Not your baby’s cradle

Gary Liu
Gary Liu

Wait, you’re telling me you’re not selling some new tech-infused cradle for my new born?

‍Sorry to disappoint you but we wouldn’t trust our woodworking skills to house your little precious, though Todd (our CTO) might be determined to make you one if you really wanted one (with a 30 day buy back guarantee). So how did we end up calling our own newborn Cradle? And more importantly, how does Cradle help guide us in shaping our product roadmap and brand vision?

‍There was actually another name before we experienced our serendipitous moment: Talk Like Humans. The name originated out of our pure desire to bring back the good ol’ conversation within the realm of business communication. Don’t get us wrong, we are very much ingrained in modern communication tools (i.e. Slack, Intercom, Jira, etc) in order to work more efficiently. But do these tools help make us more effective communicators or are they simply improved versions of their predecessor, the kind that has made us behave less and less like a human. Humans are social animals inherently and we believe that there is no better medium to communicate our ideas across than to just have a conversation, one that is void of ambiguity and emojis.

Our mission will always be to help people talk more like humans again, and to do so we strive to instil simplicity in all aspects of our business. While the name “Talk Like Humans“ puts our vision in the forefront, we ultimately decided that it lacked the simplicity and flexibility to best represent our brand. So we went back to the drawing board and asked ourselves this: “how can we characterise our product vision in a single word that is meaningful but not overly clever, and more importantly, is available as a web domain (we actually had to purchase the rights to .io from a guy in UK)?” This was not an easy exercise and we quickly made a collective decision to just “let it come to us”. Well it did, and it was a glorious moment that we’ll never forget. It all started when I was redesigning our logo, pictured below.

The original logo

‍As you can see, our original logo resembles a unidirectional sound-wave that is positioned left to right. The serendipitous moment occurred while I was adding animation to the sound-wave, during which I added one more line and circle as a way to create symmetry.

Feels a lot more balanced, doesn’t it?

‍The sound-wave suddenly changed from being unidirectional to bidirectional, mimicking how sound travels back and forth between two sides of a conversation. All of a sudden, James walked over and made a casual remark, “that kinda looks like a Newton’s Cradle.”

“That’s it!”

A simple Google search of “Newton’s Cradle” will tell you that it’s a simple demonstration of how momentum is conserved in a closed system. Start one ball moving and the rest transmit the momentum back and forth — much the same way that ideas move back and forth, grow and evolve during a conversation between two people.

So that’s how Cradle was born.


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