Friday, May 15, 2020

Microstory 1365: Credit

Tech Reporter: Are you comfortable? Do you need a water?
App Designer: I have one. Thanks, though.
Tech Reporter: Is that a flask?
App Designer: I promise, there’s no alcohol in it. I just find it a convenient shape, so I can always keep it with me. It has a wider opening, so I can fill it back up. See? No real flask is like that.
Tech Reporter: Cool. So, let’s dive right in. You are the creator and designer of the hit new office productivity software, Remotely.
App Designer: That’s right. Seventy-million users, and counting.
Tech Reporter: In case any of our viewers haven’t heard of it. Tell us what your application does.
App Designer: It’s a virtual office construct that allows teams to collaborate in a more familiar setting. Lots of companies have ways of connecting workers to each other, but our visuals are matched by no other. Users open the virtual office space, and move their avatars around to reach other people, much like how people would do it in the real world.
Tech Reporter: Uhuh. And is that significantly better than traditional message apps? Have users found it more intuitive?
App Designer: They have, yes. Instead of a chat window that just collects every comment in a vertical stream, people’s words appear near their avatars. When you want to say something in a meeting, you raise your avatar’s hand. You can even instruct your avatar to sport various reactions, so people who are talking to you understand how you’re receiving them. That’s incredibly important in this new world, where face-to-face communication is happening less.
Tech Reporter: How expansive is this virtual world? Can people go outside, and do other things, like other virtual worlds?
App Designer: They can’t yet, but we’re working on ways to hold meetings across separate companies. Well, I shouldn’t say we’re working on it. The feature is ready, we’re just finishing a few things up before next week’s update.
Tech Reporter: Interesting. Well, I do want to talk a little bit about the criticisms you’ve been experiencing lately.
App Designer: Yes, I know what you’re talking about, and I appreciate this opportunity to clarify a few things. I have become the face of the company, and that’s because it did technically all start with me. When I was in college, I was given the assignment to come up with a new phone app idea. There were all these stipulations about how original the idea had to be, and I was struggling with coming up with something, so I recruited a group of friends and colleagues to help me. It was a young man by the name of Fellow Student 4 who first thought of the idea. After we discussed a few things, I drew up the plans for the app. It’s more of a desktop program, but I still got an A. Anyway, my partner, Fellow Student 3 and I were having lunch outside soon after graduation, and we started getting excited about really making this happen. You would be surprised how fast she wrote the code. Within weeks, we had a working alpha version. I have never claimed that I’m the only one who created this product. That is a belief that spread beyond my control, due in part, perhaps, to a few too many interviews I did where I don’t explicitly credit my team. I recognize that I am one of the founders, and head designer, for this company, but I don’t know how to program, or really do anything else my company does. That’s why we hired a great team of some of the most brilliant people in their respective fields.
Tech Reporter: All right. Well, let’s talk about that team. Tell me more about the other founders.
App Designer: Okay, great. I hope you have some water too.

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