The Story of Brainec
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Thanks to my father I was raised with computers and knowing the internet in the late 90s already.
I remember as we were together visiting the first barebone HTML website of lego.com on Netscape browser.
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I wanted to have a computer myself!
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As a child I had a lot of illustrated encyclopedias. Encyclopedias about universe, history or chemistry. I was fascinated by their pages. Each of them created a certain impression. And those paragraphs were small and interesting. Small enough that I was curious to read each single of them!
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Especially, I remember when my dad gave me the first multimedia encyclopedia - Eyewitness Encyclopedia of Space and the Universe. I was about 7-8 years old and I barely understood English, but I was fascinated by the images and by them I could perceive what the topics were about. I also enjoyed listening to the narrator in the audio spoken sections.
I enjoyed learning. I wanted to know more, I wanted to learn more, but as I grew older, books became more bland and there were less illustrations. There were just pages with loads and loads of text.
What more - some knowledge repeated itself across various books! I understood I won't be able to read everything in my lifetime, but I grew aware of the inefficiency of the linear written text and started to dream of making it easier for people to acquire knowledge the same way I did from illustrated encyclopedias.
Developing small web projects on high school already I found myself in the age of 'The Social Network'. Inspired by the story of back then a young student Mark Zuckerberg and the impact he had I dived into methods of Lean Startup at the WebExpo Bootcamp 2012 nearby Prague.
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...in fact, I almost seemed familiar with most of the stuff, but yet I did learn one thing - it is more efficient to use existing PHP framework than trying to develop a new one on my own :D
When I returned from WebExpo Bootcamp, learning a lot about ideation, UX, programming, metrics and pitching I decided that it is time to pull out my young dream to existence.
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I made sure that I had a board
My vision was to create an app that would help me finish my last year on high school and prepare for final exams. Noticing before a lot of patterns in my notes, I was particularly interested in the idea of graphs.
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I spent the few first weeks just pondering on the name, landing page and aesthetics, rather than the actual use, but I was doing all that for the first time
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But I tried many other things as well, extensions, annotating, feeds, interpretations...
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I was also taking it as a hobby. At first it should work for me - it should make studying easier for me and than it might be likely that it might make studying easier for someone else. However I understood that I cannot do it alone - that was a big problem in startup community and I did try to reach out to local communities in Prague & Bratislava.
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Also, I was a bit of a nerd and I did not properly understand that to make a business partner, you should make friends first.
I took it as a hobby and I tried again and again, each time with a new prototype while I learnt a great deal about coding, frameworks like Backbone, Angular or Polymer. However I always found myself preparing for exams not using the tool I made.
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On the 5th of December, 2015. I met someone who had a great impact on my perspectives
She introduced me to the realms of literature, post-structuralism and she found literary value in my project. It was in that time when I realized that the problem of studying is much deeper - it's the problem of language itself and its inefficient form for our minds.
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“Perhaps they view our form of writing as a wasted opportunity.”
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I also found out that traditional methods of mind-mapping are used mainly for organization. I remember till now how I came into my linear algebra professor's office as he showed me this tool. I was overwhelmed by the amount of information I was presented.
I realized that this doesn't help me to have a better overview that much and I introduced 'progressive revelation' - scroll / tap and individual nodes are shown.
Being kind of in love and given the circumstances I felt it was time for me to get serious and turn my Brainec hobby into a business.
I still believed that I cannot do it alone, I have to find the right people and it was in that time when I searched for and write to various programs, accelerators and communities - one of them being Exosphere.
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How did I get to Chile, what happened on Exosphere. How did I get to know Andy, Victoria, Moritz, Zeeq... and really a lot of kind and great people in what they do... that's for a lot of other stories. But what I can tell is that this experience does still have an continuous impact on me as I am on my journey.
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And yes! We made it to Cisco too: )
Lot of other prototypes happened after that
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A lot of stuff to tell, for sure
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In 2018 we won a Thisisappstation competition organized by Abaco Consulting group and made it to the Websummit.
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Vašek and Victoria came to help me and present the project!
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I will keep it brief, because this is already getting too long and this should be really a preview of what can be done here.
One last thing: While studying communication design here in Coimbra I realized what kind of mistake I was doing - I was focused on explaining complex academic topics that made the project itself look complex and complicated. It's different to ask: "Would you like to map and explain your research in Brainec?" and to ask "Would you like to write down the story of your research and discoveries?"
= I would like to brand Brainec as a tool for storytelling while at the same time emphasize that everything is a story - even a scientific article can be written as a human story in much more approachable way.

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