I didn’t realize the potential of different channels and mediums to express myself.
As human beings, we have stablished different mechanisms to communicate and express our senses, feelings, legacy and history. From hieroglyphs to poetry, different ways we can use to express an idea and perpetuate it for a long period of time, even longer than our life itself.
Being a software developer as background, code has always been to me a unique way to express myself. It has been the way to curate my frustrations, build my ideas, and help others during those exercises. I don’t tend to express my ideas with words or text by default; it is with logic — being a combination of traditional ways to express but using algorithms, machines and computers. Those elements will interpret my expressions and replicate them every time I define. It is an escape to express.
Nowadays as a founder of different companies, I identify my ventures as ways to express myself the same way as it is for me when coding in front of the computer. Modifying a system with an idea, a proposition that might no exist yet and will be pure value to the people part of the market. A company is a big way to express as a human being, is a way to communicate change to the world, hope and optimism that there are always manners to do things differently and hopefully, better.
Expressing through a company happens in different contexts — through the culture, employees, products, brand. It is a combination of all of them and more elements. The sum of all becomes the expression. A complete act to articulate and perform change. Every company you see around is a reflection from its founders and the team pursuing and building that vision. Take your time to analyze any company, from the supermarket to the seafood restaurant. Be open, humble and emphatic: why is this company doing this right now? It is the expression of the people behind it.
An example I want to provide to illustrate a company’s expression through the people around it, is comparing two companies in a similar industry: Uber and Lyft. I took the mission of both companies from Cleverism, and those go like this:
Uber’s mission is to revolutionize the taxicab industry by providing a platform that connects consumers needing a ride to registered Uber driver-partners in their area.
Lyft’s mission is to reconnect people and communities through better transportation.
I have been a Uber customer for the last 3 years, and I am not surprised with all the situation that happened to different executives, particularly to his CEO and Co-founder. When you request a ride in Uber, in many occasions you can feel in a typical cab due to the service, values and culture of the driver derived from the foundations of the company. Many times I have been treated disrespectfully, or friends of mine have been assaulted, as it is with a typical Cab Driver. Again, nothing to be surprised when you see all the situations that happened to many C-suite members in Uber. In contrast, I have been inspired and always amazed by the live conferences I see by Lyft’s Co-founder Logan Green, with the powerful statement of building better transportation for people. From a personal point of view, a more promising and long lasting statement than the Uber’s approach to improve the taxicab industry (I can’t wait to see Lyft’s plans after the $1B USD investment from Alphabet last week).
A couple of my companies reflect my frustrations on their industries. We built those projects because we didn’t find any other option on the industry. We did it because we thought it was necessary and people will value it. That’s what keeps the expression alive, the belief that we can do things differently and communicate it through something bigger than ourselves.
Human beings can express in different ways. A company is an interesting way to do it. It takes time and effort, but doing it with determination might spread the word strongly and for long time. This expression might iterate and change, so the message is morphing and adapting all time.