TLDR? Javier Aguirre and Miguel Calero join The Neon Project as co-founders bringing in blockchain, data and cognitive projects, automated processes and optimized GIFs.
The last couple of months have been unexpectedly quiet for The Neon Project. Rather, quiet in the outside and busy in the inside.
It’s over a year since The Neon Project was born as a brand to hide a one-person company that really, really wanted to be part of a group of people resolving interesting challenges with technology.
Wasn’t The Neon Project a chatbot company? Not really, The Neon Project was the evolution of bots4health precisely because I didn’t want it to be a chatbot company.
It was all about people, processes, and products.
However, chatbots were at the core of The Neon Project, specially in the way it was displayed to the world, since day one. Chatbots were a door opener for public speaking, brought me to build a community that is today over a thousand people strong, and are the only reason why I got into podcasting in the late summer.
To prove it, back in February 2018, I accepted a project with Doctors Without Border that had nothing to do with chatbots. The project was part of a large program with a very interesting scope, and it was going to give me a chance to contribute to a cause I am personally attached to. Moreover: This project gave me a chance to form a team with two awesome humans I had long wanted to work with: Javier Aguirre and Miguel Calero.
The MSF project has been our first chance to work together as a team of three, but I had collaborated with both of them, separately, in the past.
Miguel and I met in 2012 through the Coworking movement when he ran Cosfera, Cordoba’s late coworking space, and I worked at Cobot, a team making software to manage coworking spaces. Miguel knew a lot about a lot of things AND he was fun, so we spent a lot of time in the same groups of fun people in the coworking conferences.
I was a Rails Girls organiser in Berlin at the time and he had the brilliant idea of organising the Rails Girls event of 2013 in Cordoba. It was so good they repeated the event again in 2014, and they asked me to come again.
I like to say that Miguel’s introduction to Cordoba and it’s surprisingly active tech and startups community is the reason why I came to Cordoba. I could not think of a more appropriate person to onboard to The Neon Project and a Head of Whitchcraft and Wizardry: Miguel knows things and people that make magic happen.
He is, officially, an Agronomic Engineer. If they gave diplomas for experience Miguel would have a dozen degrees: He has worked with coworking, figs, GIS systems, Internet networks, the startup ecosystem… name it, and Miguel will probably tell you something interesting about it. This knowledge makes him a great person to identify problems and iterate over a thousand possible solutions. He is also a hands-on person who can sketch interfaces, program, and create a consensus network in Hyperledger Fabric.
Javier Aguirre is another magician. He is an IT Engineer with experience working in international startups. Javi and I met just when I was making up my mind to move to Cordoba and shortly after we worked together for a chatbot building company.
Javi was fun and organised and had a reputation of being a great developer but perhaps one of the things I first found awesome in Javi was that he was great at explaining complex technical concepts in plain English and GIFs. This trait makes him a great coach for junior developers.
He is patient, laughs a lot, and is always on the search for the best tools and processes to ensure clean code and stable services. Javi knows Python, the ELK stack, and Linux. He is one of these zero-bullshit people you can always trust. Javi will never sell you a Ferrari if you need a scooter.
When we realised we were better when we worked together, we started working towards onboarding them to the company, legally speaking. I am very happy to announce the process is over and we are ready now. We took time to think and had conversations about our goals, conditions, ambitions. What kind of people and projects did we like? What kind of lifestyle did we want? I am really proud of how organic and structured-but-agile the definition process has been. Cofounder agreement included!
We are finally a legally incorporated company where the three of us are cofounders with a very similar participation, the same vision, and a common mission for the next few years.
Check our website to learn more and keep in touch if you have a complex problem you need to resolve, but first, please take 5 seconds to welcome me in saying: