Commit 452d923c authored by Jaisen Mathai's avatar Jaisen Mathai
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Updating all posts to include some media

parent acf258c9
......@@ -21,13 +21,33 @@ Facebook or Flickr hadn't been launched and everyone had a Hotmail account. Digi
That's when the seeds for OpenPhoto were planted though they lay dormant for several years.
## Detoxing from start-up life in California
I was newly married and we had just moved to the San Francisco Bay Area from Ohio. The last thing I wanted to think about was pursuing another idea. Instead Rachel and I spent the next 3 years discovering and falling in love with Sunnyvale; the city we moved to.
I was newly married and we had just moved to the San Francisco Bay Area from Ohio to start my new job at Yahoo!. The last thing I wanted to think about was pursuing another idea. Instead Rachel and I spent the next 3 years discovering and falling in love with Sunnyvale; the city we moved to.
<figure>
<img src="/images/photos/2007-11-20-first-day-at-yahoo.jpg" alt="image" /></a>
<figcaption>My first day at Yahoo!. November 20, 2007. Credit: <a href="/">Jaisen Mathai</a> CC BY.</figcaption>
</figure>
In June of 2010 we had our son, Tavin. Life became infinitely better and busier. My collection of photos started getting infinitely bigger as well. We were taking a ridiculous number of photos and videos. They were all priceless and grew in value as Tavin became older.
I revisted the question of what to do with all these photos. It was important to us that they be around when Tavin was in his 20s and beyond. I began realizing that technology was converging to enable the organization and sharing of photos without sacrificing data ownership or portability.
The seeds for OpenPhoto had been planted.
## Leaving Yahoo!
I decided to take the bold step of quitting my job to start OpenPhoto.
With Yahoo! owning Flickr I didn't want there to be any muddy waters.
It wasn't an easy decision but one I don't regret looking back.
<figure>
<img src="/images/photos/2011-05-31-last-latte-at-yahoo.jpg" alt="image" /></a>
<figcaption>My last day at Yahoo!. May 31, 2011. Credit: <a href="/">Jaisen Mathai</a> CC BY.</figcaption>
</figure>
I'd eventually miss the free lattes I enjoyed at Yahoo! but my body was probably better off.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/collinstm">@collinstm</a> 80k calories in my first year at Yahoo! via white chocolate mochas.</p>&mdash; Jaisen Mathai (@jmathai) <a href="https://twitter.com/jmathai/status/217743726112538625">June 26, 2012</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
......@@ -15,6 +15,11 @@ share: true
It was around 4pm on a Friday and I found myself stuck in traffic on 101 northbound. I was by myself so I couldn't use the HOV lanes; not that they were any faster.
<figure>
<img src="/images/photos/2006-11-17-highway-101-from-flickr.jpg" alt="image" /></a>
<figcaption>Typical scene on 101NB. Credit: <a href="https://flic.kr/p/sNNPV">Ed Hunsinger</a> CC BY.</figcaption>
</figure>
Let's rewind a bit. Patrick first emailed me on June 30<sup>th</sup> of 2011.
> I'm offering my help because I think your idea is great and it will be something special. -- Patrick, in his first email to me
......
......@@ -19,9 +19,11 @@ share: true
It was 2011 and Kickstarter was only 2 years old. The largest campaign hadn't yet broke the $1M funding level. It was also a time when Kickstarter had to approve which projects could launch a crowdfunding campaign on their site. Fortunately they picked an idea I submitted.
I launched my [Kickstarter campaign for OpenPhoto](https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jmathai/openphoto-a-photo-service-for-your-s3-or-dropbox-a) on July 1<sup>st</sup> of 2011. It was an intense 30 days during which I received press coverage from [Techcrunch](http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/29/former-yahoo-engineer-quits-to-build-a-flickr-killer-on-kickstarter/), [ReadWrite](http://readwrite.com/2011/06/20/save_your_photos_to_amazon_or_dropbox_with_app_pla) and others. By the end of the campaign I crossed my funding goal by raising $25,242 of my $25,000 goal. The successful funding from Kickstarter helped validate not only that people were interested in OpenPhoto but that they were willing to pay for it.
I launched my [Kickstarter campaign for OpenPhoto](https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jmathai/openphoto-a-photo-service-for-your-s3-or-dropbox-a) <small><i class="icon-external-link"></i></small> on July 1<sup>st</sup> of 2011. It was an intense 30 days during which I received press coverage from [Techcrunch](http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/29/former-yahoo-engineer-quits-to-build-a-flickr-killer-on-kickstarter/) <small><i class="icon-external-link"></i></small>, [ReadWrite](http://readwrite.com/2011/06/20/save_your_photos_to_amazon_or_dropbox_with_app_pla) <small><i class="icon-external-link"></i></small> and others. By the end of the campaign I crossed my funding goal by raising $25,242 of my $25,000 goal. The successful funding from Kickstarter helped validate not only that people were interested in OpenPhoto but that they were willing to pay for it.
The Kickstarter funding wasn't a proper angel or seed round but I knew it would help. In fact, the exposure from Kickstarter [helped get us accepted by Mozilla into their WebFWD accelerator](http://blog.webfwd.org/post/9300091721/webfwd-welcomes-the-first-fellows). WebFWD didn't include any funding but legitimized us a little bit more and we got access to some great mentors and investors.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/DO5PSaB8LYs?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
The Kickstarter funding wasn't a proper angel or seed round but I knew it would help. In fact, the exposure from Kickstarter [helped get us accepted by Mozilla into their WebFWD accelerator](http://blog.webfwd.org/post/9300091721/webfwd-welcomes-the-first-fellows) <small><i class="icon-external-link"></i></small>. WebFWD didn't include any funding but legitimized us a little bit more and we got access to some great mentors and investors.
It was time to turn that into a successful angel round.
......@@ -73,11 +75,11 @@ We never decide anything that day.
## The Shuttleworth Foundation
At any given point we were in discussions with or waiting to hear back from several potential investors. In February I had come across a foundation I'd never heard of before, the [Shuttleworth Foundation](https://www.shuttleworthfoundation.org/).
At any given point we were in discussions with or waiting to hear back from several potential investors. In February I had come across a foundation I'd never heard of before, the [Shuttleworth Foundation](https://www.shuttleworthfoundation.org/) <small><i class="icon-external-link"></i></small>.
The Shuttleworth Foundation invests in people working in the areas of open data, open science, open government and other open things. It was a long shot but that hadn't stopped me in the past so I did the work to find out more about the foundation and figured out who I might know working there.
A friend of an acquaintence, [Philipp Schmidt](http://www.media.mit.edu/people/ps1), had previously received a grant from the Shuttleworth Foundation. I talked with him and told him about OpenPhoto. He thought it was a good fit and introduced me to [Karien Bezuidenhout](https://www.shuttleworthfoundation.org/about-us/team/karien-bezuidenhout-chief-operating-officer/), COO at the Shuttleworth Foundation.
A friend of an acquaintence, [Philipp Schmidt](http://www.media.mit.edu/people/ps1) <small><i class="icon-external-link"></i></small>, had previously received a grant from the Shuttleworth Foundation. I talked with him and told him about OpenPhoto. He thought it was a good fit and introduced me to [Karien Bezuidenhout](https://www.shuttleworthfoundation.org/about-us/team/karien-bezuidenhout-chief-operating-officer/) <small><i class="icon-external-link"></i></small>, COO at the Shuttleworth Foundation.
I'd go on to receive a fellowship grant from the Shuttleworth Foundation. It wasn't until later that I realized how fundamental the foundation's fellowship model would be to the ultimate success of OpenPhoto.
......@@ -85,4 +87,9 @@ It took roughly 14 months after quitting my job to get funding. That's more than
The waiting was difficult but finding a partner in the Shuttleworth Foundation made the waiting worthwhile.
<figure>
<img src="/images/photos/2013-05-27-shuttleworth-gathering-mit-media-lab.jpg" alt="image" /></a>
<figcaption>Shuttleworth Gathering at the MIT Media Lab. Credit: <a href="/">Jaisen Mathai</a> CC BY.</figcaption>
</figure>
Had Patrick and I been on the same continent we would have popped open a bottle of champagne.
......@@ -41,4 +41,10 @@ Despite cold calling, working with sales people and exhibiting at expos we were
The idea of network attached storage devices running our Trovebox software had legs. As I described it to people they loved it and if I had the chance to demo it their eyes lit up. Much moreso than when I described Trovebox as a cloud hosted photo service.
<figure class="half">
<img src="/images/photos/2014-04-17-wd-mycloud-bricked.jpg" alt="Restoring the image on a bricked Western Digital MyCloud device">
<img src="/images/photos/2014-04-17-wd-mycloud-internals.jpg" alt="The internals of a Western Digital MyCloud device">
<figcaption>We experimented with and prototyped having Trovebox installed on a NAS. Credit: <a href="/">Jaisen Mathai</a> CC BY.</figcaption>
</figure>
Remember when I said there's no map? If there was a map I would have found a more direct path to this product. Instead it took us 3 years to get here which was the only way to arrive.
......@@ -23,11 +23,29 @@ So many times it felt like everything was falling in around us. I can recall the
When they say your chances of success increase if you have a great co-founder this is what they must have been talking about. On my worst days it felt like Patrick was the only one who could pull me out of the depths. Those days were plentiful.
## Family
Despite the consuming nature of doing a startup my first commitment was always to Rachel and our 2 kids. Rachel didn't know what she was signing up for on that day when I asked her what she thought about me leaving my job and decent health insurance along with it. Life threw us many curveballs but I had her unflinching support at every turn.
Speaking of family; my parents think I'm crazy. That gets reinforced each time I chase a startup idea. This is the second time I left a job to start something. They want nothing more than for me to get a job at a big stable company and be a loyal employee until I retire. Nonetheless they supported me as they have in the past despite thinking I was being foolish.
<figure class="third">
<img src="/images/photos/2014-09-23-tavin-at-gilroy-gardens.jpg" alt="Tavin at Gilroy Gardens">
<img src="/images/photos/2014-09-23-elodie-at-gilroy-gardens.jpg" alt="Elodie at Gilroy Gardens">
<img src="/images/photos/2010-11-08-jaisen-and-rachel-in-carmel.jpg" alt="Rachel and I in Carmel">
<figcaption>Mi familia. Credit: <a href="/">Jaisen Mathai</a> CC BY.</figcaption>
</figure>
Then there's my parents who think I'm crazy. That gets reinforced each time I chase a startup idea. This is the second time I left a job to start something. They want nothing more than for me to get a job at a big stable company and be a loyal employee until I retire. Nonetheless they supported me as they have in the past despite thinking I was being foolish.
## The Shuttleworth Foundation
I wrote in more detail about [my experience as a Shuttleworth fellow](../../articles/shuttleworth/) if you wanted to read it. But to make a long post short they've been the best partner I could ask for. Not only did they provide nearly $1M in funding but they provided a network of the brightest and most ambitious people I've met. All working on something that makes the world a better place. There's nothing else quite like it.
<figure>
<img src="/images/photos/2013-05-27-shuttleworth-gathering-mit-media-lab.jpg" alt="image" /></a>
<figcaption>Shuttleworth Gathering at the MIT Media Lab. Credit: <a href="/">Jaisen Mathai</a> CC BY.</figcaption>
</figure>
Then there's the [Shuttleworth Foundation](https://shuttleworthfoundation.org/) <small><i class="icon-external-link"></i></small>. I wrote in more detail about [my experience as a Shuttleworth fellow](../../articles/shuttleworth/) if you wanted to read it. But to make a long post short they've been the best partner I could ask for. Not only did they provide nearly $1M in funding but they provided a network of the brightest and most ambitious people I've met. All working on something that makes the world a better place. There's nothing else quite like it.
## Friends
There were countless friends who believed in me as well. They helped me keep my sanity when I questioned if I had made a terrible mistake.
......
......@@ -21,8 +21,8 @@ Below is a timeline view of events that makes it possible to quickly consume mos
The first months were some of the most exciting. We built a product from scratch and gained a following.
* **May** - I left my job to start OpenPhoto. The first milestone was [a successful Kickstarter campaign](https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jmathai/openphoto-a-photo-service-for-your-s3-or-dropbox-a).
* **Aug** - [OpenPhoto was accepted into Mozilla WebFWD](http://blog.webfwd.org/post/9300091721/webfwd-welcomes-the-first-fellows)
* **May** - I left my job to start OpenPhoto. The first milestone was [a successful Kickstarter campaign](https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jmathai/openphoto-a-photo-service-for-your-s3-or-dropbox-a) <small><i class="icon-external-link"></i></small>.
* **Aug** - [OpenPhoto was accepted into Mozilla WebFWD](http://blog.webfwd.org/post/9300091721/webfwd-welcomes-the-first-fellows) <small><i class="icon-external-link"></i></small>
* **Sep** - OpenPhoto was a standby for TechCrunch Disrupt. We didn't get to participate in the contest but were offered the chance to have a table in Startup Alley.
* **Sep** - Pitched to Kapoor Foundation by way of intro from Marco DeMiroz. Did not get past first meeting.
* **Oct** - Version 1.2 of OpenPhoto was released (7 contributors).
......@@ -55,9 +55,9 @@ As we entered 2013 we focused almost entirely on sales and marketing to fuel gro
* **Jan** - OpenPhoto relaunched as Trovebox (6 contributors).
* **Apr** - Archive.org support added.
* **May** - iPad support added to iOS app. source
* **May** - iPad support added to iOS app.
* **May** - Realized that growth with consumers was too low and that we needed to find an alternative.
* **May** - Partnered with Insight Sales Dynamics (Brian).
* **May** - Partnered with Insight Sales Dynamics (ISD) and worked with Brian to land large enterprise deals.
* **May** - (ISD) Meeting with CEO from Topia Software. Had 3 calls but did not close.
* **Jun** - (ISD) Meeting with VP at Sony. Met in person 4 times over 8 months but did not close.
* **Jul** - Group support added to Trovebox.
......
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