A Lucid Summer

At the end of May, I started my internship at an up and coming tech company, Lucid, located in New Orleans. I first found Lucid back in February at a conference called WeCODE (Women Engineers Code) hosted by Harvard’s Women in Computer Science group. I was intrigued by the energy and true passion you could feel the employees have for the company, and I was thrilled to accept an internship offer after the interview process. A few months later, I can see that their energy translates into the unique company culture that gets me enthusiastic about coming to work every day to learn something new.

A Marketplace of Ideas

After a tour from the People team and plenty of introductions to the friendly faces in the office, I headed to my desk to meet the team I would be working closely with for the next 12 weeks. I am specifically working on the Fulcrum team, one of Lucid’s three business units (and in my opinion, the coolest!). Fulcrum is both the name of the business unit and the name of the SaaS technology.

Fulcrum (the technology) is often described as a marketplace for human answers — but what does that even mean? The way it was explained to me was by comparing it to Uber. Uber is a place where people who want to get rides are connected with people who want to give rides. Uber isn’t offering the service, it simply offers a platform where the exchange can happen. Similarly, Fulcrum connects data suppliers to data buyers (mostly in the form of surveys and people who want to take them — it’s a huge marketplace, who knew!).

Within Fulcrum, I am working on the TechOps team, which is an interesting combination of working with clients and creating technologies. Fulcrum comes in two “flavors”, a user interface (UI) and an API that a buyer or supplier can choose to integrate with. The first couple of days I worked hard to learn the industry jargon and understand how Fulcrum is revolutionizing the market research space. Four weeks later, I still feel like I’m learning at least one new word or idea every day that I had no idea existed before.

The Importance of Human Answers

Back to the term “human answers” and why I was attracted to join Lucid in the first place. At the CEO Vision lunch a couple of days ago, I joined new hires and the CEO and Founder of Lucid, Patrick Comer, for a round-table discussion about the story of Lucid and where Mr. Comer sees the company heading. His view of human answers expresses the importance of not just collecting data points, but rather helping to understand people’s opinions and ideas on a fundamental level.

My interest in technology has always been driven by closing the gap that exists between people and rapidly growing technology. To me, the term human answers is important because it’s a constant reminder that behind the computer screens, charts, and numbers, there’s a story about real people and real implications in how we use and think about data. As data becomes an increasingly valuable commodity, it’s exciting to get an inside look at a data-driven tech company where there’s never a dull moment.

What’s Ahead

In a growing company, it’s amazing the amount of work being done every day to improve workflows and client experiences, as well as improve the internal processes that make scalability possible. One of the best aspects of this internship is the fact that I’ve gotten to engage with real challenges that actually matter at Lucid — the training wheels come off very quickly and the growth I’ve seen in myself in just a month is incredible. I can’t wait to talk more about the projects I’m working on and to learn more about the applications of Lucid’s technology outside the market research space, in fields like political polling and academia.

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