Good evening, Internet. It's been a while. As they say, life is like a San Franciscan Cable Car: it starts a little creaky and awkward, before you know it's going surprisingly fast, and at the end of it all you're dumped right into Fisherman's Wharf.
To catch up, here's a quick recap of some happenings around Panic — your humble servant of a Macintosh software company.
New! OfficeOn November 4th, Panic 4.0 fired up in a brand new office. For me, someone you might call "detail-oriented" (LOLnderstatement), this was easily as time consuming and difficult as designing and shipping an app: turning the empty shell space of a once-garage into something we can be proud of and look forward to working in. The process was also eerily familiar, from designing obsessively crazy ideas (with Holst Architecture) to getting "are you serious?" reactions but eventual perfection and pride from the construction team (R&H). I promise you a post telling the full story, sharing photos and Quicktime VR's of the space, and giving you some of the lessons we learned. And I promise to have it done this year! ¬ ¬
Is it a game? Is it an art project? Why is there a squirrel in the corner? Keita "Katamari" Takahashi's latest PS3 game, Noby Noby Boy, is a truly mysterious but fulfilling time-waster. We love Keita's work, so we asked him to design some new shirts to celebrate the release of the game.
They're beautiful, they're available in a variety of design "lengths", and they're shipping right now. Please enjoy!
New! PeopleIn late 2008 we added two new faces to the Panic family: Ned Holbrook, formerly of Apple, who jumped into our engineering group head-first and who we're thrilled to have on our team. Also, Neven Mrgan, our first additional designer, a talented fellow (fellow?) who most recently designed the AP Mobile News iPhone app. Neven has also introduced me to a freakish new kind of miracle: I can be working on a design, and he can be working on design for something else, and we are somehow working on two things at once! (It took ten years to figure this out?) These are great guys.
Including the brilliant minds at our international, sprawling mega-subsidiary Panic Japan — Noby, who localizes, supports, and runs the show, and Kenichi, an amazing icon artist — this brings the current Panic head-count to an often-amazing-for-me 13 people.
Wait, 13 people? For reals?It's true! It breaks down like this: two designers, six engineers, and three support guys, plus one designer and one support guy in Japan.
We've discovered this (very cautious) growth to be a great thing for two reasons. First, we can respond to requests and add new and innovative ideas to our software faster than we ever could (and than you'll ever get from) a one-or-two person company. Second, we can finally work on multiple applications simultaneously, trying to remove our long-standing and very painful (for all of us!) "we're working on this so we can't on that" delay.
To be fair, we haven't perfected all of this yet. Right now these two modes are somewhat at odds with each other, and we're still trying to figure out how to smoothly accomplish both goals at the same time — easier said than done.
So what's up right now? We're in "working on multiple apps at once" mode, preparing updates to nearly every single product we currently ship. It's an ambitious undertaking, but I think the end results will be worth it, even if it takes a bit of time to get there. Thanks for your patience while we work hard. I promise great new things are on the way.
(Also: at what company size do I have to stop eating ramen and Hot Pockets? Because I eat those a lot. It's only at, like, 100+ employees, right?)
New! Coda Plugins and UpdatesAll the while, we've been working hard to keep Coda humming and fix a lot of nits. Coda 1.6.4, released earlier this month, is one of these tiny-fix releases that really does make Coda even better. But it's also important to mention that we've been adding more and more cool plug-ins to the Coda Plug-ins Page over the past few months! Head over and check them out.
Boring! Follow Me On TwitterSince posting on the blog is an epic undertaking for me — "I should do short posts!", I always tell myself — you can always follow me on "Twitter" internet website, where the barrier to spew is much lower. Same content — snacks, stupid jokes — in 140 characters or less.
Anyway, hope all is well!
Next Time: a few words about my favorite new digital camera.