Tag Archives: midori kuma

Everest’s gone green!

Are heroes born or made?

Not a question that’s easy to answer. It’s a bit like what comes first – the egg or the chicken? Or, perhaps – the soul or the body? But one thing is clear: without hard work – often even pain – and indefatigable striving (read: understanding what you want to do and then actually doing it), you’ll get nowhere. Any talent needs to be developed. But is a capacity to develop a part of talent? Ooh, we’d best leave that to the philosophers; if we carry on down this rabbit hole in this post’s first paragraph, we may never reemerge from it!

Let’s make this easier on ourselves!…

We love heroes. But of course we do, for aren’t we – rejecting all false modesty – heroes ourselves for coming this far in a full quarter century?! From garage start-up to the coolest tech cybersecurity company the world has seen? Heroes change the world for the better, shape the future, and by their own example mobilize humanity toward ever greater victories for higher causes. Therefore, we have always supported and always will support special folks who share this ethos.

Remember Felicity Aston, who in 2012 with our support skied across Antarctica on her own? Then there was Olga Rumyantseva, who in 2013 completed her ascents of the highest volcanos of all seven continents. And of course there was the expedition of female skiers from all over the world to the North Pole in 2018 (in which both Felicity and Olga took part).

Fast-forward to this year, and we were assisting Olga again, this time in her ascent up to the highest point in the world – the peak of Mount Everest! And on May 17 – she did it! Today, Olga is still in the highest (!) of spirits after such a momentous feat, and is already thinking of her next adventure.

Read on…

Our rebranding story, and how Midori Kuma nearly became our logo.

Early June of 2019 was a quiet, nothing-special kind of early June. The world was rotating around the Sun as per, 19 days remained until the astronomical summer, ‘Corona’ meant a Mexican beer, and ‘covid’ meant absolutely nothing to anyone. In short, it was life as we knew it pre-pandemic: what we all could do with a lot more of today…

Meanwhile for the Kompany, we had our own schedules and timeframes, also as per. And early June, 25 months ago on our schedule was significant: it was when our big rebranding was taking place. The time had come for us to say goodbye to the old Korporate style (in terms of the logo, besides a whole lot of other stuff, including the fonts and other stylings and colorings and imagery, and what-have-you), which, given a few tweaks down the years, had been with us a full 22 years! It was out with the old and in with the new – a reboot, an upgrade, a Porsche, a rejuvenation, an image change; time for something different, more in line with the times, and also more polished; at least that’s what I was told (joke). No, really – it was to give us a new corporate style to more accurately reflect the company’s next stage of development – an ambitious yet confident stage, and certainly a futuristic one given our industry (cyber [the security thereof]).

But where others change their logo (slightly!) and have done with it, we had lots more in store. In fact, a full rebranding is a lengthy, complex process of tweaking perfecting all aspects of the identity and life of the company, including not only how we look on the outside, but also the way we interact with audiences, communication style, and scores of other things.

So yes; today’s post is all about rebranding. Now for some detail…

Work on our big rebranding began back in 2018. We’d known for a while how our good old logo/brand and messaging were more late-90s/early-2000s-oriented than 2019. For years we’d been sensing a certain dissonance between our technologies/products – which were always truly cutting-edge – and the image of the company to our users. For several years already we’d not been ‘just an antivirus company’ but a developer of broad-spectrum cybersecurity solutions. Yet still our logo was fairly antique with its pseudo-Greek letters. It was as if it was anchoring the company to the past – to the long-forgotten floppy-disk times.

For nearly a year we brainstormed, thought, compared, imagined, weighed up, discussed, argued, consulted, agreed then disagreed, considered, debated, deliberated… all so as to find the very best perfect fit for our rebranding. A conservative estimate at the number of logo variants our design team put forward gives at least… 300! Then, the final couple of candidate-versions were vetoed be moi. Not because I was being obstinate, but because I was being super obstinate simply didn’t see even in those final few prototypes one that resonated 100% with the company’s aims and values.

Oh, and here are the rejected variants! ->

Some curious near-misses (hits?!) occurred during the year of debate…

Read on…

Flickr photostream

  • Beijing
  • Beijing
  • Beijing
  • Beijing

Instagram photostream

Ok girls and dudes – time for some dunes.

The famous dunes of Namibia – in the Namib desert – were the ‘main dish’ of our Namibian trip. The dunes have been on my Top-100 Most Beautiful Must-See Places on the Planet, I think since I first drew it up. I’d long… longed to get there, and finally, early this year – I did it!

As I’ve already reported, the Namib is one of the driest places on the planet, with a mere centimeter of rain falling PER YEAR! As you’d expect, accordingly, hardly anything grows here at all. Oh, and another thing about the Namib – it’s the oldest desert in the world! If the internet is to be believed, it is 50-80 million years’ old! That is, it’s had dinosaurs roaming upon it! One more thing: in the local tongue the name Namib means ‘vast’. Indeed it is. Vastly beautiful too ->

This dune here happens to be one of the highest in the world – nearly 400 meters from top to bottom!

Read on…

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K FR = 15!

The celebrations to mark the 15th anniversary of our French office in Paris were lots of fun! But we start this story with a picture of the birthday cake from the 10th anniversary of our French office:

Why? To jog the memory – by going through my archives and photos I recalled all sorts of various stories. Like this hilarious one, which is probably hard to believe now. This is what happened.

It was back in the days when online banking was just getting started and serious cybercrime was only beginning to raise its ugly head; when people still had push-button Nokias and Sony Ericssons in their pockets and plane tickets were printed on paper (long sheets stitched together). It was November 2002, and me and a group of like-minded folks were about to head off to an important event in the Cote d’Azur area of France. It was late afternoon on Friday and we were due to fly on the Monday… Suddenly a letter falls into my box. // When an owl delivers a message it always means unexpected or sudden changes to plans, you know.

The letter contained a proposal for cooperation from the former director of one of our esteemed competitors. It turned out that this competitor of ours had rather blatantly broken their promises and basically dumped their local director who had built up their business in France. And, well, this director was now offering to go down the same path all over again and start a business with us.

It was a bit of a surprise to say the least! Fate doesn’t dish out opportunities like that very often. And we were already heading to France anyway! We absolutely had to meet! But to do so, we had to stay in Paris for an extra day and change our return tickets.

Nowadays you can change planes or hotels as much as you like, whenever you like. But back then it was a very different story because no one worked on weekends. The airline tickets had to be changed physically, not just in the database. Of course, it was all quite doable – you just had to go to an airlines office. And there just happened to be one on the way – we were flying via Paris and then onwards to Nice. And so, sometime in the middle of the day I arrived at the airline’s office on the Champs-Elysées. I got there literally 10-15 minutes before the lunch break(!) – yes, yes, then – and to this day – it was/is customary in France to close for lunch.

Lunch is sacred! Nobody in the office wanted to mess about with customers right before their break. They frowned a bit, but after realizing that I wasn’t going to leave and wait outside, they took my passport, credit card (I had to pay extra), tapped a few buttons on the keyboard and gave me a new ticket. I didn’t look too closely at the ticket (unfortunately), immediately jumped in a taxi and zoomed off to the station, because my Paris-Nice train was already panting and whistling and raring to go.

After that it was all business and press stuff. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that there were a few of us. For example, my good old travelling buddy D.Z. was with us, and the former director of my company, my namesake N.K., all flew to the event. For some reason (I don’t remember why) we flew together, but then she flew somewhere else, and I went to the coast by train.

We got everything done that we needed to, all the meetings were successful, I was flying home in the morning, and N.K. had some other things to do and decided to take another flight later that day. I arrived at the airport check-in desk and handed over my passport and ticket. The employee at the desk read everything very attentively, then looked up at me and asked in surprise: “Natalya?”

Oops… – I couldn’t help thinking that it wasn’t a coincidence. I called N.K. and her ticket was correct – in her own name. Turns out those Mayan drummers at the Paris office had hurriedly (almost lunchtime!) printed off a ticket for me using N.K.’s name. I was in such a hurry to catch my train that I failed to notice the mistake.

It all ended well though. There was a bit of fussing around, some conferring and they eventually agreed it was their fault – and led me by the hand to the plane with a “dodgy” ticket. I’ve no idea how much fainting and confusion there was in our accounting department when they had to account for two “Natalyas” flying from Paris to Moscow just a few hours apart.

That’s just one of the many stories.

Read on…

GALÁPA-GOSH – PT. 5: IF YOU CAN SURVIVE HUMANS LIKES GIANT TORTOISES CAN…

Another day – another gosh!…

The tortoise. Hmmm. Not the sharpest tool in the shed – even among reptiles, which aren’t known for their intellectual prowess. Probably the world’s slowest animal too. And when it comes to sweetness and honey and good manners and good looks – the tortoise is also toward the back of the line. Poor things. BUT!…

But… there’s still something about these creatures that charms, enchants, enraptures and enthralls. Maybe it’s something in our genes that says that despite their outward appearance the tortoise is wholly… tasty… But more on that later. For now: giant tortoise pics!…

Read on…

A little snow in Lille.

Bonjour folks!

Here I am in the northern French city of Lille, one of France’s largest urbanizations. Officially its population stands at around 230,000; however, if you add to that the city’s surrounding suburban areas that number shoots up to around 1.2 million.

I was there the other week and, upon waking there in the morning after having arrived late the night before, I looked out the window and… thought I was back in Moscow! Have a look to see what I mean:

Read on…

Midori-Kuma 2019.

Hi folks!

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything about our beloved green bear-mascot Midori Kuma – nearly two years in fact. That’s a long time in anyone’s life, but especially in this green bear’s – as his schedule is just so full non-stop all year round. Not that it’s all work-work-work though: just recently he’s been kicking back in full chill-axe mode in the snowy expanses of Russia, no less. Quite why, when he’s often to be found in idyllic tropical resorts, I don’t know, but, well, he is a bear after all. Must be an instinct thing. I wonder if he hooked up with some brown bears while there. But I digress…

Anyway. Since his Russia trip he’s taken up a new hobby: he’s now an artist, as in – a painter. And he clearly is a natural. Just look at some of his early works, below. What can I say? Bright, unusual, and incorporating many different styles. And it’s not just me thinks that. Many of his paintings have been snapped up for vast sums already at auctions around the world…

Read on…