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Friday Links

There have been a couple of launches this week. So the first link is the announcement of our Dev Kits over at BERG Cloud. Exciting times for us, and lots to build on there.

Joe and I are working on some physical interface stuff at the moment, and Joe sent this video of interchangeable controls for the Teenage Engineering OP-1. We love the rubber band controlled knob at the start of the demo.

More from Malia. We love the work of David O’Reilly and he writes about the changing use of time in animation:

I made these videos to illustrate more clearly how contrast in timing was something that has a clear progression from the 30s to the 90s

I like the annotation for movement in animation he uses too.

From Helen, wringing out a water-soaked cloth in space.

Bunny Huang writes about the $12 feature phone he found in a market in China.

We need someone with a cat to get one of these.

Matt Webb pointed us towards an interesting Kickstarter. Dropbox meets Bittorrent meets local private storage.

Denise unearthed this video explaining Japanese research project looking at gesture based UI and projection. It’s great to see a different tack in the area of the Lamps project we produced last year.

Week 410

Welcome to week 410. It’s almost like spring outside which means of course, that by the time you read this we’ll all be buried under 6ft of snow.

Oh well. Onwards!

This week, the general plan of action is:

Matt, Jack, Mark

Neil, Andy, Adam
(Hopefully we’ll be able to tell you what this is soon)

BERG Cloud:
Nick, Matt, Alex, Alice, Me

Little Printer & Remote:
Alex, Alice, Fraser, Kari, Helen, Phil, Me

Joe, Jack

Another coming-soon thing that is currently nameless:

Kari, Helen

So if you need us, you know where to find us. See you there.

Friday Links

Stop-motion fruit and veg in a music video. DJ Yoda Feat. Roots Manuva and Kid Creole & The Coconuts – U No Likey Like That

Projection mapping ahoy. Willow – Sweater

Colourful cables from Tricot Light

Processing extension for Illustrator

Cloud Party! Looks like Second Life; works in your browser!

Hyperlapse is all over the web this week. Awesome fly-throughs of Google Streetview journeys.

Drawnimal App. Gorgeous!

Week 409

Welcome to week 409.

Phil is now officially in the building. Described as notorious we’re glad he’s found a new home here at BERG.

Lots of projects keeping us busy in the new office, not least Kachina which is coming to a head next week, and Sinawava which we are hoping to move on to the next stage.

What’s keeping most of us busy are plans for the new Dev Boards (more to come on that soon) and a refresh of to give a better overview of how we talk about BERG Cloud.


Matt is mainly lunching and emailing and pivoting

Nick is mostly conducting end to end testing on Kachina, dev board meetings, and was last seen heading to an IoT event at Imperial College

Alice is starting a new BERG Cloud sprint, new publications display for remote and was receiving some sage advice on how to win at panels

Andy is dividing his time between Kachina and putting up shelves

I’m meeting clients working on our sales plan for the next 18 months and drinking lots of tea

Fraser is working his way through Zendesk emails and preparing a blog about submission process for publishers

Helen is going global on Little Printer fulfilment and looking at sales in other countries outside of the EU and US. Ambitious.

Adam is making sure Kachina talks to everything it needs to

Jack is doing sales and NPD and researching new components in his spare time

Alex is fixing up a new version of remote and preparing the new pages for

Neil is making and making and making on Kachina

Phil is learning Ruby and making publications, publications, publications

Denise is harmonising all of our sales and marketing

Joe started the week a poor ill person, but has bounced back like Tigger by time of writing

Week 408

It’s week 408 and the new studio is looking nice. With bunting aplenty and BERG bits occupying all corners of rooms it’s now much less like an office and more like a home.

Here’s a few interesting facts about the new place for you:

– It’s opposite (what looks like) a castle and next to a strip club.

– It has two front doors and EIGHT windows. Real windows from which I can see birds. Sadly there are no birds outside today because it is snowing, again.

– Yesterday there were 19 pints of milk in the fridge. Today there are only 11. Oh and here’s a not very interesting fact about Old Street for you: Nowhere sells Nesquik.

– There is a very tall building which I can see from my desk that glows lilac in the evening light and has, on top, two very beautiful bright red lights. (Shame my  iPhone camera fails to captcha this).


–  Newspaper Club are here too! (They brought bunting as well). I sit with them. They laugh a lot.


Interesting facts aside. In this week’s All Hands, we discussed Weeknotes. What are Weeknotes? Why do we do them,? Who reads them? Should they continue?

Well, apparently Neil’s Mum reads them and this is as good a reason to continue as any, so here’s what’s happening this week…

– Matt is meeting people in the flesh and on the internet (Skype, not dating).

– Jack has also been in and out of meetings and will be spending the end of the week in Russia.

– Alice is busy with the shop, the remote site, and the future of BERG hack days.

– Kari is Zendesk-ing, emailing and wrapping up bits from the move.

– Fraser is also Zendesk-ing but accompanying it with outreach and writing blogs.

– Adam is making exciting things work for Kachina.

– Joe is Kemp.

– Nick is push publication-ing all over the place whilst tweaking networks and Kachina-ing.

– Neil and Andy are prototyping prototyping prototyping.

– Alex is doing some IA and Little Printer things whilst chasing suppliers about paper.

– Denise is Little Printer all the way.

– I have been doing things I haven’t done for three weeks and, last but not least, we hope Mark is having a wonderful time on a well earned holiday with the fam.



The term regeneration (also known as renewal), in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, is a biological ability exhibited by Time Lords, a race of fictional humanoids originating on the planet Gallifrey. This process allows a Time Lord who is old or mortally wounded to undergo a transformation into a new physical form and a somewhat different personality.

Yesterday and today we’ve been moving into what will be the 7th BERG office (counting S&W’s premises and our secret spin-office, BERG#9) – it’s my fourth.

A bit like Doctor Who’s different incarnations, while still the same company, the spaces we’ve worked in have created very different feeling BERGs.

And, a bit like Doctor Who, I guess you have one incarnation that you always think is the best, or ‘yours’.

115 Bartholomew Road
Jack and Matt worked together first of all in 115 Bartholomew Road, Kentish Town. I visited their space a couple of times while they worked on projects for me and Chris Heathcote at Nokia.

schulze & webb in their technoshed



Hewett Street
Hewett St saw S&W move to London’s fashionable Shoreditch, just before Matt Biddulph jokingly dubbed it “Silicon Roundabout”. It saw the beginning of our habitual co-habiting with RIG and Newspaper Club. It was also where I started working more formally with Jack and Matt as an advisor while I spent most of my time on Dopplr.

hewett street

Tom Armitage became Employee#1…
First day

21 July (London 11)

It was also where Olinda was launched…
Olinda launch party, Schulze and Webb HQ

…and Matt crowdsourced a large amount of tiny cattle.

“Sh*t Office”
I’m sure it’s a coincidence, but my joining full-time coincided with us moving to a tiny room, heated by a sunlamp, at the less-than-salubrious end of Scrutton Street. It was quickly dubbed “Sh*t Office”. Matt Brown joined us, as did Nick Ludlam.


It was also where the regeneration of S&W into BERG took place…

Wall of BERG

Wall of BERG

We moved, with RIG to the other end of Scrutton Street, to a floor of a former printing company that quickly became known as The Brig.

10 October, 18.08

We had a bit more room to work and make, we were able to customise the space modestly and this space was really where BERG started to fire on all cylinders IMHO.


23 June, 17.46

05 March, 17.47

05 July, 18.28

24 January, 16.32

11 October, 18.32

19 April, 10.18

18 April, 18.17

11 November, 11.24

23 June, 16.28

I think, like Tom Baker is “my” Doctor, this version of the BERG space feels like the one I’ll remember most fondly…
29 November, 17.07

Corsham St
After a couple of years in the BRIG we moved to our Corsham St space at the beginning of 2012. Much bigger than any of our previous studios, and we weren’t sharing with any of our friends.

A bit more grown-up perhaps, and to start-off with I felt a bit like we rattled-around in it, but as soon as the final push to launch Little Printer kicked in, the place started to hum.

18 January, 11.08

16 January, 11.49

18 January, 11.09

24 January, 12.57

Neil Usher

It also meant, that once LP was out in the world we had room to invite folks round for hackdays…


Hack day and Dads' track

I think that’s when Corsham Street felt really alive, when it was full of friends and new acquaintances, all working really enthusiastically on something.

City Road
And now, BERG has just regenerated into it’s latest incarnation, an eyrie on the edge of “tech city” where BERG Cloud can be taken to the next level!

We’ve got our friends from Newspaper Club back in digs with us, and it’s going to be interesting to see how this new, quite different, more cellular space influences the way BERG works.




It’s a step that I won’t be around to see first-hand, as today’s my last day at BERG, and this is my last blog post.

It’s a bittersweet moment, to look back on four years of working with incredible people on awesome projects. I’ve been very lucky to be in each one of the rooms above.

We’re going back to Corsham St now, to have a leaving party – where I’ll raise a glass to the next regeneration of BERG…

Week 407

Monday was all packing, Today was all unpacking. Welcome to the new BERG, it’s still in a bit of a transitionary state.

still requiring a bit of assembly

In between all this commotion Andy and Neil are hard at work on Kachina but we didn’t get to have an All Hands today so can’t reliably report on everyone else.

This was my first week notes, hopefully I didn’t mess it up too much.

Final Friday links from Corsham Street


So we’re packing up and moving out, this is the last set of Friday links from Corsham Street. I’ll keep this simple.



Super Mega Mega Toaster from Scott van Haastrecht on Vimeo.

Naked gun iPhone attachments

The Story of my app

– Cat on a Roomba / Cats on Roombas

– Awesome projection bike lights

– Seeing in circles

Seeing in circles from Oscar Lhermitte on Vimeo.


The Death of Laptops

Wooden computers

– The sounds of algorithms

– Tube touch ins/outs

And finally – a few musical numbers that have been on the studio sound system to see you through the weekend –

Did the rounds months / years ago but Cyril Hahn’s remix of Destiny’s Child ‘Say my name’ is still very good

As is his remix of Mariah Carey (no really)

And finally because I make no attempt to hide that I love a bit of garage, NDREAD’s ‘About your love’ is a wicked little track.

Have a lovely weekend, we’ll see you next week from new BERG.

Week 406

It’s moving preparation week here, and the studio is dominated by a cheerfully coloured pile of packing crates, waiting for us to fill them with our accumulated possessions. This coming Tuesday, we’re packing up and moving to our new space across the other side of Old Street roundabout.

In amongst the preliminary packing and new space preparation, it’s business as usual. Andy, Neil and I have been working on Kachina, and as I write this we have some filming happening in the studio, documenting the development process and surfacing the hidden layers of work that go into finished products.

Jack and Joe are continuing their discussions and prototyping around physical interfaces. Joe also flew over to Belfast and ran a short workshop with design students on the University of Ulster’s MFA Multidisciplinary Design course.

Helen and Kari have been working out the studio move logistics, involving the moving company, insurance, locksmiths and all sorts, and Fraser has been working his usual magic with Little Printer customer service and outreach.

On to Little Printer. Alex and Alice have been working on the preparation and running of LP at the Design Museum for the Design of the Year 2013 exhibition. Adam has been putting the final touches to our new Push Publication API which we’ll making some exciting announcements about next week. Denise has also been working hard on the future direction of LP’s interface and interactions, as well as design work for Kachina.

Simon’s been spinning a number of plates, including helping with Kachina and the Design Museum work, scouting the Ideal Home Show and finalising handover plans for next week. Matt Jones has been working on the Hogum workshop plan, and lastly Matt Webb has been overseeing work with the accountants, and has a meeting diary so densely populated that it’s in danger of collapsing in on itself.

This was week 406!


I mentioned back in October that we’d fallen off the end of our business plan. Well-regarded consultancy, prototyping products with major clients? Tick. Our own products? Tick. So when we shipped Little Printer, I’m not kidding it was the oddest feeling – I felt like we were done.

Actually, we’ve just begun.

Since I got back from vacation mid January we’ve been working on a new business plan, one that takes us right into the idea of BERG Cloud as a platform. Over 2012, our consultancy focused more and more on connected products: In 2013, we’re actively prioritising collaborations that use and build our technology. In 2012, we shipped our first consumer product. Now, we’re working on on-ramps to the platform for everyone. Dev boards are in progress!

The network is the new electricity. Connecting products is the electrification of the 21st century. And we want to be a big part of that.

But announcements of our work in these areas are to come. Sadly, we have some other changes… Two of the team are moving on.

Matt Jones

Way back in 2005, when this place was still called Schulze & Webb Ltd, our first client was Nokia, our first project was Continuous Partial Attention, and the fella who hired us there was one Matt Jones. Then, in 2009, we joined forces. A little later the company became BERG, and we built the awesome, inventive, ambitious, fun, consultancy-and-product-hybrid that is the studio we have today.

BERG has loads to thank Matt for. The consultancy business is a reflection of his insights and practices, and a good part of our intellectual foundations also come from him — our abiding interest in computer vision, “be as smart as a puppy,” immaterials… And, personally, I simply love his presence in the room.

Circumstances change. Last year, Matt started a family and became a brilliant dad. And then he was approached about a terrific job that fits incredibly well with his plans for 2013 — I’ll let him say more about that elsewhere. Long story short, at the end of March, Matt Jones is off to New York City. We’ll miss him! But we’re not letting go entirely…

Matt’s keeping an involvement in the company, so we’ll still get the benefits – albeit less frequently – of his smarts, energy, and vision. So we can have that as consolation! We’ll continue to be fellow travellers.

Simon Pearson

Simon’s been with us for two years, initially as our very first project manager – his remit was to invent the “BERG way” of running projects – and over time he’s taken on involvement in pretty much every part of how the company functions: Sales, budgeting, ops, supply chain and fulfilment, and more. Latterly he’s been Head of Little Printer, and he’s steered our first product from factory-ready to factory gate, then onto prioritising and launching features with the team, bridging product and marketing.

Simon is creative and energetic — his first love is music, and he’s off for a new journey into that. We wish him the best of luck!

We can’t replace Simon, just like we can’t replace Matt. We’ll each take on part of their old jobs, but I know there will still be something left undone… And I think what we’ll find is that whoever we bring in will have their own uniqueness, and they’ll fill that gap but do much more besides, and we can’t guess what that’ll look like.


The secret of the name BERG is that it’s an acronym: the British Experimental Rocket Group. I said once that our experimental rockets are our people and that I’m always proud to see what BERG alumni move onto and accomplish. My aspiration is that at BERG we learn to think big – to invent culture! – and one day we’ll have a PayPal Mafia all of our own.

So I’m proud, yes, of Matt Jones and Simon both, excited to see what they’ll do next, but it’s bittersweet because we’ll miss them!

I’m prouder still of what the team is creating here at BERG. There are always opportunities in change. Our 2013 strategy is a corner-turn, and we’ll be able to grow in new directions from this. We’re moving premises, too, at the end of March – to somewhere higher up, somewhere with carpets instead of concrete floors, somewhere quieter with double glazing, a place for making and building. So that’s a geographic accompaniment to the changes. It’s a new chapter for us.

Matt, Simon — I raise a glass to you both! Thank you for being with us on this journey, and all the best for your own new chapters!

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