Welcome Vaughn Jason Summers!

November 13th, 2007 by Ruth

We are joyous to announce the birth of Vaughn Summers — the 8 pound 10 ounce son of our Office Manager Lauren Summers and her husband Dusty. We believe that Vaughn is just about the cutest baby we have ever seen!

Lauren with Vaughn

Exbiblio Offices

April 17th, 2007 by Claes-Fredrik

MathewSome people know how to decorate their office.

Day Off

November 29th, 2006 by Hugh

Wednesday has been snowed off at Exbiblio. The terrible weather in Seattle has caused traffic mayhem, and people are finding it hard to get into the center. This combined with what I imagine (from London) is not the highest morale right now, has prompted a ‘company holiday’ to be declared.

I don’t know what plans there are for Friday, but with such a mass exodus of staff this week, I imagine that everyone will get into work, come what may, because surely there will be quite a party.

Goodbye Exbiblio

November 27th, 2006 by Adam

It has been an whirlwind year and a half at Exbiblio. This will be my last week as an employee. Hugh did a good job of describing the current situation in his post, so I won’t rehash it here.

I’ve been able to have lots of different roles: Contract Programmer, CEO (in the early days), Mac Developer, Beta Manager, Blogger, Web App Developer, Product Designer, Operations, Branding, Mail Delivery, etc… I’ve had seven different offices if you count the first months when I worked from my Bee Documents office!

I recently came across the phrase “boiling the ocean” which is a good way of describing my frustration with Exbiblio. We have been trying to change the world, business, and technology all at once without a clear plan to do so. I think we could done a much better job at carefully choosing targets and knocking them down one at a time. Hopefully, the team that remains at Exbiblio will be able to find this kind of focus.

Certainly, there have been many great positives to working at Exbiblio as well. The biggest joy has been all is the people I’ve had a chance to work with, both past and present team members…

Martin has an idea a minute, challenges convention at every opportunity, and feels that a business is only worthwhile if it changes the world for the better. Hugh takes honesty and openness in corporate blogging to a new level. Lauren has the coolest music collection ever which got me re-interested in the Beatles and older Wilco stuff. Noah introduced me to sushi which I am now addicted to. Hap exhibits the kind of living that we all aspire to. Janinne is passionate about creating the kind of work environment and culture that everyone dreams about. Arial has “integrity” tattooed to her hand, literally. Claes-Fredrik can make a game out of any technological innovation. Ed M does the best job of herding cats that I have ever seen. Thanks to Ed T for the phrases “vaguely Asian” and “classy” which I have adapted and made part of the my vocabulary. Hillary has a passion for the environment, that if it could somehow be converted to electricity, would solve all the world’s energy problems. Richard is often a cool voice of reason which is at least as valuable as his brilliant technical ability. Quentin pointed the way towards bringing Martin’s crazy ideas to fruition. Ania asks really hard questions about beauty and truth in design meetings. Ian is the kind of person everyone wants to work with and be around. Damon is so smart it’s scary. Brendan is quiet until the topic of bicycles or politics come up. Jer’s blog posts about green design speak to his passion and he illustrates images of dog food surprising well. john makes sure that we are not just a pizza pocket and Coke type of operation (who knows why we aren’t allowed to capitalize his name?). Jesse makes everything work that way it should, and has a good answer for every question.

There are many others who have been apart of the Exbiblio team. Sorry I can’t list all of you. Thanks for the memories and the knowledge you have given me.

The other great aspect of working with Exbiblio is that big dreams are the fuel that this company runs on. The dreams of the founders and employees are a very explicit part of daily operation, which is a rare and valuable environment to work in. I hope that many of the dream come true.

Thanks for the great ride, I will always be a friend and fan of Exbiblio.

Retrenchment: team reaction

November 27th, 2006 by Hugh

I’ve been ringing round the Exbiblio team looking for reaction to the news of the retrenchment and staff cut-back. Not everyone has been at their desks, but this is what I’ve been told so far.

Brydie Ragan, who has been just five days into her job as Exbiblio’s “hardware evangelist”, says that she was still learning about Exbiblio, its people, and its projects. Even so, she wasn’t bowled over, as she’s worked on startups before, including one of her own, and “there are always surprises”. She adds that it’s just part of “life’s great adventure.”

Engineer, Brendan McNichols, tells me: “In a sense, I’m not surprised because it’s a startup and we’ve been spending a lot of money on a piece of hardware that was ridiculously expensive to bring to market. Where the surprise comes in, is that just a week previous, things had been seeming to be going okay. We’ve been getting software stuff on track, and then we’ve been hiring , and usually that’s a sign that things are going well.”

Ian MacDuff, the engineer who has been co-ordinating the relationship with contractors Synapse, tells me that he has been discussing with Exbiblio’s management how to wrap-up the hardware project. He suggested that they should document the oPen’s architecture and explain how it works. However, he adds, “I’m not feeling hyper-motivated. I would like to be, but I’m pretty disappointed about the whole thing.”

(update) Lauren Summers tells me: “I was surprised at the announcement last week because it was very sudden, and am sad to break up from this team of people. I do hope Exbiblio can figure out a way to make it work. The growing idea of the (working) device over the past months, and seeing each new development, makes the idea of not using it soon feel like a loss.”

Adam Behringer will be writing shortly about his own impressions.

Speaking to a couple of others off-the-record, I get the impression that there is not a huge deal of surprise about the event itself – these things happen in startups – but the timing and suddenness was unexpected. There is some bafflement about why the management appeared not to know about potential problems – even to the extent that they were hiring recently.

Powerbook Still Life

October 26th, 2006 by Adam


Making Movies

October 26th, 2006 by Adam

Filming Document

One of the tasks I enjoy here at Exbiblio is making “propaganda films” for company lunches. When the software team accomplishes something fun, I sometimes scrap together screen captures, video, and appropriate music into a presentation.

They are pretty fun, and I hope we can show a few of them on the blog someday.

Company Lunch Today

October 23rd, 2006 by Adam

Chinese Food

Crisis can be good for you

October 16th, 2006 by Hugh

I’ve been away from Exbiblio for about three weeks, and I’ve come back to find what seems like a different company. It’s organised, and focused, and people meet frequently in person and know what each other are doing. I am, quite frankly, amazed.

While I’ve been away, I get the feeling that there has been a bit of a mini-crisis. There have been more little things wrong with the first prototype of the scanner pen than had been expected. This crisis seems to have been a shot in the arm.


Departure: Damon Lanphear

October 6th, 2006 by Hugh

After visiting Exbiblio three times, I’m starting to get to know the crew – and I’m really sorry to hear the news that Damon is moving on, and that today is his last day. That was rather sudden, Damon! I wish you the best of luck in your next job.

Damon joined Exbiblio in June, as I mentioned in my profile of him.

Damon is an extremely nice chap, and I know that his colleagues have a very high opinion of his intellect and abilities. It’s a pity Exbiblio couldn’t hang on to somebody of his caliber for longer.

Exbiblio seems to have a high turnover: Jannine in July, Noah in August, and now Damon in October.