Few people know of it, but Vivek and I had started working on HackerEarth even before we graduated from college. To be specific we were working on MyCareerStack, but few things that we did during that time laid the foundation for HackerEarth.
I graduated and moved to Bangalore in July 2012 to work at Google. 3 months later, we were accepted in GSF Accelerator and started HackerEarth officially in November of 2012.
From the start we have been a very design focused company, our design might not have been very savvy, but it has always been functional and simple!
I have often seen this, a lot of startups invest significantly in branding, even before they launch. We, on the other hand, have been very different. For the last 3 years, we have been consciously putting off the topic of branding and having a logo for HackerEarth.
Of course, when you start, you need to have a logo, it goes in all the startup competitions where you apply, it goes on your very first visiting card, it goes on the T-shirt that you decide to wear everyday to office and it goes on your laptop. We had one too.
Doesn't require machine learning to understand this logo. We took the company name , chose a nice font and put it on a background color we liked. The logo is really simple, but it served it's purpose, people recognize this.
Up-till now, we have consciously shied away from creating a logo and hence creating an identity. The less significant reason is that creating a logo takes a lot of thought, and hence a lot of time. And when you are running fast with a lean team, one tends to pass over frivolities as long as things are functional.
However the actual reason is, the last 3 years have been about soul searching. When we started, back in 2012, we knew what we wanted to do, but we didn't know it enough to have a clear identity. During this time, we have had our share of learnings, pivots, discoveries and changes.
Today I am happy to say we finally have the right amount of understanding to come up with our identity. And it might seem ironic but it's no different from what me and Vivek started with. We knew we were building a platform for developers and we knew developers love to code. These two things have been core of everything we have done at HackerEarth, and nothing symbolizes that better than our brand new logo
We have made a couple of changes to our identity, we dropped the camel case (it always gave a little corporatish look), did away with the standard font, created a new custom font which is a little more casual, a bit more fun and conceptualized the 'h' that embodies the spirit of a programmer - code.
If you didn't get what I mean see this
Let's drill this down a little deeper. 'h' represents the term hacker, which is not only first half of our name, but represents who this community is for. Hackers are doers, hackers love to build things, hackers look up to a challenge and hackers strive to be better every day. And each and every HackerEarth user is a passionate hacker.
And the little underline of 'h' is nothing other than the familiar blinking cursor of your console. It's the same cursor that you have grown comfortable and which probably in some way defines you. This logo represents the playground of a hacker.
The logo is an attempt to say what HackerEarth truly is, we are a platform for hackers and like each and every one of you, we are passionate about writing code, writing better code and being a better programmer every single day.