Week 2: Connecting as We Know It

Connect. 7 letters, two syllables, 1 word.

While I was back in my hometown of Parsippany, New Jersey, I celebrated Eid with my family. My nieces and nephews were running around the house like maniacs with relentless stamina and will. My brothers and sisters were crowded together over the table playing a game of Apples to Apples. My parents and I were sitting down in the living room talking about college and my past few weeks here at Harvard. While we were all doing different things, we all shared one thing in common: we were interacting, or rather, connecting, with each other.

Before the internet, humans would connect and interact all the time. I’d venture to argue that we interacted better in person without the internet, but that’s a discussion for another time. The world-class scientists that were working on the internet in the mid to late 1900s did not know what they were connecting despite the internet being based off of the most common practices of all time. It was something that nobody, as far as we’re concerned, ever truly visualized, and for those who visualized a network of connectivity, there were skeptics out there to reject their notion. The internet could not have been structured or created with its contemporary functions–too much of a daunting task. However, some believed in making technological advances in networking, not knowing exactly what they were doing or that their future contributions would guide us to the development we know as the Internet today. They believed in the idea of creating a network of computers that all successfully speak a similar language through the usage of IMPs. They believed in connecting, albeit not sure to what extent.

As I reflect on the notion of connectivity in society, it brings me back to my startup, Flare, that I have been working on with my friends from MIT, Wharton and Rutgers. We all believe in the same mission: a more well-connected society. But haven’t we reached the tipping point in connectivity with the internet and its products today like Facebook? You might say yes, but I don’t think so. When it comes to the internet, or connectivity, or anything at all, nothing is perfect, nor has anything reached its full potential. It only reaches its full potential when you think it has–but trust me, it didn’t. Back to the initial idea of providing a product to enhance connectivity, we are developing Flare, a mobile application that does just that. This application brings your campus to your fingertips; social organizations–like fraternities or final clubs–student organizations, or students and faculty alike shoot public or private flares (events) to notify their target audiences of events that are happening near them. Whether it is a club meeting for the Crimson, TedTalk, party at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Flare aims to connect you with your surroundings and friends. We want to help organize your social life by providing college students with a simple means of communicating events with each other. Upon release (this semester hopefully), we will be available at MIT and Harvard for usage. While this application appears very dependent on usage from all the parties listed before, we will be providing the initial flow of content until enough momentum catches on.

We are making good progress–development has been started at HackMIT this past weekend, and all the designs and algorithms have been set. We just need to get to market, and worst comes to worst, my friends and I have a cool application to use for ourselves. We want to help connect and bring people together, which is the same mission that the founders of the internet set out on. Let’s bring this mission home, baby.

~ammer s.

2 Comments »

  1. Mike Smith

    September 18, 2016 @ 10:39 pm

    1

    Please keep us informed of your progress. I would love to know if the topics we’ll discuss in weeks 4-12 affect the way that you and your friends construct Flare.

  2. school of applied science

    November 11, 2016 @ 4:39 am

    2

    Thanks for your input on this, really helpful.

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