OK, so the title of this post may be a bit melodramatic, but the experience has been intense (and insightful) so I figured I'd share. TippingBucket is in what's known in aviation as a departure stall.
A departure stall happens when a small, but usually heavily-laden, plane takes off down the runway--even lifts off--but simply can't get the airspeed to climb. Now, this would be no problem if it weren't for the 100-year-old oaks...or skyscrapers...or mountains that lie between the plane and it's destination. But a plane attempting anything more than a 5k hop across a flat, uninhabited desert simply has to climb.
But here's the key: the problem of a departure stall can't be solved with a longer runway. Since about June, when the financial engine started sputtering, my primary focus has been extending the runway; scrambling every month to get the bare necessities covered for that month and losing sleep at night over where the funds would come from for those bare necessities next month. Miraculously, that runway has extended under us a month, sometimes a day, at a time for the past 6 months.
But the plane still isn't climbing. And the only way out of a departure stall is more airspeed. Back off the angle of attack. Lighten the plane. Take another shot at takeoff.
So, we've touched down for a bit, tightened processes, focused in on our core mission, and are gearing up for another shot at getting TippingBucket not only off the ground, but 35,000 ft high doing acrobatics at the forefront of the crowdfunding movement where it belongs.