Chances are, if you’re reading this you’re probably sitting at a computer. You’ve maybe spent your whole morning typing, clicking, posting and emailing. But do you know why you’ve had the ability to do this all morning? It is ultimately because of one man’s great determination to invent something that others deemed insane and impossible in order to solve a problem. One man decided that his love for mathematics could take him to great heights in his career and ultimately make a dent in history. Did he know that computers would become what they are today? Probably not. His goal in that moment was to decipher German Enigma encrypted signals. Sitting in the middle of World War II, he would have no idea that his attempts to save the lives of so many, would ultimately lead to remarkable attempts at computer technology and innovation. So, who is this creative, artisan that we owe a round of applause to? His name was Alan Turing.
In the late 1940’s one man’s brilliance not only brought the disaster of the second World War to an end but also became the catalyst to groundbreaking inventions.
“In 1936, Turing delivered a paper, “On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem,” in which he presented the notion of a universal machine (later called the “Universal Turing Machine,” and then the “Turing machine”) capable of computing anything that is computable: The central concept of the modern computer was based on Turing’s paper.
Over the next two years, Turing studied mathematics and cryptology at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. After receiving his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1938, he returned to Cambridge, and then took a part-time position with the Government Code and Cypher School, a British code-breaking organization.” (“Alan Turing.” Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2015. Web. 04 June 2015.).
What do the successes and stories of Alan Turing have to do with VoiceNation and how our company operates? I’m glad you asked. VoiceNation has three core values; passion, innovation and excellence. We strive to make everything we do here authentic, genuine, “homemade” and creative. We are determined to not fall into the mold that says, “this is just how we do things.” While we are a business, it is our desire to be a company that will go after things that appear to be impossible. Alan Turing probably had some similar thoughts to most of us trying to survive in the business world. Thoughts that say, “whatever you’re striving for, its too big. You need more people, more knowledge and more money.” Even through all of his inner struggles of the “I can’t do this!” mentality, he still remains a prime example of unwavering passion, inspiring innovation, and extraordinary excellence.
Innovation, I fear is a dying skill. With so many creative minds out in the world today, why do we all fight to think and be the same? One person creates an app for Apple’s iPhone and then 50 other attempts are made at the same invention. We need to become a society that believes, once again, in the value of authentic, and wild new ideas that solve real-world problems. At VoiceNation, we’re attempting to dive into the open source culture by creating our own innovative, live answering software, OpenAnswer, that we’re ready to give away to the world!
Turing’s philosophy and his papers were good, but his invention was great. We’re all full of big dreams, but unless we decide humanize the ideas in our heads, we’ll never be able to see and experience the greatness that can come from them. If Alan Turing had simply become a math professor with creative visions, what would you be reading this blog on today? Think about it.