Posts tagged: Genius

Censoring Law

Krish asks a good question about censorship & blogging.

Unsurprisingly, it was me who broke the rules and made an overtly political statement which Krish had to censor that raised this point.

Censoring is such a grey area. Less grey in a corporate environment but grey nonetheless. My last post about Tinkerbell is for the benefit of the Kraya crew and of course the Mascot himself. However, the question has to be asked as to how it will be perceived by our (potential) clients and our (potential) new staff…

Some of our clients (the ones for whom we do a lot of work) know that we are off the wall. In fact, the reason we are able to do some of the amazing things we have done is because we are a little crazy and off the wall… :-)

It has been made clear in Kraya that it is a lifestyle and not a job. The crew at Kraya are so fantastically good at what they do, it would be unfair (at best) to restrict them with rules, structure and guidelines. All geniuses were eccentric at best or outright crazy or insane. Take Van Gogh, Beethoven, Mozart, Einstein, Newton.

No matter what people say, technology is an under-appreciated art and some of the most creative people in the world today are in the technology sector. Simply because technology is so pervasive, it is simply taken for granted. The genius in the technology sector is easier to find because the desire to conform is in general far less. In fact, technology encouraged the people who were more traditionally in the sidelines and to let themselves loose and discover their potential in a field where they could still hide in the background but still make an impact.

Kraya is a good example of this.

In 2003, we built the first megabus site; in around 6 weeks. It is now a force to be reckoned with in the transport sector with over 100,000 visitors every day (across the uk & us).

We have our name on the site and we tell people that we are responsible for the site. However, it is impossible to convey the true genius behind the site. It handles around 5 or 6 searches every second (at peak), with each search being returned within a second or two. This does not seem that impressive but then that is because it is difficult to convey the complexity of the availability & pricing algorithm and the amount of data it has to deal with just to return one set of search results.

As another example, lets take the Edinburgh Festival Fringe website. Since launch, on the day of opening bookings, it has been unavailable for day(s) due to the sheer amount of traffic.

The first year that we took it on, without making any changes to hardware but by pretty much completely re-writing the internals of the site, we took the site live with disruption to service limited to a mere 2 hours.

This is difficult to notice from the public’s perspective since the site looked exactly the same. The fact that the site was now substantially faster, more responsive and reliable was just not registered!

For the Fringe website this year (2008), we organised a complete infrastructure revamp and carried out more work on the internals to ensure that the site would work and be completely available with NO disruption to service at all.

Unfortunately, due to issues with the ticketing system, this never went live as planned.

Kraya has largely stayed in the background through all of these. Like an artist, we signed our work (our name is there both on the megabus site and the Fringe site). However, like with all pieces of art, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

It is unfortunate, that organisations like Apache, GNU and even Microsoft, people like Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman and even Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, and products like Linux that make a real difference in the world stay largely in the background while Tracey Emin’s Bed is so much better known.

It seems the best way to measure the success of a technology product is to see how much it is taken for granted. Google is the perfect example of this.

Are we now living in a world where “to use something” is the best way of saying “thank you.” In other words, is the best way to thank google to just use google?

To come back to my original point of censorship. I agree that as individuals in a community, and as an organisation in the marketplace, there are some things that would be inappropriate to say in a public blog. However, this is often hard to define. More importantly, I believe that each and every single one of us at Kraya are capable and sensible enough to decide what is (in)sensible to be in a blog. The person most likely to pop something into a blog that shouldn’t be there would be me.

I blame this on the fact that I have never differentiated my life in general from my life at Kraya!

WordPress Themes