How We Built Our Brand Around Ubuntu
There is a need for humbleness. We work, and we work while forgetting about ourselves, about humanity, and the purpose we have as humans. One purpose is to evolve. Become a better self. Transcend who we are. Another one is to help people around us to do the same. Are we on this path when it comes to remote work? Short answer: not yet.
With so many companies shifting to remote work due to COVID-19 pandemic, the cult of overwork is still deeply rooted within ourselves. A recent study by researchers from Harvard Business School and New York University says that people worked longer hours in lockdown. The workday increased by 48 minutes on average. Now’s not the time to work more. We have to take more time for ourselves and our loved ones. Remote work can offer us this leverage.
The urge to resolve the problem of finding fair remote opportunities came to us a couple of months ago. We felt like there was no equal chance for candidates to apply for a remote job. You had to either be located within the United States or within a too constrained time zone interval to be considered eligible. Your options were pretty sparse otherwise.
Second problem is uncertainty.
Everybody mentions what skills you should have, what type of personality the company is looking for, and numbers. Lots and lots of numbers the company includes to attract candidates, often forgetting they’re leaving most people blindfolded on the other side of the screen.
What should the interviewee expect when the interview process is missing in the majority of cases?
What work will the new employee do?
What’s the salary offered for this position?
The answers to all these questions make up for a fair remote opportunity. To be honest is about both sides understanding each other’s struggles/needs.
The company should be transparent about the process. Just putting the salary upfront means saving time on both ends. Why go through the entire process, waste time, and money, just to find out you can’t agree on salary? If the income is transparent, you already know the candidate is interested. You only need to find out if he’s got what it takes to be part of your company.
The candidate should make an effort to read more about the company before applying. Suppose they don’t take the time to know more about the company, its products, and personalize the cover letter. In that case, you shouldn’t even consider them.
Making an effort from both sides is the best relationship to start with. It’s just like the fox and the Little Prince from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s novella. The company opening about themselves, their process, and being transparent, while the candidate investing the time to make the application more personal, brings them closer and closer. It builds trust and rapport. These two values make for a long and healthy relationship.
It’s this compassion that we want to see moving forward within the remote community. It will help companies be less frustrated that people send them generic CV templates. Candidates will have some light shed on what it’s like to apply for and work within the company.
Ubuntu is what encapsulates all of this. It means a quality that includes the essential human virtues; compassion and humanity.
Ellen Lupton’s Thinking with type made us gain a lot of respect for typefaces. Their role, meaning, and effort put in something that we take for granted every day. Each letter is a symbol. We read them every day. Put in the right order they make sense, and can add all kinds of flavors when used diligently. They connect to each other. Just like we humans connect to each other. We can each represent a letter, a symbol.
We choose the Ubuntu typeface because of what it means and how well it defines what we built.
The yellow circle unites both sides of the logo. It is the core that signifies trust, compassion, and humanity. It grows slowly as each side invests more in this process. With all this in mind, the launch animation came together.
We felt like we needed to emphasize the tipping point. So we extracted the symbol. The happy human. An abstraction of both the company and the applicant, when everything goes according to plan. Everybody can celebrate.
We enjoyed this creative process a lot. And we aren’t designers, but more like Managers of One. A concept that we borrowed a while ago and resonated with us. It’s a “good enough” start that we hope will get us to the destination.