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Making of a Phoenix

Embers of fire and embers of hope

Paradise Lost
Birds of Paradise are beautiful, interesting creatures. Their courtship dance is truly a sight to see. But due to catastrophic wildfires, the only birds of Paradise, CA we can hope for are phoenixes.

The tragic loss of life from the Camp Fire — currently standing at 83 — will continue to climb until the hundreds of missing are accounted for.

There are an untold number of stories of heroism and tragedy. And the immeasurable losses of property and memories are being offset by some variation of "we're still alive" and "we will rebuild".

These people who have lost everything, many who have lost loved ones, are now faced with Thanksgiving. The dichotomy of "we've lost so much" and "we're grateful to be alive" competes for their attention with "what are we going to do?" and "I have a plan".

Among the loss of over 15,000 homes, 500 commercial buildings and 4,400 other buildings is the loss of many business of all sizes. The large chains will survive the loss of a location, but the many small businesses and home business may never recover.

For the residents affected by these wildfires, the loss of jobs, on top of losing everything they owned, is complicated by the timing and complexity of insurance claims (if they had adequate insurance) and staring down the holiday season. For many small businesses, their employees are like — or actually are — family. And the holiday season is where they make the jump from being in the red to being in the black.

We can only hope that all of the businesses that were affected by this tragedy had current backups and a disaster recovery plan (DRP) or a business continuity plan (BCP), but we all know that just isn't the case. I covered DRPs and BCPs a few months back.

One of the many businesses that lost everything is Wayne Guitars, founded by industry legend Wayne Charvel who runs it with his son, Michael (who has worked with his father for many years). The loss of Wayne Guitars saddens me on several levels. As a guitar player (I have benefited from Wayne Charvel's craftsmanship and innovation via his previous company, Charvel Guitars), as someone who appreciates the history of music (Wayne's guitars fueled guitar rock since the 80's), as the son of a master toolmaker (Wayne built much of his own tooling), and as a small business owner myself.

Wayne and Michael Charvel have committed to rebuilding Wayne Guitars. They have even setup a Go Fund Me campaign to help get them started. Why should a small business that had insurance need a crowdfunding campaign? Because insurance payments are always delayed when there is a large tragedy. There are only so many available commercial spaces in areas close to Paradise, and the first companies who can get a toehold in these available spaces have a better chance of becoming a phoenix.

We at ElixWare are going to offer our help to Wayne Guitars to help them get back to building some of the best electric guitars around. We'll offer our services for managing leads and outreach, tracking orders, the build process and maintenance, and disaster recovery. Together I hope we can build a phoenix.

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We are a small team with a lot of experience, specializing in software development, design, and workflow, process & project management. We are fiercely dedicated to helping you do what you do best — run your business — without getting bogged down in the mountains of paper and hours of screen time required to do it. We are equally dedicated to protecting your privacy and your data. Learn more about our privacy policy.