat the cup instead? From this very moment I got up and contacted some friends, consulted with a couple of professors, and I decided to pursue the edible coffee cup.

After weeks of thought and trying to find someone to make the cup, I found a pastry chef in Ohio who agreed to make a sample cup in the American model of a coffee cup. She did make a cup, but the formula only lasted two hours before denigrating. She also decided because of my intense persistence, that she could no longer work with me, and would pursue an intellectual property protection to steal my idea and sell me back the rights. Pure evil, pure hysteria.

I was lost, nearly done, and failure once again transmitted upon me. I decided I would go online for the first time to see if this cup has ever existed, and I found out an inventor made a model in 2012. His model was an edible espresso cup and he was never able to get it to the commercial market for what seem to be reasons of large conspiracy.

I knew he travels Europe and had an office in Milano, so one day on the bus in America after another failed talk to get seed funding to fund for another chef to make us a sample, I decided to drop out of Ohio State University and travel to Milano to hunt down the inventor of the cup. I felt his skills would be more efficient and that we would share the same vision for coffee. My plan was to find him, convince him to work with me and help him take his version to the world. He never knew I was coming.

It never worked out at Ohio State to get the company off the ground. From the huge American Bureaucratic system and culture, to the ones who denied, ignored, and even individuals who conspired to steal ideas and concepts from me, I decided I needed a bold and realistic move to launch Banana.  I never have left America before, and I only emailed the inventor who made an edible espresso cup once to let him know I was coming but he never confirmed he was in Milano or would meet with me. However, I took my chances, took the little money I had, and flew to Milano Italy – the design and maybe even coffee hub of the world. I left my apartment and headed to the Airport.

When I arrived in Italy, the inventor told me he will not be in Milano for another month and did not want to work with me in this fashion. He also told me he sold the rights to the cup, and than told me a slew of other stories that never seemed to add up. I was forced to find another option, and I was running low on my living budget.

While walking down a street in Milano, after being turned away from a near dozen restaurants, I was ran into a small start up franchise location called LaCompatibile. I walked into the shop, shared my idea with one of the owners who goes by Gianluca Cozzi, and told him my story. He thought the cup was revolutionary, and he offered to take up the project and even invest as well as find a pastry chef to make the cup.

A week went by, and we found a pastry chef who goes by the name of Raneri to make the cup, and I decided to save money to go homeless while I waited on a sample of the cup. Now, our samples our ready, and we have a plan to go to the world by June 1st or by July 1st. Our goal is to sell the cups at their shops while also using Banana Coffee’s logo. Gianluca and his wonderful girlfriend gave me a tent to sleep in to hold me over for a couple of weeks, and now I am currently staying with Gianluca. They have been so gracious. I am not sure how I am going to make it back to America; I don’t have a plane ticket back yet, but we are now ready to start selling the cup!

We will feature Banana Coffee’s logo on LaCompatibile’s website very soon, and as well on the boxes by this fall of 2014 with the edible coffee cup. This cup will really change coffee forever, as we also plan to build an American prototype and further innovations for the piece that will really make the “wow” factor “wow!”.

I hope you join this experience; you can find the cups in both of LaCompatibile shops in Milano at via Augusto Anfossi, 5 and at via Panfilo Castaldi, 32.
The cups are amazing, and this is the beginning journey of a company that is going to change the world. I hope you join us.
Alden Morris 

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