For me, Ron Allum is a case in point.
Until 2006, I lived in Lilyfield, a lovely inner western Sydney suburb tucked between Balmain and Rozelle on one side and Leichhardt and Annandale on the other. True, the Citylink expressway did cut a swathe through the middle, but then we also had the terminus to the delightful light rail to take us into the city.
The street I lived in was a short one, mostly cottages that had been there for many, many years – as had some of the residents. One of our immediate neighbours had been born in the house across the street. We had annual street Christmas parties, and it was the kind of place where kids were looked after by everyone.
When we lived there, the older denizens were being joined by younger, trendier residents – most of whom settled into the existing ambience rather than trying to turn into a yuppie paradise. One of the residents was a chap who did a bit of work with underwater cinematography, including working with some Hollywood types.
With a growing family, we decided to leave our rented Lilyfield cottage to buy a house, which is how we came to live in lovely Corrimal.
In the last week of June this year, I received an email from Ron and Yvette Allum saying they had some business prospects happening and needed a website set up quick smart to take advantage of the opportunities that might arise. They had a Powerpoint presentation, some PDFs, photos, some links to other websites and not much more to work with.
The “Hollywood types” that Ron worked with turned out to include Canadian film director James Cameron, who tapped into Ron’s genius for underwater engineering to create entirely new ways of using deep sea cinematography for a few little projects like filming the wreck of the real Titanic.
Their working relationship blossomed, and in March this year Cameron went to the depths of the Mariana Trench – the deepest water in the world – in a submersible designed and constructed by Ron. To do this, Ron had to invent a new material that could withstand the huge pressures at the bottom of the ocean while still being able to be shaped into a craft that could be reasonably navigated and controlled at such depths.
That material – which really is revolutionary – is what Ron wanted to bring to general market now, and a website was required to promote it.
What made that a challenge was that the website had to be ready to be promoted at a speech Ron was giving in Sydney on the 29th of June. I was contacted on the 24th of June.
That’s the kind of challenge I love, and I’m pleased to say we made the deadline. I’m pretty happy with it, not just for a site that went from nothing to launch in five days but in comparison with any of my sites.