Eightbar (as in the IBM logo which is known as the ‘eight-bar logo‘) is a community of people in and around IBM Hursley who are into cool, techie or creative things, either in work, out of work, or both.
The thing about large corporations is that people forget that most of the most amazing things that happen in those corporations come down to individual people just getting on and doing them. It’s easy to think (from inside and outside) that employees are ‘just a cog’ and everything is decided from on-high and nothing can be done without getting it approved in triplicate.
In fact, while a corporation’s culture can play an important part in encouraging and supporting good ideas, it’s the individuals who try them that make the difference. Whether that’s coming up with a better way to do something in your ‘day-job’, or writing a cool app in your evenings which subsequently gets so many downloads it gets incorporated into a real product (several people I know spring to mind immediately), or you just do something like running Linux as your desktop when hardly anyone else is and then helping others do the same.
That kind of innovation and adventure just doesn’t happen because someone in a suit on high tells you to do it. It comes because you think it’s a good idea and decide to give it a go.
The motivation behind eightbar was the realisation that there are loads of cool things happening around IBM Hursley that no one ever finds out about. So 4 years ago the eightbar blog was started.
Until today, I’d never contributed to it because I was too intimidated – but as one of many people around Hursley who attends conferences and unconferences, maintains (mostly) a blog, twitters, and likes to talk to other people who are into cool and interesting stuff, I figured I should make the effort (and the lovely @andypiper hinted very unsubtley that I should too).
So I did.