Back when Charles Green, AIS CEO, worked in the Adversarial Sciences Lab (ASL) at AFRL in Rome, NY, the pirate flag was an important symbol. So much so, in fact, that when the decision was made to start AIS, the flag became a part of the company’s identity right away.
“When we made the decision to start AIS, we adopted the pirate flag symbol because it represents the idea of always aiming to do things differently,” said Green. “This was and continues to be a huge aspect of our culture.”
Eric Thayer, Chief Engineer, was also working in the ASL with Green before AIS became a company. The lab was doing a significant amount of cyber research, which at that time was not the norm.
“At that point, the flag signified ‘the hacker’,” said Thayer. “We had a hacker mentality from the beginning, which meant we had an unconventional way of looking at the challenges this new industry posed.”
To AIS, being ‘different’ means more than just standing out from the competition. Having a fun and collaborative company culture was one of ways the ASL, and later AIS, stood out from the rest.
“In the lab, we were dressing differently, behaving differently and just trying to buck the system, but with our government leadership’s encouragement to do so,” said Green. “We always did our own thing which empowered us to be creative, innovative and just be ourselves.”
Dan Kalil, Chief Commercial Officer, was working close by in the Forensics Lab at the time. Since the labs were so connected, they both adopted the idea of breaking the mold of a traditional work environment.