When we sat down with Lee to find out more about the company values, we discussed his influences and the things that inspire the company’s wider vision. He spoke of his appreciation for companies like Apple and Google who, despite being big corporations, are considerate of their staff and the environment, as well as his interest in Elon Musk’s scientific approach to problem-solving.
Keen to explore what motivates the other members of the We Are Mobile First team, we asked each of them: Who, or what, inspires you and your work?
‘Google and Tesla inspire me because they came from humble beginnings and, despite their rapid growth, are both still respectful of the world around them. Their collective vision of wanting to make the world a better place is extremely promising and I like that they’re always looking to the future.
Secondly, I’m inspired by small Barcelona-based companies, from our little team at We Are Mobile First to the team at BaseTIS. Marc Castells, from BaseTIS, has an interesting mind and is great to share thoughts and conversations with. His company started super small and is now based in La Pedrera – one of the most iconic buildings in Barcelona!
Working and sharing ideas with Lee is continually inspiring, even though we aren’t always on the same page. Similarly, my co-workers always inspire me. I work hard to try and be a better person for them and they help to inspire my work with their ongoing input and support.
Lastly, there are a handful of development and Android gurus who motivate me: Jake Wharton, Mike Penz, Antonio Leiva and Roman Nurik’.
‘I’m inspired by people who follow their own path, on their own terms, no matter what other people think. People who know what they want and do it their own way, no matter how it is supposed to be done.
Additionally, I’m motivated by people who maintain a healthy work-life balance, who don’t wrap themselves up in work and forget to enjoy the present. The people who know that their future is in their hands and work hard for it independently without waiting for help.
I’m inspired by people who practice sports and lead a healthy lifestyle, who train to be better, who focus on their personal goals and try to achieve them, not because they are in a competition but because they want to be a better version of themselves.
I’m encouraged by people who look to experience new things and evolve as individuals, not just professionally but personally. People who leave their comfort zone to discover new things and see the world from a different perspective.
I’m also motivated by the fact that I work within a company that has such an open, innovative and modern mentality, from the office environment, to the policies we uphold. A company, free of the strict rules of bigger corporations, that gives each team member freedom with their work hours and accepts that each individual is unique and has their own way of doing things. A company that demands results, of course, but gives individuals the freedom to use their creativity and personal innovation during each project’.
‘My main inspiration comes from programming itself. Smart pieces of code continually encourage me to learn new things and improve upon my skills. I am really passionate about programming and everything that is involved in the process, from debugging code to discussing good coding practices and methods with my co-workers, so that helps to keep my motivation on track.
On the other hand, being in a work environment such as ours, where everyone tries to do their best to consistently develop as a professional, also encourages me to improve and become a better programmer. In addition, there are some fellow programmers, outside of We Are Mobile First, who have contributed and, as a result, made our job easier, such as Jake Wharton and the Square Open Sourcegroup. They are equally as inspiring to me.
Last, but not least, being Fidel’s padawan for almost a year has helped me to gain experience and confidence within a professional environment. There is, of course, always room for improvement and even more to learn from him!’.
‘Traveling really opens my mind; it makes me appreciate things more and it helps me to be a more open human being. I think living solely in one place can make you a little narrow-minded and travelling can open you up to whole new worlds of thinking. Of course, not everyone can travel and, to be honest, I haven’t been able to travel for 4 years, but every time I have some disposable income I try to spend it on exploring new cities or countries.
In terms of my work, I owe a lot to the iOS development community for their openness, helpful tutorials, and new approaches. Similarly, in the early days of my career, I benefited and learned a lot from companies/organizations that were willing to share the amazing products that they were working on. In being able to access and read their code, I felt encouraged to grow as a programmer.
Additionally, I also take a lot of inspiration from companies who have a human-centered approach to innovation (such as Apple and Google) that perfectly integrates the needs of the people with the possibilities of technology and the requirements of a successful business.
Protecting the environment is one of my passions and companies that promote environmental protection, such as Parley, continue to motivate me to do better. The Parley Ocean Plastic Program, lead by the Parley AIR Strategy (Avoid, Intercept and Redesign), combats marine plastic pollution which is one of the biggest threats to the ocean today.
And lastly, I am inspired by the world’s teachers because of the important work that they do every single day’.