First off, welcome to our new blog! We hope you like this snappy look!
Over at the Loopt HQ, we've been having a quintuple celebration. Halloween and four birthdays: Eric, Steve, Nini, and Evan!
We scared ourselves a bit:
Scared ourselves a lot:
Overall, a very happy Halloween, as Fall settles in and we don our warm sweatshirts :) See more pictures in the set
It's Halo 3 time.
Sometimes, as we work away at the Loopt office, we would hear Tom burst into song, often accompanied by his Lucida. It makes us think how cool that we have two wonderfully talented musicians, Tom and Ricky, here who make the day that much better, if not sometimes a bit sweet and sad too, with songs like Girl or Waiting On You.
This past weekend, they performed at the local coffeeshop, Red Rock Coffee, with an audience of Loopters, the Pernikoff Family, and friends.
For more photos, check out their Loopt flickr set (thanks, Alok!).
The sets lists for that evening:
Stuck In Your House
Way Too Fast
50 Ways To Leave Your Love (P. Simon)
I See You
Hit the Road Jack (R. Charles)
Marilyn Sue #1 -> Crosby
Waiting on You
Hey Hey What Can I Say (L. Zeppelin)
On any given day, you're bound to see at least one of us sporting a loopt shirt. It's usually because a. it's a nice shirt, or b. we're out of laundry (as there's a boxful of them upstairs).
If you think a loopt shirt could fit well on you, the good news is in: we're hiring! We're looking for passionate, fun, and hardworking individuals who believe in our product and thrive on bringing cutting-edge mobile technology to the forefront.
We believe in the power of "social mapping" -- of mapping your friends on your mobile phone to facilitate real-world interaction. You won't be a stranger here, as the team is small, friendly, and tight-knit. There will be opportunities for any new loopter to make visible impact. And yes, we have a ping pong table with some crazy action, company-sponsored dinners, the occasional potluck lunch, and even live music from the Brothers Pernikoff and Chelsea (have you heard them sing?!).
A sample few openings:
p.s. If you love what we do but the listings don't quite fit you, send us your resume anyway. We're interested in starting a conversation.
It's an important milestone for a startup anytime it expands into a larger office; the headache of moving is outweighed by the advantages of being able to stretch a bit, not to mention the excitement of exploring the new space. So it was for us last week when we left our space in Palo Alto for new digs in Mountain View. While we’ll miss Frey’s and Hunan Garden we're happy about the easy access to Castro street, and more importantly, we’ve got space to breathe again.
Nick's Desk -- geek paradise with three monitors, three speakers, a ball chair, Almond Joy's and a tapioca tea:
Alok -- more organized than the rest of us, and sporting the Loopt tee:
Smak -- we’re not sure where he got that corporate name tag for his desk:
Wendy -- Can you tell she’s a designer? That’s her painting. And her bear:
QA: Check out the diet Pepsi’s on Tony's desk. Lots of late nights debugging:
The ping pong table -- It will be great to see my name back on the top of the ladder:
Sam’s office: What does it mean when there’s nothing on the CEO’s desk except Excedrin?
Color Coordination! Sometimes great minds think alike...sometimes it's just a coincidence. :)
Bluetooth Bonanza! Fred doing his best Ken look alike.
One of the things we needed to do as we were preparing for our public launch last fall with Boost was to decide how to describe what we did.
Since our inception loopt's primary reason for being has been to answer the world's most common question ("where are you?") and the features we built (see your friends on a map, send proximity-based messages, get friend alerts) were all about achieving this vision. But we needed a phrase to describe ourselves in a way that was pithy, accurate, evocative, and memorable. And since we were doing something new we wanted the phrase to be new, not a derivation of a term already in use. Not an easy challenge.
We kicked around many ideas, but Tom and Evan came up with the clear winner: "social mapping". We knew it was the winner because the internal reaction, as it always is with a really good idea, was to wonder what took us so long to find the obvious best answer.
We liked "social mapping" for many reasons: it's short, it has a nice double meaning with "mapping" (i.e. both the actual maps we display as well as the social planning that people do), people seem to immediately "get it," and it's large enough to encompass not just the "friend finding" aspect of loopt but all the things we expect people to do with loopt: finding restaurants, planning events, messaging nearby friends, journaling their lives, and tagging their favorite places. You know, social mapping.
We also like social mapping because of what it's not. It's not "friend finding," which is both a pretty limited idea and seems to imply finding new friends, something we're not about. And it's not "social networking," "mobile social networking," or worst of all "MoSoSo". Not that we don't love social networks; services like the Facebook have been an inspiration for loopt since our inception. It’s a great product, and many of us use it heavily. But you use social networks very differently than how you use loopt. It's more than just our emphasis on location information, which we like to think is an essential form of social context, it's that our service is almost exclusively about communicating and interacting with the handful of friends you hang out with most often.
In any case, we've been gratified to see the term start to take hold. It's been used in everything from major newspapers and conferences to countless blogs. In fact we spoke last week in Washington at a conference dedicated specifically to educating legislators and regulators about social mapping. Searching Google reveals 67,500 references, and our good friends at Boost seem to have bought the AdWord. Now we just need someone to add it to wikipedia and we can safely say we've coined a phrase.
Last Friday we had a company strategy session over at NEA’s beautiful offices on Sand Hill Road, which was a welcome change of scenery, and a great chance to step back and reflect on what we accomplished (and didn’t) in 2006 and where we want to go from here. While the last twelve months were very productive and exciting, and included our launch on Boost Mobile and registering our first 100,000 users, we’re even more excited about 2007. If hard work is the reward, than we’ve got a rewarding year ahead of us, and our top two priorities, not surprisingly, are going to be (1) making loopt available to more users and (2) making loopt even better.