I have often been asked why we are named “Mindfire” – what does it mean?
When I decided in 1999 to create an organization focused on software development, several candidate names cropped up. I was very clear that the name had to embody the factors and spirit of software development success, based on my observations of this industry that I was and am so passionate about.
Numerous names were tossed around. I felt “Mindfire” hit bullseye.
In any field of human endeavor – bull-fighting or buildings, singing or software – nothing succeeds unless you have a balance between “mind” and “fire” – between the smarts required to do something and the action orientation required to do anything. However the criticality of this balance is perhaps the most intense in the field of software.
In software organizations, I had observed two causes of failure. On one hand, you had young and intelligent people who had the raw “intelligence”, but didn’t have an adequate action orientation toward actually doing things, learning things, delivering things – that killer instinct would be missing. On the other hand, you also had a terribly large number of people who would run around being “visibly loud”, doing things and lot of things with a lot of “fire” – but who perhaps did not have sufficiently sharp minds required in software development.
Obviously, I wanted everyone who joined Mindfire to succeed greatly in their careers. For this, our organization had to constantly remind them about this balance between mind and fire that was key for them to succeed in their chosen career. And what better way than to name ourselves accordingly!
PS: Having observed hundreds of software engineers in the last 11 years at Mindfire, I have come across a new rare species which makes me feel the name needs an addition. A couple engineers had both the mind and the fire in place, but thoughts and movement in the wrong direction! So today I would perhaps call ourselves “MindFireArrow”: to succeed in software development you need to have mind and fire in equal measure, and both pointed in the right direction.
Author – Chinmoy Panda