Happy New Year!
So here we are: the first blog post of 2013. This is my first time with the keys to the blog since coming back from maternity leave, which is a bit exciting and a bit daunting.
It has been interesting coming back after being away for nine months. A lot changed in the time that I was away. I arrived back to a studio with about twice as many people in it as when I went away. Two of those additions were regular staff (Neil and Mark), the rest were contractors working on various projects that had been taken on while I was away. So not only were there a bunch of people around that I didn’t know, they were working on a lot of projects that I had no clue about. It was rather disorienting. This is BERG we’re talking about, though, so of course they were a bunch of really lovely people working on some amazingly interesting projects and doing a genius job of it. That’s pretty much the way things go around here.
A lot of those projects wrapped up before Christmas so now we find ourselves in a bit of a lull period. Helen, Fraser and I are spending a lot of time on customer service for Little Printer including trying to track down Little Printers that never made it to their intended homes. We shipped 1,000 of them and the vast majority were delivered with no problem, but when you are relying on human beings to do the actual sorting and delivery of anything, it’s inevitable that there will be a few that will go AWOL. Thankfully most people have been remarkably understanding and patient about that fact, and we are doing our best to get replacement Little Printers out as quickly as possible.
(By the way, even if you aren’t a Little Printer owner or particularly interested in becoming one, may I suggest that you have a look at the BERG Cloud blog, especially this entry in which Fraser posted some lovely photos of Little Printers in their homes. Thanks again to the folks who have been sharing those with us!)
Just before the holidays we said goodbye to James Darling, and last week we said hello to Adam Johnson who has joined BERG as a software engineer. Nick put him right to work on a BERG Cloud bug which Adam had sorted in very short order.
As for the rest of us… Alice is doing a fab job supporting Little Printer publication developers and also has her hands in Kachina, a new internet connected product that we’re working on with a client. Andy is trying to get to the bottom of some issues with Little Printer paper jams. Alex is working on various aspects of BERG Cloud as well. Denise is having a go at creating a Little Printer publication. Joe and Jack and doing classified new product development. Neil is recovering from what is either food poisoning or a really nasty stomach bug. Simon is trying to schedule a cocktail mixing workshop. (Seriously. He’s also doing his usual fab job of keeping projects running!) Mark is doing what he says on the tin and developing new consulting opportunities as well as keeping current consulting projects moving along. Matt Jones is doing a bit of sales and a bit of studio shepherding.
Seven years ago, Matt Webb wrote a business plan for Schulze & Webb, the company that became BERG. (You can see that actual business plan right here.) In it, the long term plan included making and selling our own products. With the shipping of Little Printer last month, we have now fallen off the edge of that business plan.
So Matt has been doing a lot of thinking about the future of BERG and when I say a lot, I mean a LOT. He shared his mullings with us today, and his brain dump filled up three very large whiteboards. It’s a great story, but you’ll just have to stay tuned to see how that all turns out, I’m afraid.
We hope you have a great 2013!