In 1945 Vannevar Bush, an inventor, proposed the idea of the Memex, “a sort of mechanized private file and library” to improve how we record and access information. Bush envisioned the Memex being “consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility” and reducing redundancy in academic pursuits. Over time, his ideas influenced the invention of hypertext and, eventually, the World Wide Web. I was inspired by Bush’s desire to not only advance technology, but improve collaboration and enhance our collective knowledge. His spirit of innovation was impressive, but his humanity was what moved me.
I learned of the Memex last month at Viget19, our celebration of Viget’s 19th anniversary, when all our offices gathered to share our latest work and inspiration. The memorable presentation about the 75 year old idea of the Memex was by Dylan, a Viget developer. Another was by Kate, a strategist, who implored us to design and build tools more inclusive of elderly users, like her grandmother.
We love both looking back and looking forward each year. At Viget19 we also wove a theme of “talent” into the day (showcasing great work) and the evening (talent show!), as well as the next morning (professional baristas, a juggler, and woodworkers joined our brunch and taught us their talents). We had a ton of fun, but best of all we were reminded that:
Viget is a collection of incredibly talented humans.
Being surrounded by talent is energizing and impacts results.
With the right environment, we can grow in our current talents and uncover new ones.
As we celebrated another successful year, it was clear that the products we’ve built and knowledge we’ve gained, while impressive, are secondary to the trust we’ve cultivated and the friendships we’ve sparked. People over process; humanity over technology. Cheers to 19 years and thank you to everyone who has been part of the journey!