“I am brave,” I kept telling myself. I didn’t feel brave. I felt scared. Uncertainty stresses me out. If you had told me a year ago that I’d be working for equity only, I would not have believed you! But being brave doesn’t mean you’re not afraid. It’s about being afraid and doing it anyway. So, I mustered up some courage, talked it over with my spouse, and jumped with both feet in to join the illumy team. Why would I take on such a big risk? Well, there are lots of reasons, but essentially, they boil down to:
- The people
- The product
- The potential
The founder of illumy was someone I’d worked with before—someone I respected, someone I identified with. He knew the future of communication wasn’t going to be centered on the phone call. ☎️ And he understood that our innate desire to truly connect with other people was being hindered by current, exploitative technology.
illumy’s marketing leader had mentored me at another company, and she and I became friends in the years since. I admired her marketing mind and her killer SEO skills. She was the person who first introduced me to the idea of working at illumy, in fact.
I knew that both of these people had my own and their own best interests at heart and weren’t in this to make a quick buck but to actually make the world a little bit better. That isn’t always the case with Silicon Valley startups, and it was refreshing to see.
Ideas are great, but execution is everything. When I came aboard, illumy was pre-beta, maybe even pre-alpha. We didn’t even have an iOS app yet. But once I used illumy, that stuff didn’t really matter. I knew that when we built everything out, illumy and the way it fosters real communication was going to be mind-blowing. (Note: we now have mobile apps for both platforms, and they’re awesome!) 😎
The web app was so simple, with all kinds of cool features—for example, opting in instead of opting out of emails and messages.
It had all the capabilities of Skype without the infuriating user experience. It was like Slack and WhatsApp, too, only it could email anyone, and you could sign in from any device and see a “call log” of every message, call, video call, file (we have file-sharing, too) in a single stream. I could instantly see that instead of having multiple apps, illumy would be our single communication app. Need to send an email? illumy. Need to make a call? illumy. Need to IM? illumy.
We humans want to leave some sort of lasting mark on the world. For some, their children are their legacy. For others, it’s doing small acts of kindness or bits of good. As a writer, my intense passion has always been to improve communication—because I have always felt that if we communicated more clearly with each other, the world would be a much happier place. 😀🌍
illumy took the ways we communicate now and made them better by removing the barriers and drawbacks and putting people back where they belong in the communication equation: at the center. By cutting out the noise of ads, spam, and politics, we can focus on each other. Imagine the ways we can truly connect when our data isn’t being sold to the highest bidder and outside influences aren’t invading our messages, likes, and shares.
Join the communication revolution! It’s free, it’s awesome, and I promise: There’s nothing to fear.
Photo of woman with umbrella by Edu Lauton on Unsplash