Top Secret: Humu

humu_picasso_triggerfish_01LWhen Laszlo Bock left Google, there was one question on everyone’s mind – What is he going to do next? That question was answered with yet another one – What is Humu? The website gives very little away apart from the image of a reef triggerfish and the words ‘Making work better through science, machine learning, and a little bit of love.’ Even more fascinating is the email id that shows when you click on apply lifeistooshort@humuhr.com. As Alice (from Wonderland) would say – ‘Curiouser and Curiouser’.

I can’t help wonder if Humu would have garnered as much interest as it has if they had outright detailed what the company intended to do. Maybe a lot of people would have called their ideas incredulous. I don’t know. What I do know that this veiled approach is working. They have people watching, wondering and waiting. Their mailbox has been bombarded by job applications despite people not knowing what they are looking for (except machine learning). Believe me, I know.

Secrecy is a powerful tool. It’s a hook. It gets people interested and wanting to know more. When used right, it can enable a brand, business or person to reach greater heights. However, when done wrong, it can backfire. Not only does it create mistrust, it can also stand to signify insecurity, lack of transparency and aloofness. Be careful how you use it. Maybe, learn from Humu 🙂

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