Let there be flying elephants ..
“Hey, guys – what’s up with the name?”
The [justified] question we get to hear most in reference to the – rather atypical – name of our lab [ Flying Elephant Lab ].
The story of the name goes like this: While coding the prototype of what is now the core engine of Yaoota!, I witnessed an elephant of tremendous size flying above the streets of Cairo. It wasn’t the hallucination of a sleep-deprived coder, nor was it a visual misinterpretation of what is actually a bloated superman. It was real, and – in fact – everybody saw it.
People’s reactions to the flying elephant couldn’t have been more diverse. There were those who simply did not believe what they were witnessing and others who preferred to ignore it. One group feared it in silence, and another group did not like the idea of having such a monstrous, powerful creature glide above their heads; they wanted to bring it down.
The prevailing reaction on the streets was, however, pure joy and anxiety. People waved at the elephant, and cheered it as it sailed slowly above their heads. They were unable to explain such a unique phenomenon, nor could they foresee where the elephant was heading to. They only knew that they are witnessing a once-in-a-lifetime event, which has the power to change their lives.
You, too, saw the flying elephant.
You don’t believe my story?
[Read Thomas Friedman’s article in the New York Times – which inspired me with the name – and figure out the metaphor.]