Invention is the Spice of Life — Why Curiosity is a Key WeAreBrain Value

Written by: Samantha Wolhuter

illustration of the letter C

Call yourself an inventor, not only because that is what you are but also because it is a title that has power. It urges you to discover, test, experiment and that is the method for making the world a better place.

When we decided to add being curious to our set of values we did a little research. We believe It’s important that a value you’re committing to really does represent the culture and disposition of your business. And what we found was very curious indeed!

Curiosity killed the cat, it’s an odd saying that found its way into proverbial existence in the late 1800s. Of course, it infers that those who are inquisitive are likely to find themselves in dangerous situations. In fact, curiosity, historically, has gotten a really bad rap. Saint Augustine, an early Christian Theologian wrote in Confessions, AD 397, that aeons before creating heaven and earth, God “fashioned hell for the inquisitive”. What is even more interesting is that somewhere around 1912 ‘curiosity killed the cat’ was given the rejoinder ‘but satisfaction brought it back’, which by implication means that while the pursuit of answers may tire and demoralise, finding the answer or solution revitalises the searcher making being curious worth the effort.

Constantly searching for new and better ways to do things has been a staple characteristic of how we operate and the people we hire. So on the year of our 5th anniversary, we decided to make a pledge to continue to be curious about 5 things that we believe will drive our business forward. So without further ado, here are the 5 WeAreBrain Curiosity Commitments:

Keep Inventing

Over the last 5 years, we have spent numerous hours working on developing new platforms and software. We did this because it was important for us to take ownership of our ideas and see them brought to life, trying to make sure they stood the test of time. In the tech field that’s a tall ask, things change so quickly and technological advancements happen faster than ever imagined. It’s estimated that for those going to university in 2019 to study a technology related degree, by the time they graduate with an undergraduate degree in 2022 all the information they learned in their first year may already have become obsolete. It’s a pretty terrifying thought. So how do you stay ahead of the game? Be an inventor! Be part of the group of people who are at the forefront of technological development. Interrogate any and all new technology and immediately think about how you could better it, that’s how!

More women in tech

According to a Statisa report released mid-2018:

  • Women own only 5% of tech startups
  • Of the proprietary software jobs, only 28% are held by women
  • Female executives only make up 11% of the total at Fortune 500 companies
  • Only 25% of IT jobs are held by women

Despite those statistics women are still breaking down doors in 2019:

  • Approximately 28% of all computer science degrees are held by women
  • Fortune 500 companies that had at least three female directors have seen a 53% return on equities and a 66% return on invested capital during their tenure
  • Women are starting new businesses at 1.5 times the rate of men

So while the current statistics leave a lot to be desired we have to say things are looking up. We believe it is the responsibility of each and every tech company in the marketplace to support the growing trend of seeing more women in tech and leadership positions. Our personal commitment continues to be nurturing new talent, specifically in regions like Eastern Europe where there is a vast array of very capable women who need the support of the technology industry as a whole. We do this through an active female-focused hiring strategy. Curiosity is defined as ‘a strong desire to learn or know something’ and we couldn’t find a better adjective to describe these incredible women, who are striving to break into this previously male-dominated industry.

Making life better for humankind and the world at large

Technology is great and it has made life easier for many people but we have found ourselves questioning “At what cost?”. The truth is, while focus has recently shifted to sustainable technology there is still a lot of disposable, single-use technology and that is a problem we are committed to solving. Our plan is to always investigate and interrogate projects from the perspective of reusability. Our team consistently researches new types of technology that facilitate a circular economy and whenever we build we try to ensure what is being built has longevity. We’ve also partnered with various clients who are focused on reusing their own products or the products of others. Tech2Com, for example, is a client that asked us to help them create a platform that would allow them to resell remanufactured Apple products to both businesses and consumers. Another client, SidelineSwap, which was recently named in the Boston 50 startups to watch, is an e-commerce site that allows athletes to buy and swap their athletic gear. We truly believe that innovation should not be a throwaway product. Single serving should be a thing of the past.

UX and its importance

User experience has never been more important. The current generation is more tech-savvy and has less time to spend on things that don’t work optimally, and you can bet the next generation will have even less patience when it comes to clumsy, ill-thought-out tech. This means the user needs to be central to everything we design. We’re sure most of you would say, ‘they already are’ because you’re making a product for people to use after all but you’d only be half right. The UX we’re talking about goes beyond the site, it goes beyond the product and incorporates a user’s complete experience with your brand. When you build something new you need to take into consideration each and every touchpoint along the way. This means if you build an innovative product and plan on having a help desk for users to call when they get stuck using your new innovative product, the person on the other side of that chat better have an intimate understanding of how it works. So our commitment for the next 5 years is to continue to approach UX holistically.

AI technology

If you know anything about WeAreBrain then you’d likely know that we’re a little crazy about AI and more specifically the world of bots and RPA. We even developed our own RPA software, Tur.ai. AI is on the tip of every big tech company’s tongue and for good reason. The idea of robots and assistants has been present in the collective conscience for decades, and finally technological capacity has caught up with our imagination. It’s exciting, to say the least, and we’re strapped in at the front of the rollercoaster ride. Of course, we’re hoping that the AI of the future is more I, Robot’s Sonny than 2001 Space Odyssey’s Hal 9000 but who’s to say at this point. All we know is that we plan to continue to build ethical AI solutions that enhance the lives of those who encounter them.

In closing, we’d like to leave you with one of our favourites quotes about being curious by one of the world’s greatest inventors of all time:

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.’ 

Albert Einstein

So for today, find something that piques your curiosity and then travel all the way down that rabbit hole until you come out the other side with the answers.

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Samantha Wolhuter
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Samantha Wolhuter
Sam is in charge of writing a big portion of WeAreBrain’s creative content. She is a digital nomad always on the go, inspiring us with her words from some of the world's most beautiful locations.
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